Anyone can become an entrepreneur. But did you know that people aged 55-64 are twice as likely to start a business as millennials? It’s true.
There’s no barrier based on age for starting a business. If you’re over 55 like me, you can be a seniorpreneur too. Sure, I started in my 30’s but I’ve been making my living online so long now that I’m darn close to senior status!
And thanks to the Internet, there’s virtually no financial barrier either. You need very little money to start and grow a business on the Internet.
In today’s blog post I’ll talk a little about why you may want to try it, the commitment it takes and what happens if you fail. (It’s not as bad as you think, I’ve failed a lot over the years!)
First Consider “Why” You Want to be a Seniorpreneur…
Before you jump in head first, the first thing to consider when becoming a seniorpeneur is knowing the reason why you want to do it.
When you have a why, it can help you outline the tasks that you need to complete. But it can also lead you to develop a strategy for accomplishing your goals. Having a why works to keep you grounded and driven.
It’s your compass that leads you to want what you want, and it underscores your motivation. When you know your why, it gives you something to always look at when you’re struggling so that you can push through.
Some people feel their reason gives them a purpose. As you get older, your life purpose changes. If you have children, they might be grown – so that job you may have worked to support them no longer gives you that same level of motivation.
Once you retire, you can also lose your sense of purpose. Starting your own business as a marketer can give you a new direction or allow you to continue having purpose in life.
It gives you a reason to strive for something you want again. When you work in your golden years, having a reason why you’re doing this can be beneficial for your health and your cognitive function.
Some entrepreneurs who start later in life have a reason where they want this because they want to keep their mind sharp. Studies have shown that people who are in their early fifties and beyond benefit from taking on a new hobby or continue learning something because this allows the brain’s processing abilities to remain quick and clear.
Staying busy can help keep the mind sharp by boosting memory, too. While some people want to become an entrepreneur to have a purpose or to stay busy, for others, it’s a means of income.
Many new entrepreneurs start a business because they want to supplement their income. Or they find that once they’ve retired, their standard of living isn’t the same because they want to be careful with their retirement funds.
It could be that your reason for doing this is because you want to travel. When you work online, you can take the office anywhere you want to go. As long as you have an internet connection, you can work whenever you want to, wherever you want to.
There are many senior citizens who choose this business as part of a plan to leave a legacy. They want to create a business they can pass on. Or, they want to create a financial cushion for their loved ones for after they’re gone.
Avoiding isolation that can happen when you’re older is another reason why some seniors turn to entrepreneurial endeavors. You’ll be in contact with other people often – even if your business is solely online.
That includes colleagues you network with to form joint ventures, affiliates, clients and customers. There’s a lot of networking and many of these interactions result in some offline meet-ups and events.
Be Ready to Commit to Your Dream
Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t something that’s going to happen with a minimal dedication or involvement. You’re going to have to take the steps needed to turn it into your reality.
You can start by asking yourself what your ideal online career looks like. This is something that prevents some people from ever getting started. They haven’t taken the time to visualize what an online career would look like or mean to them.
Help yourself picture it by making a list of all the things that you want in life and how your online career can help you to accomplish them. Create a career map where you outline all the steps it’s going to take you to start a business and get it running smoothly.
Break those steps into goals that you need to accomplish daily, weekly and monthly. Have a motivation board that will inspire your commitment. On this board, put images of what you picture your life will look like as you achieve your dream.
Tap into your experiences and skills to help you commit. You already have a lot of knowledge in many different areas of life – and maybe also in your current or former job. Put that to work for you.
Ask yourself what you enjoy or what you could spend hours doing – and that can be something that helps keep you committed. Put it in motion. Seek knowledge if you need to by studying business or mindset books, taking classes, or finding a mentor.
All of this can encourage you toward your commitment. You need to determine just how involved you’re willing to get in your online career. Many people don’t realize that running an online business requires a commitment to time.
It’s not something that you can just do when you feel like it. When you become an entrepreneur, it’s true that you’re the boss and that you get to choose your own schedule.
But even the boss has to show up on a consistent basis. That’s one of the most important things about building an online career. You must be committed, which simply means dedicated to something, and you must practice consistency with your actions with the business.
You can’t work on it, then let it sit for weeks or months, doing nothing and still expect success. When you’re not there, what will happen is that the audience you’ve sought to maintain will leave.
They want answers and they want help. In order to lead a niche audience, you must be present online on a regular basis. It’s the same thing with serving your clients. You can’t build a client base, then not show up to serve them.
Go Into This Without Excuses
A go-getter entrepreneur doesn’t make excuses that holds him or her back. They don’t let the excitement of being the boss override the truth that they have to get the job done. They set the hours they need to work and then they show up to serve.
They do the hard things and when they succeed, it’s because they deserve every bit of that success. It was through their own efforts that they ended up making their dreams come true.
