By an extraordinary stroke of luck, I sat down next to Rob Kornblum at the recent World Domination Summit and we immediately clicked. This is how I came to read his book and become absorbed in answers to questions like these:
Are you wondering if there is more? Or something else altogether? Are you tired of the rat race? Tired of fitting into someone else’s mold? Is fulfillment elusive? Or do you have a great idea, but no vessel to carry it?
“For you to be fulfilled, you need autonomy. And there is no more autonomous way to work than as an entrepreneur. You decide what to pursue. You decide where to work. You decide the goals and the method of attaining them. You take control, asserting your own mastery and purpose,” writes Kornblum in Never Too Late to Startup: How Mid-Life Entrepreneurs Create Wealth, Freedom & Purpose.
A seasoned executive and former venture capitalist-turned-author, Rob explained to me that while there is much hype about 20-somethings starting businesses, i.e., the Googles and Facebooks of the world, in his experience more seasoned professionals make good and often better entrepreneurs. They have the experience to build sustainable solid businesses and they have a different perspective on assessing risk. He says it is never too late to start a business.
He might be on to something.
It used to be easy. There was a clear path to fulfillment and at one time it looked something like this: Go to school, attend a good four-year university, start working for a growing company, climb the career ladder at various enterprises, exit your career from a senior position and eventually retire. Then live out your golden years.
The information age, fast-paced technological advances and the global recession in the last 15 years have completely changed all of that. No longer does this path work in all instances. In addition, today’s retirees will live an average of 35 years longer than their grandparents did, offering a good 10-20 years of intellectual capacity to create.
Between the changed corporate career paths and increased longevity, what is the best path to fulfillment? How do you achieve mastery and purpose? Maybe it is by starting your own business.
So why not start up?
What I found intriguing about Rob’s book is he specifically speaks to the mid-life entrepreneur, a time in life where the risks need to be weighed more carefully. There are children to consider and parents to tend to. And yet there is great value in experience acquired by the 40-plus professional.
I started my first business when I was 40 and I have never looked back. It doesn’t have to be a Facebook or Google. As long as you’re able to tackle a problem that needs solving and create value along the way, you are on a path to success. Granted, you don’t want to be a slave to your businesses. Therefore, balancing your various responsibilities becomes paramount.
If you are considering switching gears and plunging into starting your own business, even if it’s just something on the side to start with, Never Too Late to Startup is the book for you. Kornblum successfully dispels myths that are very pervasive. Take a look:
~ Are you stumped, because you don’t have the foggiest idea what business to start? Kornblum’s questions to get your “idea machine” working are worth the price of the book alone.
~ Do you already have a business but are stuck some place? Kornblum gives all the building blocks for getting unstuck. I remember a sports coach once telling me: ‘It’s all about the fundamentals.’ Maybe it’s time to go back to the basics and revamp your approach. This book will spell out the process. It made me reconsider some long-held beliefs.
~ Are you already off and running but short on cash? Never Too Late to Startup gives insights into how to raise funds at any level. Kornblum used to be a venture capitalist and has great insight into what angels and venture capitalists are looking for.
I read a lot of books and not all of them deliver what they promise. Never Too Late to Startup, however, is inspiring, useful and a genuinely good read. I highly recommend it.
Assume for a minute you have taken the plunge already and started your own business. Now, there are other challenges:
“For me, founding a startup was emotionally taxing. I had a difficult time with those moments in which we didn’t know what we were doing — not knowing how to structure my day to tackle a million things, dozens of which seemed like they were really high priority. Being the boss was great but also very lonely. There are so many things you can’t tell your employees or your spouse,” Kornblum writes.
It is lonely at the top.
Responsibility. Pressure. Risk.
When you have arrived at this juncture, it’s time to find a competent coach. Someone who has been there and understands the struggle. Someone who speaks your advanced corporate language and yet understands the risks a startup presents. Someone who has experienced life’s challenges and can function as a sounding board and give reasoned perspective.
Begin by reading Never Too Late to Startup. And when you reach the point of being your own boss but lonely, when you are encountering things you can’t tell your employees or your spouse, that’s where I come in. Contact me and I will take that all-important journey with you.
(For full disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I receive a nominal fee by you clicking on the book link.)
If you found this article useful and inspiring, feel free to check out the other article about WDS where you will learn about an important leadership trait to improve your leadership style.
(For full disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I receive a nominal fee by you clicking on the link.)