In June of 2004, I finally did it. I handed in my resignation as Director of Choral Activities at James Madison University, and began packing-up the formidable accumulation of books, music, and files from four degrees and 24 years of academic life. Distilled onto one little piece of paper that began with the words "kindly accept my resignation" and ended with "sincerely," my life as an Accidental Pren-her \u00e2\u201e\u00a2\u00a0began. Accidental because I didn't anticipate it happening, and pren-her (female entrepreneur) because I always knew I had it in me. Is this You? An Accidental Pren-her is a woman who finds herself starting up a business for the very first time. Surprised, to say the least, because she never thought she ever would, nor had she, ever before, seriously considered doing so. Yet, here she stands, wagging her head in disbelief as she begins her journey (the journey that so many women have taken before her) from Accidental Pren-her to entrepreneurial woman. What had she been doing with her life before she began her journey? Perhaps she had been climbing the competitive corporate ladder or entrenched in the Ivory Tower of academia. Maybe she had managed a non-profit arts organization, been a political activist, or a stay-at-home mother. At one time, she had been happy doing what she was doing. Then something happened. What happened? Something unexpected that changed her life. An influence so powerful that it is now shaping who she is, how she views her life, and what she wants to offer to the world. For some women, this all began when they were downsized. For others, when they were fired from their job or quit on their own thinking: there must be more to life than this! Still others began the entrepreneurial journey after their children left home. The loss of a parent or other loved one causes some women to rethink their life, as does divorce, near fatal accidents, recovery from a serious illness, and spiritual awakenings. Top 10 Characteristics of Accidental Female Entrepreneurs Have you had something happen in your life that has changed the way you are viewing life? Is there an Accidental Pren-her within you yearning to be set free? Read the following list. If you can say, "Yes, that's me!" to eight or more, there's a good chance you are an Accidental Pren-her. 1. You want what you are doing to make a difference in the world. 2. You like living life on your own terms. 3. You are not easily defeated. Where others see failure, you see opportunity. 4. You are a creative and innovative thinker. 5. You are a calculated risk-taker. Fear tempers you, not stop you. 6. You are highly self-motivated. 7. You have a wide range of interests and do many things well. 8. You engaged in entrepreneurial activities as a child. 9. You like making money. 10. You have an abundance of sustainable energy. If you are an Accidental Pren-her, or one in the making, what you've just read will have a resonating rightness about it, deep within you. So, what do you do with all this rightness? The first thing is to understand that everything in life happens for a reason and that there are no accidents -- only "accidents by design."\u00a0 The second thing is that whenever the unexpected lands in your path, it is always a stepping-stone to where you intend to go.\u00a0 Thirdly, there are no train-wrecks, only trains changing tracks. So, take your accident and turn it into a design. Read all you can about other women entrepreneurs who have gone before you, and seek out mentors who can support your vision and help you along the way. * * * * * About: Dr. Susan L. Reid is a business coach and consultant for entrepreneurial women starting up businesses. She is the author of "Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman's Journey to Business Success." Her website is Alkamae.com.