Mid Life Entrepreneur Crisis (continued)

Wow. I touched a nerve with that post. I did not mean to suggest that 40 is too old to be an entrepreneur or to suggest that we prefer to back younger entrepreneurs. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Both of my friends I referred to in that post are wildly successful serial entrepreneurs in their 40s who I’d love to back again.

I am 45 and will turn 46 this year. I have never been more productive and seem to get more energy every day. And I am sure that there are people ten or twenty years older than I am who feel the same way. As Sabat said in the comments to the original post, "it’s all in your head".

My post was actually more about serial entrepreneurs who have been incredibly successful who find themselves mid-career in a place where they’ve achieved more than they ever thought possible and want more. But "more what" is the question. More money? Maybe. More thrill, yes for sure. More balance in their life, absolutely.

And when you’ve done it once, twice, three times successfully, you want to focus on bigger and bigger opportunities. It’s no longer interesting to build a $100 million or a $500 million dollar company. You want to change the world.

But the thing of it is that many companies that end up changing the world don’t start out that way. Trying to come up with a "really big idea" is possibly an exercise in frustration. The great ideas present themselves over time, as you pursue a market opportunity and it opens up before you and you step on the gas and hit the window of opportunity.

So I don’t have any really good advice for the mid life entrepreneur going through a "what next?" crisis. But one thing I’d say is try to think like that late 20s/early 30s entrepreneur doing it for the first time. Don’t let everything you’ve learned get in the way. Go for it with gusto and don’t think too hard.