We've all heard the stories of college kids who start hanging around in a garage or dumpy apartment, come up with an idea and turn it into the world's newest commercial force. There's a certain romance to tales of this sort – the combination of youthful vigor, an absence of fear and the perseverance required to turn a midnight brainstorm into a financial powerhouse. Yet, many of the nation's self-employed reach this decision much later in life, building their dreams upon foundations of experience, rich personal networks and, hopefully, a financial cushion acquired over years of collecting a salary.
A recent study by Ace Hardware, made available to DailyFinance, 33 percent of respondents decided to go out on their own later in life, while their peers were diving into professions that tracked with the corporate ladder. The decision to wait tends to favor these entrepreneurs, as 75 percent were able to take advantage of personal savings to get their new ventures off the ground. Younger people, who are just getting started, haven't had the time to accumulate personal assets and still contend with such challenges as paying off student loans.