It’s not surprising that when you hear the word “entrepreneur,” you probably picture a highly driven twenty-something with ambitions of establishing a billion-dollar global enterprise overnight – no doubt, thanks to Apple’s Steve Jobs or Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg. But, despite the romanticized story of a college drop-out turning an idea into a financial success, age seems to matter very little in the world of entrepreneurship.
As it turns out, you’re never too young or too old to become your own boss, as evidenced by the following self-starters.
Christian Owens – At the age of 14, Christian launched his own design company Mac Bundle Box using some pocket change and his experience as a self-taught web designer. At 15, he also launched the pay-per-click company ‘Branchr.’ Within two years, Mac Bundle Box earned roughly £700,000 (over $1 million in U.S. dollars) and Branchr earned £500,000 (about $750,000 USD) in a single year. He currently employs eight adults in Great Britain and North America.
Harland David Sanders – No one would have anticipated that Harland (aka Colonel Sanders) would become a household name considering his long and rocky resume – switching from fireman to insurance salesman to service station owner among many other jobs throughout his career. But at the age of 62, Harland used his popular chicken recipe to franchise the now renowned fast-food restaurant Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1952. There are well over 18,800 restaurants in at least 118 different locations around the world.
Cameron Johnson – Most 11-year-olds would balk at their parent’s request to make invitation cards for a neighborhood party, but Cameron not only completed the task, he also designed cards that were so popular that the teenager turned it into a business. By age 14, he had founded the greeting card company Cheers and Tears. His success led him to online advertising, as well as software development, where he easily made over $400,000 a month.
Leo Goodwin – Originally an accountant from Texas in the 1930’s, Leo realized that insurance companies could cut out the middle man when dealing with customers. At the age of 50, he moved to Washington, D.C. and founded the Government Employee’s Insurance Company, now known as the car insurance company GEICO. Within a year, Leo had a staff of 12 people and signed over 3,700 policies.
While you may think that your age is a disadvantage in the ever-competitive market, there are numerous factors that determine the success of your business. But there’s no shortchanging the value of experience and real-world insight. Young and old alike can benefit immeasurably from consulting with a business-savvy attorney, like the ones at The Internicola Law Firm, P.C.