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New Year – New Businesses for Three Boomers

baby boomer entrepreneurs

Part 1 in a 2-part series

New Year’s resolutions tend to come (and mostly go) because we don’t stick with them. However, rather than a resolution, think more about how you really want to live your life next year. Are you retired and getting bored? Are you still working but feeling unfulfilled? Or are you simply ready for something new? Why not take that motivation and turn it into something lasting for the New Year? Why not start a business?

We hear you! it’s definitely not going to be easy but as the saying goes, “if it was easy, everyone would do it”. However, Boomers in particular have an advantage over younger entrepreneurs. Boomers have had life and work experience. They have gone through ups and downs both personally and professionally and they know how to weather the storm. They also have a strong work ethic and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. There is a good reason that over half of small businesses are currently owned by people that are over 50 years old. And in the future, that number is expected to rise. According to research by ( “There are approximately 29 million people—2 in 5 Americans ages 50 to 70—that are interested in starting businesses or nonprofit ventures in the next 5 to 10 years.” So, this week LiveWell Placements wants to start you off with some inspiration and introduce you to three people who have turned dreams into reality.

Do what you love

Destiny Burns had retired from a 20-year career in the military and then went on to work in business development for large government defense contractors. However, while her career was financially lucrative, she felt like she was “draining her soul”. So, she decided to do something completely different based on her passion for food and wine. She moved back to her hometown of Cleveland and opened CLE Urban Winery, a handcraft winery and tasting room. CLE Urban Winery makes its own wine using grapes sourced from California, Oregon, and other parts of the country and sells wine by the glass and bottle as well as small food dishes. Now Destiny feels like she is “feeding her soul” with her new career.

Satisfy a need

Charlotte DiBartolomeo was a retired crisis interventionist as well as a former academic who taught conflict resolution. Realizing that many front-line responders in the healthcare field were suffering from depression and anxiety that was almost double the average rate, she decided to use her expertise to provide crisis management training. DiBartolomeo started Red Kite Project Consulting specifically to mitigate workplace trauma for medical professionals and she incorporates a variety of techniques including yoga, breathing exercises, wellness education and martial arts.

Drink it all in

After a successful career in the beverage industry as both an executive and the owner of her own consulting firm, Michele Burchfield decided to take the plunge and co-founded a company called Blume Honey Water. As the name implies, the company makes an all-natural drink that combines water and bee-friendly honeys with fruit, herbs and spices. Together, she and her co-founder (and friend) spent two years researching the perfect recipes before their launch. They are now in stores across the Mid-Atlantic region including Whole Foods, Mom’s Organics, Buehler’s Markets and Giant Eagle and Market District Stores.

These three women started businesses with some common denominators that included doing what you know and doing what you feel passionate about. And while they are all Baby Boomers, they are also part of a growing trend of women-owned businesses in the U.S. Women now make up 40% of new entrepreneurs which is the highest percentage since 1996 according to a 2016 study by the Kauffman Index of Startup Activity. Now, as we said before, we know it’s not easy to start something new. So, next week we are going to outline some of the practical things that you should consider before you determine if this is the right path for you. In the meantime, keep dreaming about all the possibilities!

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