By Ed McLaughlin and Wyn Lydecker

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn Publisher

Are you hungry for independent success and control? Are you burning with the desire to start your own business? Are you yearning to hold out your ideas for the world to validate?

Take control of the mission for your life. Eliminate the “buts” that are holding you back.

But I’m too old

Did you know that Harland Sanders didn’t start KFC until he was 65? Or that, more recently, Ariana Huffington was 54 when she started the Huffington Post? As a mature adult you have the exact opposite of the problem that makes a lot of young people apprehensive: you are brimming with experience!

During your life, you’ve figured out your talents. You’ve honed skills to enhance those talents. You’ve had ample time to figure out what you’re good at and what people need. You’ve also had some years to build up some startup capital, which gives you an advantage in getting your ideas off the ground.

If you’re staring down the barrel of a retirement full of more golf than good sense, start a business! This is a great way to keep your hand in, and the world can benefit from your experience.

But I’m too young

We have all heard the phrase: youth knows no bounds. With respect to entrepreneurship, boundless creativity is a powerful asset. It’s true that experience is helpful in starting a business – yet experience can constrain innovation. If Mark Zuckerberg had not started Facebook when he was 19, would social media be the same today? A young mind can unlock the full potential of a breakthrough idea.

When you’re young, you have less to lose and more to gain. Your obligations are minimal. Your primary responsibility is to get real-world experience. What better way than becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business? By taking the risk, you may just change the world. Worst case, you will build a war chest of experience that you can use for the rest of your life.

Entrepreneurship knows no age.

But I’m too dependent on my corporate job.

Are you growing tired of being told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it – especially when you know there is a better way? Are you fed up with office politics? Are you frustrated having others decide where you fit in the hierarchy?

These sentiments are not unique. My heart told me the restrictions of a large corporation posed greater risk to my wellbeing than the uncertainty of starting my own venture. If you do not like the choice of working for BigCo, then start NewCo. You will set the pace, the tone, and the direction. You will make the decisions, and you will be responsible for the outcomes.

The world and the technology in it make this an ideal time to make a break from the classic 30-year, gold-watch model. If you’re stuck being a replaceable cog, make your own machine!

But I’ve only read about guys founding businesses.

Unfortunately, the media spend most of their time focusing on Silicon Valley, where the gender disparity is more a reflection of women in STEM professions than women in startups. Women have actually been starting businesses at a higher rate than men for the last 20 years, according to Forbes. Over half of the new small business jobs expected to be created by 2018 will be formed by women.

If you are hesitating because you believe there will be little support for your business, think again. To become a certified woman-owned business, entrepreneurs can take advantage of programs such as “Give Me 5,” which provide education about landing federal government contracts.

You won’t find a better time to join the growing ranks of female entrepreneurs.

But I don’t have a whizz-bang idea that’s going to change the world!

You don’t have to have an amazing stroke of brilliance to start a successful business. I struggled for years pondering the type of business to start, its potential for profit, and the cost of possible failure. I thought through hundreds of scenarios and the associated risks, when one day, it struck me: The answer to all of these questions was distinctive competence.

When I looked back on all of my past successes, they all had one thing in common: I had some combination of tried-and-true experience and a track record of accomplishment that enabled me to succeed. This combination defined my distinctive competence. I believed that if I built a new business around my distinctive competence, I could substantially improve my probability of future success.

The same principle applies to you. If you can identify a need for a product or service in an industry where you have a distinctive competence, you could have a bankable business. You can minimize the risks by utilizing your knowledge of existing models, customer base, customer needs, pricing sensitivity, and competition. If you don’t have a distinctive competence, you can team up with someone who does.

Do you have a “but” I haven’t covered? Have you conquered your own objections and leapt into entrepreneurship? Share your story in the comments!

Ed McLaughlin is currently co-writing the book “The Purpose Is Profit: Secrets of a Successful Entrepreneur from Startup to Exit” with Wyn Lydecker and Paul McLaughlin.

Copyright © 2014 by Ed McLaughlin All rights reserved.