Not All Baby Boomers Seek Retirement
On June 12, 2013 the PBS News Hour posted an area on their website called “New Adventures For Older Workers“. The site claims that 36% of retiring Americans will be working into their retirement years. This number tripled in the last 30 years. So I was surprised when I was contacted by PBS to be part of their project to tell the story of older American entrepreneurs. The segment I participated in was aired on April 23, 2013.
Of the 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day from 2011 to 2029, not all will spend the rest of their days on the golf course or cruising the world.
There are many reasons why more than one third of us choose to press on. Some are not ready to hang it up? Some want to finally focus on a labor of love? Some want to stay engaged in a purposeful way? And some need to stay employed for financial reasons.
The alternatives to remaining in the workforce are many. Some choose simply to keep working and not retire. Others retire from their current employment only to launch a new business or purchase a franchise. Others will continue their professions on a part time basis taking on contract work or available part time employment. Those boomers who have no choice other than to work on have some choices to explore about turning that “necessity” into a more purposeful future.
In the summer of 2009, I started a business after being laid off on my 65th birthday. Yes on the exact day! Not really planning to end my career, I decided to open a business that focused on a very, under-served segment: Entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses wishing to gain market share. The theme of my business was (and is) about business growth that drives top line revenue.
I started by doing a fair amount of research. I spent the time to learn about and use social media tools that I hadn’t previously paid much attention to. I worked very hard to convert my past work experiences (some 40 years) into deliverable components that I could re-use to aid my future customers. When I realized I was missing essential
knowledge to fill out my offering, I returned to school. For example, I took a graduate course in statistical market research offered through IEEE, my engineering society.
In the summer of 2009 I had no job, no income, no business, no clients and no revenue. I launched my new business in September of 2009. By the end of 2009, I had 3 clients. Three years later, I had 22 clients. I spent the next few years both working “in my business” and “on my business”. At this writing, 4 years later, I have 54 clients and have hired full time staff.
When I boil it all done, the three most important factors that contributed to my rapidly growing business are:
I chose to work on something I was passionate about
I worked on my business by first getting known, trusted and liked (marketing)
I worked in my business by standardizing the quality of my deliverables
So in the last 4 years I’ve worked on building my own business as well as 54 other businesses. The results?
I’ve made a lot of new friends and have had a lot of fun
I’ve been able to monetize my life’s experience
I’ve been able to hire, and grow my business
I can measure the differences I’ve made in my clients’ lives
I could go on, but suffice it to say that as the saying goes, I “ate my own dog food” before serving it up to new clients. Being able to execute a value proposition gives me the seller, and my clients the buyers, a lot of confidence that our relationship is worth the fees paid.
So if you want to start a business and are uncertain about how to do it, give me a call and we’ll see if that choice is right for you and how we can help.
Mike at MGG Consulting. 201-491-0028.
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