More and more people are expected to live near or into their 100’s. Thus, today 50 is the new midlife. Rather than approaching this midlife with the duties of family and work, baby boomers are seeing the second half of their life as they want and desire. And, what many of them see today is not the same as what their parents and grandparents know as retirement.
Many 50-somethings are starting a business. Perhaps they are tired of their job or they’ve been laid off. Many of these 50-somethings’ businesses are an amalgamation of their talents and passions – a way to meet their goals where a salaried position could never do. Some folks work full-time; others work part-time. Some of them have chosen to stick within their existing career niche; others have branched out into a whole new sector.
Many of the obstacles these 50+ year-olds face is beginning a new business is not that much different than younger-than-50s face when they strike out on their own. For many folks, 50-somethings have a considerable advantage. After all, they have experience with communication and credibility with their customers and clients.
Many people experience ageism on the job. But, with 50-somethings striking out on their own, it’s certainly a difference. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are more and more older folks becoming start-up entrepreneurs.
Case Study: A Look At Jack’s Second Inning
Jack C. had worked 30-years in the journalism field. During his tenure in the business, he went from writing articles to working alongside the administrators. His job as a journalist was no longer gratifying due to the political and bureaucratic aggravations that came with being a consumer magazine editor.
Jack contemplated his life for the future. Did he really want to retire as a journalist? Did he want to continue working until as one he passed on? He thought about himself living beyond 90 years old and thinking what he could do in his life that didn’t involve the communications field.
He thought back and realized he could turn his love of pottery (that developed when he was in his 40s) and make it a career. When given the opportunity to retire early at 63, he did not hesitate. This was his big moment to shine!
The biggest challenge he faced was narrowing ways down to market the work he was doing. What he eventually found to work for him was holding studio sales a few times a year. Together with his wife, Jack bought a 20-acre home in the state of Virginia and turned the four-stall barn into living quarters and studio workshop.
After three years of hard work – with studio sales, annual craft shows and multiple galleries showcasing his work, his website and some awesome publicity – Jack’s business is thriving.
And, the best part of all of this “hard work” is that Jack is doing something he loves and can see himself doing for the remainder of his life. He thinks there is no reason he cannot have another 30-year career but this time doing something he really loves.
Jack isn’t the only 50+ feeling this way. More and more folks are going down the same road. So, if you’re getting at that halfway point of life, just remember this: being 50 doesn’t have to be the end. Rather, it can be a new beginning. This is your time to shine!
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