Learn About How A 10-Year Old
"Accidental Entrepreneur" Succeeds As
An Adult Business Owner


Jeff Williams
Founder, CEO & Chief Coach
Bizstarters.com

Contact Jeff
Download newspaper profile of Jeff Williams and Bizstarters.com

At age 10, I had my first entrepreneurial encounter almost by accident.

Thanks to my grandmother's promotion among her bridge club ladies, I suddenly found myself committed to cut 40 lawns a week. So, I got three of my Little League buddies and together we ran a full-time summer lawncare business.

Even as I settled down into a fairly traditional corporate career path after earning a business degree from the University of Virginia, I continued to engage in entrepreneurial projects, such as earning a cool $1000 for organizing a Spring trip to New Orleans for a group of my college friends.

I started my sales career selling packaging materials for a division of Corning Glass Works, but quickly realized that what I really enjoyed was working with the marketing guys on new products, such as Corelleware.

Guided by the direction of the Corning HR department that an MBA would help me transition into product development, I scoured the U.S. for a MBA program that was strong in marketing and from which I could graduate as quickly as possible, as money was tight.

My choice: Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, which permitted me to graduate after four straight quarters, having studied with some of the top marketing professors in the U.S.

I'd been told by the business school Dean that I was being groomed to become someone's CEO, but I couldn't get the memory out my head of that summer when I was 10-year old entrepreneur.

When I finally jumped out of the corporate world at age 39 to start my first business, the Go Smart Business Start-Up Center, my corporate buddies used to rib me about what I was losing. 

But, by the time I started Bizstarters at age 50, the very same friends had changed their outlook.

Now, my Boomer friends continuously call me with ideas on how they can take early retirement from their corporate jobs and join me as small business owners!

I understand from first-hand experience the financial challenges that many of my 50+ peers are facing. Like more than 50% of the U.S. work force, I am not eligible to receive a pension. My retirement security comes from the salary and retirement savings my business affords me.

Today, I am a nationally-renowned business start-up coach and trainer and my Start Your Business NOW! Business Start-Up School and its companion planning workbook have won national awards for their effectiveness in helping downsized corporate managers successfully transition to self-employment.

I have written eleven small business workbooks, guides, CDs and DVDs, including my latest product - Start Your Business NOW! I regularly offer a series of interactive live workshops and telegroups, as well as acting as a Featured Advison on SBTV.com, the #1 source for small business how-to videos.

I am frequently quoted in national print and online business publications, such as MSN.com, Fortune.com, Wall Street Journal.com and Kiplinger's Personal Finance, from which Bizstarters.com won "Best Entrepreneurial Website For People Over 50".

To date, more than 4,000 new entrepreneurs have completed my business start-up training program.

I live in suburban Chicago with my wife Marianne, who's looking to start a post-retirement business after a thirty year career as a court administrator.

I take a hands-on approach with my 50+ business start-up clients – I’m always just one e-mail or phone call away when a business planning or management question arises.