Seniorpreneurs – Part 2

When You Can’t See the Forest for the Trees – cont.

‘Boomers’ leaving their primary career behind for whatever reason and embarking on a new business is having a significant impact on Canada’s economic growth. The numbers of entrepreneurs 55+ are increasing as this major demographic moves forward and find ways to stay actively involved in their communities.

In our area there are many people who have become entrepreneurs, when they left their primary career, or upon their retirement. An example of this phenomenon is, a couple who retired together after years of serving in Canada’s Navy decided there was a niche market for a personalized boat tours. Using the slogan ‘let our boat be your boat’ and serving up grandmother’s secret recipe apple pie they have successfully transformed an idea into an ongoing seasonal business that allows them to spend time doing what they love, being on the water and being with people.

A decision to take an early retirement gave one enterprising former government Forester the opportunity to have wider flexibility in how he spent his time. John had no intention of not working when he was downsized and offered a retirement package; he simply intended to do it differently. By setting up a consulting company he is able to pick and choose his projects working in the field during summer and writing reports in the winter. This choice also allowed him the time to write two well received guide books; as well as, learn a lot about marketing and promotion. Most importantly though he is now able to use his expertise in a way that is beneficial to himself and his clients.

For Barb, following a long-term career in the judicial system this retired court reporter saw there was a need for a rather unusual service recording public meetings. Having been gifted with a clear speaking voice and the experience of working in a courtroom she started a service as a ‘steno-mask reporter’ that allows her the freedom to pick and choose when she works.

Believing retirement held further exploration of his artistic ability, this enterprising senior was side tracked when asked to do a psychic reading for a group of friends. Going back to the future and becoming instead a professional Tea Leaf reader Bill has found a ready market for skills he had honed as a youth. Added to this specialized ability he then trained as a Hypnotherapist and now offers a holistic approach to his widespread clients and their questions about the future. His second career has many benefits not the least of which is allowing him to enjoy interacting with a diversified group of people, something that was very important to him throughout his career as an Account Executive for a large TV outlet back east.

Starting a business or launching a new venture, regardless of a person’s age requires thought and research. Your local Chamber of Commerce usually has information and sometimes provides seminars about starting up a business in their community. Most communities across Canada have their own Chambers of Commerce.

Books and online can provide useful information for choosing your business idea, as well as how to get started. Here are a few you might want to look into further.

Small Business BC – Business Startup

Business Development Bank

Don’t Retire, REWIRE! – Jeri Sedlar and Rick Miners/ISBN: 0-02-864228-7 If you’re looking for a book to help you focus then this book is for you. Providing ideas and methods of finding out what type of business or work suits your interests this book then guides you towards your goal.

Too Young to Retire – Marika and Howard Stone/ISBN: 0-452-28557-7 If you’re looking for ideas or want some general tips this book might be a good choice. It is easy to read and does actually have 101 Ideas as the title states. It is an American oriented book.

With people living longer, healthier lives the conventional idea of what retirement should be is outdated. To quote one of the seniorpreneurs profiled in this article it is, ‘a time to find themselves and continue to be useful in their community’. The new generation of seniors are continuing to work not because they have to, but because they want to and they are doing it in different and interesting ways. Carefully thinking through the possibilities, seeing the forest as well as the trees and becoming an entrepreneur after retirement is one way of enhancing and advancing your life.