The turning tide of change in today’s working environment has had a huge affect on Baby Boomers and their futures. Many who have worked 20 or more years in the same career are finding themselves victims of downsizing, thanks to corporate mergers and takeovers.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, there is a very bright and shiny silver lining in all of this. It means that starting over at 55 is far from unusual and is typically the most successful move Boomers can make later in life.
I know of a fellow who owned and operated his own small town newspaper for a dozen years. Changes in the print media industry, the way news was being delivered and gathered by digital means, hit his business hard. Online classified advertising and the shift of big corporate advertisers opting to use the new media rather than printed media to sell their products added to the decline in business.
The day came when he had to shut the doors to his newspaper business. He was 55. After a very long career in media and marketing he launched a home-based business where he is now doing quite well selling his services through the internet.
The option of becoming an entrepreneur in your mid to late 50s is actually fueling a new trend. The fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in today’s economy is aged 55 and older and they are becoming very successful.
According to the Small Business Administration, over 5-million Americans 55 and older are self-employed and that figure has jumped 52-percent from in the last decade. The majority of them were pushed into the self-employment arena because of changes to their workplace or careers.
You have an advantage!
Where Baby Boomers excel is that they already possess a lifetime of experience including skills that can be turned into many different business startups. Additionally, the 55+ crowd have an ingrained work ethic that often does not allow for failure. That’s probably why so many of them have become so successful later in life.
Starting over at 55 does have a few wrinkles to it, though. If you are establishing a new business as opposed to a home-based business, you have to remember you are not doing something as a temporary source of income. The business you start will have a lifespan of several years, often more than 20 so you will need to decide how long you intend to run it.
There are several perks including some funding sources for entrepreneurs starting over at 55. The point is that while there is still a risk involved in launching a new business in your 50s, the odds are tilted in your favor that you will do just fine.
Studies verify this such as one conducted recently by Babson College and Baruch College. They revealed that Americans over 55 had started 18.9-percent of all new businesses created that year. That figure was up over the 10-percent recorded in 2000. Again, more evidence that you are slowly becoming part of a new, positive trend that may have a large impact on the future.
So if you think it is too late to make a difference in your life, think again. There is nothing that says once you turn 55 that you are not allowed to ever start another business or launch a home-based business. That should be the incentive you need to get moving and making that difference after all. As another over-55er, Michael Jordan is fond of saying, Just Do It!