Questions & Answers

Posted by Pierrette Hebert on 2014-03-31 12:47:13
Title: I have read (and re-read) "All In" - great read and reference book. I have also read several other ...
Category: Leadership

I have read (and re-read) "All In" - great read and reference book. I have also read several other books with advice on starting a business. My question is this. Why can I not find a book on starting a business for seniors? I am 65 and starting my own law firm after working for the government for 30+ years. The books I have read are mute or discouraging of seniors starting a business. With the silver tsunami upon us, many people my age are finally free of the responsibilities that tied them to a 9 to 5 job for years. We are physically and mentally capable and anxious to try a new business but there is no encouragement and or resource/reference for us. I am thinking of doing the research and writing a book myself ...someday. I would have liked to ask Arlene this question at Centrepoint next week but every penny I have is going into my business so I won't be attending. Thanks.


Lisa Taylor
2014-04-07 17:11:57


Thanks for submitting a great question! Women over the age of 50 are currently the fastest growing demographic of new entrepreneurs in Canada and there are some great resources to help you along your way.

You mentioned that you are considering starting your own law firm. My first question would be “why?” There are lots of great reasons to hang out a shingle and start a new firm. Which drive you and excite you about the opportunity ahead? Have you explored the difference between wanting to be an entrepreneur versus wanting to be entrepreneurial? How well does starting a new firm meet all your career sweetspot criteria that include your needs, passions, talents and market needs?

At the heart of your question is a need to really identify what is different about entrepreneurs who start their businesses in their 50s, 60s or 70s compared with the general challenges and glories of entrepreneurship. Challenge Factory’s experience working with entrepreneurs in this demographic has found that there are unique and specific identity, reputation, financial and relationship issues critical to anyone transitioning into entrepreneurship for the first time later in their careers.

Here are a few resources you might want to explore:

The Ontario Bar Association is holding a full day workshop for lawyers who are launching their own practices and firms. The day covers key topics related to financing, branding and operating this specific type of business. More information and registration can be found here:  Perhaps the Quebec bar is holding a similar event – or would be willing to do so if approached? – check out the blog and bi-weekly newsletter full of resources and advice for Boomers making career transitions. There are also community meetings the first Wednesday of each month in Toronto (and soon to be online, in Calgary and Ottawa) where questions just like yours are discussed.

Pivot Magazine has also recently added a “Seniorpreneur” column to their publication focusing specifically on the issues relevant to older enterpreneurs.

Finally, many books and magazines for entrepreneurs will have advice, models and support that is relevant to people considering starting a business, at any age.  Good business advice is relevant to entrepreneurs of all ages.

I hope you’ll be in touch and let me know what you think of the resources listed and what you decide to do about launching your firm.

Lisa Taylor, President, Challenge Factory Inc