Being over 50 and unemployed can be a real wake up call. When I was being contacted more by AARP than by potential employers, I decided to break free and become an entrepreneur. Independence Day took on a whole new meaning.
The Accidental Entrepreneur
Actually, this wasn’t my first foray into entrepreneurship. I started 2 fun businesses almost by accident while our kids were being homeschooled. When our son and daughter headed off to college and the recession hit, I decided to accept a full-time position. The company had no idea I was 50 until I signed on.
Two years later, I was involved in a serious accident at work which forced me to leave that position and reconsider entrepreneurship. People asked me why I didn’t just file for disability or think about retirement. Neither option really entered my mind. I was determined to heal (which I did!). I also never considered myself to be old.
Unfortunately, future employers apparently did and so I found myself back in the entre-preneurial arena. But I am not alone. There are actually twice as many entrepreneurs over 50 than under 25.
Is Entrepreneurship Right for You?
For many, entrepreneurship has become the new retirement plan. However, it is not for the faint of heart. Some common traits of entrepreneurs include:
1. Motivation – You have to be able to keep yourself motivated and set your own goals.
2. Flexibility – Plan A doesn’t always work. You need to be able to go with the flow and try other options.
3. Willingness to connect with others – You cannot isolate yourself. You need to be able to network and connect well with others.
4. Ability to make quick decisions – You need to be able to react quickly to opportunities. Over-thinking things can cause you to lose out. Not reacting can also cause you to lose money.
5. Passion and stamina – You have to have a strong “why” or a compelling reason to start a business. This keeps you going. Stamina helps you to stick with it.
6. Organizational skills – You need to be able to develop and maintain a plan. Keeping track of your time, your schedule, and your finances is a must.
7. Energy and good health – You will need to take care of your body, mind, and spirit to stay focused. You also need to allow time for fun!
8. Support – Having a supportive spouse or family members can make all the difference in the world. Reaching out to coaches, mentors, and fellow entrepreneurs is highly recommended. Having a strong faith in your Higher Power will also see you through.
Ready to Rock!
Life’s short. I decided that it was time to do what makes my heart sing. How about you? If you need help starting or growing your business, I’d love to chat! Click here for a free strategy session!
What’s your story? Feel free to a leave comment!
Dori Staehle, MBA, is the owner and Chief Encouragement Officer at Rock the Next Stage. She is a business and success coach, speaker, and a personal branding specialist. Dori also plays percussion in a band, does drum therapy and fun drumming events, occasionally books local bands and solo artists, and swims laps 4 times a week.