Money & Retire

How I Became an Ecommerce Entrepreneur After 50

Starting a new career in midlife can be one of the most exciting and gratifying events of your life. I speak from experience as I became an ecommerce entrepreneur at age 54. Here’s why this career works so well for women 50+.

A quick background: my previous careers included 17 years each in pharmaceutical marketing and as a chef. When the rigors of restaurant kitchen work became more than I wanted to bear, coupled with the desire for a flexible schedule that would allow me to travel, I made the decision to start my own online shop. That was 6 years ago and I’m so glad I took the leap.

Here are the steps that led to my success:

1. I chose a niche I was passionate about. For a long time, I had dreamed of living in a cozy log cabin in the woods; I also regularly attended local craft fairs. I combined these two interests and founded Rustic Artistry, where I partner with American artisans who design and build rustic chic furniture and décor.

I used the same personal interest criteria when I founded my second ecommerce business, Emu Joy, a line of natural skincare products made with power ingredient emu oil. After learning about the many uses for emu oil, I wanted to spread the word so that others could benefit as well.

It makes talking to customers from both businesses a pleasure because I’m so proud of my products.

2. I educated myself. Before launching my site I spent several months devouring everything I could about ecommerce. It was so energizing to fill my brain with all this new knowledge.

There are many resources available on the web for learning the ropes of ecommerce, including courses, blogs, webinars and You Tube videos on everything from website design to sourcing, marketing, fulfillment and more.

Initially I was a bit overwhelmed by all the acronyms and technical terms but now they are second nature to me.

3. I attend ecommerce conferences. I’ll be honest, working from home can get lonely sometimes. My husband and friends don’t really understand what’s involved to run a successful online shop. Attending conferences has been an excellent way to meet and mingle with other people going through the same challenges. Not only have I learned how to improve my business, but I also developed friendships with people who truly understand what I do.

4. I believe in myself. Here’s where age really becomes an advantage. By midlife we have experienced many challenges and have managed to come out on the other side.

In 2000 I attended a Tony Robbins program where I walked barefoot across 40 feet of hot coals, and also climbed up a telephone pole where I stood on top then leaped to a trapeze (yes, I was harnessed!). Both activities were a metaphor to teach me that I can do whatever I set my mind to.

Women in midlife are smart and spunky, and we absolutely CAN create a new career for ourselves that is fulfilling and profitable.

Her company is Rustic Artistry. And her other company is Emujoy


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