Liz Earle’s 5 top tips for older entrepreneurs

By Eilish Hurst . Published 2020-06-24
BOLD-Living
The beauty boss shares her advice for over-50s looking to start a business.

Author turned businesswomen turned lifestyle guru, Liz Earle has built up numerous enterprises. Having written more than 30 lifestyle books, co-founded the successful Liz Earle Beauty Co., and with her own wellbeing magazine, this 57-year-old knows a thing or two about starting a business.

“I’m really encouraged by it as a woman who is over 50,” she says. “It’s extraordinary because it’s a real time when you’re thinking of retirement and putting your feet up. I think maybe people are being encouraged by the fact we can actually continue to be useful. Now there’s this whole silver fox generation.”

Here, she shares her five top tips for mature entrepreneurs…

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1. Get tech savvy

“I really encourage tech and I rely hugely on it. If you’re building a brand, you can use so much of what’s out there and you don’t need to be able to do complicated coding to open an Instagram account. If you are an older person, it’s great to have youngsters around you to show you the way. It makes a very good combination.”

2. Be confident in your ability

“Older people have got knowledge, wisdom and experience, and in today’s work, when you are a start-up you need to have that wisdom and experience that will create potentially a more successful business. For women especially, when your children grow up and leave home, it’s quite easy to feel you are worthless and have nothing of value to add, but there is a world to go back to and experience a new lease of life.”

3. Know your subject

“You’ve just got to know absolutely where your research is coming from and that it is credible. Real life is out there and you do get the truth by going to talk to people face to face-or-at least on the phone. You can’t build a strong business unless you’ve done your research properly and have a real depth of knowledge. So many of the younger generation have come to rely on Google and I think [by actually talking to people] that’s where the older generation really wins.”

4. Know your business strategy

“There is a difference between having a hobby and actually having a reliable business model. The financials are really important. A business strategy is really helpful. Many older entrepreneurs possibly go into it with a business plan and they have a great idea, but you need to make sure it’s backed up financially. It’s critical to be business savvy and test your ideas out financially.”

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

“You can’t try to pretend you can do it all. Business has so many assets and so many sides, and there is absolutely no way you can be good at each of them. Have people around you that complement you. One of the benefits that older entrepreneurs have is a ready-made network of experienced people in their family, or among friends and associates. If you tell them, ‘I really value your experience and your advice, could you point me in the right direction?’ that’s the kind of approach people respond to really well.”