Challenges of Becoming a Late-Life Entrepreneur

The statistics are overwhelming; now more than ever before, those near retirement age are looking to start their own business. The reasons vary. Some can’t bear the thought of an idle retirement, while others need to supplement their income to continue paying the bills.

If you’ve considered turning your life-long passion into a business, are interested in testing your limits with a second career, or are simply looking to be our own boss, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s discuss some challenges you may experience as you begin the process and how you can overcome them.

An Overwhelming Start

Whether you have prior experience or not, starting your own business can feel overwhelming. There’s a lot to consider: from financial planning to goal setting, marketing ideas to leadership approaches. Rather than see that as a negative, I prefer to see it as encouragement to get you started on the right foot. Planning is a key factor in the success of your business so avoiding feeling overwhelmed by starting slow. This may not be the most fun part, but it is the most important.

Creating a Business Strategy

Business plans give you a direction and that’s a good thing to have when you’ve got nothing else. Defining a clear strategy gives you something to quantify and qualify so you can keep track of your progress and make sure you’re on the right path. Use the simple, yet powerful, Prime Strategies Business Success System to help you get started. Outline your vision, define your mission, understand your objectives and what you think the best ways to fulfill them may be. Then work out a budget; what kind of finances do you need to get started? What kind of preliminary inventory and supplies do you need? What is your monthly income versus monthly expenses? Once you have those questions answered, you’ll be ready for action.

Management Technique

Learning the ropes of management and mastering a good set of skills can be tricky. Is your family involved with the business or have you hired from outside? This could make all the difference in your approach. The biggest difference between family and non-family workers is family workers will require that you set a boundary dividing family time and work time. What family and non-family workers will both demand of you is consistency and leadership. You’ll have to train your employees in the specifics of the industry or, at least, according to your own business structure. But managing people takes a certain finesse that will pay off tenfold if you master it.

Starting a business can be overwhelming, but don’t let the details stop you from accomplishing your goals. Creating the right plan and taking the right first steps can be a major help.

If you’re a late-life entrepreneur seeking support in business planning and management techniques, Prime Strategies can offer the necessary guidance and expertise to help you reach your goals.

BUSINESS CHALLENGES: How to Face Them with Confidence

If I say “business challenge” what comes to mind? Most people have a negative connotation of the word “challenge”. But we know that with every challenge comes an opportunity.

Think of meeting a challenge as facing a crossroads in your path. Take one direction and the outcome will likely be A; take the other and the outcome will probably be more like B.

In order to reach the best decision, you must be clear about your Long Term Vision and Goals. Only then can it be a sound point of reference for decision-making. If clarifying your Vision and Goals is one of your challenges, you might consider working with a trusted advisor or coach. Operating without a Vision and Goals is like setting sail without a destination port.

Considering Vision and Goals before reaching a decision will not only make the decision easier, it will become an opportunity to take an active, positive step toward them.

Here are the questions to ask when identifying a challenge.

–          How does this challenge affect my Long Term Vision and Goals for myself and my business?

–          Based on that, what are the most logical options to resolve the challenge?

–          What will be the probable outcomes of each of my options?

By answering these questions in sequence you’ll have the most critical point of reference at hand as you’re considering your options and their ramifications. You’ll obviously want to select the option that will most favorably affect realization of your Long Term Vision and Goals.

Sometimes challenges are such that your Vision, Mission and Goals will need to be rethought.

Faced with a challenge to go out on his own when his partnership fell apart, John Douglas, had to rethink his Long Term Vision and Goals. He was one of two architects who had built their business on mutual interests, without consideration of how each would function in the business. When they realized they were at an impasse, they decided it was better that each go his own way.

By taking the time to review what he wanted for himself and how the business could be a vehicle for him to express his best self, he found it easy and rewarding to clarify and write out his Long Term Vision and Goals. He now can face other challenges with the confidence that he’ll have this as his guiding light for making any decision.

The final decision for any challenge, of course, is just the beginning of the next phase – Goal Setting, which is then followed by Planning, Taking Action and Evaluating Results.

As you can see we’re bringing the challenge into the Planning Cycle.

By considering the challenge against a meaningful outcome, we now know what questions to ask and how to determine what needs to happen in order to keep on track toward Goal Achievement. Use of Short Term Goals creates interim milestones that tell us we are on track toward our Long Term Goals and Vision.

Identify the challenges you currently face. Write them out, prioritize them and consider the likely options against your Long Term Goals and Vision.

