The obvious strength that older entrepreneurs bring to the business table is the stash of skills and knowledge acquired and built up over a 40-year career.
But what are the secret weapons, the less obvious strengths that we also bring to the entrepreneurial space? I speak here as a retiree entrepreneur.
After we retire, we are working to supplement our income, not build up reserves. This requires a mind shift and gives us the freedom to be driven by passion, and not exclusively by money.
As a result, you have more time for your clients. In fact, your interest in who your clients are as people drives you to deliver a higher level of service.
Contribution is one of the 6 Human Needs, as I outlined in an earlier blog. As we get nearer to leaving our mortal coil, many of us feel we would like to leave some kind of legacy.
Because of this, we are not all about grabbing what we can; rather, our businesses tend to focus on what we can give or contribute. Your marketing can, therefore, be more authentic and heart-centred.
Sometimes fear urges us to stick with what we know and set up a business doing what we have been doing for the past 40 years, but reinvention is often what is required. It is a case of taking our skills and re-packaging them.
For example, someone who has been a school teacher all her life may take her teaching skills and offer to show the elderly how to use social media to keep in touch with their grandchildren.
In a study done by AARP in 2013, called “Staying Ahead of the Curve,” they found that 88% of those interviewed (ages 45–74) wanted to do something that is worthwhile.
Is it the inevitable truth of nearing the end of our lives that makes us feel we don’t want to waste time doing things that are inconsequential and irrelevant, or is it that as we age we have more clarity on our purpose?
Usually, our networks spread far and wide, built up over several jobs and maybe a couple of different industries. Many of us have accumulated a ton of contacts over our 40-odd years in business. Facebook and LinkedIn make it even easier to contact these people with your new ideas.
By this stage in life, many of us have a couple of influential ‘movers and shakers’ in our contacts list. This is the time to draw on these influencers to help move your business, and check if any of them owe you anything so you can recall that debt!
As older entrepreneurs, those who are starting businesses after many years in employment may not consciously be aware of the secret weapons they possess.
In retirement, you have the opportunity to move into fields where you can make a difference and allow your business to rise out of a passion centred in the heart. This makes it easier to understand what your clients need and want and be able to give it to them.
As always, awareness is the first step. If you know what you can offer and who needs it, then you can follow the wisdom in your heart.
What secret weapons do you possess and how can you use them as an older entrepreneur? Do you know someone influential enough who can boost your business? Do you know your own worth and how can you use it to propel your venture? Please share in the comments below.
Tags Small Business