“The courage to be yourself, even if silly”, and other experiences of the benefits of aging in entrepreneurship


I will soon turn forty. How is my own aging reflected in everyday life and work? Physical pains increase if I don’t pay attention to recovery. On the other hand, I am experiencing increased self-confidence in my skills and in working life, being called a girl has decreased considerably in recent years.

At this age, the gaps with peers are also becoming clearer: we no longer share the “junior stamp” in work communities, but working life takes us in different directions. Some of my own peers have risen to leadership positions in their workplaces, grown into leaders in their own businesses or tough professionals in their field. A few have received disability pension.

What about me, born in the 50s – should I be over twenty years ‘ahead’ or ‘behind’ a person in their forties? Based on my calendar age, I should, but it doesn’t quite go that way. Not physically or as age experience. And who tells you how to behave in your sixties and what it looks like? The use of information technology – and especially social media activity – seems to be the thing that separates people of different ages the most in these of our jobs – at least for me. Is it then about IT skills or needs assessment? You can think about it.

At this age, knowledge and experience carry, but you cannot rely on it alone. I still find myself enthusiastic about learning and developing, and there have been great opportunities to do so over the past fall.

This fall, age and age-related perceptions have been topical in both of our work. Together, we have addressed age and related requirements and resources in a coaching and peer group for entrepreneurs over 55 years of age.

A group of eleven entrepreneurs from Uusimaa gathered with us every other Tuesday to discuss their working lives. In the group, we consider together, among other things, competence – such as skills related to digital – as well as marketing one’s own work, clarifying the company’s idea and well-being as an entrepreneur.

In group meetings, we have wanted to reinforce a positive experience of age and challenge possible age-related prejudices. In a group meeting, as a result of a joint discussion, we arrived at three entities about the positive experiences that age brings.

  1. I know who I am and what I want
    I know myself better, and I don’t waste my time in vain. I experience security in different situations. I am boldly my own self, even if silly!
  2. I can take it easy
    I have been involved in many things and I know I will survive. My patience has grown, and I am no longer so unconditional. I accept the difference.
  3. I have insight and experience
    I have met many people in my life. So, I have extensive networks and dare to take advantage of them. Through various experiences, I have clarified my views and increased my persuasiveness.

These entities contain brilliant characterizations and fitting insights from strong, truly adult entrepreneurs. From these, we can also draw resources for ourselves as our journey progresses.

No matter your age, experience the pride of it.


Sara Lindström & Marjukka Laine


Originally posted on the 21st of November, 2019