We are increasingly seeing successful professionals in CXO positions turning into entrepreneurs in their 40s. Inherently, their mindset is different from younger entrepreneurs due to their experience as salaried employee as well as age. Based on my own experience and that of my friends, summarizing my insights on their mindset:
- They are focused on building profitable businesses from Day 1 or atleast within 12 – 24 months.
- They tend to get into B2B businesses more than B2C businesses, as they have deep networks.
- They are unwilling to focus on typical B2C initiatives, which turn profitable over 5 to 7 years.
- They are inherently are not willing to take up extremely risky initiatives (despite taking risk of starting on their own) due to fear of losing their limited and hard earned capital. Thus, they tend to avoid completely unchartered territories.
- They find it difficult to adjust to losing power that they were enjoying in their career.
- They find it challenging to adjust to “lack of regular source of income” and hence many move back to corporate jobs.
Generically, Startups run by founders in 40+ category have much lower “mortality rate” due to “inherent lower risk business model” as well as “their experience”. However, they are unlikely to create unicorns as is visible from list of “Unicorns in India and Worldwide”.