But I’m Not Finished Yet!
How many of you have thought something along the lines of But I’m not finished yet… as you arrive at a certain age and people start to ask you about retirement? Maybe you look back and aren’t happy with the pinnacle of your professional career, or perhaps you have lived out your version of success and still feel like there is more gas in the tank. As the world encourages you to go sit under your own vine and fig tree, you want to fight back and tell them all about how much you have left to give. Maybe wiling away the days in leisure doesn’t appeal to you (at least not all day, every day), perhaps you feel you never reached your full potential professionally, or maybe, just maybe, you know deep down that there is still a song left unsung in you, a mark you have yet to leave on the world.
Some people call it a side hustle, some people call it a second act, some people call it semi-retirement, and some people don’t have a clue what to call it, but the fact remains that starting a business after you have had a long successful career can be a fulfilling addendum to your working life. For anyone of any generation, owning your own business can be an immense source of pleasure and profit but this all holds particularly true for Baby Boomers. You have had a career and over your lifetime honed your unique abilities and skills. Now, in your retirement years, you can dust off that hard-earned acumen and package it to fund and fit the lifestyle that you want to have.
Owning your own business is the only work that can conform entirely to the life that you want to have. If you want to be done by 3:00 every day to watch your granddaughter or read all those books you have stacked up, we can make that happen. If you want to set up an online business to bring in passive income while you fly off to Spain, that is possible. If your “retirement” already consists of a slew of board positions, volunteer committees, and civic stewardship, we can build a business deliberately designed to work with that busy schedule. As a business owner, you decide when, where, and how much you work. You also decide how much you make (and it is surprisingly not necessarily linked at all to how much you work). Second act businesses can be the additional income stream you were looking for to augment that retirement fund you worked so hard to save…but are now looking to stretch. If the budget can account for living, but not living as well as you’d like, starting a business can be the extra play money you’ve been looking for.
More importantly, you now for the first time, have the flexibility and time to create a real legacy for yourself. No matter how you feel about your professional life thus far, you can consciously create the impact that you want to have on the world through the launch of your own business. In the work that I do with clients, most of whom come to me after a strong traditional career wanting to go out on their own, the emphasis is almost always on the impact… and the income is a natural byproduct. If you set out to build a business in order to make a lasting mark on the world, you relight the passion and zest for work that long years can easily extinguish. Your why, your reason for wanting to create this product, do this work, or help this particular market, becomes the driving force that fuels you and gives you energy.
To summarize, you should consider starting a business in your golden years if you want to continue working but with the flexibility to live the lifestyle you’ve imagined, if you want to create income to fund your new lifestyle, and/or if you have a legacy or impact you would like to leave behind. Okay great. This is where “But I’m Not Finished Yet” becomes “But I don’t know how.”
Starting a business can seem so daunting and many people come to me simply because they want someone to lay out the steps for them. So here they are. I pulled this outline directly from my radically successful program: The 90 Day Launch. These are the exact steps I guide clients through all the time to get them from idea all the way to income in three short months.
Draft a vision for the type of impact you want your work to help. Create a narrative explanation of the who, what, and why of your company. Who do you help, with what and why do you care about helping them? From that vision, create a product that fits both the impact you want to have on your chosen market and the lifestyle that you want to live. This is the hard part, but not harder than anything else you’ve had to do in your life.
Start selling your product. Before you try to tell me that you couldn’t possibly sell something this early in the process, let me reassure you that this process is PROVEN, but also I’ll tell you why it works. It is so easy to “start your business” but then spend months or years in prep mode without actually helping anyone, much less making any money. You and I, we don’t have that kind of time to waste. Sales is a process that takes time. Give your business a fighting chance by getting right to the sales and preventing yourself from getting stuck in the “not ready” syndrome. Additionally, selling will help you to hone your product and your marketing. Selling your product is as simple as finding attractive ways to get your product in front of people and asking them to purchase it.
Get set up with the tools you’ll need to run your business without sacrificing your life. That means setting up a website, creating marketing systems that are fueled by work you enjoy, and getting simple legal protections and financial systems in place. This is as straightforward as a checklist. (Shoot me an email and I’m happy to forward you a printable version of mine). For all of this, simple truly is best and the majority of clients I work with are pleasantly surprised to find that it isn’t as complex or expensive as the internet makes it feel.
While it may seem like an oversimplification to make starting a business into three steps, they truly do cover everything needed to start a successful business that plays off your strengths and creates the life and the impact that you want to have.
So, if you were going to start a business, why would you do it and what would it sell? I’d love for you to let me know which part of this article struck the closest to home.