What’s Age Got To Do With It?

What’s Age Got To Do With It?

Oh, I had a good laugh this morning as I sat down to write.

photo of friends - Laughter and Jokes

What’s Age Got To Do With It? Ha Ha Ha!

Somebody fooled me good!

I thought I was going one direction… and, whoops! I ended up someplace else.

Does that ever happen to you?

Yes? Well then you’ll surely relate.

So, this article came in my Twitter feed (@jlhilleary) with a teaser title that looked interesting to me:

What Does Age Have To Do With Starting A Business?

Hmmm. I thought, being from the section of the age spectrum that I am, this twitter link must be about how at any age we are never too old to be done.

Instead, two sentences in I thought, “Oh brother…”

“My parents became first-time entrepreneurs at the age of 31. And while most startups struggle past year number five or six, they’re still going strong,” the writer said.

“While that age seems far too young to take on such an endeavor…”

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/startups/age-starting-business-01116380#JOxtbUQSBxZ25tj8.99

What?! Business.com has to be kidding,” I guffawed and laughed out loud!  “Haven’t Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, Twitter and all the other tech behemoths taught us anything?”

There is no such thing as too young! Why, kids of 14 and 16 are becoming successful entrepreneurs! I would think we are well and truly over the surprise that youth is capable of great business concepts.

Running a business successfully, however, well, that may be another subject. Generally a new business benefits by voices of experience.

… Which is exactly where I was headed when I sat down this morning. Funny how things come full circle like that.

To be fair, the same article does go on to say,

“According to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, the share of entrepreneurs between 55-64 grew from 14.3 percent in 1996 to 30 percent in 2013. Conversely, the share of entrepreneurs in the youngest age group of 20-34-year-olds decreased from 34.8 percent in 1996 to 22.7 percent in 2013. When it comes to entrepreneurship, it looks like older age and treachery is beating youth and exuberance.

Oh gee, that makes all the difference. Thanks! So, old(er) age and treachery is what we have to offer?

The article throws us a bone and ends on a positive note. It leaves off where I want to pick up the thread:

“…older entrepreneurs realize it’s time they leave the corporate world to become their own boss. They don’t want to rely on social security alone, desiring to build wealth for themselves. And most importantly, they’ve acquired years of (post-college) experience that allows them to solve real-life problems.

So what do these studies mean for you?

Wisdom clearly comes with age, but if you’ve got the right idea, and you can execute it well, then age is just a proverbial number.”

“Age is just a proverbial number”… Now that’s more like it!   We’re highlighting stories of folks who have created their dream life, without concentrating on how young or old they may be. Age is just a proverbial number!  We’re free to change gears at any point, to work or travel, to stay or go.

Traveling around the world, living in the former Soviet Union, starting and running my own business there at age 40 and on- these things have taught me several good life lessons (Read about some of them here).

I met people like Dave & Sheila who retired from BP in Kuwait, filled a 40 foot shipping container and came north to Baku and established a beachhead (well, a business- they were entrepreneurs, not commandos) that supported hundreds, if not thousands, of international workers in a place where we couldn’t get pure water.

It took time and experience to understand how to get their business concept approved- they knew how to work with the authorities from years of being in the region. We gain skills and make contact through working, observing… and failing a time or two.

Have you got experiences like this in your background? Do you have the desire to create an adventure filled life, to make a difference with others, or another dream totally unique to you?

Then stick around. Some friends are coming by to help you see your way through.

Here’s what’s coming up:

In this next few posts, in a series on creating an “Adventure Filled Life” if you will, we’ll introduce you to a number of characters (literally)- role models/creatives/entrepreneurs- who, by using interesting methods, are creating lives of adventure, and they’ve agreed to show you how you can do it too.

photo (B&W) of Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance & William Frawley portraying Ricky & Lucy Ricardo, and Fred & Ethel Mertz ca 1950s USA

60 is the new 40

You’ll see that while the view of life we got from  Lucy, Ricky, Fred & Ethel (of the old “I Love Lucy” show) may still exist, it isn’t the only option.  You have many choices these days!

If you’re wondering if you have what it takes to see your dreams through- to strike out traveling on your own, start your own business, or some other vision- rest assured it is possible with good planning and a bit of strategy.

Several blogging friends have graciously offered their experiences to show us exactly what they planned, how they decided what their new adventure filled life would look like and what they have learned in the process. 

I also promised to share my story as well- though it may be a cautionary tale of what not to do, more than a model to follow! (If you haven’t already had a chance to catch my video introduction, it’s here.)

We’re here to learn and get inspired, so let’s go.

caricature avatars for blog to show response to survey questions

 

I asked each of our blogging friends to answer versions of these questions that applied to them:

1.)  What made you think [full-time travel; international/work-travel; part-time-travel], vs full-time work, was an option?

2.)  What were the most important aspects of your planning that made this lifestyle possible?

3.)  What would you say to someone wanting to plan a life like you have?

I’ll be offering my input as well. So we have three married couples with different approaches and two single travelers, one under 40 and one over (ok, well-over!). And I hope you will add you stories in the comments below as well. We’d like as many suggestions and success stories- or cautionary tales- as we can get. Every adventure can inspire another!

Me? I’m living life backwards, so I’m sharing my experiences as one who spent a decade by myself travelling (20 countries) and working abroad but after 10 years, decided I wanted a relationship more than continued solo-travel.

Anne, on the other hand, currently embraces solo-travel (did a 5-month RTW) and actively plans her work life to accommodate travel.

Margo & Jeff live abroad full-time but both work (Margo writes freelance; Jeff consults in finance) and they make time to travel.

Marsha & Stanley started out travelling, settled for a time, then volunteered abroad for a year and are now back home, for now. She noted that “Stanley would be traveling as a life style if he could, but Marsha needs her home base.”

We’ll get into the details of their answers in the next post, but from their comments  I can already tell you’ll be fascinated by the way our Adventurers have financed their travel: teaching, paid-to-write, Peace Corps, and real estate. Some have traveled for months at a time, while others have worked in a base and traveled from that base. All this and we haven’t even scratched the surface yet.

Stay tuned for more discoveries in our next post, “20 Questions on the Adventure Filled Life“.

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2 Comments

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