Creativity and innovation peak later in life

Recent research from Encore Careers show that “Approximately 25 million people – one in four Americans ages 44-70 – are interested in starting businesses or nonprofit ventures in the next five to 10 years.”

And, research from the Kauffman Foundation Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 had the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity of any age group from 1996 to 2010.

In Marc Freeman’s article “Why older Entrepreneurs Have an Edge” he points out that “University of Chicago economist David Galenson has shown that genius clusters into two categories. Conceptual geniuses tend to do their best work while young, producing breakthrough ideas early in their careers. But experimental geniuses, by contrast, need a long period of time to reach their peak, moving forward by trial and error, slowly accumulating the elements that will be integrated into their fully realized work.”

In my travels across America, my husband and I find that some of the most efficient and unique B&Bs are operated by individuals between the ages of 45 and 70.  And, often, these individuals have a very creative nature about them along with a spouse or partner that has a solid business background.  The combination seems to be a factor in the overall success of a lodging establishment.

It is not at all difficult to agree with the current research that show creativity and innovation peaking later in life for many Americans, including myself.    ~Amelia Painter

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