A 2007 survey conducted by Open from American Express found that baby boomer business owners see themselves as natural born entrepreneurs. The data suggests they started new businesses primarily due to a passion, as opposed to for money. Here are three examples of successful strategies used to find an entrepreneurial niche after age 40:

1. Carolyn Gable: Apply existing work disciplines to new situations.
Carolyn Gable went from waitress to president and CEO of New Age Transportation, Distribution and Warehousing.
Her Transformation
This single mom of seven worked as a waitress before accepting a customer service representative position at a transportation company. She learned the business and decided she could be her own boss. Today, her company attracts over $30 million in revenue from high-profile clients.

Success Tip
Gable turned her experience into a program to teach others how to become successful in business. Her book, Everything I Know as a CEO, I Learned as a Waitress (2007), details business leadership principles which she shares as a public speaker. (Learn what you need in order to succeed as a self-made businessperson, in Are You An Entrepreneur?.)

2. Gert Boyle: Turn adversity into strength.
Gert Boyle, CEO of Columbia Sportswear, grew the company from $800,000 in sales into a billion-dollar business.

Her Transformation
When Boyle's husband, the founder of Columbia, suddenly died in 1970, the 46-year-old housewife and mother stepped up to lead the company.

Success Tip
Her book, One Tough Mother: Success in Life, Business and Apple Pies (2005), discusses her family's escape from Nazi Germany and her life as wife and stay-at-home mom, as well as how she summoned inner strength to continue and expand her husband's business into a widely-recognized sportswear giant. (Learn how to design the ideal work environment from home, in Creating A Home Business Work Space.)

3. Don Kellogg: Cultivate new ideas into opportunity and partner for success.
Don Kellogg, inventor and co-owner of Telesto Medtech, created therapeutic garments used to control swelling.

His Transformation
In 1990, Kellogg's wife developed lymphedema, a disease which causes painful swelling of the arms & legs. He used his 35 years of experience in the design business to create a garment to reduce the swelling. In 2002, the NFL began using the device for sports injuries, propelling it into a $150,000 business.

Success Tip
At age 72, Kellogg continues to oversee technology and manufacturing for the company, while his partner, Mitch Kasper, manages other parts of the business.

The Bottom Line
Entrepreneurship does not have an age limit. Life experiences can be the catalyst to successful business strategies that turn passion into cash.

Related Articles
  1. Entrepreneurship

    What Does Bootstrap Mean?

    The term bootstrap refers to launching and building a business with little capital and no funding from outside sources.
  2. Entrepreneurship

    Top 5 Startups That Emerged in Denver

    Learn why Denver is one of the hottest markets in America for startups, and identify five of the top startups that are emerging from the Denver market.
  3. Entrepreneurship

    How Does ClassPass Work and Make Money?

    Find out how ClassPass makes money, how the company aims to help both businesses and consumers, and why it has been so successful.
  4. Entrepreneurship

    Top 5 Startups That Emerged in Detroit

    Learn how startups are changing the face of Detroit, a city long dominated by large corporations, and identify the specific Detroit startups leading the trend.
  5. Entrepreneurship

    Top 5 Startups That Emerged in Boston

    Learn why Boston is a hot market for startups, and familiarize yourself with a few of the top startups that have emerged from the city.
  6. Entrepreneurship

    Top 7 Startups That Emerged in Mexico City

    Learn why Mexico City has the potential to emerge as a major player in the startup scene, and identify several companies leading the way.
  7. Entrepreneurship

    Elon Musk Success Story: Net Worth, Education & Top Quotes

    Read more about Elon Musk, the South African immigrant turned technology and engineering entrepreneur and inventor worth $13.6 billion.
  8. Stock Analysis

    How Rollins Inc. Transformed from Radio to Pest Control

    Discover how Rollins, Inc. grew and expanded, making numerous acquisitions, transitioning from the radio industry to the pest control industry.
  9. Markets

    How TheSkimm Works and Makes Money

    Obtain information on the popular news digest newsletter, theSkimm, and understand how email newsletter publishers generate revenues.
  10. Investing

    Steve Ells Biography

    Steve Ells is a bit of an anomaly in the fast food world. By refusing to bow to the rules of fast food, Ells has created a restaurant that people will go out of their way to visit.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Venture Capitalist

    An investor who either provides capital to startup ventures or ...
  2. Freelancer

    A freelancer is an individual who earns money on a per-job or ...
  3. Warren Buffett

    Known as "the Oracle of Omaha", Buffett is Chairman of Berkshire ...
  4. Donation-based Crowd Funding

    Donation-based crowdfunding is a way to source money for a project ...
  5. Steve Cohen

    A trading magnate also referred to as the Hedge Fund King and ...
  6. David Tepper

    A legendary investor who specializes in distressed debt and manages ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. Can I buy insurance to reduce unlimited liability in a partnership?

    Partnership insurance is actually quite common. Most of the time, partners buy insurance to safeguard against the possibility ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are the benefits of prorating expenses?

    When a person prorates expenses between personal and business expenses, he is able to capture the maximum amount of tax benefits ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the relationship between research and development and innovation?

    Although it's possible to achieve innovation without research and development and it's possible to conduct research and development ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does the notion of the American Dream influence the US economy?

    The notion of the American Dream influences the U.S. economy because it creates the driving force behind the free enterprise ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do venture capitalist investors view sustainable growth in a startup?

    Venture capitalist investors view sustainable growth in a startup as necessary when considering investing in it. Typically, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How can I protect my business from my spouse during a high net worth divorce?

    For high net worth individuals (HNWIs), deciding to end a marriage through divorce brings special circumstances to consider. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!