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Here's a fun story for you.

I'm 34 years old and currently the primary source of income in my home. I don't know if I'm considered "later in life," but I hope my story is helpful to you.

I was laid off from my position at a technology consulting firm in August 2001. Being an IT Consulting recruiter by trade, I realized that my chances of finding a permanent position in the midst of a crappy IT jobs environment was slim at best. So... I grabbed a fellow co-worker by the hand and jumped into the world of starting my own technology consulting firm. We met with our lawyer to sign our tax i.d. paperwork on 9/10/2001.

That's right, I ink'd my corporate paperwork on the day before the 9/11 attack. I can remember sitting at my computer and staring at my screen for hours at a time thinking, "what the hell did I just do?"

And guess what? We're doing AMAZINGLY well. We work like dogs (because I'd work like a dog no matter if I was self employed or an employee elsewhere), but the benefits and money have been very rewarding. If I can do it (the most whiny, afraid, wimpy person I know) - you can do it.

A couple of questions for you:

- What business are you thinking about starting?
- Are you thinking of working solo, or with a partner (remember, signing inc papers (llc, dba, whatever) is basically a marriage - you better darn sure know who you are marrying)
- Do you have a minimum 6 months living expenses and sufficient start up expenses set aside? Are you debt free?

You can do it - but make sure your financial life is in order so you can focus on building the business vs. worrying about your finances. Have a business plan, work cheap and stick to it. I'd also pick up the book, "E-Myth" by Michael Gerber - it has great lessons that I wish I would have learned before starting a company. A lot goes into running a company - much more than you will ever anticipate.

Good luck to you. Post back your decision - this is exciting!
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When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
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