In my last post, I talked about a potential strategy for getting your life back, and I proposed a three-part plan: Re-enter, Re-evaluate and Re-trench. I believe the three "re's" represent a practical, measured way to emerge from the pandemic with a set course of action.
As part of the "Re-evaluate" phase, you may be considering what your current and future work life should look like. If you have been laid off, you are certainly not alone -- but as a Boomer, you are more vulnerable than most other workers. It should come as no surprise that Boomers face significant age discrimination when it comes to being re-hired by a previous employer or getting a position with a new employer. While it is often a short-sighted strategy, the harsh reality is that employers often opt for younger employees who simply cost less than Boomers, despite our experience and work longevity.
One way to "re-trench" is to start your own business. Even under the best of economic conditions starting a business can be risky, so a legitimate question becomes, "Is it crazy to start a business now?" The answer is not the same for everyone. If you have specialized expertise, business contacts, financial security and an independent spirit, this could be an ideal time to start your own business.
Writing for Entrepreneur, Rick Terrien makes a strong case for older workers to be proactive about their future by launching a 1-person business now. He writes:
"Being proactive allows you to grow your networks and put the building blocks in place to work and contribute as long as you want. For most people, it is easy and inexpensive to launch one-person Limited Liability Companies (LLCs). Creating a professional business shell around yourself gives you an independent economic platform to experiment with as you test and grow your business model.
Having your own small-business shell around yourself does not guarantee success, but it does give you access to tools you will need to succeed."
The statistics are both encouraging and daunting. Terrien points out that 25 million of the 32 million businesses in the U.S. are actually 1-person businesses. A study cited in Inc. magazine indicates that a 60-year old who starts a business is three times more likely than a 30-year old to start a successful business. On the other hand, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says 50 percent of small businesses fail in five years.
Terrien is largely optimistic about self-employment for older workers, which he calls an "ageless startup." The numerous benefits he lists include the low cost of planning and launching a 1-person business, pursuing something you are passionate about, working as much or as little as you want, and working from home.
There are lots of information sources available if you are interested in starting a business, including Rick Terrien's book, Ageless Startup: Start a Business at Any Age.
For a little extra encouragement, an eGuide I wrote about starting a 1-person business is available free to Happily Rewired readers until May 31. To get your free eGuide, simply visit https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/177376. Use the code AG100 at checkout and you will be able to download the eGuide in the format of your choice, including EPUB, Mobi (Kindle) or PDF. Be sure to take advantage of this free offer by May 31.
HappilyRewired.com is a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog.