Guest blog by Carla Lopez
Many people assume getting older automatically means slowing down at work and letting go of your career. However, even seniors who retire don’t necessarily stop working — they just stop having to. Plenty of older adults enjoy continuing their careers on their own terms once they’ve left the traditional working world. And one of the best ways to do that is by starting a home-based business.
This is an excellent career path for all kinds of people, but it’s an especially good fit for seniors due to the flexibility and freedom it offers. Seniors who work for themselves from home are able to set their own hours and workload, as well as work in whatever environment is most comfortable and accessible for them. Side Hustle Journey readers know how dedicated we are to helping people achieve their self-owned business dreams, so here are tips for seniors thinking of following this path:
Consider Going Back to School
This isn’t the right first step for everyone, but if you have no idea how to get started with a home-based business, consider earning a business degree. There are a ton of programs that can get you started on lucrative solopreneur tracks, such as accounting, marketing, and more. Plus, you’ll learn the basic foundational principles that will allow you to build a healthy business from the beginning.
If heading down to your local party school doesn’t really sound like the right fit for you, never fear. Most colleges offer online courses these days, and in fact, there are plenty of good, accredited universities that are entirely virtual. Not only does this allow you to study out of your home, but you can also study on your own time and at your own pace.
Use Your Network
When it comes to starting a business, a strong network can be your absolute best asset. This can leave career newcomers shaking in their boots, but it’s a boon for seniors. You’ve had an entire career to meet people, build connections, and develop relationships with smart people who can help push your business forward.
Your first step should simply be reaching out to people in your network and letting them know you’re starting a business. Explain what the business is, get their input, and ask them to keep you in mind or mention you if an appropriate moment comes up. This can lead you to gaining clients, finding employees or contractors, and more — don’t underestimate the power of knowing people.
Lean Into Your Hard-Won Skills
One of the best parts about being at the mature stage of your career is that you’ve got the stuff and you have the history to prove it. Lean into those skills you’ve developed over the course of your career and use them to define your business’s journey. For example, say you’ve spent your career working in collections, learning the absolute best ways to connect with past-due customers and get that payment.
Now that you’re starting your own business, you can use that experience to become a collections consultant. After all, that’s a difficult skill to develop, and if you have the secrets, you should share them — for a price, of course. This same principle applies to any industry and skill set — you can use the experience you have to craft a new, empowered path forward.
Finally, focus on doing what you enjoy. If you’re working in retirement, you should like what you’re doing. This is the time for passion projects, for figuring out what you do best and giving it your all. When you’re doing the work you’ve always dreamed of, you’ll be glad you took the leap.
For more advice on how to make your own path, follow The Side Hustle Journey today!
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