Au contraire mon amie, there are some powerful reasons why you should start a business in your 30s and why it could be the absolute best time.
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We are very good at downplaying our skills, we look at other people and think, “wow, they are so good at *insert skill here*, I wish I was good at that”.
But when we try and list out our own skills, we come up blank. “Um, I suppose I’m ok at err………making the bed?’.
If you are in your 30s, it’s likely you have been in a career for 10+ years so, trust me, you DO have transferrable skills.
An easier way to think about it is to ask yourself what your friends or workmates would say you were good at.
Come up with about 5 skills and list out why they will be useful when starting your business.
In our 20s, we are still learning who we are, we are trying on different hats to see which ones suit us, and generally flailing about as we grow as people.
In our 30s, we have a much clearer idea of who we are, warts n’ all.
Knowing yourself is an advantage when starting a business as it will help direct you towards the best type of business for you.
If you are an introvert and don’t like interacting with people all the time, you know not to start a business that involves cold calling and constant networking.
Being clear about who you are and what suits your personality will help you narrow down the possibilities and start a business that works for you.
You know those friends you used to smoke behind the bike sheds with at school? And the drunken reprobates you ate beans on toast with at 3am at uni?
They (probably!) have stable, successful jobs now and could be the source of some great advice.
In your 30s, your friendship group will collectively have a wealth of knowledge and experience which is a great source of advice and support when you start your business.
Know someone in marketing? Great! Ask them about how to use social media for your business.
One of your friends in accounting? Fab! Ask them if they know of any easy-to-use software to track your expenses.
If you are thinking about starting a business, I am assuming you either hate your job or realise it’s time for a change.
You still have a loooooooong working career ahead of you and that’s reason enough to kick you up the backside to do something different.
Life is way too short to stay in a career that doesn’t fulfill you anymore.
It doesn’t mean that you need to make the absolute perfect decision on a business that’s you’ll love for the next 30 years.
Maybe you’ll run this business for 5 years and then do something else. Or perhaps the business will evolve into something you love even more.
If you’ve been working for a decade or so, chances are you have jumped up a couple of places on the career ladder.
You have probably upgraded most areas of your life, moved to a nicer flat/house, eaten out in restaurants more, started shopping for quality clothing rather than armfuls of cheap fabric at Primark.
Now, I am absolutely not suggesting that you need to start eating pot noodles again, *shudders”, but if you want to start a business, it is a good idea to have an emergency fund saved to cover your expenses.
If you look at each area of spending, there will be things that you unconsciously spend on that don’t really add much to your happiness in general.
Cut these out and you will build your emergency fund much quicker and give yourself the financial stability to start your business.
Fear of failure is a huge barrier to starting a business. But there is no way you have got to your 30s without failing at something.
We all make mistakes, and when you have made them you have picked yourself up, dusted yourself off, and learned from it.
You will definitely make mistakes in your business, everybody does, it’s how you learn.
Just remember, you’ve picked yourself back up before, and you will pick yourself back up again.
Gone are the days of teenage careless abandon when you believed you were immortal. When people in their 30s seemed old and people in their 40s were ANCIENT.
Maybe you have ageing parents or you are starting to notice the lines around your friend’s eyes and the flecks of grey in their hair (and your own, godammit!) and you realise that time is not endless.
Maybe you want more time to spend with your families, or perhaps you just want to do something different with your life and career.
Time is ticking on and you want to fill your hours and days with people, activities and tasks that make you happy.
No matter how senior you become in a corporate job, there will be a limit to how much you get paid. It tends to corrolate that the more you earn, the more hours you have to work.
At some point you realise that giving this amount of your life to work, just isn’t worth the financial compensation.
With your own business, there is potentially no limit to what you can earn.
On the other hand, you could make much less than a corporate job, but work less hours, where you want and when you want.
Whichever one it is, you don’t need to be tied to a set level of earnings.
Financial independence means having enough passive income (either through rental properties, investing in stocks, receiving dividends etc) that you never need to work for money again.
If you are able to earn more money by having your own business, you could save and invest more so that eventually you would have enough not to have to work.
Being able to choose whether to work for money is a very different feeling to having to work for money.
I’m making an assumption here that your days of wild partying are over. If they aren’t then kudos to you and you can skip this one ;-).
The 3-day hangovers I now endure just aren’t worth it, 2 glasses of wine is my limit these days.
Back in the day, Saturdays and Sundays were strictly for lying on the sofa watching movies, drinking Ribena and eating cheese Doritos following the raucous night before.
Now you have two long wonderful, hangover-free days with which to spend some time on your business.
An asset is something that earns you money, the opposite of an asset is a liability, which costs you money (tell me to shut up if you already know this).
Assets include stocks, shares, rental properties and profitable businesses.
Liabilities are mortgage debts on homes, cars, your sofa, your cat. Anything that you have to pay for which doesn’t pay you anything back.
Rich Dad Poor Dad is a great book that goes into how you structure the assets and liabilities in your life to build maximum wealth. Your business, if it is profitable, will create wealth.
Starting a new business will put you in contact with a whole new community of people.
I’m not going to use the term ‘networking’ as it conjures up images of slamming your business card into people’s faces and trying to sell them stuff.
Building a community is essentially the same thing, just a better way of looking at it.
Having started this website I’ve already come into contact with some amazing women, it’s really invigorating and exciting to speak to like-minded people and figure out ways to support each other.
Here are some of my two favourite Facebook groups I belong to for women in business:
I’m going to be a bit careful here, I’m not saying that starting a business in your 30s should be about ‘following your passion’ as it isn’t always about that.
You can have a read on my thoughts about it in my blog post below;
What I mean is that you may have fallen into a career that has nothing to do with the subjects you liked at school or what you did at university.
I’ve always loved reading and writing, I did languages at A-level and a BA in Language and Communication at university.
I then proceeded to fall into a career involving maths and spreadsheets (I know, wtf?).
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed my career for a while, but I was missing the ‘words’ side. I’m loving being creative again with this website.
Starting your own business after a decade long career can bring you back to doing something you had long forgotten you enjoyed.
When you first started working, everything was exciting, even the commute. Or even if it wasn’t, you breezily glossed over it as you mentally planned your party outfit for the following weekend.
Fast forward 10 or so years and the rose-tinted glasses have fallen off your face and smashed into a trillion pieces on the floor. You may even have jumped on them a few times.
You dread the daily drudge into the office, smelling the reek of resigned misery on yourself and others. The novelty of travelling to your workplace wore off long ago and you dream of working from home.
You know that niggly thing that’s been bothering you for years? That thing that annoys some of your friends too?
You could start a business to solve it.
With your skills, knowledge and network, you could actually solve this problem. And when you solve a problem for people, they pay you for it!
Starting a business in your thirties really isn’t an enormous leap into a deep risky pit.
You have so much more experience, knowledge and stability now that you are older which will stand you in great stead for making your business successful.
Have a read of some of my other related posts!