Entrepreneurship Has No Age Limit – Female Business Owner Shares Advice for Those Pursuing a Second-Act Career
Kat Hammac is a multi-unit owner of three Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii locations, with two more in development. She’s an all-star performer who has mastered the art of running multiple family-owned businesses with her four children – living life and truly enjoying her new found success.
There’s nothing like adversity to awaken the inner badass within. I spent most of my life taking care of others with lots of ups and downs before pursuing entrepreneurship. Society tells us we have to become successful at a young age, so as I got older, I thought I missed my opportunity to become an entrepreneur. Fortunately, I overcame the age limit mindset and embraced the journey to a second-act career.
As a wife and stay-at-home mom with four children, I started selling organic eggs and other farm items to help my family make extra money, but quickly realized I wasn’t earning enough. I then decided to go back to school and get a degree in Nursing. I became a Registered Nurse and worked in the ICU until Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. The hospital I worked for never re-opened to the public, and shortly after, my mother became sick with cancer. Post-diagnosis, I took the time to take care of her. After overcoming many trials and tribulations, I still felt it difficult to leave my nursing career behind and seek passion elsewhere because of my age.
Thankfully, I did not let those fears hold me back. I always had a desire to own a coffee shop and I used the little money I had to go to coffee school in Portland. The hunger to learn and set out on my own motivated me, so I did a tour in Seattle to learn everything there is to know about coffee beans. Soon after, I started my own independent coffee company, but in 2018, I discovered Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii, became a franchisee, and converted two of my shops.
I trusted myself, remained ambitious, and am now enjoying great success in my late 50s with three prosperous Bad Ass Coffee shops open and two more on the way. Here are three best practices for pursuing a second-act career in entrepreneurship, even when you feel like you may have missed your shot:
Go With Your Gut
Everyone experiences gut feelings. From matters of personal safety to decision-making and relationships, the gut speaks to us. Wise entrepreneurs listen to their inner voice. I was not a coffee drinker, but I felt a strong pull to enter the coffee industry and knew I could not ignore my intuition.
I chose to actively pursue this dream and learned everything I needed to know to make it happen. Just because you do not have prior knowledge of an industry, does not mean becoming successful is impossible. Even after facing some downfalls, I always picked myself back up, fighting through the negative feelings that tried to intervene in my journey to success. The journey is always what you make of it. Be open to trying new things – you never know what may come of it.
Stand Your Ground
Although female business owners have come a long way, a woman’s success in the business world does not come easy. As an older female in business, there are more challenges to be faced. We have to overcome the stigma that comes with running our own business later in life.
Stay grounded and focused. As a woman, you have to be three steps ahead at all times. Make sure you have systems in place so your business can run as smoothly as possible. Most importantly, commit to continuous learning so that you always have a strong foundation of confidence and knowledge to lean on – if you do this, you’ll be unshakeable. .
Age is Just a Number
The old saying is completely true – you are never too old to make a change. Having several different life experiences under your belt can translate into unique perspectives and strong skill sets.
Lean into these lessons and unique experiences. They give you the tools and outside perspective to help you achieve your wildest dreams. Living through natural disasters, death, raising children, and learning how to handle each situation can help you navigate a business and the many challenges and opportunities you face while running one.
No matter your age, do not let it hold you back. Stay motivated, confident, and persevere towards your goals.