Month: December 2016

Starting a business mid-life

Starting a business mid-life

Starting a business mid-life

starting a business mid-lifeThere are a number of reasons to look at starting a business mid-life once you are heading to or past the magic age of fifty.

Getting to a half century doesn’t mean your nearly “out”, it means you finally have a chance to put all those resources you have been gathering to good use.

I had a mentor several years ago who said that in an ideal world we spend a third of our life learning how to do something, a third of our life doing it and a third of our life giving back or showing other people how to do it. So starting a business mid-life is not a bad idea is it?

Life is never that neat and tidy but in theory I think it is great. So if you look at a productive life cycle, from 20 – 40 we are learning to do something, 40-60 we are doing it and 60+ we share, teach and give back.

So it sounds a little idealistic – I get it. The whole theory gets busted when you look at digital commerce where more and more people seem to spend a month learning to do something, then sell it to a whole pile of people for a few months before becoming “experts” and charging us a lot for a course to learn what they learned in a month. At least it seems that way!

So in reality, what I am saying is in those mid-life years, the senior “gap years”, we are at our most productive.

It is also reality that many people my age question how valuable they may be to an employer… what if I lose my job!

Frankly, there is some truth to the fact that in such a fast changing world it can be hard to keep up as an employee.

As an entrepreneur however, when you are thinking of starting a business mid-life, it is quite different.

There is always some fear and trepidation when you think about starting a business, but think about your strengths when it comes to becoming a solopreneur or entrepreneur.

1. You have gained wisdom (hopefully!)

2. You have seen a lot of things go wrong – that is experience and it is very valuable

3. You probably have a better handle on finances than a young entrepreneur

4. You are a little more level headed. You know the difference between risk and stupidity.

5. You have developed a network of connections

6. You have a little more time to devote without raising a family at the same time.

That is a pretty good A list of positive attributes.

The problem is we don’t focus on our strengths when we compare to other people. We compare our weakness and look at their strengths – it is a losing game form the start. So instead look at the list above, add some more to it and get going…. there really is no time like the present.

Happy new year

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Business Advice – The worst I ever received!

Business Advice – The worst I ever received!

business adviceMany people ask myself and my business partner why we appear to be having so much fun in business. They are in a way seeking business advice from us.

It is a startlingly common question usually followed by “I wish my life was like that”.

Well frankly, they probably don’t because there is an awful lot of hard work to get to this point and stay here. And it doesn’t all smell of roses along the way! If you seek business advice, you will likely hear that whatever you embark on, you will naturally find challenges along the way,

Business Advice

But here is what I consider to be a big part of the secret.

When you plan a business or project, why not start with laying out the fundamentals that you enjoy. What would energize you to go to work every day and be positive even when it does not go the way you want it to?

Along the way in business I have heard so many bad pieces of advice, including:

“It doesn’t matter what you do, it matters what you make at the end of the day” or
“Never turn your passion in to a business, it will ruin a good hobby”.. really?

There are many more saying that are along the lines of the bottom line being only the money and this, I believe is where most people fall in to the trap of a daily routine they do not enjoy.

So, for 2017, how about you write a new business plan. Not for a new business, but what about for you personally?

Lets start 2017 by looking at how you might want to live, or the things you might want to do. Perhaps a top 20 list of what you would like to accomplish during the year.

For goodness sake, don’t write anything about income, or work because that is where we fall in to the trap. We measure our ability to achieve things by our relative access to time and money.

What if those parameters did not exist?

My wife and I did exactly that in 1994 and found out in the process that we don’t even like work! It was not in our top ten list of things to do – imagine that.

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