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. I primarily provide business research and analysis to marketing professionals and strategic decision-makers. And I also provide coaching services to both new and long-time solopreneurs, which I started doing in response to too many requests for me to serve as an informal mentor.

The Reluctant Entrepreneur, my seventh book, comes from my heart; everything I talk about in it 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 usually find me at home in the boondocks of Colorado with my two dogs.


One thought on “Who’s Mary Ellen Bates?

  1. Pingback: More myths about going independent | Phelps Research

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