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No good deed goes unpunished [Anthill’s response to the whinging 30 to 50 year-old entrepreneurs]

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Since extending the reach of Anthill’s 30under30 awards to include 5over50, it feels like we’ve received nothing but criticism.

Sure, enthusiastic ‘upstarts’ and ‘restarts’ have entered in droves. But the majority of direct feedback we’ve received can largely be paraphrased in three words: “What about me?!”

So, after a short period of festering, here are my own (and very sincere) 24 responses to these 30 to 50 year-old critics.

  1. Stop whinging.
  2. I know that many entrepreneurs live at the centre of their own universes.
  3. But this time, it’s not all about you.
  4. These awards are about change — promoting a cultural shift in the way entrepreneurship is viewed and the way entrepreneurs are treated in Australia.
  5. These awards are not about supporting the status quo.
  6. And guess what! If you are aged between 30 and 50 and building a new business in Australia, you are the status quo!
  7. You already live in the sweet spot (even if it doesn’t always feel that way).
  8. Most new ventures are already started by your age group.
  9. You have already seen the light and are doing it.
  10. Or you are up to your eyeballs in mortgage debt and schools fees and you will need to be patient.
  11. Or you don’t have that sort of mindset and will never start a business anyway.
  12. It might sound harsh but if you are 30 to 50 and building a new business, you are unremarkable.
  13. You are already one among many.
  14. And this is a good thing!
  15. You do deserve to be rewarded and recognised.
  16. That’s why there are other programs to give you a leg-up.
  17. If your business is remarkable, why not enter the Cool Company Awards?
  18. If your innovation is remarkable, why not enter the SMART 100 Index?
  19. You’ll wipe the floor with those inexperienced ‘newbies’ and ‘grey-nnovators’.
  20. That’s two out of three programs where you are already at an advantage!
  21. And that’s just the three we run at Anthill.
  22. We believe that the surest way to change the way Australians think about entrepreneurship and innovation (and make your life easier) is to create champions from age sets that haven’t traditionally sought a career path beyond the nine-to-five — that haven’t been taught that a self-created alternative exists and can be just as rewarding (probably moreso).
  23. So, suck it up guys (Yup. The whinging and whining has largely come from men).
  24. And please consider the bigger picture.

And if that’s not enough, just remember, I’m one of you — just another business owner aged 30 to 50 and, therefore, unremarkable. Although, I’d like to think that my business is something else.

And I invite you to think the same way.

And maybe — just maybe — the time will come when family, friends and even government decision makers will come to understand how important it is that you do what you do.

Remember. We are all in this together.

Image by mtungate [Mike Tungate]

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