ash asked in Business & FinanceSmall Business · 6 months ago

Am I too old to think about starting a business?

I will soon be 49 years old. I have been on SSI since 2006. I dont feel disabled, but because I have seizures, I am considered disabled.

I have a dear friend who owns several businesses and helped her son to begin his very lucrative business. She has tasted my cooking, and believes that I could run a restaurant serving comfort country meals. Most of the restaurants in my area are fast food and pizza places. My friend is willing to partner with me and help me to launch this business, but I worry that I will let her down. I have dreamed of owning my own restaurant for many years, now that the opportunity is presented top me, I am scared. Am I too old? I have never run a business before, she is the one with the Master's degrees, I just know how to cook.


I know that owning a business, means long hard hours, and no down time, especially in the first couple of years. I have worked in food service before, a diner, and a little corner in the wall place that was owned by a friend of mine about 15 years ago, I used to go to her restaurant and help her prep the food for the day. I loved helping her and her sister..but they never made enough money to hire me.

Update 2:

I want to thank all of you that gave me words of encouragement and advice. I brought my fears to my friend, and she was very encouraging. She and I are taking my seizures into consideration and planning ahead for them. It will take us a while to get this plan off the ground, but we are already casually looking for space, and are looking at several places owned by the same gentlemen that my friend knows personally. She is planning on buying a building that is already set up for a restaurant

14 Answers

  • 6 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Your age is totally irrelevant. Do you have the stamina, is the question. Maybe your seizures won't interfere with the enterprise, but how's your dynamic energy? Startups tend to improve endurance; they're draining, but in a good way. How's your fitness level in the long run? If your friend made an offer, and she runs businesses, she has confidence in you!

    • ash6 months agoReport

      thank you for your encouragement

  • 6 months ago

    There really isn't any 'right time' to start chasing your dreams.According to a study by the Today, she takes classes for mostly senior women and older men.

  • 6 months ago

    All kinds of people much older and disabled have started businesses. Don't believe your age will prevent you..many have been very successful, it just requires a lot of time and effort

  • 6 months ago

    If you're disabled it's going to be exceedingly difficult for you to run a restaurant. AND expensive. You'd do better to look for something else. Age isn't part of it, but your health needs to be very good to run a business like a restaurant.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • John
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    I was going to answer until I read the comments. You seem to have come up with every imaginable barrier to keep from working.

  • Angie
    Lv 5
    6 months ago

    It is very scary to take a risk. You are not too old, and I believe if you love to cook it would bring you a sense of pride and satisfaction to open a place.

    My husband and I bought a pizzeria and we knew very little about business before we began. We have learned a lot over the years but it isn’t as dreadful as people claim.

    The main mistakes we made were spending too much money in the beginning for advertising and upgrades to the building. When you first begin you want to make some money for a few months and then gradually upgrade a little at a time, gradually advertise.

    Finding good employees has been the most difficult process. Make sure you do not need a huge staff, cause that is the biggest headache right there.

    I hope you go for it. You only live once, and trying to follow your dreams is something everyone should try!!!

    • ash6 months agoReport

      Right now the only staff we are considering is my friend and my adult children..i think she is likely to be better at handling the finances while me and my kids handle the kitchen and dining area. We are planning on starting small

  • 6 months ago

    No, you are not too old. However, owning your own business is more than an 8 hour per day job. Since you have not worked in many years, you should probably find a job working in a restaurant and see if you have the physical stamina to do what it takes plus another 50% more effort as a business owner/operator.

    • ash6 months agoReport

      The risk of working for someone else, is that I am likely to have an on the job seizure, and lose that job. Then I would not have SSI to help me, and I would have to reapply

  • 6 months ago

    You aren't too old by any means but the restaurant trade is a hundred times tougher than you think it will be, so it's not necessarily wise to take the enthusiastic advice of a friend. For sure if that friend is already in business it can help with some of the practicalities, but what you need is advice from others trying to make it with food. There's much more to it than just turning it out.

    It should scare you. I think if you look at the statistics for restaurants that go bust in short time, you'll be shocked. Doesn't mean you shouldn't do this. You may be able to make a good living but is it risky? Very! And, as I said, not at all because of your age.

  • 6 months ago

    You are receiving SSI because you or someone on your behalf applied for it.

    If you are able to work in spite of your seizures why have you been receiving welfare based disability payments for over 10 years?

    Are you too old to start a business? Of course, not.

    Should you open a restaurant when you have never done restaurant cooking? NO! Restuarant equipment (stoves, ovens, etc) is not the same as what you use at home, you don't know how to purchase the appropriate quantities, or how to get different foods out of the kitchen at the same to serve the party.

    Work with your case worker to get a job in a kitchen or in to some kind of training program.

    • A Hunch
      Lv 7
      6 months agoReport

      You haven't worked in 10+ years, you aren't going to get hired without applying to 100s of places and likely even then you are going to have to go through your caseworker.

  • ?
    Lv 6
    6 months ago

    No way. I watched this show about a 70 year old who lost almost everything. He still could have afforded an upper middle class life but, he tirelessly worked to rebuild his empire.

    I think a 49 year old man can have a reasturant.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.