“Imagine a life where all your time is spent on the things you want to do. Imagine giving your greatest attention to a project you create yourself, instead of working as a cog in a machine that exists to make other people rich.” These are the first two sentences in Chris Guillebeau’s book, The $100 Startup, and the inspiration for this post.
As we Boomers contemplate how we will spend our later years, some of us don’t necessarily want to stop working altogether, but we do want to spend our time on projects we really care about. Following our passions may lead some of us into the unexplored territory of self-employment.
If you are considering a self-styled encore career, here are some tools to help you customize your next position.
Guillebeau recommends starting with a list of hobbies, skills, and passions. From there he suggests brainstorming the products or services you could offer based on the list. He says you need three things: something to sell, a group willing to buy what you have to sell, and a way to get paid for it.
If you’re having trouble coming up with an idea for a product or service, freelance writer Jane Bianchi offers this suggestion in More magazine’s October 2014 issue. In her article, “Go from Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur,” Bianchi suggests keeping a log of all the irritations or annoyances you encounter in a month. This list can help you think about what solutions you may be able to offer with a new product or service. Look for what is missing or inefficient in the marketplace. And don’t think you have to come up with an idea that is totally original. You may be able to enhance or redesign an existing product or service, or bring something to your locale that is working well in another city.
If you have an idea but are looking for more training on running your own business, you may want to check out FastTrac for Boomer Entrepreneurs.
What ideas have you had for an encore career?