The golden years are synonymous with retirement. I collaborate with and advocate for many senior citizens in my community, and the stereotype is that most senior citizens are not interested in entrepreneurship. The idea that older adults can and should start ventures as a viable solution to some of the economic challenges they face seem foreign to my peers and “experts” who want to help.
When Tom Flournoy was laid off at age 61 at the height of the economic recession in 2009, he was unable to find a job. He turned to family business. He tinkered around with his mom’s recipes and today Tom and Jill, his wife, own and operate Tom’s Tiny Kitchen Pimento Cheese based in Memphis, Tennessee. Their son, Ross Flournoy, is heavily involved with the business, while their daughter, McKenzie, works for them on occasion.
I wanted to know Tom’s key to success. It may sound simple, but adhering to simple values has taken an unemployed older adult to a business with distribution in area stores, such as Kroger and Whole Foods. What are those traits?
Tom explained, “Persistence. Don’t take no for an answer. Hard work. Be willing, able and excited to start earlier and stay later than your competition. Treat those around you with respect. Be kind to and respectful of all those you encounter, whether they are employees, suppliers, or customers.”
These are not old-fashion values. Tom’s success demonstrates that living out these values every day can lead to success in business. Read more…