For the majority of my adult life I have been an entrepreneur.  I started my first business at the age of 24 – a public relations boutique in Los Angeles focused on commercial production. I built it into a six-figure business with clients on both coasts.   By 28 I had sold it to a multi-national PR agency, relocated back to New York and worked for that agency for several years.  Working for a corporation was great but I realized that in my heart I was an entrepreneur.  So, by 35 I started my next business as a corporate spokesperson, blogger, and nationally recognized child safety expert. Once again I built that company into a multi-six figure company that I ran for the next twelve years.  During this time, I gave birth to my four children, experienced the death of my first son to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, the diagnosis of my second son with Intellectual Disabilities and the end of my marriage.  It was an emotional and chaotic time in my life filled with incredible personal tragedy, but I absolutely loved my business and it’s most likely what kept me sane.

When my kids got older and I remarried my current husband my business no longer fit me.  Now that my kids were grown I was no longer in the child safety space.  My life experiences – the death of my child, the overwhelm of my divorce and the challenges of being a caregiver for my son and now my current husband with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis – and how I overcame them led me to my next business.  I now have my third successful business as a coach/strategist for women in midlife ready to overcome fear and obstacles to live a kick-ass life of personal happiness and professional success.

Each of my businesses grew out my life experiences at that time and I can honestly say now, in midlife, I feel the most comfortable and joyful in my business.  Women in general are starting businesses at a record pace.  Over the past several years, the number of women-owned businesses climbed to nearly 13 million — 42% of all U.S. businesses — and grew at double the rate of all U.S. businesses, according to the 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report, which is based on U.S. census data.

But women who start businesses in midlife are actually the most successful, with 45 years of age being the mean age among the 1,700 founders of the fastest-growing new ventures according to a study by researchers at MIT Sloan School of Management. And they found the “batting average” for creating successful firms rises dramatically with age. “A 50-year-old founder is 1.8 times more likely to achieve upper-tail growth than a 30-year-old founder,” they wrote.

Here are some of the reasons why women starting businesses in midlife are most successful:

We’ve built up a wealth of experience. Unlike our younger sisters, we have the battle scars as well as the triumphs of years of experiences.  We’ve dealt with the fall-out of bad deals, difficult clients, and misguided loyalties but we’ve also learned how to effectively negotiate, efficiently delegate, and create strong teams. All of this life experience allows us to better manage the struggles of a new business.

We have more time to focus on our business. I’ll never forget one of the first mastermind groups I joined.  It was comprised of about fifteen women business owners.  About half of us had younger kids and we all were exhausted trying to manage our company and the demands of motherhood.  The women in the group who were empty-nesters or had older kids seemed so much calmer.  They assured us that it gets easier but to enjoy the time with our children.  They were right.  With one of my girls off to college and the other a junior in high school I finally have time to focus more fully on my business without guilt or the exhaustion of trying to do everything.

We’ve tried out different roles and have refined what we want. By the time we’re in our late 40’s and beyond we’ve been employees, consultants, bosses and sole-practitioners in various industries. Your desire in your 20’s to work in finance and make millions may have been what you wanted at that time but now maybe your dream is to open a B&B in Vermont or a small clothing boutique. Following your passion, waking up every morning loving what you do is a gift that comes with experience and leads to incredible abundance not just financially but spiritually.

We’ve dialed down the drama. I look at my daughters and women in their 20’s who spend hours re-hashing an argument or some slight on social media and can’t believe how much energy they waste.  One of the beautiful things about being a woman in midlife is we realize that it’s simply not worth our time to deal with haters.  And those narcissistic bosses or clients? Well, we realize that they’re just angry little boys stomping their feet and can roll our eyes and move forward with our day.  Starting a business takes the steady calm of a pilot or surgeon who knows how to deal with problems when they arise.  Women in midlife have learned to not sweat the small stuff.

We’re not afraid to ask for help. Yes, maybe our millennial counterparts have greater knowledge of technology and adapt more quickly to change but we’re not afraid to defer to someone else or ask for help when we need it.  We know that building a successful business requires a strong team that compliments our talents.  And we understand that delegating responsibilities allows us to focus on strategy and networking, the most important tasks for an entrepreneur.  As a coach/strategist for women in midlife who want to grow or start their business I focus on working with my clients and generating content. I allow my business partner and my virtual assistants to manage tasks that, quite frankly, I’m not good at.