Some people aren’t like that, though. They don’t set hours and stick to them. They work when they feel like it. When they do show up, they let themselves get easily distracted by whatever shiny new thing pops up on the horizon.
They won’t put in the effort, but they expect success. When their business fails, they have a list of reasons why it happened. None of these reasons points the finger back at them.
It points out to all the other things or people that “caused” them to fail. These people have an excuse for everything. When they fail to complete a task, they’ll say the time just wasn’t available.
They won’t look at their own actions and acknowledge that the time was there, but they just didn’t manage it correctly. When they pay for a course but don’t end up finishing it, even when it could benefit their business, they’ll whip out a long list of excuses.
The teaching method was wrong for them – the course was too hard or the instructor wasn’t good enough. Their laptop acted up and they couldn’t log in to the course. They’ll say that they meant to work on the business but then something came up at home.
The dog wanted to go for a walk. They had to clean the house. The lawn needed to be mowed and they had to take care of that instead of working. You can tell yourself that you’re working and not let all those little things that nag at you persuade you to stop.
You have to learn to set boundaries – even with yourself – for the sake of your business. But these people, these failed go-getters, will have dozens of reasons why they didn’t work on their business that day.
They’ll tell themselves it was because they had too much to do offline. They’ll complain about being tired or not able to focus, so they put off even trying. If you want water from a faucet, you have to turn it on to get the water to flow.
It’s the same thing with any business. If you want to see results, you have to show up. You have to turn on that faucet. These people didn’t try to find the answer or locate someone who could help with their questions.
They just stopped trying and then followed up their failure by making an excuse. The definition of excuse is “an attempt to lessen the blame.” When you don’t work, it’s your fault.
When you don’t try, it’s your fault. Stop making excuses. Excuses make you feel good temporarily – but in the end, you’re still going to have to deal with the fallout from not doing what you should have, from not correcting a mistake and for not showing up and working on your business.
You need to examine your excuses. Only you know if that excuse is real or something you’ve fabricated. True entrepreneurs not only celebrate their successes, but they take ownership of their shortcomings, too.
Be Okay with Temporary Failure and Long-Term Flexibility
You have to realize that every person on the planet has experienced failures and setbacks. No one has ever built a business that was problem or mistake free.
Yet people assume that problems, mistakes and everything in between that led to a setback or failure equals permanent problems. It doesn’t. It’s only permanent if you let it be.
Use your temporary failures to drive you forward to success and stop being afraid of something that happens to everyone. You might be so excited about your online business.
You’ve prepared everything and you just know that this launch is going to be a raving success. You can picture the glory in your mind – the success, the money, the praise from family and friends – all of it.
Then, the unexpected happens. That launch that you may have poured so much of your time and effort into, flops. Maybe it’s a little flop. Or maybe it’s the flop that you fear is heard around the world.
It makes you cringe just thinking about it. You want to crawl away, and you start beating yourself up. Maybe your great idea didn’t turn out to be so great after all. That can be discouraging.
But before you give up for good in your mind, take a deep breath. Don’t allow the temporary failure to be the finale moment that defines you or business. Instead, study that failure.
You’ve now learned what didn’t work. This is going to save you time in the future. Maybe you priced too high. Maybe you tried to sell the wrong thing and there just wasn’t a market for it. Whatever the reason, the temporary failure shows you a new way NOT to do thing. Let this learning moment catapult you forward. One of the most important things you can do to succeed is to learn to adapt by using long term flexibility with your business.
Be flexible with your schedule. So what if you can’t work early mornings? Work nights. So what if something happens outside of your control that throws your schedule out of whack. Adjust and get right back on track!
Have that same acceptance toward flexibility with your niche choices, too. So what if one niche didn’t work out? Jump into another. Branch out. Have multiple niches if you want.
Shut one down and start over if you don’t like it. If your business model didn’t bring the success that you thought it would, change it. Adjust. This kind of flexibility is a perk of having an online marketing career.
It’s not something to be overwhelmed about. Being an online marketing entrepreneur gives you greater freedom and the ability to expand your own boundaries whenever you need to.
When I started out online I was selling short reports in the form of a .txt file. Then I went into print books. Next I tried software, then ebooks, member sites, affiliate marketing and even freelancing and blog design and management. The point is, every niche has multiple opportunities for profit. You just need to try them to know what works best for you.
When you find one you like that brings you consistent profits, keep it in your repertoire and add another. After a few years, you’ll likely have a handful of steady earners that you enjoy. You’ll be a successful seniorpreneur!
Good read as always Jim, i am touching 70years young and i can relate to a lot of what you have written.
Thanks Bill, just 70? you got a long way to go!
Highly inspiring, and I’m only 64 years old, so a long way to achieving that ultimate online marketing success milestone.
Thanks for the comment Gerry, you’re just a few years ahead of me. Looking forward to those senior discounts!