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Entrepreneurship and Over 40 Dream Chasers

Entrepreneurship and Over 40 Dream Chasers

The risk-taker of your youth slowly abandons you over time. There is so much more to lose. You have established your career. You have children and a mortgage. You have a degree in your field. You certainly cannot risk losing all you have built. Or, can you?

For some, it makes sense to start a business later in life. That experience you gained in your regular 9 to 5, you can apply to your own business. The connections and relationships you built for someone else’s business, you can do for your own. There have been so many professional and life experiences a person has by the time they are over 40. You lived and learned.

What are those things you look back on and say “I wish I would have?” If starting your own business is a dream of yours’ that you think is out of reach, maybe the stories of these five women below will help inspire you.

1. Lynda Weinman

Weinman co-founded Lynda.com at the age of 40. Weinman taught herself how to use a computer and later became a graphic arts professor. She identified that college students needed to know how to publish to the web. She wrote a book, 'Designing Web Graphics' which later inspired Lynda.com. Lynda.com was sold to LinkedIn for $1.5 billion in 2015.

2. Julia Child

Now a household culinary name, Child had a background in advertising before she decided to write her first cookbook at age 50. She was inspired by her love for cooking. Following her true passion, she had an extremely successful career doing what she loved.

3. Ernestine Shepherd

Shepherd is now America's oldest female bodybuilder. Something as simple as not liking the way clothes fit during a shopping trip with her sister, prompted her and her sister to start working out at age 56. She lost her sister to a brain aneurysm, and for a moment lost her will to exercise, but quickly gained her inspiration through a dream she had about her sister. Since then, she has consistently worked out and built a brand for herself. Now 82 years old, she continues to teach and inspire others.

4. Angie Higa

Everyone on this list is not a big or well-known name. Higa spent over twenty-seven years in the banking industry before starting her company Sky Dreams which makes travel blankets and comfort pillows. The company was inspired after she caught a bad cold during a long flight because there were no available blankets. She has always enjoyed sewing and designing and is now able to run a successful business doing what she loves.

5. Lynn Brooks

Lynn Brooks started a business called Big Apple Greeters which pairs new visitors to NYC with a volunteer "greeter" to tour the city with them. Through her travels around the world, she met many people who wanted to visit New York but many were too intimidated. Lynn loved New York and wanted people to feel welcomed when they visited. Although Lynn passed away in 2013, Big Apple Greeters still provides visitors to New York a welcoming experience.

These are just a few women who dared to start their business dreams after 40, but maybe there is already inspiration around you if you look hard enough. According to the latest American Express State of Women-Owned Businesses report, forty-eight percent of women-owned businesses are owned by those between 45 and 65. Some women founded their businesses before 40, but the inspiration is that they are still doing it! Why not you?