Why age is no barrier to becoming an entrepreneur

Older man holding a stop sign
Stop thinking age is a barrier to entrepreneurial success!

Think you’re too old to strike out and start your own business? Think again. As long as you’ve got a good idea and the right attitude, age is no barrier to launching a successful company.

In fact, that extra experience you have could give you an advantage when you’re starting out as an entrepreneur. I may have set up my first business when I was 22, but during my career I’ve met many talented entrepreneurs who launched their companies much later in life.

Be prepared to step outside your comfort zone

The one thing you really need if you want to become an entrepreneur is the bravery to step outside your comfort zone and test yourself in a completely new situation.

There’s no denying this can be a big step, especially if you’re used to working for other people and following their lead. But if you’re passionate about your idea, you’ve done your homework and you’re prepared to put in the hard work and pick up new skills along the way, there’s no reason to let your date of birth stop you from following your dreams.

Rather than seeing your age as a problem, focus on the fact that you’ll have a wealth of skills and life experience to bring to bear in your new role.

Take a look around you

Sure, we all know about Zuckerberg and Musk and Chesky – the entrepreneurs who became incredibly successful at an incredibly young age. But there are just as many examples of successful business people who launched their own companies with a lot more mileage on their career clocks.

Finding out about these entrepreneurs and their stories could give you the inspiration you need to take the next step on your own journey to starting a company.

One of my favourite examples is the late Leo Goodwin. He worked as an accountant in America until the age of 50, when he saw a gap in the insurance market and launched the Government Employee’s Insurance Company (GEICO).

Working with his wife, he quickly grew the business and by the end of his first year, he had employed 12 people and was providing nearly 4,000 insurance policies. Now, GEICO has over 14 million policyholders and employs tens of thousands of workers.

Another inspirational story is that of Carol Gardner. At the age of 52 and newly divorced, she entered a competition to create a Christmas card featuring her dog Zelda. She won, and the positive response she got encouraged her to set up a greeting card company that she called Zelda Wisdom. A few years later, the business was valued at an impressive $50 million.

Wally Blume also arrived in the business world later in life. After a successful 20-year career in the dairy industry, he decided to open his own company in 1995. Called Denali Flavors, it specialises in creating and marketing innovative ice cream flavours. Its most popular product, Moose Tracks, makes around $80 million a year through licensing agreements.

Talented ‘older-preneurs’ like these show just how much can be achieved by going it alone and starting your own business – regardless of your age.

Chris Niarchos is a lifelong entrepreneur and founder of The Cobra Group of Companies, which specialises in incubating, developing and managing a portfolio of start-up enterprises and successful companies.

 

4 no-fail tricks for keeping your focus laser sharp

 

Whether you’ve simply got too many things to think about or you feel as though you’re on the verge of burnout, it can be hard to keep your focus when you’re in charge of a business. When I set up my first company in Sydney at the age of 22, there was a lot I still had to learn about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur – and one of the lessons I had to take on board (and quickly) was how to keep my focus laser sharp. Here are some of the no-fail tricks I’ve picked up throughout my career.

Devise a schedule that works for you

When your workload starts to build, it can be tempting to think that the best strategy is to squeeze as many working hours as possible into each day. This could involve getting an early start in the office and working non-stop until the evening. However, as virtuous and productive as this approach might seem, it may not be the best approach for you. If you’re like most people, you’ll need at least a little downtime during the day to keep your concentration and motivation levels up.

So, rather than staring at your computer screen from dusk until dawn, everyone benefits from factoring some breaks into their schedule. For example, you could give yourself timeouts to go to the gym, take a walk or grab a coffee. Far from being a waste of your time, short breaks are  a way to re-focus your mind.

Don’t try to do everything at once

All entrepreneurs have to be able to multitask to some extent, but they also need to be able to prioritise the most important jobs. Sometimes, this means putting certain tasks on hold. To keep on top of your workload and control your stress levels, it’s vital to realise that you can’t do everything at once. So, if you’re working on something important that demands your full attention, be disciplined about putting emails, phone calls and other distractions on hold for a while.

Create an inspiring workspace

It might seem like a small point, but the look and feel of your workspace can have a huge impact on your ability to stay focussed. I’m not suggesting that everyone should go out and spend thousands of pounds revamping their offices, but I do know that having a working environment that’s not only comfortable and practical but also inspiring can make your days a whole lot easier. Whether it’s smart and organised or more creative, your workspace should reflect your approach to business, make you feel proud and put you in the perfect frame of mind to concentrate.

Look after your health

When deadlines are looming and the pressure’s on, your health and wellbeing might take a backseat. You may find that your diet suffers, you’re not getting enough sleep and you can’t stick to your exercise schedule. In the short term, this might not have much of an effect on your performance at work, but over time it can really start to take its toll.

