Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Entrepreneurship and the mid-life restart

It's been a busy summer. But I took time tonight to answer a letter from an entrepreneur in rural Canada who wanted some advice on starting a small processing business after a lifetime of working for other people.

My reply:

Hi Bill (name changed to protect the innocent). It sounds like you have the makings of a true entrepreneur! 

Have you considered a partner? As I wrote in my latest column, coincidentally, I think all entrepreneurs should have partners.
He or she could work on sales or marketing or admin, for instance, while you focus on the actual production work.

For space, you might see if there are any co-working spaces, or business incubators, in the city. Failing that, are there any industrial businesses that have extra space they don't currently need that you could rent out?

I strongly suggest you find an experienced local entrepreneur who could mentor you through your startup. People who have started businesses and been successful are often eager to "give back," and it sounds like you are the sort of person they might like to work with. I know many entrepreneurs who have found terrific mentors just by cold-calling business people they admire or respect.

There's lots of ways to handle your challenge, but you've started out well by asking for help. Reach out to everyone you can, and you'll find friends you didn’t know you have.

All the best. Let me know how it goes.


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