CHAPTER 19

Be Your Own Boss

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For many 50+ workers, the entrepreneurial path is the ticket. It’s the American Dream. And with years of experience, you’re far more prepared to launch than a twenty-something. I have interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs and profiled some of their success stories in my book What’s Next? and I am always struck by entrepreneurs’ confidence, tenacity, and hope. No one questions how challenging it can be, but for most people, the reward is an inner payout that blows right by the financial struggles and setbacks.

An increasing number of workers age 50 and older are starting new businesses. A new AARP/Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey of 50+ employed workers shows that one in 20 plans to start his or her own business. Nearly one in five unemployed workers would like to do the same.

For the most part, we’re not talking Silicon Valley start-ups here, but one-person shops that might employ a handful of helpers.

Older entrepreneurs can have a lot of things working in their favor—a strong work ethic, management experience and well-established networks of potential customers. But be forewarned. Running a business usually takes more than a simple passion for what you’re doing. You may need to go back to school and get certifications.

You’ll definitely need a list of pros to help you, from a lawyer to a tax accountant. And, it’s always good to try ...

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