Today I turned 38 years old. Happy birthday Ignacio! . Some days ago I received an email from someone who was considering becoming a digital nomad, but thought was too old for quitting her corporate job to travel the world, working remotely. She is just 31. In this post, I want to debunk the myth that age is a limitation when it comes to pursuing your dreams. I strongly believe that you are never too old to change your life.
In fact, in my eyes, the older you are, the better.
I’ll explain that in a second, but first let me illustrate my words with my own case.
Not The Early Bird…
As I said, I have just turned 38 today, that means I am almost in my forties. I quit my corporate job seven years ago, and became an entrepreneur on year later. And I was in my mid thirties when I started my Estonian company, which allowed me to become a full digital nomad and travel the world without a fixed abode.
I’m no spring chicken.
I’ve always had the feeling that it has taken me a lot of time to find out what I really want in my life. Furthermore, I have gone through this process in reverse, finding out what didn’t worked out for me, discarding the stuff that didn’t seem right, until finding my place.
Indeed, during most of my 20s and maybe early 30s, I let myself be carried away. I graduated at computer science engineering and was offered a job at the university, which I accepted.
After leaving the university, being disenchanted with the academic scene in Spain, I tried some jobs, and finally landed a contract in a corporate environment. I worked there, in computer security and cryptography, for six years.
That seems like an entire lifetime for me now.
Looking back, I am not sure why I took those decisions back then. In fact, I think I didn’t even considered if those works were what I really wanted . Only lately have I come to realize what I want to do with my time.
I don’t even think this process is done, or will ever be. We are continuously evolving, and our priorities are always changing.
However, I am mostly certain of what’s important for me now, and how I want to conduct my life. That definitely comes with age.
You Are Never Too Old
When you think on a freelance designer, you usually visualize a young, bearded boy with some cool glasses. Similarly, when you think of a startup, you may imagine three young bearded guys leaving their MacBooks on a table before starting a foosball game. That’s what the media insists on depicting, at least.
While this stereotype may hold true to a certain extent, it is completely misleading.
You Are Never Too Old To Do What You Want
In fact, since I quit my job, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many different startups and companies. Believe it or not, most of them weren’t formed by young hipsters, but seasoned entrepreneurs in their 40s or 50s, or teams with people of different backgrounds and age ranges.
I have met single moms in their thirties, an amazingly creative CEO that just turned 50 this year, and yes, 20-something bearded startup founders too. I’ve had the pleasure of working with an inspiring lady in her seventies that owns an successful translation business and is also a fantastic coach.
My point is: your age is not a defining factor. You can start a new career at any point in your life.
You Are Never Too Old To Travel The World
Similarly, I have met people from all ages traveling the world as digital nomads, from young couples to a 62 years old entrepreneur. Having children or any other excuse you can think of is just that: an excuse that you set as a barrier.
Why? Because we are afraid of change. We are afraid of leaving a comfortable situation, even when we hate it, for an uncertain life, even when that’s where we want to be.
It’s time to ask yourself how many years more you want to spend before doing what you really want to do.
It’s Not About Time, It’s About Living And Experiencing.
However, you should not wait until you are old and wise, or postpone your dreams until you are certain of what you want to do. This is not about waiting for a revelation while you are at the sofa, exhausted after a long working day. This is about experiencing things, and living.
The more you do, the more you travel, the more people you know, the sooner you realize how you want your life to be.
It doesn’t matter if you get there at 26 or at 60. Nevertheless, there’s a process there, and this process, at least in my case, took time.
That’s why I mentioned at the beginning of the article that being older may actually be an advantage for choosing a new path in your life. You have come to realize what’s really important and what isn’t.
In this article, I wanted to debunk the myth that age is a limiting factor for pursuing your dreams. It isn’t, and during these five years, I’ve been lucky to meet a lot of people that have opened my eyes.
Thus, if you are considering changing your life, but the age is a concern for you, I want to encourage you to do it. There’s no such thing as “Too old” anymore. All you need is a passion and probably a laptop.
So no, you are never too old.