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20 Questions to ask Yourself when Deciding to leave a Full-Time Role and Career

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20 Questions to ask Yourself when Deciding to leave a Full-Time Role and Career

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What Family Traditions do you hope stay around long into the future?

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What Family Traditions do you hope stay around long into the future?

What traditions exist in your family?

Could it be a recipe handed down over the years?  A friend recently posted a photo of an ancient, handwritten recipe she was cooking from – written out by her great grandmother many years ago.

Do you do takeout and movie night once a week?  Or a family camping every Easter?  Do you buy an annual Christmas decoration for the tree?  A friend of mine does that and the 2020 decoration had toilet rolls and face masks on it! 

Whatever you do, the benefits can be great for a multigenerational family.

How to Sustain Traditions for the future

In thinking about how to sustain them, here’s a few tips.  If traditions are time consuming or overly complex, they may fall to the wayside in our busy lives.  Here are a couple of tips for continuity in your family traditions:

  • Try to keep them simple as they are more likely to be repeated.
  • Be willing to try things and then scrap them if they don’t work out. I hope to create a new tradition in my family, that as each of my nieces and nephews graduate from high school, we do some volunteer work somewhere in the world together.  Let’s see if we can make that stick for a few years as they all grow up. 
  • Assess how inclusive and fun the activity is – if it feels like a chore for everyone it may not stick.
  • If you are a new grandparent, think about some new traditions you can evolve as your grandkids grow up.
  • If you are creating a new tradition, think about what your family enjoys and build upon that. The Covid-19 pandemic may have made it hard to stick to some family traditions, so start some new ones in their place. 

Enjoy making cross generational memories through your family traditions!

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Is Healthspan or Lifespan more Important?

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Is Healthspan or Lifespan more Important?

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What is working for and against increasing healthspan?

Sadly, many of our health structures do not support positive preventative healthcare.  Our health insurers often cover only when you are actually ill, rather than helping an individual avoid the illness, if possible, in the first place.  Also baby boomers consider themselves a tough bunch, and many don’t see the need for preventative health checks, soldiering on until it becomes too serious to keep going.  Additionally, getting in home support is often woefully underfunded or not available, pushing more people into care than perhaps need to be there.

However, there are regions of the world that are focused on increasing healthspan and are transforming their communities.  They are doing this by promoting facilities such as walking paths, bike lanes and attractive scenery; food markets featuring fruit and vegetables, as well as restaurants with healthy choices; societies and clubs with active members.  All of these can contribute to increased healthspan.

As Dr Allen Weiss, CMO of the Blue Zones Project shared, “Southwest Florida’s Collier County metropolitan statistical area added 0.6 years of life expectancy over the past five years. This positive result, due in large measure to the Blue Zones Project, is in contradistinction to the rest of the nation which lost 0.2 years from 2015 to 2017. Additionally, Southwest Florida’s cardiac mortality declined 8.1 percent during the same time period.” 

For those who are unaware, the Blue Zones Project is based on nine principles — moving naturally, having purpose, downshifting, consuming a plant-slant diet (little to no meat), eating until 80 percent full, having wine at five, putting family first, have a positive group of friends, and participating in a faith based organisation.  These principles were learned from five locales around the world where more people live to age 100 than other places globally.

Are we ready to move on from talking about extending lifespan? Is healthspan worth a bit more understanding about how we can influence it?  What can you do to increase your own healthspan, and those you love? What can you contribute to your community to influence it also?

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Need Some Ideas for Setting your 2021 Goals?

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Need Some Ideas for Setting your 2021 Goals?

As you edge closer to retirement, or if you are already in your Third Age*, where do you get your ideas for your goals? Where does that internal motivation come from that drives your energy? What encourages your forward momentum, especially when that becomes harder as you age?

I would encourage you to include, as one source of inspiration, information that is coming out of the many relevant research projects happening across the globe. This work looks into what helps you live well, that is increasing your healthspan, along with what influences how long you live, your lifespan.

BUT I hear you say……Who is going to find, follow and read that research? We are! While it is evolving all the time, the important areas are relatively clear and we have captured them in our free questionnaire, the Wayfinder. While this diagnostic tool will continue to develop in line with the research, you can definitely use it as one input to developing personal and motivating goals in 2021.

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So what areas might you consider including:

The first key theme encourages you to set goals that help drive your forward Momentum.

