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.

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

​Are you Suffering from “Entrepreneuritis”?

Today a client introduced me to a new term, “entrepreneuritis”. Since I hadn’t heard the term, I asked her what it was. She said it’s that syndrome that says “I can do it all myself; I want to do it all myself, I have to do it all myself. These are all my ideas, my way of doing things and no one else can do it as well. And I’m feeling overwhelmed because I need to grow my business but I’m so busy doing everything myself, I don’t have enough time to do the things that bring in business.”

Being curious, I decided to do some research myself. There seem to be varying definitions of entrepreneuritis. Robert Sher in his blog article, The Path between Entrepreneuritis and Myopia. says “Entrepreneuritis is where you can’t stop yourself from jumping on every new business idea that pops into your head. Having a clear definition of your business will aid you in steering the course between entrepreneuritis and myopia”. He also warns, “avoid being too rigid in your niche. If you’re not growing your business in some way you’re in trouble”.

The Blue Jeans Virtual Assistant in her blog article, Do You Have Entrepreneuritis? says, “As a small business owner I must learn how to do everything myself (spending countless hours learning it sometimes) and must grab on to each new idea that comes my way or through my inbox, learn it and move on to the next thing. As a result most likely I have a list of unfinished projects on paper, in an idea journal or on the computer.”

Donna Maria calls it Entrepreneur’s ADD and defines it as 1) too many ideas at one time, no execution of any; 2) can’t think what to do with an idea. In her article, 3-Step Cure for Entrepreneur’s ADD, she actually offers some tactics she used to cure herself.

I think all entrepreneurs occasionally have bouts with entrepreneuritis, even if they didn’t know what to call it. Of course, when it becomes chronic, it can become a problem and really hold back your business. Part of the argument I often hear is “I can’t afford to hire someone to do other tasks”. They don’t have the money to pay someone else now, so they just keep doing it themselves. Bottom line: you can’t grow your business until you can begin to hand off tasks. It’s like the chicken and the egg.

I remember the first time I hired someone to help with my e-mail communications. I didn’t really have the money to pay her, but I decided to make the investment in my business. I quickly learned how valuable it was to be able to hand off tasks that had taken me hours to do. Now I had more time to spend on what only I could do in the business.

For some alternatives to doing it all yourself, read my article, Delegation and Teamwork, for some ideas and examples of how to start letting go a little bit and giving yourself the solid support you need to grow. If you’re really serious about getting your business to the next level, don’t let entrepreneuritis keep you down.

The 7 Questions to Ask Before Planning for Next Year

Before sitting down to start working on your plan for 2007, I suggest you give yourself the advantage of a retrospective on 2006.

A year is actually a long time in business. And often the best prepared plans don’t get carried out for a variety of reasons. One of the most frequent reasons is unexpected challenges and new opp0rtunities that come up along the way. When they do, we can easily end up off our planned course.

Since we are always using our Long Term Vision to guide our planning, year-end is the time to review that Long Term Vision against what you’ve learned during the year. In looking at the past year I find it’s helpful to ask 7 specific questi0ns and use the answers as a reference in creating next year’s plan. It’s a good idea to write the answers to these questi0ns. In reviewing them once completed, you’ll be able to see what otherwise might have been missed.

Here are the questi0ns I ask. [Read more…]

Newsletters: News From the Publishers

It’s hard to believe I started publishing Small Business Leader more than 5 years ago. I asked myself why it has prevailed and realized the main reason is because I like creating it and sharing it with my subscribers. The list has grown over the years, but I have not made it a priority. It has mostly been a vehicle for me to share, learn and grow and to build a community of people who understand and value what I have to say.

The art and science of e-newsletter publication has evolved substantially, especially since the advent of big-time spam.

There is a lot of super-hype “how to” information available on e-newsletter publication. There are experts within our subscriber base so I wanted to tap that wisdom and share it with those of you who are either already publishing some type of periodical or are considering doing so.

I interviewed two senior publishers and two new publishers. [Read more…]