If you’re tired, unfit and under too much stress, you could find you struggle to concentrate and keep up with your workload. This means that even when you’re really up against it, it’s essential that you make an effort to look after your health by getting enough rest, doing plenty of exercise and eating healthily.

What can Microsoft’s AI chatbot experiment teach young entrepreneurs?

If you didn’t hear about Microsoft’s recent artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot misfortune as the story was unfolding, you won’t have to search hard on the web to find out about it.

As an experiment, the tech giant set a chatbot loose on Twitter. Named Tay, the AI programme was designed to interact with Twitter users and to get ‘smarter’ as more people communicated with it.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, web users fed the chatbot a series of controversial remarks, which it in turn incorporated into its own comments and responses. After just 16 hours, Microsoft was forced to shut the programme down and apologise for any offence it had caused.

You might be wondering what young entrepreneurs can learn from a poorly executed experiment in AI research. But in fact this high-profile and embarrassing blunder highlights a number of important issues that I think all aspiring businesspeople should be aware of.

A solid plan is essential

The engineers behind this AI experiment might have thought they’d done all the necessary planning and preparation to ensure the success of the project, but they were quickly proven wrong. The fact is, in the business world thorough preparation is always essential. Whether you’re gearing up to launch a new company, you’re about to release a product or you’re rolling out a marketing campaign, paying attention to every last detail will help you to avoid costly and potentially humiliating mistakes. This means factoring in enough time to do all the relevant preparations properly, ensuring that this process isn’t rushed and corners are not cut.

Expect the best, prepare for the worst

Decades of business experience around the world dealing with a variety of different companies and projects have taught me to expect the unexpected – and to be ready to react quickly and effectively if and when problems arise. The engineers at Microsoft seem to have been taken by surprise by the response of Twitter users to their chatbot, and it’s all too easy to be blindsided by unforeseen complications in business. The key is to be adaptable and resilient enough to recover from these difficulties.

If at first you don’t succeed…

Try again – and again! In a statement made after Tay was removed from the internet, Peter Lee, Microsoft’s vice president of research, said: “We will remain steadfast in our efforts to learn from this and other experiences as we work toward contributing to an internet that represents the best, not the worst, of humanity.”

This comment perfectly encapsulates the never-give-up approach that entrepreneurs need if they are to fulfil their ambitions. Even the best businesspeople experience problems. One of the things that set these individuals apart is the fact that they have the courage and conviction required to keep going and to reach their goals, regardless of what happens along the way.

 

As Cobra Group of Companies founder and chairman, Chris Niarchos knows exactly what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. He started his first business in Sydney in 1988 and has since gone on to build one of the largest and most high-profile direct sales and marketing companies in the world.

 

Why leadership doesn’t have to be lonely

Being a business leader can give you a great sense of professional achievement and satisfaction, but it does also have the potential to be lonely at the “top”. You have ultimate responsibility for the success of your company and this puts you in a unique position within your company seroquel medication.

However, my own experience as an entrepreneur and in leadership roles tells me that heading up a business doesn’t necessarily have to be isolating. Drawing on observations I’ve made throughout my career, here are some suggestions that could help you to stay connected to the people around you.

Encourage a cohesive team

People sometimes mistakenly think that being in a leadership position means you must have all the answers. In fact, the most successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of tapping into the talents and experience of others.

Great leaders build strong teams around them and encourage people to connect and collaborate with each other. In turn, this builds a strong sense of team spirit that reaches right to the top of organisations.

If you cultivate a business culture in which your colleagues are part of the decision making process and feel connected to your company’s underlying goals and objectives, you’re much less likely to have the sense that you’re on your own.

Reach out to others for support

It’s also important to realise that it’s okay to ask others for help and support. Being a leader doesn’t mean you have to be infallible. Even the best entrepreneurs experience difficulties from time to time – and being able to turn to people can help them cope.

Connecting with mentors or fellow entrepreneurs can be especially useful if you’re just starting out in your business career and I’ve found that these relationships can last throughout your career.

This idea is at the heart of Appco’s business model. Our business is built on the philosophy that, regardless of whether you’re an Appco employee or a self-employed contractor within our face-to-face marketing and fundraising network, you are in charge of your career, but also have the mentoring support and expertise of the Appco network to help achieve your goals.

Make yourself approachable

The way you interact with your colleagues will also have a big impact on your connections to people in your business. If you come across as aloof or intimidating, the people around you are more likely to keep their distance.

I have made an effort throughout my career to make myself available to people at all levels in our organisation, and at all stages of their journey in the wider network. I hope it has been as beneficial to those around me as I have found it myself.