1. What will bring purpose and meaning for you? What is your vision for your Third Age? How will you spend your time so that you feel like you are contributing and remain relevant?

  • e.g. you might set a goal around the contribution you want to make to your community, church or role as a grandparent. You might have a travel goal, or two! Or maybe you want to start a part-time business as a passion project?

2. How much energy are you bringing to the journey? What effort are you prepared to put in to help you achieve your goals? The act of setting goals that are important to you, action based and achievable, will provide an energy boost to keep you moving forward.

3. How curious are you to learn and grow in your Third Age? How open are you to new experiences? Continuous learning helps keep you cognitively stronger longer.

  • e.g. your goal here might be something like, ‘Learn to play three songs on the drums to be able to take part in the family band by the end of 2021.’

The second key theme focuses you on strengthening relationships in your close and broader Community. Sometimes when we leave the workplace, friends drift away and the relationship with our spouse changes.

To avoid the challenges that this brings you might set goals in some of these areas:

1. What are you keen to improve concerning your family and close friends? Are there relationships that need work? Have you discussed how retirement will impact the relationship you have with your spouse?

  • e.g. you might set a goal around spending time with your grandchildren once a month, or restarting weekly date night with your significant other.

2. How wide are your connections beyond your close family and friends? Who provides information, community and support in your life? Would it be beneficial to set some goals in this space?

  • e.g. you might aim to develop five contacts outside the workplace in the area of sports, hobbies or other community groups. Think through your strategies for maintaining these connections in the future.

3. Consider any goals you might create about developing you. How self-aware are you? How well do you deal with transition and change? Do you consider yourself fairly resilient?

  • an example here might be to learn some strategies to manage any anxiety that comes with the unknowns of your Third Age, or you might want to take a chunk of time to just relax and unwind if you have recently left a full-time role.

The third key theme encourages you to set goals to build and maintain your Assets

1. Perhaps the easiest is to outline a wellbeing goal! This can be anything about your mental, physical, emotional or spiritual wellbeing.

  • e.g. for the first six months of 2021 I am taking a deep dive into intermittent fasting. As more and more supporting evidence is published, I am interested to see how beneficial it could be for me.

2. Do you want to set any goals around your finances?

  • e.g. achieve zero debt by Dec 2021, or something around what budget you are working with, particularly if this has changed recently.  

3. Finally consider what skills and experiences you have which can be usefully repurposed in your Third Age, or new ones you would like to learn.

  • one example is that you might like to learn to use a DSLR camera now that you have the time to practice.

To summarize, when you are looking for ideas and inspiration for your goals for 2021, consider some of the following areas

Maintain your momentum through being clearer on your purpose, what drives your energy and how curious you want to be.  Review your community by looking at your relationships with family and close friends, your wider connections and yourself.  And finally, determine what you want to achieve with respect to your assets – either wellbeing, finances or skills and experiences.

*Third Age – that time post leaving full-time employment when you have the most flexibility and freedom as compared to when in education or working and possibly raising a family or contributing to elder care. 

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Avoid Making New Year’s Resolutions at all Costs!

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Avoid Making New Year’s Resolutions at all Costs!

I am not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. Research by Strava, found that most people gave up their New Year’s Resolutions by Jan 19th!!!  Yet, I do believe in goal setting as one key to the energy and motivation we draw upon to move forward each year. Goals enable you to create the world you want to live in, to design the life you want to lead – in short help you be the best version of you this year.

 

But aren’t goals only for the workplace? What if I have retired? It’s just as important to set goals around retirement or planning for retirement – otherwise what happens? Life gets in the way and time flies past. In 2020 I was in awe of, now 100 year old, Captain Sir Tom Moore, who had a goal to walk 100 laps of his garden to raise GBP1000 for the NHS. An obvious over achiever, he raised more than GBP39 million and became the sweetheart of the UK at a very challenging time.

 

In January 2020 I wrote my 20 goals for 2020. It seemed like a good idea at the time! But, like many, my 2020 was a bit of a write off. So I had a major rewrite mid year – and that’s OK too. But I had a place to begin with that revision, rather than a blank sheet of paper.

 

When reflecting on all the best tips on goal setting I offer these six to focus on when writing your goals for 2021:

1.List all your accomplishments in 2020 and review what you learned.

