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30 Motivational Quotes to Help Realize Your Entrepreneurial Dreams

A little extra motivation and inspiration can sometimes help you push through difficult times and remain focused on the end goal. A positive mindset goes a long way.

Read the following quotes to help you reach your entrepreneurial dreams, regardless of what they might be. Use them as motivation to achieve happiness as well as success.

Identify your dreams.

1. “Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.” — Wayne Dyer

2. “Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” — Chris Grosser

3. “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” — Farrah Gray

4. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” — Mark Twain

5. “Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” — Gloria Steinem

Believe that you can achieve anything.

6. “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” — Zig Ziglar

7. “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” — Babe Ruth

8. “Don’t give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you.” — John Wooden

9. “Leap, and the net will appear.” — John Burroughs

10. “If you can dream it, you can do it.” — Walt Disney

Envision greatness.

11. “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” — Theodore Roosevelt

12. “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill

13. “There is always room at the top.” — Daniel Webster

14. “I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail, than to attempt nothing and succeed.” — Robert H. Schuller

15. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Set goals to achieve your dreams.

16. “Step by step and the thing is done.” — Charles Atlas

17. “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” — Ralph Marston

18. “Well done is better than well said.” — Benjamin Franklin

19. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” — Arthur Ashe

20. “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” — Vince Lombardi

Work your ass off.

21. “Without ambition, one starts nothing. Without work, one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

22. “Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot. Make it hot by striking.” — William Butler Yeats

23. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” — Nelson Mandela

24. “I can’t imagine a person becoming a success who doesn’t give this game of life everything he’s got.” — Walter Cronkite.

25. “Even if you fall on your face you’re still moving forward.” — Victor Kiam

Enjoy the journey.

26. “Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.” — Conan O’Brien

27. “Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead.” — Nelson Mandela

28. “My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal. We never lose, somehow we win out.” — Ronald Reagan

29. “Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.” — James Barrie

30. “Happiness is the real sense of fulfillment that comes from hard work.” — Joseph Barbara

 

Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Jonathan Long

How Much Does Luck Have to Do With Startup Success?

How Much Does Luck Have to Do With Startup Success?

Today is St. Patrick’s Day—the holiday that, although it originally was established to honor the patron saint of Ireland, has been commercialized into a day of parties, parades and celebrating the proverbial “luck of the Irish.” That said, how big a role does luck play in startup success?

In recognition of St. Patty’s Day, we whipped up a list of five iconic business owners that struck it rich and prove that, while the luck of the Irish certainly helps, all that small business owners need to succeed is hard work and the resolve to overcome failure.

 

5 Business Owners who Didn’t Need the Luck of the Irish

 

James Dyson

James Dyson, head and namesake of the now dominant vacuum cleaner manufacturer, did not receive too many lucky breaks in his pursuit of fortune. Before earning his billions and dominating his market, he first designed 5,127 failed vacuum prototypes over a fifteen year span.  Can you imagine fifteen years of unlucky breaks? But Dyson didn’t let the failure phase him—he kept at it, despite his bad luck, and is now estimated to be worth north of $4 billion.

Bill Gates

It is funny to think that the man whose very name is associated with the epitome of wealth was ever grappling with an unlucky failure. But sure enough, success did not come easily to the world’s richest man. His first business venture, Traf-O-Data, couldn’t turn a profit and eventually failed. A resilient love for computer programming kept Gates in the game, though. He later founded Microsoft, and the rest is history.

Thomas Edison

The Thomas Edison story of a thousand failures has become the stuff of legend—the inventor of the light bulb is an icon for resilience and a can-do attitude. Before he launched the world into a new era with his invention, he tried—and failed—1,000 times to successfully create a light bulb. Luck had nothing to do with it.

Steve Jobs

If you would’ve looked at Steve Jobs as a young man—a college dropout who was backpacking India and taking psychedelic drugs—you wouldn’t necessarily have thought that he would one day found one of the most successful brands in the world. The business scene didn’t come naturally to the creator of Apple. Nonetheless, he took the path less travelled, experienced some unlucky low points and eventually went on to kick start one of the planet’s richest companies.

Gary Vaynerchuck

Vaynerchuck, who through relentless work amassed a fortune with his family’s wine company and has since become an investor, is very proud of how little luck had to do with his rise to success. Having learned to rely on hard work rather than luck, Vaynerchuck continues his affinity for entrepreneurship by dabbling in a multitude of different industries—he has even written books, mastered social media and hosted a very popular podcast.

