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Who’s Ready To Be The Boss? Setting Up A Business Over 50

Article by Karen Knott

Imagine this if you can, ladies….. you wake up in the morning and a soft glow of anticipation sweeps over you at the thought of the day ahead – a day spent doing what you really want to do and doing it in on your own terms. A day spent at the helm of your own enterprise, making money by doing what you do best…..

I suspect we’ve all had the ‘I wish I was my own boss/I’d love to have my own business’ fantasy, at some point during our working lives – indeed, many of us spend a great deal of time imagining it, whilst secretly doubting it will ever become a reality, especially once we hit our 50’s.

Midlife women leading the charge

But take heart all you doubters – there’s a very real revolution going on ‘out there’ right now, with energetic and dynamic midlife women leading the charge by starting up new businesses and actively embracing enterprise and self-employment, in ever-increasing numbers. 

It should come as comes no real surprise either, when you consider that this particular cohort of women currently find themselves at the intersection of two very powerful forces. One being the strong urge to change direction and do something different, which many (if not most) of us have in midlife; the second being the massive economic changes and challenges of the last few years.  Combine these two forces and suddenly, the idea of being your own boss and starting a business of your own is a very attractive option and a pragmatic way of securing your financial future.

It’s a popular notion that you need to be a certain ‘entrepreneurial type’ to  go into business but I know from my experience of working with them, that women from all sorts of different situations and backgrounds are successfully choosing ‘business’ as the best way ahead at this time of their lives.

• Women who need a way of earning extra income
Times are particularly tough out there at the moment and we older women have borne the brunt of the economic downturn.  The current financial climate has left many women in situations where money is tight, forcing them to dig deep into their own resourcefulness.  Creating a business – often home based – is an effective way to provide the extra income needed to help meet their financial goals.

• Women who want to quit the 9 to 5
After years and years of ‘working for the man’ in exchange for a monthly salary, many midlife women suddenly reach a point where they declare, ‘That’s it, I’ve had enough. I just can’t do this anymore!’  Minding someone else’s business and achieving someone else’s objectives becomes increasingly compromising and untenable. It often coincides a powerful urge to do their own thing, in a way that will add purpose, authenticity and fulfilment not just to their working lives, but to their lives as a whole.

• Returners to the world of work

If you’ve been out of the job market for some years, having taken time out to concentrate on bringing up a family, it can be a bit of a shock to find yourself to all intents and purposes ‘unemployable’. Women who have taken a career break, not only find they can’t return to their old working environment but often decide that they no longer want to go back because they’re looking for variety, freedom and flexibility way beyond what’s available in the job market.

• Women who have yearned to do this for a LONG time
Many of us make our move and take the plunge into the entrepreneurial pool when we hit our 50’s, taking the pragmatic view that if our dream is ever to become a reality it had better be now! ‘Time’ becomes the impetus for taking action.
I am continually impressed and inspired to see so many older women achieving their goals by running successful businesses. As someone who has ‘been there and done it,’

 I know just how satisfying it is being an older entrepreneur and for those who decide to take it, it’s a challenging and fulfilling journey.  There’s always a certain amount of risk associated with making any major change in your life and I certainly can’t promise it will be easy – things that are worthwhile seldom are.  I can tell you that the women entrepreneurs I work with are overwhelmingly positive about the benefits of being their own boss and that creating a business in midlife makes a profound difference to their lives and those of their families, customers and clients.

Photo credit: Ambro


Karen Knott works exclusively with wonderful women in their 40’s thro' to 60’s to help them channel their experience, knowledge and energy into a business which not only provides them with a sense of personal purpose but also makes them a great income doing what they love. She has over 20 years business experience and is a coach, a trainer and the founder of Prime Time Business.

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