Retirees and Laid Off Personnel Can Find Hope In Self Employment and Start Up Enterprises

 

Although the news today is full of articles regarding the increase in employment and the urgent needs for skilled workers in select areas of the economy, there are still a significant number of layoffs and forced retirements in corporate America.  Should you find yourself in such a distressing situation, look at it from a fresh perspective. It just may offer the opportunity to re-shape your working life and  enhance your personal life.

Necessity is the Mother of Opportunity. 

The stories abound of people who make something sweet from the bitter lemon of a layoff or forced retirement. Here are three examples of people who navigated this difficult transition.

DONNY was an executive vice president at one of the nation’s largest banking conglomerates –– living a life that he loved and had worked hard to achieve –– when he was laid off in the Great Recession. Although he had a modest retirement package and savings, Donny’s age–– over 55–– and a slow economic recovery were working against him. Three years later, his savings diminished and few interviews coming his way, Donny decided to go into business. He thought of his experience in banking when he was young, handling mortgages and title transfers. This was something he knew that he could do, so he began looking for a place to set up shop. He decided that since the nearest town was a county seat, there would be a need for these services. Nearly five years after he started, Donny is making a good living from his business and spending more time with his family.

HALEY was working as a field auditor for one a major accounting firm and hated the travel. With a two children under twelve, Hillary recognized that she wanted to spend more time with her kids before they got too old. However, she couldn’t afford to leave her job. When layoffs came, she viewed it as the opportunity she needed. The severance pay helped her to start a local CPA firm oriented toward small businesses in her community. Haley built a strong book of small business clients by keeping her expenses low–– working from home and working solo. Today, with a comfortable income, Haley has developed both a life style and work style that fit her well.

Convert Your Passion Into A Paying Enterprise

CHARLES is a passionate golfer. He loved to say that when he wasn’t at work, he wanted to play golf, and when he wasn’t playing golf, he wanted to talk golf. Charles was more fortunate than most in that he was a salesperson for a large manufacturer that produced control panels for utilities. Often, he would go on golf outings with prospects or clients who liked to golf, but there was all the other time he spent in meetings, or in the home office, where he dreamed of the greens. One day, opportunity literally showed up at his door when the regional VP of his company asked him to organize a day-long golf outing for a large party of clients. “I don’t want the club to do it, Charlie, they always screw things up. This is a job that I know you can do better than anyone.” And Charlie did do it better, because he knew and loved the entire golf experience. When it was over, one of the company’s clients said to Charlie, “This was one of the best golf outings I’ve ever attended, Charlie,” and then jokingly added, “You should do this for a living!”  Those words resonated with Charlie when his company outsourced their sales to an independent contractor and Charles was let go. In less than two years, he was selling golf event management services for large corporate and non-profit organizations.

Two Important Ingredients

If you look at these examples closely, you should notice that all three successful transitions have two common elements:

    1. Find a need and fill it: This old axiom is as true as it ever was. All three of these folks determined there was a need for their product or services.
    2. Marry your core skills/experience to opportunity: All three of our enterprisers looked at their core skills and experience, stripped away the corporate layers to which they were accustomed, and fashioned enterprisers around these core skills.

So, whether you seek opportunity first and then merge it with your core skills, or the other way around, these two ingredients–– when present–– will be integral in making the successful transition from employed to self-employed.

 

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ATTENTION HR outplacement officers: HIRE YOURSELF! is a course offered by Peter Ancone for the soon-to-retire and newly laid off employees. For information, contact pete@peterancone.com or call 904-342-8950.

 

 

 

Never Work A Day In Your Life: A Guide to Self Employment

Get Your Copy Here!

Never Work A Day In Your Life! is a concise and easy to read handbook that is an essential guide to anyone considering self employment or starting your own enterprise. The increase in the number of so-called 1099ers and independent contractors, along with the emergence of the GIG economy, have made hiring yourself one of the most significant trends in business. Never Work A Day In Your Life! is both instructional and motivational. Included are guides to the basic organization, marketing, branding, legal and financial steps to starting your own enterprise. The author also addresses both the HOW TO and the WHY TO aspects of striking out on your own, including: • The upsides/downsides of self employment. • Evaluating core skills that will translate into an enterprise of your making. • Choosing the kind of enterprise for you, such as independent contracting versus creating a business with employees. • Choosing a WORK STYLE that fits your LIFE STYLE. • Creating a blueprint for success. • Launching your enterprise. Enterpriser Examples The author has also included the stories of several enterprisers who recount their backstories and share their successes and failures with the reader.

 

Self Employment: The HOW TOs and WHY TOs of Hiring Yourself

Choose something that you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life. This ancient proverb, which has been attributed to Confucius (although this is debated), reverberates into the 22nd century and was the epiphany for my choice to hire myself at age 28. In a 2009 study by the Pew Research Center, it was reported that 

“Self-employed adults are significantly more satisfied with their jobs than other workers. They’re also more likely to work because they want to and not because they need a paycheck.

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The Pew study shows that nearly four-in-ten self-employed workers (39%) say they are “completely satisfied” with their jobs, compared with 28% of all wage or salaried employees.

Here are some of the reasons why the self employed are happy.

 Focus on Opportunity, not Security                                                       ‘Get a good job with good benefits and you’ll have no worries.’ Well, that just ain’t true anymore. Job security went out the window years ago and employee benefits are being trimmed. Want job security? Hire yourself, create an enterprise that is determined (for the most part) by your own wits, skills and determination. For those truly interested in self employment, the first task is to retrain your brain. Forget job security and start thinking about opportunity. Is there a way you can use your skill set to make money? You won’t really be losing all that much as various studies show that the self employed and employed earn about the same annual median income.Where it really varies is in the long term, where the self employed tend to out-earn their employed peers. The difference is in the freedom to capitalize and build on opportunity.

Crafting Your Career, Sculpting Your Life                                                 Start with a vision of your enterprise. Do you envision yourself running a company with employees? Or, perhaps, you like the idea of creating a job for yourself and selling these services on a contract basis?                                                                                                 Your business structure will also be determined by whether you’re selling products or services, or whether your business is labor intensive, requires a physical plant and many other factors. From a review of all these questions  you will ascertain what form your business should take.

Determine What You Want From Your Work                                 Over my many years of speaking in front of businesspeople, and working with smaller businesses and professionals, I have seen how making the decision to be self-employed, for the wrong reason, can come back to haunt you.  There are many ways to be self-employed, successful, and happy. 

Find a work-style that works for you, for example:

• You like structure and organization at work, but you don’t want it to be someone else’s idea of structure. Then choosing to start a traditional business, perhaps with employees, may suit your life style.

• You like to have direct contact with customers/clients, and enjoy doing the work or creating the product with as little outside interference as possible. Then, perhaps you should consider being an independent contractor or running a solo enterprise.

• You’re interested in wealth accumulation and retiring early enough to enjoy it. Then you’ll probably want to focus on an enterprise that offers passive income potential, such as selling products which offer an ongoing return.

For many self-employed people, success is not only measured by money brought in, but by freedom of ideas, of creativity, and of time to live life.