So, it can be seen from the above examples that although the luck of the Irish is certainly helpful when it comes to starting a successful company, many have changed the world despite years of misfortune. That said, every entrepreneur needs a bit of help to get started. Need funding to launch your small business? Factor Finders is an industry expert when it comes to securing small business funding for startup companies.

 

Originally posted on FactorFinders.com.

 

8 Ways to Create the Discipline Habit

8 Ways to Create the Discipline Habit

Discipline is the greatest obstacle in preventing most people from achieving the levels of success they desire. Take a moment to process that if you had the discipline to do everything you knew you should do, even when you did not feel like doing it, how much more successful you will be in achieving your personal and professional goals. Discipline is the most challenging habit to do consistently, which is why employers reward it more than any other.

Make the commitment

If you really want to achieve your goals, then you must make the commitment to be disciplined. It’s that simple. Being disciplined isn’t something you have — it is something you do. Discipline every habit you have. Be disciplined with your physical health and nutrition, put responsibilities before leisure, control your reactive emotions, watch what you say and keep a positive mindset.

Stay focused

Review your goals each morning before you start your day, or set and review your goals for the next day before you go to sleep. Make sure to pick a quiet time and / or place where you can focus and visualize on what you want to achieve in the short and long term. This will help you to set the most important goals on your list for the next day. As you visualize, see yourself achieving your goals and imagine the feelings of success which will come along with this. In this way you start your day in a productive and positive mindset.

Prioritize tasks

As you plan your day discipline yourself to accomplish the tasks which require the most effort and discipline from you. Get your big stressors out of the way. When you accomplish your more stressful tasks first, not only will you begin to do this with more consistency, but you will be less stressed throughout the rest of your day, allowing you to be more productive on your other, less important activities. In this way, you learn to turn a mess to greatness.

Get sufficient rest

An important key to success is to have your mind and body ready and prepared for each day. There is nothing better for concentration and the ability to be patient then getting enough rest. Create a bedtime routine which helps you wind down and shut the day off. Whatever is stressing you before bed, make an agreement with yourself to let it go. Whatever is stressing you can be handled the next day as your number one priority.

Eat for energy

Good nutrition equals a smarter brain and better energy. Start your day with a breakfast high in protein and low in carbs. To avoid a food-coma at lunch avoid eating starchy carbs or drinking alcohol. Eat foods that are clean and alive. Eat greens for your carbs and have a lean meat for your protein, and make sure to drink sufficient water. Stay away from simple sugars, too much caffeine and nicotine. This will help you keep your energy flowing throughout the day. Make sure to pack little snacks, such as protein bars or almonds, as well to maintain optimal blood sugar levels.

Do the little things

A great way to cultivate the habit of being disciplined is to focus on doing the little things you know you should do such as making your bed before you leave the house, keeping your environment clean, keep your car clean, take the garbage out and pick up after yourself. As you discipline yourself to do the little things, you will become more disciplined in doing the bigger, more important things.

Follow through

Make decisions ahead of time. If you decide to exercise each morning before work, then do not allow yourself to talk yourself out of it, no matter how much you want to. If you are going to take on an important project in the morning don’t second-guess your decision in the morning. The decision is made — so follow through with it. Without follow through you have no discipline. Your mind is often your greatest enemy when it comes to following through, it will try and talk you into laziness and doing things later. You must win this battle and keep up on all that you have planned to do.

Reward yourself

When you accomplish the things which require your discipline, your success will be what rewards your effort. When you see the success you have created exploding right in front of your eyes, reward yourself when you are done. Be happy and proud of yourself. Share with your loved ones what you have achieved and take everyone out to dinner and drinks with you to celebrate your hard work and subsequent achievements.Feel good about what you are doing. Each time you witness your own success, you see your discipline habit paying off. It is this payoff which motivates you to stay disciplined. To stay disciplined, you must adopt the mindset of “Just do it.” Do not allow your mind to talk you out of doing what you need to do to achieve what you have committed to achieving. Attack each day with the commitment to being disciplined, healthy, maintaining good energy and keeping your mindset motivated and positive.Attack your stressors first thing in the morning, so you can focus on your longer term goals for the remainder of your day.  When you are disciplined, you are less stressed, which turns you into a greater success.   Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Sherrie Campbell  
7 Habits That May Actually Change The Brain

7 Habits That May Actually Change The Brain

The brain is by far our most precious organ–others are good, too, but they all pale in comparison to the mighty brain. Because the brain works so hard around the clock (even while we’re sleeping), it uses an extraordinary amount of energy, and requires a certain amount of nutritional support to keep it going. It’s high-maintenance, in other words. But there may be misconceptions about what keeps a brain healthy–for instance, there’s little evidence that omega-3 supplements or green smoothies would do anything above and beyond generally good nutrition. So what does science actually tell us can help our brains? Here’s what we know as of now.