Do you have a business idea or are you ready to scale your existing company?  Share in the comments some of your life lessons that have helped you become a better entrepreneur in midlife.

Also, come on over to my Facebook Group Midlife Mavericks: Fabulous, Fierce, Females! to get inspired and supported by other kick-ass women.

LifeisaBeach

Are you living the dream of our forefathers who fought for our freedom?  Maybe freedom meant something very different to them but, for all of us, doesn’t it come down to what it states in the Declaration of Independence – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

My work as a motivational speaker and personal life coach is booming because there are so many people who are not happy with their present circumstances and feel trapped.  They are afraid to declare their own independence!  

In both your personal and professional life, happiness is about having the freedom to live out your dreams.


I learned this professionally many years ago.  I was working for a large corporation and, while I loved my job, I didn’t have the freedom to be with my kids as much as I would have liked nor did I have the opportunity to work with clients the way I wanted to.  I wasn’t living my passion.  After the death of my son to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and the diagnosis of my second son with Intellectual Disabilities, I realized that life is too short not to live as fulfilled and joyously in the present moment as possible.  What I really wanted to do was to create a business where I could share my experiences, help women and their families and, at the same time, be with my kids.  And that’s exactly what I did.

This is the secret of successful entrepreneurs – creating a business that provides freedom as well as profits.

On the personal side, it took a little longer.  I felt trapped in a marriage and unsure how to get out.  I knew that it would financially devastate me but I also knew that it was not a healthy relationship for any of us.  I had “lost myself” and the happy, self-confident person I had once been.  So I finally took the scary leap and declared my independence.  I work with so many women who are scared and unsure what their future would look like.  Is it easy?  No.  In fact, starting over after a divorce was probably the hardest thing I ever had to do with the exception of coping with the death of my son.  But as I sit here today, with five years of perspective, I realize that not only was I worth it, but my kids were worth it.  Yup – they are happier because the tension and unhappiness are gone. 

Today, my life is filled with an abundance of supportive friends, a new husband and two step children whom I adore and a career that I’m passionate about.  

Are you ready to declare your Independence and start living a joyous life?

 

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  • We follow our passion – I’ve often said, follow your passion and the money will follow.  Whether you leave a high-paying corporate job to start a small gourmet cookie company or are a teacher in an inner-city, if you’re doing what you love, you’ll bound out of bed in the morning excited for the day and how you can make a difference. 
  • We’re mentors and mentees – Ask almost any woman who has a successful career and she will tell you that she had a mentor.  The opportunity to learn from someone who’s “been there and done that”  and be coached is invaluable in developing your soft and hard skills.  At the same time, paying it forward and becoming a mentee to someone creates a feeling of personal fulfillment.
  • We network   – I’ve found that networking for men and women is quite different.  Men seem to view it as a sport, never really connecting but rather trying to just accumulate as many connections as possible.  Women collaborate.  We find commonalities and ways in which we can mutually benefit.  We also encourage and learn.  Whether it’s true networking meetings or business groups such as the one I joined, women leave feeling inspired, jazzed and empowered.
  • We keep priorities in order – Every successful woman is multi-faceted.  She’s also a mom, spouse, daughter, friend and community member.  We are, undoubtedly, far better multi-taskers than men and, while that can often leave us stressed, it also enriches our lives.  We know that careers can come and go but spiritual and emotional bonds with friends, children, family and even ourselves, are the basis of who we are.  This keeps everything in perspective for us.
  • We acknowledge failure – The stories of “overnight successes” who failed at something at least 20 times prior are everywhere.  Successful women know that moving forward will require some mistakes along the way and without these missteps, we’d be frozen in place in fear.  Whether we’ve made a mistake on a client’s order, done business with someone who’s screwed us over or miscalculated the viability of our business model, we dust ourselves off and retool.   Women are usually their own worst critics but, once we learn to love ourselves and forgive ourselves, we find peace.
  • Share success and acknowledge others – It truly does take a village to not only raise a child but grow a business.  No one gets to the pinnacle of her success, whatever that is, without people helping us along the way.  Just as a sports team wins together, so does the successful woman.

Regardless of whether you’re an entrepreneur, volunteer or employee, if you’re not happy doing what you’re doing, you will never be truly successful.  GO FOR IT – whatever “it” is!  Life’s too short to not be happy.