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I’m only just warming up…

If you follow the news or read the press, you could be fooled into thinking that growing a business is a young person’s game. Like me, you’ve probably lost count of the articles on 20-somethings “start-up” entrepreneurs that are going to change the world.

And, like me, if you’re not in your 20s (only mentally perhaps), you may be questioning whether there is any room left for us to be entrepreneurs, take on business growth and development.

I am one who believes the opposite. Should I be thinking of the long wind down to retirement? Hell no, I’m only just warming up!

The older you get the better you get, the more valuable you become, and the more you have to offer. It’s a belief that is shared and acknowledged by a growing number of savvy business people; it is also backed by some fascinating research into age and entrepreneurial business success.

A paper published in April 2018 by the National Bureau of Economic Research in the USA – “Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship” – found that the common belief that emphasises youth as a key trait of successful entrepreneurship is fundamentally incorrect.

It found that the most successful entrepreneurs were middle aged – not young – and that there was no evidence to suggest that founders in their 20s were more likely to succeed. The most successful high-tech entrepreneurs averaged in their mid 40s, and that if you are a 50-year-old entrepreneur you are 1.8 times more likely to achieve high end growth than a 30-year-old founder.

The researchers also measured whether youthful entrepreneurs have a special franchise on “innovation/disruption” finding that prior knowledge and experience in any disrupted sector predicts a 125% better outcome on growth or exit strategies.

All the above is partly why my long-time buddy and colleague Lui Pangiarella and I have started up Second Squared. We’re accelerating private entrepreneurship by building a Search Fund Eco-system that enables experienced executives to find and acquire businesses where they can leverage their wisdom.

Unlike startup accelerators we work with those who want to take their well-founded wisdom into operating businesses and take it to the next level.

At Second Squared, we’re helping accelerate people who are just warming up

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