Exercise

Physical activity is pretty clearly linked to brain health and cognitive function. People who exercise appear to have greater brain volume, better thinking and memory skills, and even reduced risk of dementia. A recent study in the journal Neurology found that older people who vigorously exercise have cognitive test scores that place them at the equivalent of 10 years younger. It’s not totally clear why this is, but it’s likely due to the increased blood flow to the brain that comes from physical activity. Exercise is also thought to help generate new neurons in the hippocampus, the brain area where learning and memory “live,” and which is known to lose volume with age, depression and Alzheimer’s disease. The one stark exception to the exercise rule is impact sports like football, which has been shown again and again to be linked to brain damage and dementia, since even low-level impacts can accrue over time. The same is true for soccer headers.

Starting an exercise routine earlier in life is likely the best way to go, and the effects more pronounced the younger one begins. More research will be needed, but in the meantime, enough research has shown exercise to be beneficial to the brain that it’s pretty hard not to at least acknowledge it (even if we don’t do it as much as we should).

Foods and Spices

The brain is a massive energy suck–it uses glucose way out of proportion to the rest of the body. In fact, it requires about 20% of the body’s energy resources, even though its volume is just a tiny percentage. This is justifiable since thinking, learning, remembering and controlling the body are all huge jobs. But the source and quantity of the sugar matter: Eating highly processed carbs, which break down very quickly, leads to the famous spike-and-crash of blood sugar (which your brain certainly feels). But eating whole, unprocessed foods leads to a slow, steady rise, and a more constant source of energy–and it makes the brain much happier.

Beyond giving energy, dietary sugar (especially too much of it) also appears to affect how plastic the brain is, or how capable of change. A study last year, for instance, found that rats fed fructose water after brain injury had seriously impaired recovery. “Our findings suggest that fructose disrupts plasticity—the creation of fresh pathways between brain cells that occurs when we learn or experience something new,” said study author UCLA study author Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, whose work has also shown that sugar impairs cognitive function in healthy animals. Interestingly, omega-3 fatty acids appear to reverse some of this damage. And in humans, fatty fish has been linked to cognition, presumably because the fats in it make the cells of the brain more permeable. Omega-3 capsules, however, have not been shown to do much good.

There’s mixed evidence that plant-derived antioxidants can improve cognitive function, at least in isolation. While some studies haven’t found an effect, others have suggested that compounds in foods like cocoa and blueberries may do some good. (Not surprisingly, Mars Inc. has funded a lot of research in this area, and even markets a high-potency cocoa mix, CocoaVia, for cognitive health.) And finally, turmeric, a key component of curry, if used regularly, has been linked to reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, presumably for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

In general though, researchers are split on whether eating just one thing will cut it–for instance, adding blueberries to an otherwise mediocre diet probably won’t do much. But a diet low in sugar and high in whole foods, healthy fats and as many colorful fruits and veggies as you can take in is cumulatively one of the best things you can do for your brain.

Vitamins and Minerals

Though there’s little evidence that multi-vitamins do us much good, there are certain vitamins that the brain needs to function. Vitamin B12 is one of the ones critical for the function of the central nervous system, and whose deficiency can lead to cognitive symptoms like memory loss. Vitamin D is also critical for brain health–and while there’s no causal link, low levels have been linked to cognitive decline. Iron is another that the brain needs to function well (especially for women who are menstruating) since it carries oxygen. But as always, although supplements are certainly necessary for certain people, getting your nutrients from food appears to be the most efficient way to take them in and absorb them.

Coffee

This is a funny one. Many coffee lovers know instinctively that coffee does something very good for their brains in the morning, and indeed our cognition seems a little fuzzy without it. But coffee does appear to effect some real change: Not only does it keeps us alert, by blocking adenosine receptors, but coffee consumption has also been linked to reduced risk of depression, and even of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. This is partly because, like cocoa, compounds in coffee improve vascular health, and may also help repair cellular damage by acting as antioxidants.

