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Five tips on starting a small business later in life from a senior entrepreneur

By Mark Taylor | Small Business

We asked Judi Townsend of Mannequin Madness what advice she had for those thinking about becoming an entrepreneur later in life than the usual twenty-something cliche of the startup entrepreneur.

I work with mannequins (Mannequin Madness is a small business that sells and rents previously used clothes mannequins) that don’t age, so I have to stay youthful. If you’re passionate about something, you don’t want to retire.

  • Embrace technology: it provides so much flexibility, levels the playing field and allows you to develop a small niche while targeting a big market.
  • The word “entrepreneur” can be daunting.  Instead think of it as “creating a new revenue stream doing something that I love.” So many people think “entrepreneur” means the type of person you see on the cover of “Inc.” or “Entrepreneur” magazines – which, by the way, is rarely a senior. Entrepreneurship can mean selling your wares at a craft show, being a consultant who works freelance or reselling someone else’s product or services online.
  • Don’t let fear stop you from getting started. Embrace it. It’s oaky to make a mistake. Women beat ourselves up when we make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to take a chance.
  • Pace yourself. Don’t take your entire savings and do it all at once. Take a little longer and go gradually. Start small and ramp up.”
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