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Are you serious about resolving your challenges with a positive outcome? Are you open to discussing how coaching might accelerate your progress?  Let’s spend half an hour talking about what your want for yourself and your business. Just talking about it will bring things into focus and help you get on track. There’s no charge and no obligation. Send me an e-mail and we’ll schedule a mutually convenient time to speak.

Money: It’s Our Responsibility

In a recent gathering of women age 60+ we had a great and important discussion about money and our responsibility for it. While the circumstances were different for each of us there was a commonality of feelings. It has become a bigger priority in our lives, mainly because we don’t have time to recover losses. Due to previous losses, many of us are not where we’d like to be, or had planned to be. We have some cushions, but are concerned about how we can continue to earn at least some income as long as possible.  Four out of the six in attendance are in their own business. We all agreed that being our own boss certainly allows us to set our own schedule, and that’s becoming more important with time.

And, no, prince charming isn’t coming. We are on our own. We agreed that we are the first generation living where women are required to accept financial responsibility for themselves, even in a two income household. We have created the model for the next generation and they have already adopted it. [Read more…]

Late Life Entrepreneur

As never before people approaching retirement age and beyond are running businesses. Some have been in business for years, others are just starting out.  They are called Late Life Entrepreneurs.

The considerations and challenges for this group are quite different from those of other ages. Hard decisions need to be made and that’s not always easy to do alone. Being in this category myself I found out recently how things can change that will affect business.
Time is of the essence now. So what are the considerations? Some are business, some are financial, some are quite personal. Given that there will be a limited time in which to achieve what you want in your business and your life, now is the time to review and possibly reset your priorities?

As a result of dealing with my own recent age-related changes, I’ve learned that others my age are facing many of these same changes. Body and health changes, emotional changes, attitude changes, energy changes, and relationship changes, are just some of what we’re experiencing, Many of these are unexpected and unwelcome. How can we cope and reset our priorities to help keep us feeling in control of our lives?

So I’ve initiated a new community to bring together men and women who want to stay in touch with trends, news, ideas, and activities for those age 60 plus. It’s called Our Platinum Years, and membership is free. Hear what others our age are experiencing, compare notes, and be prepared to give and get support for making hard decisions. Be sure to check it out.

“Everybody says your mind is the most important thing about your body. Your mind and your body. You keep both busy, and by God you’ll be here a long time.”
Walter Breuning, age 114

Three Keys to Finding the Gold in Your Business

Gold is certainly a hot commodity in today’s economy. Any gold you have is worth more today than it was a year ago. I’ll bet you have some gold you’re not even aware of, right there in your own business. Let’s see if we can find it.

If you could make twice the income in half the time, would that be as good as gold to you? Would that increase the value of your business? Sounds like a marketing rant, doesn’t it? Well, there are three basic underlying truths that, once learned and applied, will allow you to make more money while you work less. Here they are.


Spend more time on goal-oriented activities, less on non-essentials. You want your daily activities to be adding value to your business and taking you closer to your goals. Block out specific time on your calendar for these activities and make sure they get done first. E-mail, telephone and personal interruptions steal a lot of time. Dedicate specific time to these tasks also; just work hard to keep them from interfering with your goal-directed actions and time. [Read more…]

Ca$h Planning: Key to a Stable and Profitable Business

Like it or not, your ca$h flow picture is a report card on how well you’re managing your business.

Business management includes making sure you have the ca$h you need to cover expenses as they occur. Ca$h flow planning is a must if you want to be in control of your business. It’s only when you’re in control that you can become a stable and profitable business.

Good ca$h planning requires review of historical financial information, including a look at business cycle and sa/es cycle. Cred1t policies and practices, marketing plans, periodic expenses, de6t and ca$h access need to be considered as well. The concept is to control what can be controlled and to manage what can’t.

In order to do that, you will need accurate and timely information and know how to interpret what you see.

Ca$h Planning Basics: [Read more…]

Have Fun and Make Money

In working with small business owners for many years I’ve learned that committing things to paper is hard for a lot of you. You probably didn’t like doing homework either. It was necessary, however, in order for you to move up to the next level.

It’s the same in business. Writing an Operating Plan is the result of having thought through all of its elements and deciding, at least for the short term, on a course of action.

Although I provide a template, each client has total freedom to change it to best serve their needs. Sam, who is a financial services provider, wrote the following Operating Plan for his business. I’m sharing it in the hopes of inspiring you to write your own.

Sam has the right idea at the very start. He knows the purpose of this business is to “have fun and make money”. [Read more…]