Meditation

This connection is fascinating, because although there are thousands of years of anecdotal evidence that meditation can help a person psychologically, and perhaps neurologically, the scientific evidence for meditation’s effects on the brain has really just exploded in the last five or 10 years. Meditation has been linked to increased brain volume in certain areas of the cerebral cortex, along with less volume in the brain’s amygdala, which controls fear and anxiety. It’s also been linked to reduced activity in the brain’s default mode network (DMN), which is active when our minds are wandering about from thought to thought, which are typically negative and distressing. Meditation also seems to lead to changes to the white matter tracks connecting different regions of the brain, and to improved attention and concentration.

Education/Mental Activity

Staying mentally active over the course of a lifetime, starting with education, is tied to cognitive health–which explains why crosswords and Sudoku are thought to help cognition. Mental activity may or may not keep a brain from developing disease (like Alzheimer’s), but it certainly seems to be linked to fewer symptoms, since it fortifies us with what’s known as cognitive reserves. “It is not that the cognitive activity stops amyloid beta production or neurofibrillary tangle development or spread,” David Knopman of the Mayo Clinic told me recently, “but rather that higher cognitive activity endows the brain with a greater ability to endure the effects of brain pathologies compared to a person with lower cognitive engagement throughout life.”

Sleep

The brain does an awful lot of work while we’re sleeping–in fact, it really never sleeps. It’s always consolidating memories and pruning unnecessary connections. Sleep deprivation, and just a little of it, takes a toll on our cognitive health. It’s linked to worse cognitive function, and poorer attention, learning and creative thinking. The more sleep debt you accrue, the longer it takes to undo it. Sleeping for about seven hours per night seems to be a good target to aim for.

*  *  *

The bottom line is that doing as many of these things as you can is good for your brain; but if you can’t do them all every day, don’t beat yourself up. If you don’t do any, just integrating a couple will very likely help. And your brain may appreciate it more than you think.

 

 

Originally on Forbes by Alice G Walton

How to be a Successful Entrepreneur

Most entrepreneurs will tell you their original business idea bloomed from a passion. That passion is different for all of us-a baker might love the art of cake decorating, while a hair salon owner might love the creative aspects of style. Passion can drive you to dream big and start your business; you want to love what you do and harness your passion to benefit others.

While passion may fuel the creation of many businesses, getting a business off the ground and turning it into a success requires willpower. Each day, willpower influences you in your role as an entrepreneur. It takes a lot of drive to start and run your own business. The invoices, the bills, the day-to-day grind-most of us can agree these aren’t passionate endeavors. But they must be done, even when you don’t feel like it.

The top secret to success as an entrepreneur: willpower. Don’t worry if you feel your own willpower is weak; willpower is a learned skill. Read on to learn how to beef up your willpower in order to aid your success in business, and in life.

Accept Full Responsibility

According to author Katie Morton, “People with extraordinary willpower fully accept the statement, “˜I alone am responsible for my actions, my habits, and my life.’” Take responsibility and accept what you can control. That makes it easier to follow through for positive momentum for your business.

Perhaps you’re having a hair-on-fire day where nothing is going right; your marketing guru is out with the flu, the coffeepot is on the fritz, and you forgot to pay the internet provider. It’s easy to let a series of mishaps serve as an excuse to shirk responsibility. It’s not the mishaps or the bad days that are the problem-everyone has those – it’s the excuses and the lack of responsibility that lead many entrepreneurs down the road to failure.

Starting your own business requires a certain fortitude. You’re the one who is ultimately responsible for your success or failure, and your decisions and actions as a business owner have a direct bearing on that. Showing up and checking tasks off your list is as necessary as creative vision and passion, despite the fact that it’s not always fun.

Learn From Mistakes

One tenet that’s true of successful CEOs: They’re human, therefore they’re flawed. Nobody’s perfect, and part of not being perfect is accepting mistakes. Learning how to succeed, despite making mistakes, is a willpower secret all great entrepreneurs must learn. It worked for Steve Jobs; it can work for you.

The temptation, of course, is to sweep mistakes under the rug. It’s a natural human tendency to want to put failure behind us as quickly as possible. But in order to succeed, it’s critical you explore your past mistakes. Don’t dwell on the negative; instead, use constructive thinking to effectuate change and learn from your experiences.

Making mistakes is scary, without a doubt; especially in the context of business when so much of your future is on the line. The biggest mistake, however, is allowing mistakes to paralyze you. Use your experience to power your future. Analyze what went wrong and how you can do better next time. The goal is not perfection, but growth and positive change.

