Monday, January 25, 2010

Is It Ever Too Late To Reinvent Yourself?

This is a question that was posed recently in a query looking for stories and advice from people who have started a business after 50. As I was drafting my response, I realized it should be a post to this blog. Duh. So here it is –

Too late? Never! Just after 50 I started a custom memorial quilt service. Drawing upon my life-long sewing experience, my relatively new interest in quilting and my tendency to re-purpose clothing, I began taking orders for custom memorial quilts and have created several keepsakes from clothing is the past year and a half. Then this past summer I began taking on some freelance writing and in the past few weeks I’ve opened an Etsy shop. So that’s actually three small businesses I’ve started after 50.

My advice to other retirees contemplating starting a business?
  • Think about what you know and what you love to find a good fit for you.
  • Stay alert – opportunity often knocks softly.
  • Focus on developing several small income streams rather than relying on just one or two larger ones.
  • Start slow and test the waters but give each idea a fair shot.
  • Set parameters on how much time, money and other resources are to be committed to each endeavor and stay within those parameters.
  • Have a clear definition of success for each venture and a set date on which it will end if goals are not being met. NOTE: This isn’t about giving up but rather about realistically assessing whether or not something is working.
  • Regularly reevaluate, remain flexible and make appropriate changes when warranted.
As stated in the side bar of this blog, I really do believe that the best years are yet to come!

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