By ADRIANA GARDELLA
Terri Maxwell uses the term “reluctant entrepreneurs” to describe the budding business owners she coaches through Succeed on Purpose, the business incubator she founded in Los Colinas, Tex. The incubator is intended for former employees, most of them forced from corporate jobs by layoffs, looking to recast themselves as entrepreneurs. The transition requires them to embrace a new mindset, said Ms. Maxwell, who has long enjoyed being her own boss.
Her introduction to the start-up world was rocky. She joined her first new venture, a systems integration company, as vice president of sales and marketing in 1995, invested $50,000 of her own money, and promptly lost it all. “I was broke and in debt, but bitten by the start-up bug,” she said.
Things improved in her next post as vice president of sales and marketing for an educational software start-up, Whole Village Technology. She said the company raised $500,000 in private equity funds, was sold, and broke even. Next, she joined the marketing subsidiary of a regional Internet service provider, Flashnet Communications, where she said she helped increase revenue to $35 million. Later, Prodigy acquired the company, an event that Ms. Maxwell said helped increase her net worth at the time to just over $500,000. “Given that I had no money in 1996,” she said, “I felt like I was rich.” When Prodigy made her a job offer, she declined.
Read her full story on the NY Times Blog...