Not discouraged by a pay cut. It may take time before your business becomes profitable or your paycheck matches earnings from your last job. But for Gray, who's making less now than during her time at Lehman, the thrill of meeting other entrepreneurs and encouraging the recently unemployed to start their own companies makes up for the gap in salary. "Every time I find another entrepreneur who has another idea, I try to encourage them and I get really, really excited," she says, "because it's more exciting than anything I've ever done – except having my daughter."
Empty nest status. For younger entrepreneurs with a family, total devotion to their business may not be a realistic option. But for boomers, whose kids are likely out of the house, time is plentiful. "Now you can change your priorities somewhat. You don't have the demands on your time and energy that you did for so many years," Izard says. She adds that you can now ask yourself, "What do I want to do?" "A lot of people answer that question with, 'I want to have my own business.'" And if you no longer have to support your children financially, you can redirect resources toward your business venture, she says.
With her husband, Larry, Stout has a family of five kids. But by 2007, her house was empty and her schedule free of obligatory school and athletic functions. "You don't have any other demands on your life at that point in time that you have to deal with," she says. "You don't have all those parenting duties that you had before."
Corrected on 12/10/2013: A previous version of this story misstated Lynn Zuckerman Gray's former title. She was the global chief administrative officer for the Global Real Estate Group.