Starting up instead of slowing down: Starting a business later in life
After working for others for most of your career, it might be time to strike out on your own. Reluctant to take a chance on entrepreneurship so late in the game? Rest assured that you're not alone. Older entrepreneurs are turning to start-ups in larger numbers than younger ones. You are part of a demographic with a lot of experience to leverage.
Consider starting your own business if you want to:
- Reinvent yourself and follow a new path
- Enjoy more creative freedom
- Transition slowly from a full-time career to retirement
- Bounce back after losing your job and not finding a new one
- Develop new financial goals
What are some of the challenges?
- Risk: You may have to take on debt, trade benefits for less salary and risk your assets at a time when you should be preparing for your future. However, compared to a younger entrepreneur, you may have more savings to draw upon for funding and a longer credit history to improve your chances for financing.
- Time: Experience is on your side, but you may feel the pressure to achieve results more quickly than you might have in the past.
- Self-sufficiency: Less access to technical and administrative support now that you're on your own? New technologies can help you adapt more easily.
- Personal responsibilities: The time and effort required by a start-up may have an impact on your private life, but your quest for personal fulfillment could help keep things in balance.
How lucrative does your start-up need to be? Is your goal to make a lot of profit or to be fully engaged? Depending on your requirements, you may decide to:
- Turn a hobby or specialty into a business
- Use your past experiences to become a consultant
- Buy a business or franchise
Boomerpreneur, zenpreneur, or seniorpreneur — call yourself what you want, but know that as an entrepreneur, you're opening the door to an exciting and potentially rewarding future.