I have been in business in some form or another since 1988. My businesses have always been secondary to my primary life mission (I am a Pastor) and so they have always been small business operations. That said, I have a great deal of experience in the kinds of businesses that can be run “part-time” and yet as successful as you want them to be. As a Boomer, I hear from lots of people in my generation who are looking to retire from their life-time careers who also want to continue to contribute to business, life, and society while not giving up the freedom retirement can afford.
These Boomers are not looking for another “full-time” career, but are looking for something of value to do that provides the challenge of building something great while allowing the freedom of time that retirement allows. I understand that draw and, as one who has lived this “duel life” for many years, know that in order to create such a business every Boomer must ask and answer three questions:
- What kind of business can you run from your laptop? I know photographers, jewelry makers, even custom cabinet makers, along with more traditional direct sales/network marketers who have established wonderful business plans that allow them to operate from anywhere with a laptop and an internet connection. To be free to live the retired life and be able to contribute to your own business, mobility of business type is essential.
- Are there any new skills you must learn? If you are going to make the transition to a mobile-styled, internet based business, you are going to have to know how these businesses work and how they make money. This will certainly have its own learning curve. Are you willing to take the time, spend the resources, and continue learning in order to be successful in this retirement business venture?
- How big do you want to get? This, to me, is one of the most important questions to ask and answer. You have to work through this question in order to give yourself (and your business) the correct amount of time day to day. If your time freedom interferes with your business goals or your business robs you of your time, you will end up frustrated and unhappy. Neither condition should dominate your retirement years.
I am sure that there are more valuable questions that you will need to ask as you consider a retirement business, but these three should get the ball rolling. What do you think? What other questions are you considering? What conclusions have you come to?