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Celebrating Older Entrepreneurs: Meet Hayden Dent

Celebrating Older Entrepreneurs: Meet Hayden Dent

By Susan Williams

In our continuing series of Celebrating Older Entrepreneurs, we are pleased to introduce you to Hayden Dent.

Hayden Dent, CEO, Kiiah Blu Corporation

What motivated you to become an entrepreneur later in life?

I have practiced entrepreneurship since my early 20s. Except, back then, we simply called it “Self-Employed”…not nearly as sexy a term. I had built a rock-solid manufacturing business that serviced predominately coast-coast brands like EB Games/GameStop, Payless ShoeSource, PizzaPizza, SIEMENS, Sherwin-Williams Paints and was organically growing at a rate of 25% per year. Money was good, but my soul and passion for creative thought had been exhausted by the long-term practice of professional convention. The time came for personal change.

So, in 2014 I sold my companies, executed a brain-reboot, and prepared for a new life expedition. Fortunately, I have a wife that has the dispositional DNA for life-altering pivots like this.

What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur?

My answer is really uncomplicated. Now at 56, I want to spend my remaining heart-beats doing something that feeds my soul, challenges my creativity and helps springboard some talented young people. Tell me, who wouldn`t want to aspire to that? They are either, dead in the ground, or dead in the soul and likely own a Lazy-Boy.

What is your biggest challenge in being an entrepreneur?

In my previous life, I did not feel like an old guy. In tech-startup, everyone is young, agile and just at the beginning of structuring their professional future. Get this… the VCs have more interest in the 20-year-olds than the fat old guy with experience. Trust me; this is a very different experience than my first expedition. That said, I am having an immeasurably wonderful experience, learning new things, teaching old things and enjoying those simple pleasures of meeting new and interesting people from all points of the globe. Canada is a uniquely wonderful place.

What advice would you give to other budding older entrepreneurs?

My advice for older entrepreneurs is first to ask themselves the question “How do I want to spend the balance of my heartbeats?” If your answer is not aligned with what you are currently doing, then you have a big decision to make.

Remember this though:

  • There is no perfect time for change.
  • Good things come from change for those who have the courage.

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Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.

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