Encore Entrepreneurs-Start a New Business and Have Fun

The term "encore entrepreneurs" is quite the catch-word these days.  It refers to the large numbers of "older than 50" folks who are starting new businesses and succeeding quite well.  It's all part of the reinvention going on of older Americans who, because of longer lives and longer retirements, are searching for the next chapter in their lives.

The reasons older people are starting businesses are as diverse as the people who start them.  Some have retired early and want to pursue a hobby or other passion to make a profit.  The profit would allow them to keep doing what they love without breaking the bank.  For some others, it's a matter of keeping money IN the bank so they can stay afloat.  Or they may have lost jobs and need the income to survive.

AARP and the federal Small Business Administration have been hosting seminars in Michigan and other places to help wannabe entrepreneurs develop business plans, seek financial aid and do market research.  Many people have never "done it all".  Even though they are expert in one area or another, starting a small business requires a skill set that taxes many people.  Of course, that's part of the appeal!

Trying to do something you have never done before is exhilarating and is just the sort of challenge that many older people are ready to dive into.  It doesn't matter what it is, just that it excites you and just plain sounds like fun.  To decide what business is right for you, think about your needs first.  Do you need more income?  Do you want to have more leisure time?  What do you really love to do?  Asking yourself these questions is the first step.

As you discover the answers to the questions you ask yourself, write them down.  You will have the beginnings of a business plan.  Be honest about your shortcomings and what things will require outside help.  Are you excited yet?  If not, maybe starting a business is not the right reinvention for you.

So discover what you love, make a plan, and then go for it!  If it isn't fun, try something else.  Tell me what you have discovered, what you didn't expect and what you want to do next.  The journey is truly more important than the destination!


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