What do Netflix, GE, Trader Joe’s, Microsoft, Disney, and FedEx have in common?
Your vision for your own future dream company might not be on the same scale as those giants. But history shows that it’s not only possible to start a great new company during challenging times, it might be ideal. That’s especially true if you have an idea and some capital that you’ve earmarked for starting a new company once you’ve retired.
I have been having conversations over the past few weeks with a dear friend of mine, let’s call him John (because that’s his name). He hasn’t been terribly happy, in my opinion, with his job nor in his company. One thing he does enjoy doing, and is quite good at, is laying flooring. He’s been a pro bono “fix-it” guy for his parents and other close friends for a number of years now. Over the summer, due to Covid, he had more free time and began picking up more “side” jobs. Then people started offering to pay him. That got him thinking, and as of a couple of weeks ago, he opened his own business. He isn’t fulltime – yet – but he sure sounds a lot happier when we talk. He’s enjoying the work and told me how nice it is to have people appreciate his work when he is finished. In my view John has started his retirement business now, whether he knows it or not.
I have also had numerous meetings and chats with folks over my career who’ve told me they waited too long start a new job, career, business, or volunteer effort. My point for you today is: So why wait? Here are 4 reasons why you should consider starting your retirement business now, even if you’re not ready to retire.
- Stay busy.
No matter what stage of your life and career you’re in, it’s likely that Covid-19 and quarantining have given you a little extra time at home, as it did for John. If you’re struggling to fill those hours with something productive, ask yourself, “What am I going to do when I’m retired, when I will have EIGHT extra hours to fill every day?”
One reason that many seniors put off retirement is that working gives them something to do and a sense of purpose. When retirement rolls around, many of them struggle to create a new schedule that provides that same sense of structure. The foundation you lay today for your new business while killing time in quarantine could grow into a structure that will make your retirement more fulfilling.
- Put your experience to use.
Many retirees look back on their careers and think, “If only I knew then what I know now, I would have …”
What would you do differently? What pitfalls would you avoid? What risks would you take? Which ideas would you chase, and which would you leave by the wayside? What strengths would you focus on? What weaknesses would you improve, or offset by creating a key partnership?
There’s so much more to your career than the skillset you’ve developed. You also have the benefit of all your experiences, both the good and the bad. Use that lifetime of learning to build a better business and life.
- New realities and new opportunities.
It’s very likely that the home office will soon just be “the office” for many people. That’s one example of how Covid-19 has changed how, where, when, and why we work.
But the best entrepreneurs find opportunity in disruption. Your new retirement company might not be a brick-and-mortar operation. Instead, you might be able to invest the money you’ll save on things like rent and utilities by upgrading your technology infrastructure or building a remote support team.
Of course, the global marketplace has been disrupted too. But many professional services can survive or even thrive during disruption. Accounting, virtual administration, and expert consulting are always in demand. Other services, such as home or auto repair, landscaping, or graphic design can be provided without breaching social distancing recommendations. Your dream restaurant concept could be adapted into a cost-efficient food truck. Children who are struggling with learning at home could benefit from virtual tutoring.
Somewhere there’s a new niche that you are uniquely qualified to fill. Find it and be the first to set up shop.
- It’s not work if you love doing it.
Retirement is when many people finally focus on their passions and interests that they simply didn’t have time to pursue when they were working full time. Aspiring entrepreneurs have that same opportunity. Hiring yourself as CEO of your new company will allow you to focus on the parts of your work that truly inspire you.
You could also develop your talents and hobbies into an entirely different career. Open an online store and start selling the pies your friends and family go wild over. Post pictures of your latest woodworking project and see if there’s a potential customer base.
The Covid-19 pandemic has made each of us reflect on what our lives were like before and what we want them to be like going forward. If you think that dedicating some of your time and financial resources to starting your own company could improve your Return on Life, consider scheduling a meeting or virtual call with us.
Please remember that we are “here” and available for you. If you have any questions or concerns, financial or otherwise, please do not hesitate to call or email. If you have friends, family, or neighbors you feel would benefit from a conversation with me, I’m more than happy to have a call or jump on a Zoom meeting with them.
As always, I hope that you are doing well, and staying safe & healthy!