As usual, Paul Solman on the PBS News Hour, comes up with the most interesting and useful segments! Last night he presented an analysis of whether 55 or 60 is too old to start your own business: How to Start a Senior Business for “Dummies.”
First of all, I KNOW that 55 is not “senior,” and his later statement about “late boomers” and self- employment is simply wrong. I was born right in the middle of the baby boom (1955) and I am 58 now, but I changed careers by starting my own business at age 50. Seeing no real alternative which did not include another idiot for a boss, I can certainly relate to this story!
You may not know that we are experiencing a new phenomenon in the U.S., the rise of the mature entrepreneur. This is happening partially because “midlife” opportunities were so rare in our past. Most didn’t live 30 or 40 years past “retirement.” Learn the many ways midlife has changed boomers’ lives in my new book: Find YOUR Reason to Be Here. This is your best shot at a once-in-lifetime opportunity to seek and find new meaning!
Most of us get into business either by accident, we see a need and fill it. Or we were dumped out of the system by the Great Recession with few real other options. And since most of us are highly trained and educated with some other forms of income, and willing to take risks, we found the energy, interest and confidence inside to do it now!
Let’s face it, boomers are the most experienced workers in the American labor force! Why shouldn’t we give entrepreneurism a try?
But, as they point out in this news segment, going it alone is not for everyone. It amounts to years of hard work with no assurances of success, in other words you have to love it and believe in what you’re doing. For me, it all came down to finding new meaning in midlife.
When I lost my job and career back in 2004, I had some time to sit alone and think about what I had accomplished so far. What did I need to do to feel good at the end of my life? I decided I wanted more fun and meaning in my life! It hadn’t been much fun up until then. That’s why I became a writer.
Entrepreneurship is the hardest job I have ever loved. In the past eight years I have learned everything about the writing business; from freelance writing to blogging, research, social media, publicity and promotion, authorship, editing, publishing and everything in between. Along the way I have made some AMAZING friends, some in places like Cambodia, Dubai and Australia. Best of all, I have gained the support of thousands through my blogs and social media.
Today I cannot help but wonder, what would have happened if I hadn’t lost my job years ago? Perhaps I wouldn’t have met my new and very much improved husband. Perhaps I wouldn’t get up everyday ready to enjoy another day of work. Perhaps I wouldn’t be thinking about my next book, and focused on all of the other wonderful things that might occur today.
These days, whenever I try to decide the feasibility of another new scheme, I simply say to myself, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” and stranger things have happened!
I have learned that it often pays to trust your crazy ideas! Maybe five years from now you will thank yourself for starting TODAY!
To learn more about mastering difficult life transitions you might enjoy my books: Midlife Magic: Becoming The Person You Are Inside! and my new one: Find Your Reason to be Here: The Search for Meaning in Midlife.
To find a new faith in love try: How to Believe In Love Again.