Am I too old to start a business?

by Loraine

My friends think I should be putting my feet up now I am looking towards retirement and my family think I should stay home and look after their children because I have "had my life" and they want to live theirs.

I am not ready to give up my own life just yet, in fact I actually feel I am getting my second wind.

I am even considering starting a little business on the side around my love of cats.

I thought it would be a good way to meet like-minded people as I am on my own and add to the retirement pot as the years go by.

I am fit and well with and blessed with a reasonable income and don't want to just become a convenience for my children as they assume I now am a free babysitter at the drop of hat.

But I am a bit scared about being "too old" to start, and my family have sort of dropped hints around this which is knocking my confidence a bit.

Any words of advice or thoughts please?

Comments for Am I too old to start a business?

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by: Jackie

Hello Loraine...

Firstly, I get where you are coming from regarding family/babysitting/assumptions about your life going forward.

I promise you, your dilemma is so much more common than you think!

I have had this conversation so many times with other people, who actually, much as they love their family, don't want to don a pair of slippers and a comfy cardi and stay home all day, every day watching Peppa Pig or manage petulant teenagers who are going to drink and smoke regardless of what Nan says!

They are vibrant, thoughtful, excited human beings who want to add adventure to the next stage of their life.

And starting a business for fun, even part time is often part of that adventure.

So in answer to your question, am I too old, here are just a few thoughts


Among other things...

  • You know yourself well
  • You understand life and people better
  • You have a LOT of experience now
  • You understand the value of time and money
  • You have more resources available
  • Learning new skills could be invigorating

The downside, and I use the word very, very, lightly because I don't think it is anything insurmountable


  • You might have less energy
  • Technology may be a challenge
  • Learning new skills may be difficult
  • Financial risk is harder to come back from
  • Family may resent you spending their inheritance


I think, if you really want to start a cat business, then go for it.

The least you could do is to explore what is out there to help you get going

If you think appropriate, don't necessarily share with your nearest and dearest and friends about your exploratory stage.

If you are going to have a conversation with them and you think you may meet with resistance, it is good to have your facts organised. It will make you feel confident to answer any questions that may come up, and they will and there could be many!

If you are social media savvy (and if not, try to partner up with someone who is) look for groups of people online who are older and thinking about starting a business. There are quite a few of them now.

There are classes online, Facebook Groups, people with twitter accounts.

Offline, Your nearest local chamber of commerce will probably offer free workshops built around starting a business.

The information is widespread and freely available.

In fact there has never been a better time to start a business.

So, the short answer to your question is, no you are not too old, but you are if you think are.
I will leave you with the wise words of Paul Coelho

People are capable at anytime in their lives of doing what they dream of

The best of luck Loraine. I look forward to hearing more about your mission, should you choose to accept it...x

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