Boomers Have Big Hopes For Small Businesses

By DJ Christensen

By DJ Christensen

As we approach retirement age, many of us baby boomers are considering alternatives to retirement.  A growing number of us plans to forgo golf, travel and other pursuits in order to continue working through what have long been considered the retirement years. According to a report by AARP, 80 percent of those born from 1946 to 1964 plan to work after retirement.  Some of us are starting a business. In fact, AARP reported that 40 percent of U.S. entrepreneurs are over 50.  For those thinking to take advantage of this trend, Paul and Sarah Edwards, self-employment lifestyle experts and authors of “The Best Home Businesses for People 50+,” offer some advice. “Starting a small business out of the home at any age can be very challenging but rewarding.  Sarah and I have developed a few tips for our fellow boomers to keep in mind when embarking on this exciting new phase of their life.”

  • Do it Your Way. A home-based career allows you to decide everything from how much time you want to dedicate to your business to where you want to be located.
  • No More Office. Many experts believe that taking a business online is the easiest way to accomplish your goal of working while maintaining freedom. If your small business is located online, you have low overhead costs and can be found by customers around the globe without regard to where you are located.
  • Have an Online Presence. Virtually every business can be helped with a presence on the Web. This is easier than it seems if you work with a reputable Web solutions partner.  For example, Network Solutions focuses on small businesses by offering products and services such as Do-It-For-Me Web sites (DIFM), easy-to-use templates and 24/7 customer consultants. Such services provide you with a Web partner that will enhance your business.
  • Do What You Enjoy. “Becoming your own boss is an opportunity to do something you want to do,” says Sarah Edwards. “For example, you can spend as much time as you want on a hobby because you’re making money in the process, or helping other people, or working with the kind of customers you choose to work with.”

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Chutes ‘n’ Ladders — Life Transitions

If your life situation (working or otherwise) is about to change, read on:

Nice Day to Jump Out Of an Airplane.

“Great day to jump!” Image by Striking Photography by Bo via Flickr

There are several things you must do to transition:

  1. Assess your resources. These may include family, friends, savings, skills, reputation, belongings and other assets. Become clear about the people and things in your life that you can rely on.
  2. Take care of yourself. This is a daily task and includes your physical, mental and spiritual health. Turn off the tv, brush your teeth, get dressed, exercise, read something inspirational or motivational and make plans.
  3. Make yourself accountable to someone, preferably someone who cares about you and doesn’t accept excuses.
  4. Follow through on your plans.
  5. Practice gratitude daily for everything you have.
  6. Write something about your day to complete it and set out some goals for the next day.
  7. Sleep well and long enough. This is much easier to do when you know you’ve done everything you can for that day to accomplish your goal.

    Let’s unpack these practices:

  1. Take time to write down everything you’ve got. If you need money, sell off extra stuff in the local Free Trader, on Amazon Marketplace, Ebay, Craig’s List or some other marketplace. You’ve got shelter and food, so you have a base. Phones can be cheap and good (My Net10 works great!). Start your search for business, support and assistance. When you have savings or passive income (such as rental properties, royalties or business income), you have time.  You have skills, reputation and friends; call on them fearlessly. If you lack any of these resources, get busy and create them.
  2. Personal care is fundamental. Do we need to say more? Eat well, sleep enough, and stay engaged in life.
  3. Find an Accountability Partner. Being accountable substantially increases the odds of your doing what you say you will do. Most of us won’t keep promises to ourselves, but we will do everything possible to keep our word to someone else. There are a lot of ways to handle this piece, but you can start with a friend who will listen for your accomplishment and not buy into any excuses you make up. A side benefit of having a relationship like this is that your level of integrity goes way up, and there is a real material benefit to having that happen for you.
  4. There is power in doing what you say you will do. You already know where good intentions lead by themselves. Put your focus on doing the thing and acting as if you cannot fail. You will be amazed at what comes of it.
  5. Express sincere gratitude. That habit creates great feelings, both for yourself and for the person to whom you express gratitude. If you’re not in the habit, start. It will take work, but it gets easier and more delicious the more you do it. There is real power in actually doing this thing daily.
  6. Remember that every time you review your accomplishments you alter your current thinking. Writing multiplies the effect. The brain lives for feeling good. Accept no substitutes.
  7. Appropriate daily rest is fundamental. It’s part of our natural cycle of things. Just as your car needs service, your body and mind need time to regroup, repair, and heal. Although we are called upon to tax ourselves beyond sanity from time to time, this should never become habit. Your car doesn’t operate well on fumes and neither should you.

When you focus on simple acts of care, improve your support structure, and maintain your integrity, then you have a real basis to change the world around you.

Lemonade

I am fascinated by stories of people making their way on their own. This film recently came to my attention: Lemonade (a film about people fired from their jobs, who then discovered their passion and made a difference while making a living).

This is my juice. The film is available as a digital download from Amazon.com through this link.

Reviews on Amazon are good:

  • It gives you the tools to roll with the rejection and to rebuild a life on the dreams that were always there.” Mark Harmel
  • You will be better off for having seen it.” Maria T. Veale
  • For these people this event actually brought a totally new and better life.” Madalina Anca Uceanu
If you’re looking for inspiration, spending 3 bucks and 37 minutes viewing this film could be your juice too.
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