Be Comfortable With Discomfort

As an entrepreneur, you’ll experience some discomfort as your business grows. This may mean lean finances, long hours, or multiple sales calls rejections.

Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to tolerate a certain level of discomfort requires willpower. Learning how to work effectively, even in less-than-stellar circumstances, helps you and your business grow.

Rise to Meet Challenges

Obstacles are the rule, not the exception, when you’re running your own business. Instead of giving into inertia, using willpower to overcome obstacles may open doors of opportunity you never could have foreseen.

The idea for Dropbox came from overcoming an obstacle as Drew Houston recounts, “I could see my USB drive sitting on my desk at home, which meant I couldn’t work. I sulked for 15 minutes and then, like any self-respecting engineer, I started writing some code. I had no idea what it would eventually become.” Houston solved a problem and turned his idea into a billion dollar international brand.

Acknowledge Your Feelings

You may be thinking emotions have no place in business. That’s not entirely true; you’re a business owner, not a robot. Companies are made up of humans and all the associated emotions that come as part of that package. To expect yourself to be able to shut down all emotion in a business context is simply not realistic, nor is it an effective means of achieving success.

To quote Albert Einstein, “Discontent is the first necessity of progress.” Knowing that something feels “wrong” or “off” might be the first step in moving toward a solution that feels right. If you’re busy trying to get things done while ignoring your gut, you might not realize it when you miss the mark or work towards the wrong goals.

Use Others’ Success to Fuel Your Own

Keeping up with the Joneses is a sure-fire way to make yourself feel dissatisfied with any level of success you achieve. There will always be someone who has something shinier, newer, or bigger. Constant comparison sets you up on a hamster wheel of discontent.

One way to reframe this type of thinking into something action-oriented is to use others’ success to light your own fire. Use willpower to emulate the skills and behaviors you admire. Don’t waste precious energy on envy; instead, channel that energy toward moving toward your own goals.

Above All, Practice Tenacity

Part of exercising willpower is avoiding the desire to throw in the towel when the going gets tough. Use creative problem solving to work your way through problems, rather than quitting.

As with anything worth doing, strengthening your willpower skills takes time. If you practice these principals despite setbacks, you’ll be well on your way to developing the willpower skills you need to succeed as an entrepreneur.

 

Originally posted on Accion

The Most Successful Entrepreneurs are Middle-Aged

The Most Successful Entrepreneurs are Middle-Aged

Here’s refreshing news for Boomers and Gen Xers, especially women considering starting businesses after 50 (who I’ve been writing about this year): When it comes to launching a successful business, youth is not the magic elixir.

“Successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged, not young,” according to Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship, a paper by Pierre Azoulay and J. Daniel Kim of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, Benjamin Jones of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and Javier Miranda of the Census Bureau’s Center for Administrative Records Research.

Most Successful Entrepreneurs: Middle Age and Beyond

“We find that age indeed predicts success, and sharply, but in the opposite way that many observers and investors propose, they wrote. “The highest success rates in entrepreneurship come from founders in middle age and beyond.”

The provocative paper published earlier this year may stun some people, but not me. It confirms what I’ve found studying and interviewing midlife entrepreneurs for more than a decade; I profiled successful launchers in my book What’s Next?

Refuting the Conventional Wisdom

The paper’s authors said: “Many observers, and many investors, believe that young people are especially likely to produce the most successful new firms. We use administrative data at the U.S. Census Bureau to study the ages of founders of growth-oriented start-ups in the past decade and find no evidence to suggest that founders in their 20s are especially likely to succeed. Rather, all evidence points to founders being especially successful when starting businesses in middle age or beyond, while young founders appear disadvantaged.”

While the authors parsed their research by age, geography and industry, I was disappointed they didn’t tease out data on gender; more on that shortly.

The study’s researchers calculated a mean age of 45 among the 1,700 founders of the fastest-growing new ventures. 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.

Older Entrepreneurs Vs. Younger Ones

As my colleague Richard Eisenberg noted in his Next Avenue column, research from The Kauffman Foundation, a nonpartisan group supporting entrepreneurship, backs the researchers analysis. In its 2018 State of Entrepreneurship survey of 2,165 business, older entrepreneurs reported having less difficulty starting their businesses than younger ones, in a variety of ways.

