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An Aging Population Breathes New Life Into Entrepreneurialism

Jun 23, 2008
"Age is no barrier. It's a limitation you put on your mind." - Anonymous

We've all seen the hamster running in the wheel. He's going nowhere, but he's fast. This concept is clearly understood by a workforce that is aging and a business climate that is outsourcing or looking to a younger generation to fill critical roles in the workplace while often demanding more from their present employees..

"Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul." - Douglas MacArthur

The Chrysalis Corporation notes that, "Starting in 2012, nearly 10,000 Americans will turn 65 every day." The quality of health care has resulted in a population that is living and working longer. However, this population expresses a level of dissatisfaction with their present jobs.

Consider the following statistics relating to job satisfaction:

42% Coping with feelings of burnout
33% Feeling at a dead end in current job
21% Looking for new job at another company
20% Looking for a major career change
9% Feel they do not have adequate training of knowledge for their job
(Source: New Employer/Employee Equation Survey, Harris Interactive 2005)

Interestingly these statistics do not necessarily reflect a workforce that is indifferent to work they simply reflect a growing dissatisfaction with business as usual.

"I could not, at any age, be content to take my place in a corner by the fireside and simply look on." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Many are discovering an entrepreneurial recipe that is giving them hope for a "different" future. The mixture I speak of includes the possibility of setting your own hours, being your own boss and finding something you are passionate about.

There is a phenomenal growth in entrepreneurial startups among those 50 years of age and older. Advances in technology and connection through the Internet are allowing an aging population to leave the workplace, do something they love and recapture their own destiny and, in many cases, identity.

"Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born." - Dale E. Turner

One of the selling points of Internet entrepreneurialism is there is no age bias. The consumer only has to be interested in the product and rarely even wonders who the business owner is.

As job cuts become more pronounced through downsizing or outplacement it is likely more aging entrepreneurs will agree with Aldous Huxley who said, "The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm."

Many successful startups in today's online marketplace find their roots in the hearts of aging corporate workers who are tired of the hamster wheel, are willing to bring their life experience to the world of entrepreneurship and are seeing a return of greater overall job satisfaction.
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