Look for themes – What did you find you enjoyed more this year than you expected to? What new skills did you learn or discover? e.g. Did you learn that you like the remote connection of Zoom we all learnt to use in 2020? Or did you discover that you felt too isolated without so much in person interaction? Take these learnings and build more of the positives into your 2021 goals.

2.Be holistic in setting goals.

Develop 2021 goals for each aspect of your life (check out our Wayfinder questionnaire which will give you several ideas on topics). Some examples include goals around:

  • improving your wellbeing – physical health, mental health or cognitive health
  • achieving a financial target – two friends of mine have a goal to pay off their property this year and I am confident they will!
  • learning something new – a skill or take on board new knowledge
  • having an experience, perhaps one from your bucket list. One of my mottos is the old Emirates tagline – ‘When was the last time you did something for the first time?’
  • investing time in closer relationships with your family and friends
  • broadening your network and circle of acquaintances – as an introvert I need to actively focus here. I find when traveling alone I can go for days or weeks living in my own little world, so making new connections is a non-negotiable goal on my agenda
  • achieving a travel goal – that may need to be mostly local in 2021 but may still be possible
  • giving back to your community or a more global cause.
  • changing some behaviors’ that aren’t working for you e.g. becoming more forgiving or developing your assertiveness skills or your listening skills.

3.Be clear on why you want this as a goal.

I love the quote from Dr. Peter Fuda, who works in the leadership and transformation space, he says “Your ‘why’ is the most important part of ‘how’ you achieve anything.” Test your reason for wanting to include each goal in your 2021 list. This will also help you narrow down your goals and hold you to the most important ones.

4.Don’t limit yourself - dream big!

An ambitious aim is inspirational, stretching and definitely something that can get you out of bed in the morning. People will cheer you on and help you stay accountable.

5.Break your goals into bite sized pieces

Small steps move you forward to your ultimate goal and small steps are easier to measure. And we’ve all heard that old adage – what gets measured get’s done! So break your big, hairy, audacious goals down.

6.Celebrate!!!!

Review your goals regularly through the year to see if you are on track, or if circumstances need you to change them. But most of all review them so you can pause to acknowledge success as you tick off big and small milestones on the way to the end goal. I like the celebrations best – usually mine are chocolate related! Oh and try not to beat yourself up over those you did not achieve. I know, harder said than done!

Goals are relevant no matter what stage of your life journey you are in. So what’s next for you in 2021?

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The Future of Travel

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The Future of Travel

The return of hope and opportunity” is how The Secretary General of the World Tourism Agency described the restarting of tourism. The European Commission has provided unprecedented economic support to the sector, and as destinations throughout the Schengen Zone are once again open, this will have positive impact on economies and livelihoods. Sadly, many countries are much further away from reopening and thus gaining a part of any tourism spend.

What Will Individual Travel Look Like?

I took a domestic flight in Australia last week and it all started as I would have expected. Social distancing throughout the airport and lots of reminders to wash your hands and sanitize etc. Every second chair in the boarding gate was off limits, lounges were shut and 1.5m needed to be observed on the gangway as you boarded. But once on the plane – it was exactly the same as pre-COVID with the exception of a couple of people wearing masks. The flight was full and the measures taken to get to the flight seemed almost hypocritical. But I understand airlines need to recover too and that will be made even harder as investors lose confidence. For example, Warren Buffet sold his entire shareholding in four airlines and he’s not alone.

Without a functioning crystal ball, some of the predictions for the future of travel include:

Travel Policy

  • Travel insurance companies will need to rebuild customer confidence by, for example, making their policies around dealing with pandemics more explicit and cancellations and changes easier.

  • Health certificates might be required to travel in the future. Visas might be harder to obtain for some destinations and perhaps more vaccinations be required prior to travel. Could antivaxers have more challenges travelling?

  • Greater flexibility in bookings will be offered by the travel companies – better cancellation clauses etc.

Accommodation

  • AirBnB hosts may get elevated status if they plan breaks between each guest for a deep clean of the property.
  • Hotels will more visibly promote how they keep their property pristine and deeply cleaned. Check in procedures will be automated.

Transportation

  • While initially there may be some cheap seats going to entice travelers back, as so many travel companies are facing financial challenges, it is anticipated that fares will be generally fairly expensive going forward.

  • Airlines will require mandatory mask wearing for the duration of the journey (my experience so far does not support this but on Emirates, for example, it is currently mandatory), and less food and beverages are also likely to be served.

