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. Retirement

    Roth IRAs Tutorial

    This comprehensive guide goes through what a Roth IRA is and how to set one up, contribute to it and withdraw from it.
  2. Entrepreneurship

    Multilevel Marketing Isn't Always A Scam, But It Often Is

    Nerium and Amway are popular direct sales companies that recruit new buyers and sellers to make a profit. Sadly, many direct sales firms are scams.
  3. Economics

    How Warren Buffett Made Berkshire A Winner

    Berkshire Fine Spinning Associated and Hathaway Manufacturing Company merged in 1955 to form Berkshire Hathaway.
  4. Credit & Loans

    A FICO-free Loan? See SoFi's Super Bowl Ad

    Non-bank lender SoFi will air its first TV ad during Super Bowl 50. Here's how it's challenging big banks by providing an alternative approach to loans.
  5. Entrepreneurship

    10 Characteristics Of Successful Entrepreneurs

    Do you have the qualities of a successful entrepreneur? Those who do tend to share these 10 traits.
  6. Investing News

    Super Savings for Your Super Bowl Party? Bet on It

    Prices for wings, avocados and TVs are all coming down, which will make your Super Bowl 50 festivities less costly.
  7. Investing

    5 Up and Coming Social Media Startups

    Although the days of Facebook's dominance aren't close to being over, here are some new creative platforms gaining traction on the worldwide web.
  8. Entrepreneurship

    Are You Really an Entrepeneur? A Reality Check

    If you are going to be an entrepreneur, and you’re doing it on a shoestring, you’ll need more than a good idea. Here are some skills to master.
  9. Entrepreneurship

    Digital Nomads in the Modern Economy

    Digital nomads compose a growing portion of the modern economy.
  10. Career Education & Resources

    Laws & Regulations To Know Before Changing the Name of Your Business

    Discover some of the most important steps you need to take after making a decision to change your legally established business name.
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 >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
  2. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  3. Presidential Election Cycle (Theory)

    A theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states that U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a ...
  4. Super Bowl Indicator

    An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in ...
  5. Flight To Quality

    The action of investors moving their capital away from riskier investments to the safest possible investment vehicles. This ...
  6. Discouraged Worker

    A person who is eligible for employment and is able to work, but is currently unemployed and has not attempted to find employment ...
Trading Center