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Many successful entrepreneurs in history have turned their dreams into reality after age 60.
Cynthia Stewart is 64 years old. She and her wife are co-founders of Sustainable Options for Urban Living, Inc., a Chicago-based non-profit organization that brings training in construction, energy efficiency, and renewable energy to people who want to be self-employed. Stewart describes herself as a serial entrepreneur who was a rebel at a young age.
I’m in my 60s and thinking about starting a business. Where do I begin?
Take a little bit of time and start doing some real soul-searching and think back. Most of us, around adolescence [and] early adulthood, we had fantastic dreams. We had idealistic dreams. We had things that we wanted to do and accomplish and life gets in the way and those dreams go on a shelf and they collect dust and we forget about them.
So, I’ve still got time to reinvent myself?
The wisdom you have at this age can be put to work and it can be very valuable to the world. If you’re still on the planet and still breathing, then today is your opportunity to decide how you want to finish out this story.
Do you need a team to build a successful business?
I have to say that there’s nothing, honestly, that anybody does by themselves. There’s always a team whether we want to recognize it or accept it or not.
How do you promote your mission?
We do have a website and we do have our Facebook page. Our work is done working with others and leveraging our connections and resources kind of like grandma had to do back in the day.
What should I know about economics before entering the business world?
The economy is about circulation. If you circulate in your community — your dollars — you and everyone in the community prospers. We don’t necessarily have to compete against each other. There is more than enough for us to do and to grow and to have.
What if I’m interested in going back to school, too?
I highly recommend being a lifelong learner. I signed up to go back to school in July because there’s always something you can learn. If you learn something new, you can do something new.
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