For example, while 32% of startup owners under 45 said obtaining the necessary licenses to operate their business was difficult, only 23% of older ones did. And 21% of those under 45 said applying for loans was difficult, but a mere 14% of those 45+ did.

The authors of Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship theorize that there are few reasons an older entrepreneur may reap the benefits of start-up success over a younger one. These include: greater management, marketing and finance experience as well as a richer, deeper knowledge of an industry. Also — and this is important — they may have larger financial resources to tap and more social networks to mine for support in leveraging their idea.

The Importance of Work Experience for Successful Ventures

That said, they explained in a Harvard Business Review post about the study, “we found that work experience plays a critical role. Relative to founders with no relevant experience, those with at least three years of prior work experience in the same narrow industry as their startup were 85% more likely to launch a highly successful startup.”

Since I’m particularly interested in women entrepreneurs over 50, I contacted MIT professor Azoulay and asked if he could speculate on whether the results would be as true, or truer, for women midlife founders than for men. “We do not have any evidence on gender, so we cannot enlighten you, very sorry,” he replied.

What About Women Entrepreneurs?

Frankly, I’m surprised the gender discussion was left on the table. I regularly receive emails and calls from women interested in starting businesses and looking for guidance. Generally, they’re over 50. The number of businesses owned by women in the U.S. has more than doubled in 20 years, and women are starting an average of 849 new businesses per day. There are now 11.6 million women-owned businesses, employing nearly 9 million and generating more than $1.7 trillion in revenue.

So I’ll take a stab at the question myself. My unscientific prediction is that if gender had been part of the research findings, middle-age and older female entrepreneurs would have risen to the top of the charts in performance over time.

Here’s why: As I wrote in this recent post, after 50 can be a great time in life for women to launch companies. “Research shows that women’s confidence at work increases with age while at the same time, their family responsibilities — especially related to child bearing and rearing — decrease,” Kimberly A. Eddleston, a professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at Northeastern University and a senior editor on the EIX Editorial Board of the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, told me. “This makes entrepreneurship over 50 a great idea and a possibility.”

Midlife Women and Entrepreneurial Mojo

Another compelling reason midlife women have entrepreneurial mojo: “With their greater work experience and confidence, such women are more likely to see opportunities for a new business — customers whose needs are not being filled and gaps in product categories,” Eddleston said. “In turn, their work experience often gives them the networks to successfully launch a business at this career stage. They also often have the financial resources to support a new business.”

Sanyin Siang, author of The Launch Book: Motivational Stories to Launch Your Idea, Business or Next Career, told me that women have a few advantages over men as entrepreneurs. For one thing, they’re connectors. “We tend to have a diverse network,” she said. “That’s a diversity in terms of people with different backgrounds.”

Another advantage, according to Siang: Women tend to be open to “collaborative entrepreneurship.” That’s a terrific asset, but one that many would-be business owners dismiss.

“There is this idea that when we are starting something, we have to do it alone, to be the front and center person for it,” said Siang.  In reality, she noted, “to succeed, you need to expand your thinking about what your gifts and talents are. It might not be you running that company. You might come up with the idea and partner up with someone who is much better than you at execution and implementation. That’s collaboration, and something that comes naturally for many women.”

David Deeds, the Schulze Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, concurred.  “Entrepreneurship is a team sport, and women are good at working with others. That gives them a little advantage.”

Serious Concerns for Women Entrepreneurs

We hear a lot about sexism against businesswomen and a lack of capital for women-owned enterprises. And both of these are serious concerns. Nevertheless, experts I’ve interviewed have consistently told me that decades of workplace experience can make a big difference in whether womens’ businesses thrive. “The added work experience and the associated boost to their self-confidence significantly assists in the development of their businesses,” says Eddleston.

And women in mid- to late-career generally have more capital of their own to invest in their businesses than younger ones. “The ability to invest more capital provides a substantial advantage to these businesses,” Eddleston says.

Struggles in Year One

That doesn’t mean it’s easy for women owners. In the first year of owning a business, female entrepreneurs appear to struggle more than men, according to The Kauffman Foundation. Only 52% of women with first-year startups said their ventures performed well last year, while 67% of men said theirs did. The difference, however, fades over time. Among businesses that are five years old or older, 77% of women and 77% of men said their company performed well last year.

So my advice to mid-life female entrepreneurs or wannabes: Stay the course.

As Maya Angelou said: “All great achievements require time”

 

Originally posted on Forbes by Kerry Hannon

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