International Day for Older Persons that fell on October 1, brings in the topic of “Ageism”, which is a common, prejudicial attitude that assumes that age discrimination happens and is indeed, a norm. Sometimes it can involve neglect and abuse too, and we read enough about this, in the news. It is a reality we have to live with.
In 2014, Governments around the world adopted a resolution at the Economic and Social Council that recognized ageism as “the common source of, the justification for and the driving force behind age discrimination.”
Such discrimination points out how older persons are treated and perceived by their societies, including hospitals, workplaces, often creating environments that limit older persons’ potential; and, it has an impact their health and well-being too. The failure to tackle ageism actually undermines older persons’ rights.
As a ray of hope, the theme of the 2017 International Day of Older Persons is – “Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society.” This is a positive move, and it is about enabling and expanding the contributions of older people in their families, communities and societies. It focuses on options that support full and effective participation in old age, in accordance with old persons’ basic rights, needs and preferences.
This year’s theme highlights the link between tapping the talents and contributions of older persons and achieving the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (which, incidentally is currently undergoing its third review and appraisal process).
Between 2015 and 2030, the target date for the Sustainable Development Goals, the number of older persons globally, is set to increase by 56 per cent — from 901 million to more than 1.4 billion. By 2030, the number of people aged 60+ will exceed that of the young people between the ages of 15 to 24.
The 2017 theme will explore effective means of promoting and strengthening the participation of older persons in various aspects of social, cultural, economic and civic and political life.
No age limit to becoming an entrepreneur
Actually if you look at it, there’s no age for anyone to start a business and succeed. There’s no age limit for becoming an entrepreneur.
What is an entrepreneur? If you go by definition an entrepreneur is “one who organises, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise” or, “the owner or manager of a business enterprise who, by risk and initiative, attempts to make profits”. It is worth noticing here, that there is no mention made of age!
The reality is that an entrepreneur is so much more than what the dictionary defines. And, what’s more, the passion and the spirit of adventure that drives you to start your own business is not limited in any way by your age. You are never too old…or too young for that matter!
The right time to start your venture?
You are old enough to start your own business, if you are old enough to conceive a business idea and are willing to put in the time and effort to make it a reality.
There may be no age limit to becoming an entrepreneur, but there are some attributes, that seem to help entrepreneurs to attain success (regardless of age or experience). Here are just a few of them: constantly coming up with new ideas and make a habit of writing them down; actively looking for ways to promote and develop their ideas; ideas are usually based on solving a problem or providing a convenience; using ideas to make money and lastly, the challenge of starting their own business.
These are clearly the characteristics and behavior patterns that are common among entrepreneurs of all ages.
Secret formula for success
Starting a new venture has never had an expiry date. Age is just a number. And entrepreneurship is a chance to create something of value from nothing. The secret formula for success may be – an idea and a fearless heart!.
Emphasizing this point of view, KFC founder, had said that there is no age bar for entrepreneurship. It’s never too late to start. Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of the Kentucky Fried Chicken, a chain of fast food restaurants based in Louiseville, Kentucky in the US, was recognised by the world as a businessman when he was in his 60s! And, we can see for ourselves the success story that he is today.
The spirit of entrepreneurship is, indeed very powerful. It teaches an individual to think out of the box. Quoting writer and management consultant Peter Drucker, who said marketing and innovation were key traits for an entrepreneur. At the end of the day, he noted that one’s perception was all that matters.
So, put on your thinking cap, set aside any thoughts about age and start now, for success is not far away!