  • Cruise ships will come back into favour, slowly, but much stricter health and safety measures will be in place to monitor this close quartered population. Food buffets will become a distant memory.

  • Business travel will significantly decrease in the future as technology has proven itself to be a reliable alternative to having to travel to meetings.

Destinations

  • Travel will have a local focus – e.g. road trips, supporting local establishments. We will need to keep it safe and simple, at least for the near future.

  • Eco-tourism and nature vacations will be on trend.

  • Will over-tourism become a thing of the past? Will more countries follow Bhutan’s lead as they seek low-volume, high-value visitors?

  • Travel may be to destinations that need to be protected with the help of the tourist dollar e.g. safari destination in Africa to fund anti-poaching organisations. Will we travel with more of a purpose in the future?

  • It will be more than a year before travel to the countries with the largest COVID outbreaks (e.g. US and Brazil) return to anywhere near normal.

  • Wellness type holidays will also be on trend going forward as many try to de-stress after managing the impact of the health crises for so long.

When you start travelling again what will it look like? The serial traveler Michael Palin, perhaps put it best, “We will travel less, and travel better.” This is likely the reality in the short term at least.

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The What and Why of Mindfulness

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The What and Why of Mindfulness

Secular Mindfulness was introduced by Jon Kabat-Zinn, back in the 1970s. His MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) programme proved highly beneficial in helping patients with depression, anxiety and also those dealing with chronic pain. Still a highly effective and much used tool, Mindfulness has since received great interest and research scrutiny, finding its way into mainstream healthy living and well-being practices. So what is it and why do so many peeps practice it? 

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of maintaining a non-judgmental present moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surrounding environment. It also includes the intentional nurturing of positive states of mind such as kindness and compassion. 

Why practice Mindfulness?

Research shows us the benefit of adding mindful practice into our daily lives; it is a valuable tool, along with other healthy lifestyle choices which support our well-being. The 3 key areas of benefit are :

1. An increased  ability to focus and concentrate. Amongst many studies, Adam Moore and his colleagues at John Moores University in the UK found that practicing Mindfulness meditation in brief  daily intervals can positively impact and improve our level of concentration. (Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2012) 

2. Improved ability to self-regulate our emotions as well as a more compassionate attitude and behaviour towards ourselves and others. There is an increasing body of research, using  neuroimaging studies which point to the structural changes of a myriad of brain regions mainly involved in emotion regulation and self-referential processing.  Studies are continuing to explore the benefits across all ages, for adults and children alike. With a growing evidence base, Mindfulness programmes are being increasingly included within our schools. The research and work by Kristin Neff on the importance of self-compassion is particularly interesting. Neff and her colleagues have identified the importance of Self-Compassion over Self-Esteem in the development of resilience. Whilst self-esteem wavers with the vagaries of success and provides little buffer in the face of challenge, self-compassion is now known to be key in surfing challenge and adversity. The Mindful practice of compassion nurtures the ability to calm the voice of inner critic and raise the cheer-leader within. 

3. General Well-Being.  Decreased stress, anxiety and depression are all promoted and supported through Mindful practices. Amongst the many research papers and studies, Nicole Geschwind and fellow researchers, in a 2011 study, found that those who had completed an 8 week programme of Mindfulness training reported greater pleasure, enhanced responsiveness and a greater appreciation of pleasant daily life-activity. How fabulous is that! We can learn to help ourselves get the most out of life within 8 weeks! 

 

If you would like to find out more or join some free Mindfulness sessions to explore its benefits please click on the link below 

https://thelivingwellconsultancy.com/services

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Don’t Ever Call Yourself Old!

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Don’t Ever Call Yourself Old!​

A few years ago, I got into a cab in Sydney and the driver asked, “Ok young lady, where to today?” I smiled and said, “Oh how nice, no-one has called me ‘young lady’ in years”. He said, “Ok, you old bag, where are we going?!” It still makes me chuckle but there is growing recognition of the language we use when we speak about ageing and the damage it can do. Terms like ‘dried up’, ‘wrinkly’, ‘old bat’, ‘over the hill’, ‘elderly’, ‘of a certain age’ and ‘vulnerable person’ pigeon-hole and demean people. Worryingly, we sometimes resort to using these terms to describe ourselves and this has implications for our mental health.

A 2013 study found that calling yourself old leads to greater levels of body dissatisfaction, anxiety, depression and more physical and mental health problems.

