Are you over 50 and still trying to decide what you want to be when you grow up? Contrary to popular belief, that doesn't change in later years of life. Back when we were young and carefree, it was easy to look at firefighters, nurses, teachers, astronauts, and athletes and say “That's exactly what I want to be when I grow up.” There were no obstacles. There were no worries about paths or educational requirements. There was only adoration for a noble profession.
Fast forward 40 or 50 years and all that was magical is now wrought with logical questions that turn into obstacles. Questions like that enter our experienced brains, such as “How long will that take me to learn?” or “What will that cost me?” or “How will I have time to fit that into my lifestyle with all that I have going on?” You get the idea. Life experiences have caused us to lose the magic and become practical.
But what if our dream of living a different life or choosing a dream job had no barriers? What if you can use life's experiences to your advantage instead of using them as a roadblock?
Baby Boomers vs. Millennials
Taking a trip further down that obstacle-free path, let's look at the advantages you may have over the younger generation.
For definition's sake, the youngest baby boomers turned 50 in 2014, and millennials are between the ages of 22-36 in 2018. Also, the information below is given in generalities — everyone certainly has a different story to tell.
Think back to those younger days, especially to your late 20's. This was a time when marriage and kids may or may not have been in the picture. It was a time when fresh graduates were seeking and experimenting with future careers. Life was all ahead of you in regards to your education, family, real estate, investments, etc. It was a more carefree environment, and risk-taking was easy since there wasn't much to lose.
Now fast forward to today. You've had long-standing careers, raised families, suffered hardship and losses not yet experienced by most youth, you've spent years investing for the future in IRAs, 401Ks and stocks. Most of you probably have real estate holdings. As we all get older, risk-taking is not as easy as it once was.
But what are the advantages, you ask?
Why Age is a Business Advantage
Life experiences translate into leadership for upcoming generations. Your accumulated knowledge, skills, passions and encounters are too valuable to keep to yourself. Click To Tweet
Let's face it. If you were winding down a long-time career 50 years ago, there wouldn't be many choices in starting a new business. You were limited to investing in a brick and mortar local retail or office building, doing outside sales. And there were always physical services or working a part-time retail job to supplement your income.
Today you have a the world at your fingertips. You can start your own business with little to no investment. Not sure where to start? This seems to be a common roadblock. There's probably a free or inexpensive class or even thousands of articles available to you. You have everything you need to find out how to impart your knowledge on the world.
With Age Comes Experience
Think about it…We've made lots of mistakes and know how to avoid them.
~ We know what we'd do different. (if only I'd…)
~ We have more experience with difficult situations, loss and/or disaster.
~ We worry less about what others think.
~ We've been married, remarried, divorced, and in the best or craziest of relationships.
~ We've raised our kids, the neighbors' kids, the relative's kid or fur babies.
~ We've lived in a variety of houses, towns, cities or countries.
~ We've bought stuff, sold stuff, cleaned stuff, packed stuff and stored stuff.
~ We've driven hundreds of thousands of miles.
~ We've dealt with illness and pain, weight gain and weight loss, good habits and bad habits; perhaps even addiction and recovery.
~ We've been passionate, dispassionate, depressed, elated with joy, in love, out of love, faced rejection, gotten ourselves in trouble and back out again.
~ We've put up with great jobs and bad jobs, great bosses and bad bosses, great co-workers and some we'd like to strangle.
And that's just a start. With age comes experience. Somewhere in that list above lies a bunch of stories you are passionate about. Somewhere in that list is your opportunity to light the path of others, to be of service in sharing your experience.
How Does My Experience Translate to Discovering an Online Business That's Right For Me?
Let's take a look at what baby booming entrepreneurs have to offer that others might be willing to invest money to learn.
Lifestyle Advice. You've lived it! Now share it. It could be anything you've had years of experience doing and perfecting — organizing your home, traveling, budgeting, investing and so much more. Think of the newlyweds and young people just starting out on their adult journey. What can you help them with?
Career Advice. Chances are you've worked for one or more employers for a very long time. How can you help those entering the career world advice on co-workers, saving for retirement, good employee strengths or habits, climbing the corporate ladder, dealing with a difficult boss, what great leadership looks like, or maybe even how to survive a cubicle. Giving someone a leg up as they head down a career path can be invaluable.
Hobby Advice. If you've been a woodworker for 30 years, a seamstress for 40 years, or a goat farmer all your life, you have something to teach. Cyberspace is seeking your talent to train and educate the next world of crafters and creators.
Business Advice. If you have experience running a small business, startup entrepreneurs will need your advice. Whether it's a brick-and-mortar store, service company or contracting work, you've got something to share about running a company or crew.
Creative Advice. Let's not forget the arts. Music, art, acting, and writing are some of the most common topics being searched for on the internet today. Many creative classes have been scaled back in schools. When we were younger, art, sewing, woodshop, cooking and music classes were mandatory! Not so much any more. Students young and old seek lessons in the arts.
Specialty Advice. There's a fairly recent saying that “the riches are in the niches.” This statement is 100% true. When you start drilling down to one unique talent or specialty that is the core of your business, you become known as the expert. The biggest mistake beginning entrepreneurs make is thinking that they can serve a wide audience. There's another saying that “if you try to be all things to all people, you'll end up being nothing to no one.”
The Possibilities Are Real
The diverse amount of knowledge and experience that each of us has stored in our memory over the years create limitless opportunities.
The way people learn is changing. Online education is the learning mechanism of the future. Higher education institutions are limiting more and more people from taking the traditional path after high school due to high costs. The slack is being picked up with online learning at a fraction of the cost.
The time is right. The tools are out there for the taking, and starting a new business for a renewed passion can be realized in a matter of months.
If you could start your dream business tomorrow, what would it be? Let us know in the comments below.