Often, I hear the question, ‘When is the best time to start a business?’
When you are Young!
Is the best time to start a business when you're young? Advantages of youth include energy, passion, self-confidence, and a can-do attitude. When you're young you think you can accomplish anything. The disadvantages of course include a lack of capital, a lack of experience, and a lack of perspective that can only come with age.
The natural alternative is middle age. Advantages of middle age include increased financial strength, experience, and a long enough run away to create a significant business. These are strong advantages; however, disadvantages include increased responsibilities related to mortgages and children. Often it is the middle-aged individual who is the most time starved making it challenging to prioritize a business.
Later In Life?
So maybe later in life is the best alternative. Once your children have moved away and your house is paid for. At this point in life you have fewer distractions and greater resources. In addition, you have greater life experience. It might be the perfect time; however, later in life you have a shorter runway to learn skills required as a business owner. In addition, you have less time to reap the rewards of business well built.
So, What's the Answer?
All of this leads me back to the question I asked at the beginning. ‘When is the best time to start a business?’ The fact is there is no best time in life to start a business. There is always a reason to start a business and a reason not to.
In many ways starting a business is like planting a tree. The best time was yesterday. The second-best time is today. Tomorrow is nothing more than unfulfilled promise.