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The 10-year switch: Research shows entrepreneurs start their first business after a decade in their day job

by uma


  •       New research reveals business owners make the switch after 10-year careers
  •       More flexibility (41%) and not working for someone else (36%) cited as top reasons
  •       Switchers hail from retail (15%), teaching and education (7%) and finance (7%)
  •       Julie Daly, operations supervisor at an oil company, turned interior designer; and Maxine Jones, investment banker turned celebrity fitness trainer, explain why

6 July 2022: Employees give in to their entrepreneurial itch and start working for themselves after a decade in their day job, according to a new study.

The research* among more than 1,000 small business owners also uncovered that nearly three quarters (70%) of entrepreneurs chose to launch a business in a different industry to the one they have previously worked in.

One entrepreneur who chose to do something radically different was East Londoner and GoDaddy customer Maxine Jones, who traded in their 20-year career as an investment banker to become a fitness instructor – producing the hit workout DVD “Lorraine Kelly – Living to the Max”

Maxine Jones, founder of Maxine Jones, said:

“At the age of 40, I quit my job and launched my own Zumba classes in the local community centre. I moved away from Zumba musically and morphed into MaxiciseTV, and in 2018 I started to livestream my classes online direct to my clients so that they could workout with me from the comfort of their own home.

“My website was therefore crucial to my success. Clients use it to workout live with me once a week and on demand. I change over the workouts every week so that they don’t get bored, and I’ve introduced 20-, 30- & 40-minute bitesize sessions. The website is ‘all singing, all dancing’ literally.”

When asked why they made the switch, two in five said they wanted more flexibility (41%) and more than a third admitted to being tired of working for someone else (36%). A similar number (35%) said they were following a life-long dream, whilst three in ten (30%) said they wanted to earn more money.

Unsurprisingly, the pandemic also had a part to play, with nearly a fifth (17%) saying Covid-19 made them reevaluate their life and a further 10% saying they had launched their business because of being made redundant. 

The research highlighted that of all the professions, the most popular industries that entrepreneurs are switching from are retail (15%), teaching and education (7%), accountancy, banking, or finance (7%), technology (7%) and sales (6%).

GoDaddy customer Julie Daly made the switch to follow her dreams.

During the pandemic Daly, from Aberdeen, transitioned from operations supervisor at an oil company to interior designer. She had been in oil for 20 years.


Julie Daly, founder of Verano Interiors, said:

“After working in an oil company for 20 years, lockdown allowed me to re-evaluate my life and I realised I couldn’t see myself doing it for another 20 years, so I decided to change direction entirely. I enrolled myself onto The Professional Interior Design course at the College of Interior Design and I’ve recently graduated with a diploma.

“I’m completely new to the business world so I’ve been spending hours learning, going to webinars, reading books, and studying. As a business owner you’ve got to understand everything from marketing to finances, so it’s been a massive learning curve for me but I’m enjoying the challenge.

“I spent a lot of time deciding what to prioritise and what to invest in. My website is crucial to my business as it’s my virtual shop window. Originally, I tried to build my own, but I was unhappy with it and couldn’t make it look professional, so that’s when I decided to hand it over to GoDaddy and it has been totally transformed.”

Ben Law, Head of UK & Ireland, GoDaddy, said:

“GoDaddy is a champion for everyday entrepreneurs, helping them to create an online presence. It’s inspiring to hear the stories of entrepreneurs who have launched their own venture after completely different, specialised careers. It shows that no matter what stage of life you’re at, there’s always the option to follow a passion or challenge yourself.


“These career-switching entrepreneurs – alongside the wider community of entrepreneurs – are the backbone of the UK economy and they need the right support to grow and prosper. GoDaddy provides all the tools and help entrepreneurs need to succeed online or in-person.”           



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