Some years ago, I met one of my schoolmates, who had opted for a voluntary retirement from his high profile job at the age of fifty. His intention behind taking such decision was to enjoy a decade actively before reaching the senior citizen stage. When I congratulated him and wished a happy and wonderful life ahead, his face became gloomy, much to my surprise. When asked the reason, he sighed, “It seems that I have made a mistake in retiring too early. I have plenty of leisure time at hand now, but really don’t know how to use it creatively.”
I suggested to him to take up entrepreneurship so that he would again invest some part of his time in creative work. He looked at me in bewilderment and said, “I am too old for starting a new business. Besides, I spent all these years in service and to acquire a different skill set will be difficult.” His logic amused me and I told him smilingly, “Friend! It requires no pre-condition, reservation, age limit or different skill set to step into business. Determination, hard work and perseverance are the only qualities essential to get along. Customers, experience and opportunities come automatically.”
I gave him the example of my father. He spent his entire service tenure working in different jobs and daringly ventured into business in his retirement age. He was enthusiastic but a novice. He sensed a business opportunity and took a risk to invest his lifetime savings in an unknown field, that too in a foreign land. He succeeded only because he was ready to face hurdles and learn from mistakes. There are a number of inspiring examples of people globally who have demonstrated that age is not a limit to be an entrepreneur.
I remember another example of a person, who retired as a clerk from a company. While working in the accounts department, he had designed an innovative marketing model. He dreamed of being a millionaire. He didn’t give up on his dream. Even after retirement he began exploring clients for his model. At last a chain of restaurants gave him the opportunity to implement his model for them. He worked hard and expanded the restaurant chain overseas. The partnership made him a billionaire in the next few years. He lived only 12 years after his retirement but certainly achieved the goal. This is real enthusiasm, real confidence and real creative life.
Let me quote a few lines from a poem titled ‘Youth’ written by Samuel Ullman- Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease. This often exits in a man of 60, more than a boy of 20. Nobody grows merely by the number of years; we grow old by deserting our ideas. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust.