You Are Never Too Old to Start a Business

Ellen Rohr

Every now and then I feel the constraints of time.  On good days, it spurs me to get going.  On rough days, it makes me wonder, “Do I have enough time?  Am I too old to dream so big?”

Then, I call Earl.  Earl Fultz entered and WON $25,000 in the Wells Fargo Works Project Contest. Whoohoooo! I was asked to mentor him as part of his prize package.  When I first talked to Earl, I expected him to tell me his business was more of a hobby, a way for him to stay active and have some fun.  Because, you know, he’s old.  But, when I asked him him about his goals and he said, “My intention is to sweep Tabasco and Sriracha off the table, and take over their market share.”  Well.  Not the words of someone moseying into the sunset.

At 91, Earl envisions a billion dollar empire.  And I see him doing it!  He is just the guy to call if you need a reminder that age, well, it’s just a number. The time is now to pursue your dreams.  Here are a few biz tips I’ve learned from Earl…

  • Surround yourself with young people.  You’ll never hear Earl say anything derogatory about “Kids today.”  He loves youngsters and they love his product, cHarissa Authentic Seasonings.  Earl has a posse of teenage volunteers at his sales events.  Lucky for him, they promote him like crazy on social media, too.
  • Craft the vision…and delegate the heavy lifting.  Jeri Woodhouse is Earl’s ultra-awesome business partner.  She is a bookkeeping wiz and master salesperson.  Earl and Jeri have rockin’ team of business experts – including me! – and a long list of subcontractors and team members who are happily growing the business.
  • Leverage the passion.  Earl is not luke warm about his peppery sauce!  Spend 10 seconds chatting with him and you will find yourself holding a cracker loaded with cHarissa.  It’s delicious, so you will order a jar or a case, and write a blog about it.
  • Get thee on TV!  And radio.  And every newspaper and magazine you can.  Nail down your sound bites and practice smiling while talking.  Earl is media gold.  He knows that he could spend a fortune on advertising.  Or, get others to brag on him. He’s doesn’t waste an opportunity to spread the word…and the cHarissa!

Check out Earl’s inspiring tale at Wells Fargo Stories!

Category: Entrepreneurship
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