We live in a youth culture.  As young Baby Boomers, we were going to change the world.  Later other Gens would say the same.  Is it now too late for those over 50 to attain entrepreneurial success?

A serial (often failed) entrepreneur, (Kentucky) Colonel Harland Sanders sold his first franchised secret receipt for “Kentucky Fired Chicken” at age 62 (1952).[i]  After a mixed career, Winston Churchill was first elected the Prime Minister of Great Britain at age 66.[ii]  The list of older individual success stories goes on, but readers will get the point.

According to TEDxMidAtlantic, “Backed by mathematical analysis, network theorist Albert-László Barabási explores the hidden mechanisms that drive success — no matter your field — and uncovers an intriguing connection between your age and your chance of making it big.”

His thoughts are well worth watching.

He makes several good points:

  • Variations of human performance is relatively small, i.e., difference between world class athletes and ‘normal’ athletes
  • Your level of success is a function of what others think (measurable) , i.e., the market
  • Success can come at any time in your career
  • Entrepreneurs over 50 are more than twice as likely to have a successful ‘exit’ than those in their 30’s
  • There is a positive correlation between productivity and success

When viewed objectively, these observations make good sense.  For example, musicians that shoot to the top in their teens and twenties are often less productive after they have ‘made it.’  Typically, we hear less and less of them.  Don’t tell that to the Rolling Stones.

A cliche of this author’s youth, “Hang in their baby” was typically depicted as a kitten hanging from a tree branch.[i]  Cute then, apropos for today’s Baby Boomer entrepreneurs!

Whether you’re a scientist, entrepreneur or simply want a better career and life, take heart.  Success comes at any age for those who persevere.  While your Condition (age), Behavior (interaction with others of all ages) may be changing in this phase of life, it will only generate new and possibly much better Relationships in the work place as well as your personal life.

Mr. Churchill demands we “Never, Never, Never Give Up.”  So, don’t!  The best is yet to come.

Still Have an Idea That Will Change The World?

For More Information

The TED Talks link has several additional video talks on the subject and Professor Albert-László Barabási has published the book: The Formula: The Universal Laws of Success.  Disclaimer: as of this writing this blogger has not yet read the book.

You can contact the author more information as well.

End Notes

[i]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonel_Sanders

[ii]  https://www.google.com/search?q=when+was+winston+churchill+elected+prime+minister&ie=&oe=

[iii]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hang_in_there,_Baby