Experts Weigh In: I’m an Entrepreneur in my 60s+

Experts Weigh In: I'm an Entrepreneur in my 60s+It’s the last week of our entrepreneurs by the ages series here on the MyCorp blog! From teen entrepreneurs to entrepreneurs in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s, our final post celebrates entrepreneurs in their 60s and beyond as they share with us their stories about starting up a small business, the obstacles they’ve encountered, and the rewards that being an entrepreneur has given them.

1) “I began my professional career as manager of a Coronary Care unit and a Non- Invasive Cardiology Unit Supervisor in local area hospitals. In my free time I developed an interest in the science and art of chocolate. Gaining chocolate making skills through a blend of personal exploration and formal education I attended a Master Chocolatier certificate program that enabling me to learn techniques with Master Chocolatiers of the Tuscany region of Italy. My journey to becoming a Chocolatier led to my founding Donna & Company in 2005 and establishing my own chocolate brands, CocoaBee® Honey Caramels and Donna Toscana® Tuscan Style® Chocolates and Fundamental. My chocolates have appeared on the NBC TODAY Show, in the New York Times, New Jersey Monthly, Dessert Professional, Park Place Magazine and numerous other media outlets.  I was named Best Chocolatier by NJ Monthly magazine and Local Hero, Food Artisan of 2010 by Edible NJ magazine.”

- Diane Pinder, 61, Chocolatier/Founder, Donna & Company

2) “I’m an entrepreneur who is 74. I started my business at 55. After a long career in management in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, I was working as a consultant in a small firm. After several years I realized I had learned the “business” and was actually good at product development, marketing, and sales. My younger sister who had started her own business a few years before was my inspiration. So, as we say, ‘I stepped off the cliff and grew wings on the way.’ Over the past 19 years, I’ve reinvented my business several times as the needs of my markets have changed. I’ve added professional speaking, writing books, webinars, and digital products to my mix of face-to-face consulting. The best parts of being an entrepreneur at my age are: being able to use my creativity to craft new products and services for my customers and wider market, thus staying mentally active; creating my own work schedule to accommodate lots of physical activity including yoga, Tai Chi, and walking to stay physically and mentally fit; and living a life that is fulfilling on every level. I have cut back on my road warrior travel and allowed technology to help me communicate around the world more. I will never be isolated because I have made friends around the world and I keep up business and personal relationships with them. I have no plans to retire. I’ll just keep innovating, reinventing, and tapping into my imagination until it’s time to go.”

- Rebecca Staton-Reinstein, Ph.D., 74,  President, Advantage Leadership, Inc.

3) “Most of my career, I worked in administration. I am almost 70, and have now become a designer. I designed a protective bag, BORSAbag. I am in an unknown environment. The way I describe it is I feel as though I’m in a vast field of tall grass with a machete. I just keep whacking away to find my path.

At this stage of my life, I have accumulated some savings and am in a better position to finance my design. I feel secure in taking that risk, mainly because I am married, and know that if I lose my investment, I will still be okay. I have more peace of mind to take the necessary risks. I constantly think about my product, how to improve it, additional uses for various sizes, and how to introduce BORSAbag to everyone. The downside of being my age is I can’t afford to take too much time to make decisions. I  must think about it, address it, and decide, and then move on to the next step. I have made sure that my infrastructure is strong, I have my inventory, and now I must make an announcement from the highest mountain to get my word out there. Time is of the essence.

BORSAbag is a simple, yet very unique product. It can be used to protect anything. The key is: Always Inside Out. The small pouch stays clean and dry, and can be stored safely in pocket or purse even though the large protective bag is wet or dirty. The Bag For All Seasons; The Bag For All Reasons®”

- Diane Piper, 69+, President/Designer, BORSAbag LLC

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Experts Weigh In: What I Love About Being an Entrepreneur (Part 2)

Experts Weigh In: What I Love About Being an Entrepreneur (Part 2)Last week, we asked 75 entrepreneurs to tell us what they loved about running their own businesses. The feedback we got was so overwhelming, today we have 76 more small business owners on deck telling us what drives and motivates them to be their own boss!

1. “I love being an entrepreneur because I am able to work from home and make money doing something incredibly fun for me. I get paid to drink tea, paint with watercolors, and watch Sherlock!”

- Anna White, Artist and Business Coach, 2dayIchoose

2. “What I love most about being an entrepreneur is being able to work every day with my wife. I know it sounds corny, especially at Valentine’s Day, but it’s true. My wife always says ‘I don’t want to be Batman, I like being Robin.’ When I was a kid, I was always Batman. That translates to an awesome working relationship. People ask us how we could stand being together all day at work and then at home again and we respond, we couldn’t stand to not be working together every day. We have a ton of fun working together and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

- Buck Smolow, Co-Founder, JustPoppin.com

3. “My story-based content marketing company stems from my passion for creative writing, and a refusal to settle for anything less than success. While in university I had come to believe that I would never be hired by a company based merely on my writing skills. I was told that I must learn a variety of additional skills such as Photoshop, etc. Things that I had zero interest in. Rather than settling for an apparent reality I chose to create my own. Here’s to finding a passion and following it without fear. If you strive for excellence in your interest, the money will always follow. Believe me! #BeYourOwnBoss”

- Sarah Walker, CEO | Cursive Remedy Media

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