Start-up Success Strategies For Boomer Entrepreneurs: Part 1

 Part I: STOP! What Are Your Non-Negotiables?

Dr. Marie Langworthy

Dr. Marie Langworthy

Without a doubt, entrepreneurship is alive and well among the Boomer generation. Several reasons contribute to this phenomenon — among them, an ever-growing number of Boomers with the time, energy, and financial independence to compel this generation to strike out on their own, venturing into creative career areas heretofore inaccessible or unimaginable. Boomers are realizing that they do, in fact, have the power to create a vibrant last third passage of life pursuing a financial goal and a vocational passion in their own time and on their own terms. 

But hold your horses! Wait just a minute!  As a Boomer, you’ve survived enough personal, financial, career setbacks and experiences to realize that nothing worth accomplishing is easy, that the road to success, however each of us defines it, is paved with hidden, strategically placed minefields, and that you’d better do due diligence, do your homework, and aim several times before you fire into the field of entrepreneurship.

For starters, STOP! Define your non-negotiables, and determine not to negotiate them! Start by identifying those ‘non-budge’ aspects of your life which, at this enviable point in your life, you are not willing to sacrifice, to do without, or give up, no matter what.  For example – 

Non-negotiable #1 – As a couple, you don’t travel separately anymore – anywhere!

For most of your married lives, you and your spouse saw each other sporadically.  Yours was a commuter marriage, as both careers required extensive travel.  You became expert at juggling work schedules, airline flights, and rendezvous destinations. You were on a first-name basis with hotel desk clerks, and accumulated volumes of frequent flyer miles.  Yes, now you’re joined at the hip, and prefer it that way.

Non-negotiable #2 — You have banished winter from your lives. 

Based in the snow-belt during your prime years, you raised your family amid the fun and flurry of ice-skating, skiing, sledding, sliding and skidding. As boomers, you have since happily  re-located to the sun belt, and the closest you ever want to approach even a facsimile snowflake is on the evening news, or on a greeting card you receive from snow-belt family and friends. You don’t do winter, anytime, anywhere.

Non-negotiable #3 – You’re allergic to cats.

When cats are near, your eyes water, your ears itch, you develop an annoying hacking cough, and your clothes magically attract seemingly magnetic fur and hair.  No amount of promise of entrepreneurial success is worth your coming in contact with these feline beasts, which, you’re convinced, conspire to target you as a helpless and hopeless victim.

What are your non-negotiables?  It behooves you to define and determine these well in advance. Be ruthlessly honest with yourself about what and can or cannot, will or will not compromise, let go, give up.  Otherwise, you run the risk of sabotaging your opportunity for success.

In Parts II, III, and IV, we’ll talk about three more strategies that assure your successful launching of your Boomer entrepreneurial idea:

Part II: LISTEN! Competition Is Everywhere!

Part III: LOOK! Flood Light? No! Laser Beam? Yes!

Part IV: Do A SELFIE! Do you have the right stuff?


Dr. Marie Langworthy is a retired educator and current author/editor. Through her online business, Super Writing Services (, she specializes in “writing it right”–the way you, the client, want to say it. Her recently co-authored and published book, SHIFTING GEARS to Your Life and Work After Retirement, is available on and on the Shifting Gears website ( Marie is a contributor to Boomer-related publications, web sites, and blogs, and is available for interviews on the timely and broad range of Boomer retirement issues. 


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