Whether you are struggling to find work or are simply looking to generate additional income, there is no better time to start a business than when you are turning 50. Despite popular belief, launching a venture in midlife is not as difficult as you might think.
There are 3 golden rules to remember when starting a business in midlife:
- You are NEVER too old to start a business.
- You CAN turn passion into profit, and last but not least,
- An internet presence is a must.
“Age is a hindrance in the corporate job world, but it’s a major benefit in the entrepreneurial world,” says Jeff Williams, Arlington Heights, Ill., founder of Bizstarters.com
Businesses may not hire you at the age of 50, but they will definitely buy from you.
How, When, Where to Start a Business?
The first step is to get your creative juices flowing, determining what business you want to start and why. To get started, take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle.
On one side, jot down all your interests and passions, things you enjoy doing, things are reasonably good at doing, or things you want to learn to do. List at least five to seven. Don’t overthink it; just write down what comes to mind.
On the other side of the page, list all the things that you don’t do very well, don’t like doing, or are not willing to learn. Again, don't overthink, just go with whatever pops up.
The lists might surprise you or they might confirm preferences you already suspected. For example, you could be good at marketing ideas and concepts, but don’t like to meet people. In that case, an internet business is a good option. Let the results guide you.
Next, turn your paper over and ask yourself: "If there were three to five products or services that would make my own life better, what they would be?" Chances are, if they would be beneficial to you, they would also be beneficial to others. List them here.
Get Inspired by Your Own Questions, Preferences, and Annoyances
You can find inspiration anywhere and everywhere. It's lurking in everything you see and do daily. Any moment, any word, any interaction can produce a spark of pure genius.
Back in the days of video rentals, did you ever get charged a fee for returning a video late? Bet you just paid it and didn't do anything about it. Not Reed Hastings. When he got a whopping $40 late charge, instead of getting mad, he got inspired. Hastings wondered "How come movie rentals don't work like a health club, where, whether you use it a lot or a little, you get charged the same?" From this thought, Netflix.com, an online DVD rental service, was born. From its start in 1999, Netflix has grown into a big business with revenues topping $1.3 billion.
Or what about sitting in your favorite cinema about to watch a movie. Yes, the theatre offers soft drinks, popcorn, and many more items, but what if you prefer to have a meal or a hot chocolate or glass of wine while indulging in your movie? That's how full bar and full menu theatres came into being.
Literally anything can be the catalyst for a great idea. Start paying attention to those times when you notice something and think to yourself “Hmmm, I could do that better....or differently." Millions of would-be entrepreneurs get ideas daily and turn them away because they are too busy or think they have better things to do.
There are so many ideas floating out there all the time. If you don’t get inspired and take action by your ideas, someone else is likely to think them and follow through. Wouldn't you rather it be you?
So go out there and make a difference.