6 smart moves for older entrepreneurs

Stick with what you know

Starting a business is already hard enough. Don't make it harder by jumping into something you know little or nothing about.

If you worked as an engineer for 30 years, you probably shouldn't open a restaurant.

The truth is, you simply won't have time to learn a new industry. Successful business owners already know their business and spend their time marketing, networking and selling rather than doing frontline work.

And remember, running a business is much different than reporting to work as an employee, says Brad Fortier, president of Fortier Financial in New Orleans. Some people have a hard time making the transition.

"People who have been in a 30-year job have often been conditioned to think like an employee for so long," Fortier says. "They have to learn to think like an entrepreneur and invest in themselves."