Thriving Olderpreneurs

Nancy MacIntyre co-founded Fingerprint Digital shortly after her 50th birthday, a departure from the common image of the young startup entrepreneur. Eight years later, her children’s app platform employs 32 people, has raised $25 million from investors and plans to become profitable this year.

Older entrepreneurs like MacIntyre aren’t anomalies, though. A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests middle-age and older founders of high-growth companies are more successful than their younger counterparts. I recently wrote about MacIntyre and the NBER research for Forbes.com.

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La Colombe Sees Coffee Revolution

Enjoyed interviewing La Colombe Coffee Roasters CEO Todd Carmichael recently for my first Forbes story, published Sept. 25. The company’s canned Draft Latte became the fastest-growing ready-to-drink coffee product within months of its national rollout.

San Antonio Community Banking

Independent Banker magazine recently published my profile of San Antonio and its community banks. The Independent Community Bankers of America will be holding their convention there next month. I learn something new with almost every story!

Chat Bots for Recruiting

Imagine applying for a job and having your initial interview by text – with a chat bot. It might sound impersonal, but wouldn’t it be better than sending your resume into the abyss, never to hear whether it got to the right person, much less why it did or didn’t look good to the employer?

Bots, automated interviewers, are starting to help employers “talk” to job applicants, sort through applications to find the most suitable candidates, and provide job hopefuls with guidance, answers and feedback. Here’s my SHRM Online story on the emerging technology.

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Entrepreneurs and Depression

Entrepreneurs often work in isolation, which can exacerbate any depression they may experience. And depression, in turn, can make it harder for entrepreneurs to run their businesses. Here’s an article I recently wrote on the topic for Weebly. In it, entrepreneurs share their experiences and advice for handling depression. – DWB

Glutei Maximi in Cathedra

The novelist David Westheimer (Von Ryan’s Express, My Sweet Charlie) was my grandfather’s first cousin, although, born 20 years later, was closer in age to Grandpa’s children and attended high school with some of them.

I never met first-cousin-twice-removed David in person; he moved his family from our hometown of Houston to California around the time I was born. For a while in the 1990s, however, we struck up a friendly e-mail correspondence. He was kind and generous — inquiring about the leaves on my branch of the family tree and providing writing advice when I asked.

I no longer have easy access to our emails. On my end, they arrived via now long-retired AOL software — the kind you could load from floppy disks — on my IBM desktop with 14.4 dial-up modem. (I think the computer came with a coupon for a free Windows 95 upgrade.) If you’re 30 or older, you remember those heady days, right? My e-mails and other digital correspondence from that time are saved on a couple of CDs and, I suspect, are irretrievable except by the most savvy and costly computer sophisticate.

Anyway, while I may not recall the exact words, I do remember a helpful bit of writing advice from David Westheimer: Keep your seat in the chair. As in, keep your bottom in that startup-photos_writerchair and keep writing.

Sure, this advice may fly in the face of the current medical consensus on the dangers of sitting all day, but it’s great advice for making progress on your writing projects. The advice may seem obvious, but for us fidgety, short-attention-span types, it’s sometimes easier said than done. Lately, though, I’ve been pushing through more often, keeping my seat in the chair for longer stretches, even if they’re interrupted by bursts of activity to ward off premature death from a sedentary lifestyle (here’s hoping).

Doing this leaves me with a good, productive feeling, and for good reason — I’m getting more done, sooner, than I would otherwise.

Whether working on the great American screenplay or the next women’s literature bestseller, covering hedge funds or reporting on warehouse logistics trends, writers generally benefit from keeping seats in chairs. For the sake of health, the concept extends to standing desks as well. In that case, keep your feet on the floor? Keep standing, and keep writing. -By Dinah Wisenberg Brin

Success Stories

Do you have a success story to tell? Readers — whether they be news subscribers, employees, clients or members — are hungry to learn how someone made it. Here’s canstockphoto0697088a piece I did a bit over a year ago for Above, RE/MAX’s magazine for its real estate agents. In this story, listing agent Cecilia DeFreitas (not the woman seen jumping for joy in this stock photo) shares tips on selling luxury homes. Whatever your endeavor, what success tips do you or your team have to share?