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New entrepreneurs are choosing to start their own businesses after careers lasting over ten years, and the businesses they start are often in an entirely different sector.
21st September 2022

Entrepreneurs abandon years-long careers, start businesses

Patrick Crowder


New entrepreneurs are choosing to start their own businesses after careers lasting over ten years, and the businesses they start are often in an entirely different sector. The research from GoDaddy suggests that people are making the switch for increased flexibility and follow their dreams.

The survey of 1,000 business owners found that 70% of them started businesses in an entirely different industry than their previous career.

Julie Daly spent 20 years at an oil company before deciding to start her own interior design business, Verano Interiors. She says the pandemic gave her the opportunity to reflect and choose a new path.

“After working in an oil company for 20 years, lockdown allowed me to re-evaluate my life and I realised I couldn’t see myself doing it for another 20 years, so I decided to change direction entirely. I enrolled myself onto The Professional Interior Design course at the College of Interior Design and I’ve recently graduated with a diploma,” Daly says.

Daly is not alone in her pandemic-driven change. 17% of people surveyed say that the pandemic caused them to reflect and make the shift, while 10% say that they started their own businesses because they had been made redundant during Covid. Starting a new business without prior experience can be a major challenge, but Daly is rising to the occasion.

“I’m completely new to the business world so I’ve been spending hours learning, going to webinars, reading books, and studying,” Daly says, “As a business owner you’ve got to understand everything from marketing to finances, so it’s been a massive learning curve for me but I’m enjoying the challenge.”

The most common reason for starting a new business is the desire for flexibility, according to the survey. 41% say they want more flexibility, while 36% say that they are tired of working for someone else. 35% say that they are following a lifelong dream, and 30% say that their decision was driven by a desire to make more money than at their previous job.

Maxine Jones has also joined the long list of people who have left their previous jobs for a new independent venture. As founder of Maxicise, she describes how she started her now-thriving online dance workout business.

“At the age of 40, I quit my job and launched my own Zumba classes in the local community centre. I moved away from Zumba musically and morphed into MaxiciseTV, and in 2018 I started to livestream my classes online direct to my clients so that they could workout with me from the comfort of their own home,” Jones says, “My website was therefore crucial to my success. Clients use it to workout live with me once a week and on demand. I change over the workouts every week so that they don’t get bored, and I’ve introduced 20-, 30- and 40-minute bitesize sessions. The website is ‘all singing, all dancing’ literally.”

This growing trend of entrepreneurship following the pandemic can be seen everywhere. Students are increasingly skipping university and jumping right into the working world. The rising cost of living has made many re-evaluate their life paths, and the pandemic gave them time to ponder the many opportunities which await them. If you are considering a new venture, don’t panic – you’re certainly not alone.


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