50? What Now?
If you are now over 50 years old and suddenly – or even purposely – find yourself out of a job – like me – and feel you’re not really ready or cannot afford to retire, you might just be overwhelmed at this point. I know first hand what that feels like, because I am at a point in my life, over 50, and for the first time since the tender age of 15, do not have a job. But I’d bet there are lots of opportunities for jobs for people over 50.
Besides, who needs a J.O.B. anyway?
The job you have been doing was most likely something you ended up doing, and not what you had originally pursued. If you were doing something that was your actual “dream job’, then good for you! But I bet that you hadn’t probably started out with it but instead found it along the way. Anyway, I suspect that most just ended up doing a job that they didn’t really like, and just put up with it. Working for yourself is quite different, but in the end its really just another form of a job.
Throughout my career I have had the privilege of mostly worked for myself, but the situation was really not really any different only in the fact that I could really only rely on one person – and that was me.
I felt I had lots of skills and even now I’m not really frightened about my prospects. I’m not defeated, just chomping at the bit, so to speak. This life thing has been, and is always going to be a bit of a struggle, and its really just a matter of getting going. Finding what works and what doesn’t. And trying not to repeat past mistakes.
At this point of human evolution, it is clear that we humans are survivors if nothing else. Human biology is rife with examples of survival mechanisms that have allowed us not only to survive, but thrive. Yes, humans are a complicated lot, but when faced with the most daunting of tasks, we almost always overcome.
But any type of similar pep talk is of little comfort at the start of such a journey. You need the hard facts.
Where to start?
Maybe you are feeling a bit like this. Maybe you feel you have no marketable skills from which to springboard into success. Maybe you feel you are too old to learn a new way of doing things and that technology is making your way of life obsolete….And just maybe you can make something from nothing.
And this is very true. Strong words from one of the last of the blues greats. Back when Buddy was young, all he had was nothing more than a bucket and a string, but that didn’t deter his musical inclination or progress. He could feel it.
You see, you don’t have to be the absolute best at doing something – you just have to be better than the next guy or your average customer. Happily, with just a little bit of knowledge, research and guidance this can be truly attainable.
What To Do Next?
If you have figured out that you want to try working for yourself, rather than someone else, you probably already know what you want to do but you can’t really see or grasp how you might make money or enough money to make it worthwhile. Spending time doing what you want to do is great, and if you get paid, its a bonus.
Figuring out the monetization model for your idea should be one of the considerations but not the primary one. If it is something that people want, or something they want to know, or want to know how to get it, you are most likely on the right track. Figuring out how exactly the money thing is going to work is probably the easiest part of the whole equation. If their is an audience out there, who is truly interested in what you have to say or do, then you should be able to create a workable plan and be able to execute it.
The trouble with most ideas is that they are often very difficult to be made into a viable plan because they are too broad in scope and appeal only moderately to a potential audience. In the era of high speed it is liberating to know that there is a willing audience for just about anything that you can think of. People generally want a solution to their problem. And if you can demonstrate that you are an expert in that area, you will likely be able to create some type of revenue stream from it.
The trick is to know how to create an audience that you can provide the solution to, and engage them in such a way that they trust you enough to exchange their money for your solution. Creating enough traffic is not necessarily going to translate into success. Neither is building a skukum website.
” If there is a hungry audience for the problem you are solving, they must be able to find you and trust you enough to buy from you.”
- Select a viable niche market
- Build an audience.
- Be helpful and build trust.
If this seems a we bit too simplistic, it is, and it is quite true. And doable. By anybody. Certainly there are lots more things to consider while you contemplate any future viable business venture, but these steps are vital to any successful campaign. They are also not easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it. But there are those who are doing exactly this, profitably – and loving it.
If you are not quite ready to get started, maybe it is time for a reality check.