Who’s Mary Ellen Bates?

I am a long-time entrepreneur, have never wanted to build a bazillion-dollar business, and am driven by the vision of creating a life I love.

After a decade as a librarian, working in corporate and government settings, I decided that I had attended one too many “pre-meeting meetings”, gave notice, quit my job, and found myself unemployed joyfully self-employed.

Since that fateful moment in 1991, I have been figuring out how to create and build a profitable business while having free time to enjoy my family and friends and do the things I love to do. While I still provide business research and analysis to marketing professionals and strategic decisionmakers, I started providing coaching services to both new and long-time entrepreneurs in response to too many requests for me to serve as an informal mentor.

This book, my seventh, comes from my heart; everything I talk about in The Reluctant Entrepreneur is based on my experiences and those of the hundreds of entrepreneurs I have coached and worked with over the years. My approach is to assume that there is always a way you can make a living doing what you love. It’s just a matter of discovering that unique match between what you are a genius at and who really values your genius qualities. As long as you are willing to move beyond your comfort zone on a regular basis, then you too can be a successful, happy, reluctant entrepreneur.

The other places where you’ll find me include




web site


In real life, you’ll find me home in the boondocks of Colorado with my spouse and dogs.


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