Ultimately, I believe that  a very big part of successful leadership comes down to being approachable and welcoming input from others, which also allows you to continue to work more closely with – and learn from – your colleagues.

 

As the Cobra Group of Companies’ chairman and founder, Chris Niarchos has many decades of experience as a business leader and knows how to overcome a range of challenges associated with running a company. He has steered the Cobra Group to international success and continues to strive for excellence both for the company and himself.

Why a positive approach is a must for aspiring entrepreneurs

Not everyone aspires to be an entrepreneur or run their own company, but for those who do choose it, it can be a highly rewarding career path. In my case, it has enabled me to fulfil my professional ambitions, work with some amazing people and see the world.

But, as any entrepreneur will tell you, it’s not all plain sailing and a positive approach is one of the most important qualities that businesspeople, especially aspiring entrepreneurs, can possess. I’ve found that a good attitude can help in a number of different ways…

Keeping a clear head

Letting negativity creep into your thought process makes you more likely to panic in challenging situations.

Most of us know from our personal lives that negative emotions such as fear and anger can reduce our ability to think logically and find rational and/or creative solutions. The same is true in business; if your thought process is dominated by emotions, you’re more likely to act irrationally.

In contrast, if you can stay confident and be optimistic about the future, it’s much easier to keep a clear head and work through any issues successfully.

Being a more effective leader

Keeping a positive attitude helps you to be a more effective leader. Your colleagues will feed off your confidence and enthusiasm and, in turn, this will make them feel better about your business and their roles within it.

Most people want a leader who can see the bigger picture and stay positive even if times are tough seroquel 300 mg. If you can do this, you’ll find it easier to attract and retain the top talent within your organisation, which is a major factor in the long-term success of your business.

Boosting your energy and productivity levels

There’s no getting around the fact that running a company takes plenty of hard work and dedication. Another benefit of maintaining your positivity is that it can make it easier for you keep your energy and productivity levels up. Having a positive vision for your company’s future makes those long days seem worthwhile and it helps you to stay focussed.

Keeping your stress levels in check

You can’t expect an entirely smooth ride when you’re in charge of a company, but an optimistic outlook can keep your stress levels in check.

If you have confidence in your abilities as a leader and you believe in your business model, you will find it easier to cope with potential problems. On the other hand, people with a more negative outlook can find that their stress and anxiety levels soar when they encounter difficulties.

 

Appco’s Chris Niarchos started his first direct sales company in Sydney, Australia at the age of just 22. From the outset, he had the vision of turning it into one of the world’s most successful sales and marketing businesses – and with operations in almost 30 countries across the globe, he has realised this ambition. You can find out more about Appco Group and the Cobra Group of Companies by visiting their websites.

3 things I didn’t know about being an entrepreneur

I know from my own experiences that starting out as an entrepreneur can be exciting and professionally rewarding – and it can also help you to provide a good quality of life for your loved ones. But before you set up your own company, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what’s in store. With this in mind, here are three things that you may not know about setting up and running a new company.

You can’t expect success to come overnight.

We’ve all heard examples of entrepreneurs being propelled to fame and fortune virtually overnight, but for the vast majority of businesspeople, it takes time to build up a successful company.

The initial stages of setting up a business are in many ways the most demanding and you will need to have patience to get through them. It can take some time for even the best start-ups to turn a profit so you have to be prepared to play the long game.

To achieve results and ultimate success, you must have a sound business plan in place and then be willing to put in the necessary hard work to bring it to fruition.

You’ll spend a lot of your time reassuring others.

One thing that takes many entrepreneurs by surprise is the amount of time and energy they have to devote to reassuring those around them. From telling partners and family members that the long hours you are putting in will eventually pay off to assuring banks that they will hit their targets, there are plenty of people to inspire and/or put at ease.

To maintain morale and motivation levels within their companies, business owners also have to provide their teams with visionary and positive messages. If you want to do this convincingly, you must have confidence in your business and in your abilities as a leader. You can’t let your self-belief waver; it’s important to remain upbeat and optimistic about the future – for your own piece of mind as well as that of others.

It’s hard to switch off.

When you’re in charge of a company, especially one its infancy, it’s difficult – if not impossible – to think of anything else. Even if you’re on holiday or trying to relax at home, your thoughts are likely to turn to your business.

Worrying about issues to do with the day-to-day running of your organisation, sleepless nights and fretting over whether you’re on the right track and trying to keep up to date with all the latest industry trends and developments is natural – especially in the early stages. But it’s important that you find ways to rest and recharge so that you’re able to make the best decisions for your business and, of course, for your personal life.

