The Accidental Entrepreneur

Bakery Shop Window“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?

-G.

What Successfully Retired Folks Can Tell Us

What Successfully Retired Folks Can Tell Us

In my last post we looked at the Early Retirement Extreme movement and what we could learn from 30-somethings who live frugally and invest more than half of their salary each year.  Based on a tip received from a Weekend Retirement reader, this week we focus on what successfully retired folks do and what has worked forContinue Reading

Traveling on a Retirement Budget

Traveling on a Retirement Budget

According to a recent U.S. News & World Report, 80 percent of folks approaching retirement age have not built travel expenses or plans into their retirement budgets. If travel is on your bucket list, you may find some of the following tips useful. Getting There Sign up for one or more airline rewards programs. My husband andContinue Reading

More Reasons to Have Fun on the Weekend

More Reasons to Have Fun on the Weekend

Think back to when you were in school and enjoyed those glorious weeks of summer vacation each year. How did you spend your time? I remember active summers of swimming at the community pool, playing tennis, having friends over to play volleyball in our back yard, and taking long bike rides out into farm country.Continue Reading

Weekday Tips for Weekend Energy

Weekday Tips for Weekend Energy

Do you ever find yourself so frazzled by the end of the work week that all you want to do is collapse on the weekend? In order to fully take advantage of the Weekend Retirement concept, you need the energy to do the things on your list. In this week’s post, I’m sharing tips fromContinue Reading

Supplement Your Income in Retirement

Supplement Your Income in Retirement

As we look forward to a time when we bid adieu to full-time employment (and the paycheck that goes with it), we can begin now to explore ways to supplement our income in retirement. If you want to do something with your time that feeds a passion and, as author Barbara Winter says, “makes a difference toContinue Reading

Lower Your Costs in Retirement

Lower Your Costs in Retirement

This week I attended a seminar on Social Security and how to prepare for retirement. It turned out to be more of a sales pitch for the financial advisor’s services than an actual training, but I did come away with a few new ideas that I will be discussing with my current financial advisor in my annual meetingContinue Reading

Weekend Adventures

Weekend Adventures

  While it isn’t a week or two of vacation, a weekend is long enough to have some fun and do something exciting, rewarding, or enlightening. Let’s talk about some of the ways you can use your weekends for adventures now that you have stopped using the time to catch up on household chores orContinue Reading

More on Retiring Abroad

More on Retiring Abroad

Several posts ago I wrote about the possibility of retiring abroad. This idea struck a chord with a number of readers, so today I’m taking a closer look at the topic by reviewing How to Retire Overseas by Kathleen Peddicord. Published in 2011, the book lays out the world’s top 14 retirement havens: Argentina, Belize,Continue Reading

Meet Gail

Gail Pentz, author

My work experience spans Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits. As a corporate trainer, I have delivered training throughout the U.S. and in 18 other countries. I designed and wrote hundreds of instructional materials for numerous industries, and worked as a teacher and staff in private schools. I also have experience with small businesses. I was a founding partner and Director of Operations for T.W.I.C.E. Educational Services, Inc., a Sarasota-based continuing education firm serving mental health professionals.

Having worked 60+ hours a week for several decades, I know what it’s like to be on the proverbial hamster wheel, using weekends to catch up on what I didn’t get done and preparing for the week ahead. Like me, you may be ready for at least two days each week that are filled with activities you find satisfying and fulfilling. Less time working (or preparing for work) translates into more time for recreational travel, self-care, and personal development. I firmly believe that as we take better care of ourselves, we are better equipped to share our gifts with the world (and especially the quality of effort we bring to the workplace).

You can begin enjoying a retirement lifestyle this weekend. Let’s get started!

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