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Late Bloomer

If you're just now realizing you're an entrepreneur at heart, not to worry. Here's why starting a business after 40 could be the best thing that ever happened to you.

By Nichole L. Torres • May 5, 2006 Originally published Oct 10, 2003

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You've let entrepreneurship remain in your dreams all theseyears. But maybe now that the kids are grown and you've spent20 years or more as someone else's employee, your dreams areroaring to the surface. You're in your 40s, 50s or 60s, andyou're feeling the undeniable pull of the entrepreneurial life."Since 9/11, people in general are not waiting to realizecertain dreams," says Kris Zeile, business coach and presidentand founder of The Coaching Consortium in Barrington, Illinois."People in their 40s and 50s are motivated to try somethingnew because they realize they don't have unlimitedtime."

Many entrepreneurs over 40 have already embraced the "notime like the present" mentality. To hear these entrepreneurstell it, starting a business later in life was the best thing thatever happened to them. It was a blessing in disguise to Ron Meritt,founder of Meritt Electronics, when he was laid off from hiscorporate job at the age of 44. In his former career, he saw apattern forming. Meritt would get hired by companies to set upservice and management processes. Once he'd get the processesup and running--which generally took about three and a half to fiveyears--he'd get laid off. "I worked myself out of ajob," says Meritt, now 49. After cycling through the hire/workhard/layoff process this last time, Meritt had an epiphany. Hedidn't want to find himself in his mid-50s and laid off again."I thought, 'I'd better take that leap of faithnow.'"

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