The Lore of the Entrepreneur… Youthful! Heroic! Risk-loving! Hustle, hustle, hustle. 24/7!
Research shows that Entrepreneurs in their 50s and over are twice as likely to be successful as those in their 20s. This phenomenon of success is even more likely with women. As a mindset and marketing coach for Women Founders, I can tell you hands down they are the greatest demographic of Entrepreneurs going. Here’s why:
1) Clarity of Purpose: No more dilly-dallying. As women in our ‘Prime’ (formerly known as ‘middle-aged’), we know that life is both precious and brimming with possibility. With age, comes more clarity — of who you are, who you want to serve, and how you want to exist in the world. In your 20s and 30s, your work is largely about making ends meet and mortgage payments. In your 50s it is about a legacy. A purpose. This clarity of purpose provides an extra bonus to a buying audience — consumers today are four to six times more likely to buy from purpose-driven businesses.
2) Women Know Women: Women make 85% + of the purchases and purchase decisions in North America. Who better to influence and inform and provide for women than other women? When I first advanced to the position of Creative Director I was just over 40 years old. At that time a mere 3% of CDs were women. Now it’s a whopping 11%. (No wonder so much marketing towards women is way off base).
Women understand the nuances of what they want and how they want to be communicated with. They intuitively avoid stereotypes and reject the old paradigm of ‘marketing to women by making it pink’.
3) Underestimated and untapped: IMHO, this is the secret sauce. “Being underestimated can be an incredible advantage. Embrace it.” – Barbara Corcoran, real estate mogul, and Shark Tank investor. No self-pity here, but we are largely a group of underdogs. Women reaching Their Prime not only have to fight against sexism but ageism too. Studies show that while men are viewed as more distinguished and valuable with age, women are seen as “past their best” with just a couple of wrinkles. You don’t have to look far to find examples of women who bloomed in their empires at age 40+. Take Vera Wang, who started designing bridal gowns at age 40 after a career as a fashion editor at Vogue. Or Mary Kay Ash, who founded Mary Kay Cosmetics at the age of 45, creating a multi-billion dollar company that offers women equal opportunities for success. Ursula Burns, the first Black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company, is a prime example of a woman who used her experience and resilience to achieve success. Oprah Winfrey, Viola Davis, and Maya Angelou are also women who achieved success later in life — further proof that entrepreneurship is not just for the young and fearless.
So, let’s give credit where credit is due. Women in their 50s are not only capable of starting successful businesses, but they’re crushing it. They bring a unique combination of clarity, deep knowledge, and untapped potential to the table, and they’re not afraid to use it. It is never too late to level up to a higher purpose and create a life that lights you up