The good news is this tends to get easier over time. As you get used to running a business, you should develop a more balanced perspective and find you’re able to relax more easily outside of work – at least some of the time. You’ll never completely switch off when it comes to your own company, but you should be able to achieve a healthy work-life balance and, crucially, enjoy the rewards of your hard work and success.

 

Chris Niarchos has decades of experience as an entrepreneur, having established his first company at the age of just 22. Chris Niarchos’ passion for marketing saw him set up the Appco Group, an industry leader in face-to-face customer and donor acquisition.

Is fear of failure standing in your way?

As a business leader, I am well aware of the challenges associated with fulfilling your potential and striving for success. One of the biggest barriers that can stand in people’s way is the fear of failure – all too often, it prevents talented people from pursuing their dreams. However, there are ways to tackle this obstacle. Following are some insights that could help you to free yourself from self-doubt.

Embrace and accept your mistakes

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. If you test your abilities and embrace new challenges, the chances are you will sometimes get it wrong – at least to begin with. But this isn’t a reason to shy away from giving it a go. Everyone who has achieved big things in their careers has made mistakes. This is simply part of the process, and it provides you with invaluable experience and an opportunity to learn important lessons for the future.

Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t

Never ever sell yourself short. Instead of focussing on the things you can’t do, think about all the skills you already have and those you’re in the process of developing. It might help to start a list of the capabilities you possess and the achievements you can claim – big and small,– and add to it as you acquire a new skill. It’s a simple way to see the range of qualities you already possess and how many you develop over time.

Don’t compare yourself to others

We all have role models who can help us to channel our ambitions and stay motivated. However, it’s important not to fall into the trap of continually comparing yourself to others to the extent that you end up feeling inadequate. Everyone is different, no one is perfect and even the most successful business people experience difficulties and doubts. By all means, take inspiration from others, but forge your own path that is defined by your own goals.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

While it’s important to define your own career goals and path, it’s also important to reach out for help when you need it. This is a skill that every successful business leader and entrepreneur has to perfect. Whether it’s asking for support from family and friends or seeking out mentors with expertise in your industry, or simply delegating tasks, having an effective support network in place is essential.

 

Chris Niarchos knows what it takes to overcome the fear of failure this post. As well as building a successful international business from scratch, he has earned respect through his talents on the racetrack. In this Dailysportscar interview with Chris Niarchos, he suggested he used to be an “awful racer”. But through perseverance, he went on to achieve impressive results before retiring from the track many years ago.

 

How to stay motivated in challenging times

Being an entrepreneur’s easy when everything’s running smoothly and the future looks bright. From my own experiences, I know the real test for a businessperson comes when you face challenging wholesale jerseys times. From falls in demand and increased production costs to late payments and problems with personnel, a whole series of hurdles can strike company owners at any time, and staying motivated and positive can be a major challenge. During these times, I have found that it’s worth bearing the following in mind.

Share your experiences

At times, being in charge of a company can cheap jerseys be a lonely job, but don’t make the mistake of shutting yourself off when you’re facing challenging situations. It’s important to share your experiences with others and one way you can do this is by networking with fellow entrepreneurs. As any successful business leader will tell you, learning from psykisk others should be a continual o process and it’s something we actively encourage across the Appco Group network.

Always make time for family and friends

Striking a good work-life balance is notoriously Neues difficult for business owners. Particularly when your company is facing problems, you might find it hard to tear yourself away from your desk. But focussing too much on your work at the expense of your family and friends of can take its toll. Even when you’re busy, it’s important to schedule time out. This will not only give you the chance to rest, but also provide you with a clearer perspective and help you remember what all your hard work is actually for.

Look after your health

It’s easy to allow your own wellbeing to take a backseat to your business. But the irony is, if you’re not sleeping enough, you’re living on caffeine and junk food and you don’t have time to exercise, you could actually put your business at risk. The fact is, your physical fitness has a big impact on your ability to cope mentally, so neglecting your health simply isn’t an option. By getting enough rest, eating properly and fitting exercise into your routine, you wholesale MLB jerseys will find it easier to keep on top of running your own business.

Focus on your end goals

Try not to lose sight of the ultimate purpose of your efforts – whatever that may be. Making a success of your business could bring you wealth, prestige and satisfaction – and, most importantly, it could help you to provide the life you want for wholesale NBA jerseys you and your family. This idea can be summed up by Appco’s Be Something More principle. PageRank? Essentially, this means striving to achieve something for yourself or those around you and to do more than simply go through the motions in life. This idea is extremely important to me and it has helped to guide me throughout my career and keep me focussed when I’ve been presented with challenges.

It’s inevitable that you will face obstacles in running your business, and the mark of a truly great business leader is how they rise to those challenges and maintain their motivation and positive attitude. If you can do that, success – in whatever way you define it – is likely to follow.