Malcolm Forbes, founder of Forbes magazine, said: “The biggest mistake people make in life is not making a living doing what they most enjoy."

It is the worst of times, it is the best of times

In spite of difficult economic conditions and high unemployment, there is no better time than now to making a midlife career change, reinventing yourself, and doing what you most enjoy. One way to do this is to go into business for yourself, just as Michelle did. You can not afford to do otherwise.

Turn your life around

Here are six of my favorite strategies for making a midlife career change, turning your life around, and developing your own online business.

- Assert yourself and discover a new sense of purpose and direction at this juncture in your life; stop dilly-dallying in doing what others have been telling you what to do; overcome your tendency to take the easy road;

- Take measured risks as you transition slowly from your current situation, whether it be a salaried employee or a freelance worker, to building your online business; start slowly and let your business develop organically;

- Integrate your core passions into your online business as well as your core values and strengths; you are probably better at writing and expressing yourself than you think;

- Be creative in implementing an online business model based on sound principles for planning, building, marketing and hosting your site; learn about the best resources that are available for assisting you;

- Use your network of friendships built over the years to support your efforts, including former colleagues, friends and even your family;

- Follow in the footsteps of successful online businesses; learn how others have achieved success using the right approach and tools.

A case study in building a remarkable online business: Michelle's story

She was once just a "hair cutter" as one of her clients called her. Now she runs three successful websites.

For five years, she ran her hair-stylist business from home, building a large clientele and working in the evenings when her husband took care of the children. Then, at a workshop she learned about "passive income" and "Internet marketing." She did not know quite what that meant, but she soon learned that it was possible to earn more money that way than dealing with clients one by one.

She knew she had a lot of knowledge about hair styling, so she thought of writing a book. But she soon learned that having a book published is no easy task - which I also know from personal experience having co-authored nine textbooks. She also thought of putting together an newsletter online, but after some dabbling she gave that up because she lacked the experience and resources to carry it through.

She found the right all-inclusive e-commerce building program for her. It took her a while to come up with the money to buy the program. Once implemented, it gave her the breakthrough that she was looking for. Within a year her first site ( was ranked in the top 1% of sites on the Internet and was receiving up to 1500 visitors per day.

Encouraging words from Michelle

"I know longer work from home in the evenings and my income is constantly growing. Right now, it is double what I was making was standing behind a chair . . . I do what needs to be done the most at any given time and the nature of web site building is such that I stop to take a break at any point and carry on when time allows. I can work in my pajamas and fuzzy slippers and switch from work mode to mommy/caretaker to silly dance partner whenever the mood strikes."

Bravo Michelle.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Frank Bonkowski writes about midlife happiness, career change, self-discovery, goal setting, education, and midlife crisis. He also teaches English language and literature.

Together with Dr. Fred Horowitz, he founded Happiness-After-Midlife, a premier site that offers midlifers and beyond a new paradigm of aging based on renewal and reinvention. It explores vital issues, such as happiness, learning, transition, relationships, giving back to the community, and encore work.

Developed with Site Build It!, the website features a daily blog, articles, bi-weekly pod casts, and bi-weekly expert midlife interviews.