Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Start up at any age

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     from personal and hands-on experience in starting up and running businesses.

     You can start up a business at any age. Your age does not enter into the equation.

     Doing business comes as naturally to the very young as it does to older, more experienced people. In fact the young don't hesitate trying new things.

     Example: When I lived in the big city, I walked to the corner to catch the bus every morning. As I approached the bus stop one day, I saw four or five people gathered around a small table. They were picking up and examining things displayed there. Coming closer, I saw my neighbor's young daughter among the adults--one of whom was the child's mother. It turned out that this 6-year old had gathered some stones, painted them in blazing colors, and was offering them for sale at a dime each. People smiled, plopped down their dimes, pocketed the stones, and boarded the bus. I decided to catch the next bus, lingering to talk with the youngest entrepreneur I ever met. Why set up your table here, I asked the girl. Because that's where the people are, she answered without hesitation. What will you do with all the dimes, I asked. Save them in my piggy bank, she told me--looking up at her mom. It's almost full, the mother said. As my bus came to a stop, I put a quarter on the table and took a yellow stone. I still have it.

     Children catch on quickly to the ways of the world. I've often wondered what became of the young stone painter. I'll bet she's heading up her own business somewhere.

     You're never too old to start a business either. 

     Example: Many years later, I headed up the Business Owners Institute in New Jersey. Everyone there had to have run a small business. That way, we offered varied and hands-on experience in dealing with the problems of starting up and running small businesses. People came to us for help with financing and loans, selling and marketing, expanding and growing their businesses. One day, a lady came wanting advice on starting up a business she had in mind. Right off, she told me that she was 79 years of age and worried that she might be too old to tackle a start-up she had in mind. She moved and talked like a 40 year old, and I assured her that you are never too old to begin. She wanted to establish a bagel shop, and over a couple of months I helped her arrange to lease space, buy used bagel-making equipment, stock her new shop and get the doors open. The place was very successful. About five years later she sold out, pocketing a nice retirement income for her later years. 

     You are never too young or too old to get yourself in business. Or to change the direction of the business you already have established. Just do it. The years will take care of themselves.

     A lifetime of personal experience shows that you can do what you set your mind to do. Other things impact decisions--family, health, and more. But attitude is the thing that will see you through.    

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