Among workers 45 and up, 60% say they have seen or experienced workplace age discrimination. When ageism discrimination in your career begins to creep in, don’t wait around for management to replace you. Instead, forge your own path, no matter your age, and make yourself irreplaceable.

When looking away from the careers of corporate American, it can be daunting to consider starting over. But older professionals have a distinct advantage when it comes to entrepreneurship—their industry know-how, communication skills, experience, and most importantly, a vast network of connections.

Today, 57% of small business owners are over age 50 and among them, many different reasons are given for why they decided on entrepreneurship. “I believe that rather than waiting for an employer to ‘pick you,’ you should ‘pick yourself’” says author and career management coach Jane Jackson, and that is exactly what many older professionals do.

We may have a certain vision in our minds of what an entrepreneur looks like. Influenced by the glamor and youth of Silicon Valley startups and their millennial leaders, we often forget the hard working older professionals that are also building lucrative careers. “Grey-prenuers” refers to the increasing involvement in entrepreneurship by older professionals, though their hard work is often ignored in lieu of the success of younger folks. In reality, older individuals have some competitive advantages, and though corporate managers see age as a disadvantage, in the world of self-employment age becomes almost a secret weapon.

While younger professionals rely on a bright idea wrapped in optimism, they cannot draw on decades of life and business experience to propel them forward. From the perspective of investors and lenders though, assets and credit go a long way. Older professionals looking to start their own business may have an easier time getting attention for funding.

In corporate positions where age may have been seen as a liability, the same can’t always be said for age in entrepreneurship; showcasing one’s age as an emphasis to experience while also being open to learning new tools of the trade is a powerful force in entrepreneurship.

There is no rule book for entrepreneurship and no two small businesses look exactly the same.

Intuition, self-trust, experience, and plain common sense can not only help lead us to opportunities, but also create opportunities. Ready to forge forward on your own path beyond corporate America? This infographic details the state of careers after 50 and how to stay ahead of the curve even in the face of ageism.

Source: Best Masters Programs