Age is not a barrier

Transitioning to self-employment can be tentative, especially for mature professionals over 50.

In today's entrepreneurial landscape, age is not a barrier but an advantage. Research shows that older entrepreneurs often outperform their younger counterparts, and in Australia, an increasing number of businesses are being started by individuals in this age group.

If you're a seasoned professional looking to create something meaningful and embark on a new chapter, self-employment may be your perfect late-career option.

Let's explore the essential steps and considerations to make this transition successful.

The Advantage of Starting a Business at 50+

Starting a business after 50 can be advantageous because of the wealth of experience, skills, and capital you have accumulated over the years. Unlike previous generations, individuals over 50 today often feel that their working lives are far from over.

With better health and a desire to accomplish personal goals, they have the drive and determination to succeed as entrepreneurs. Additionally, self-employment offers the potential for generating income for many years, making it an attractive option for those seeking financial security.

From No-WHAT to Know-WHAT

Starting a business requires clarity and direction. If you are still trying to figure out what you can do, seeking guidance and exploring different possibilities is crucial. 

If you are not clear on what you can do, I refer to this is having no 'WHAT'.

Alberto Savioa, Founder and Innovation Agitator at Pretotype Labs and author of the very practical book, The Right IT, talks about having the right 'IT'.

I use the term 'WHAT', he uses "IT. It's the same thing.

Moving from "No-WHAT" to "Know-WHAT" involves identifying your interests, abilities, and professional qualifications. Alberto's book, goes into a lot more detail on how to identify and test your 'IT' or 'WHAT'.

It could be as simple as setting up a private professional practice, productise your knowledge or leveraging subcontracting opportunities within your industry. The goal is to determine what you want to do and identify products or services that align with your passions and have market demand.

From No-'HOW' to Know-'HOW'

Acknowledging that you need to understand better how a business works is vital in the transition process. Like identifying your 'WHAT' or 'IT', the 'HOW' is about how you are going to do what you need to do. Hence moving from a state of "No-HOW" to "Know-HOW" requires practical strategies and learning.

Creating a simple yet effective strategy will help you visualise your goals and how to achieve them. Additionally, mastering marketing is essential to connect your products or services with customers who are willing to pay for them. Embracing digital platforms and becoming an influencer in your niche can significantly boost your business's visibility and revenue potential.

Practical Steps to Shift to Know-HOW

To successfully transition to self-employment, it is essential to follow practical steps encompassing the business's fundamentals.

Generating revenue, producing or sourcing your product or service, effective marketing and sales, and managing administrative tasks are vital.

Understanding how these components fit together will help you establish a strong foundation for your business. While navigating this process, it's essential to balance learning and managing other commitments in your life.

Leveraging Resources

Unlike in the past, starting a business now is more accessible and affordable, thanks to modern resources. Co-working spaces have emerged as vibrant hubs of activity and collaboration, providing affordable desk space and access to various services and facilities.

Additionally, the internet offers many tools and systems that can streamline your work and business operations. By embracing these resources, you can stay connected with fellow entrepreneurs, combat isolation, and stay updated with industry trends.

Embracing the Art of the Possible

As a mature professional venturing into self-employment, you have the power to shape your desired future. Embrace optimism and motivation and explore a portfolio mix of paid work, your own business, or volunteer opportunities.

Don't let age be a barrier—instead, see it as an opportunity to pursue your interests and contribute your expertise to the world. By following the steps outlined and leveraging modern resources, you can unleash your entrepreneurial spirit and create a fulfilling future. The time is now—don't let it slip away.

Savioa, Alberto, The Right IT, Why So Many Ideas Fail, and How to Make Sure Yours Succeed.