5 Facts About Entrepreneurs That Will Surprise You

Posted on / by Natalie Sisson / in Entrepreneurs / 8 comments

Think you need to be young, brilliant and loaded with start-up cash to be successful? Think again.

I meet a lot of women who tell me they’ve often thought about starting their own businesses BUT…

“I think I’m a little too old to get started now.”
“I have zero start-up money.”
“I’m married/have kids and I’m too busy.”
“I don’t have any marketing skills.”

I understand where some of these self-limiting ideas come from.

It probably has a lot to do with all of the stories we hear in the media about young up-and-coming entrepreneurs who came from out of nowhere to hit it big with their first business.

Take Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and Founder of Facebook, for example.

Just three years ago, this guy had no car, no house, and no job. And still, at just 19, he managed to secure $12.7 million in venture capital to finance his idea for a new social networking site.

Today, Facebook has over 300 million registered users and is on track to bring in $100 million in revenue this year, with $969 million in revenue forecasted by 2010.

Rumors are circulating that Yahoo recently made a $1 billion offer to buy Facebook but Zuckerberg turned them down (view source). Not bad for a 22 year old.

When you hear about success stories like these, it’s easy to adopt the view that you need to be barely out of puberty, brilliant and loaded with start-up cash in order to be successful in starting your own business.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

A recent study from the Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship revealed some really interesting statistics about entrepreneurs – including average age, background, and motivation – that will surprise you. (I know they surprised me.)

The study is called “The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur” and it’s based on a survey of 549 company founders across a range of industries.

Here are the five main takeaways from the report that I found most interesting:

  1. The average age of company founders when they started their current companies is 40.
  2. Less than 1 percent came from extremely rich or extremely poor backgrounds.
  3. 70% were married when they launched their first business.
  4. 60% had at least one child when they launched their first business (and 44% had two or more children).
  5. The majority of respondents (75.4 percent) had worked as employees at other companies for more than six years before launching their own companies.

If you’ve been letting self-limiting ideas hold you back from starting your own business or hitting your existing one out of the park, consider aligning yourself with a mentor, business partner, or other women entrepreneurs who are going after the same thing that you want.

I’ve personally found that doing this is a very powerful in maintaining my forward momentum.

For more on how to do this, check out Nat’s interview with Andrea Baxter of Vancouver’s own Smart Cookies.