Carolyn Becker, of Trinity University, surveyed more than 900 American, British and Australian women ranging in age from 18 to 87. She asked questions about old talk – the kind of speech that indicates an aging appearance is unacceptable. She found it most prevalent in the women who were 46 or older. What’s more, the women who were most likely to engage in “old talk” were also more likely to report eating disorder diagnoses and decreased body satisfaction.

Our culture seems to be obsessed with youth; the anti-aging market was worth USD52 billion in 2019 and the market for botox grew 8%! It’s hardly surprising that if you obsess about your wrinkles and grey hair, you’ll really resent your age and your body.
Self-care is a huge topic and our awareness of its implications for wellbeing are huge. A very important part of self-care is self-talk. Self-talk refers to the way we talk to ourselves. What we refer to as negative self-talk is at the heart of many mental health challenges, such as stress, depression and anxiety. Alternatively more positive self-talk can really influence the way we think, feel, and behave.

So, take note of the language you use – swap out the ageist terms and thinking in favour of more constructive terminology; older, wiser, experienced, mature, perennial, vintage! Each of these words acknowledges age but emphasis the positive that accompanies it.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with talking about getting older – there are lots of benefits to it like better social skills and empathy and a happier outlook, but our aim, when we talk about getting older, is to not always focus on it being better to be young.
Catherine Rickwood of the Three Sisters Group suggests that if you answer ‘yes’ to any of the below, then it might be time to re-frame your idea of what it is to become older.

Do you say or think…

  1. “I don’t do that because I’m past it (i.e. too old).”
  2. “That’s simply what happens when you get old…”
  3. “Going to the doctors is just part of ageing.”
  4. “I’m way too old for that!”
  5. “My legs/eyes/body just aren’t what they used to be.” (Really? Compared to when – 18 months or 18 years old? And, who cares?)

How did you go?

The thing about age is that it is inevitable – the numbers go up every year. What we can change is our attitude and we can make sure we don’t demean ourselves or others with language that focuses only on the age and not the experience that comes with it.
In the words of Dawn French; “Why would I worry about getting older—what’s to moan about?”

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Go on, pursue a hobby!

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Go on, pursue a hobby!

For a lot of us, spending time on a hobby feels like an indulgence or a slightly guilty pleasure. Something to be sneaked in, only once the Mountain of Everything Else has been successfully scaled. Often, when life gets too busy and frenetic, the hobby is the first casualty; craft gets packed away, the garden gets neglected and the hobby-related connections get shelved ‘for now’. Leap forward several months, years, even decades and we catch ourselves saying things like, “Oh yes, I used to love photography (insert your own hobby here) when I was younger. I was part of a club and we had such great times”.

Mothballing a hobby is often a source of regret and its loss can have implications for our wellbeing too. After all, a hobby is a marvelous way to unwind from the rigours of our daily routine. Our lives feel so busy – the urgent things have strident voices and refuse to get in an orderly queue! The trouble with hobbies is that they are too well mannered and quietly spoken for their own good, accepting of the neglect. But it’s not just the hobby that gets neglected – we suffer too. Spending time on activities that we enjoy can help improve our mental health and wellbeing. This is really important when we consider that anxiety and stress are two of the most common mental health problems of the modern world; the Anxiety and Depression Association of America cites that 18% of adults in the US experience anxiety disorders each year!

I can elect something I love and absorb myself in it.
Anaïs Nin

Research shows that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from low moods, stress and depression – essentially hobbies allow us to easily self-medicate. A recent survey on stress and wellbeing conducted by the Australian Psychological Society found that four in five participants found activities like listening to music and spending time on a hobby was an effective way of managing stress. So, take some time out of your busy day to rekindle a hobby and feel the benefits!

Different hobbies bring physical, mental, emotional, and creative benefits and combine to make life more meaningful, relaxing and fun!

There is creative reading as well as creative writing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Physical hobbies like swimming, tramping and yoga have clear physiological benefits because they increase both your heart rate and brain function. Other benefits include lower blood pressure, weight loss, building muscle, strengthening bones, and an overall increase in energy.

Mental and emotional benefits accrue when we leverage a hobby to take our minds off the more pressing concerns of daily life like work, family conflicts and paying bills. Also, hobbies like gardening, painting, drawing, cooking and photography can give us a sense of mastery which is good for our esteem.

Hobbies that help us form friendships and meet others add another layer of support to our lives which is also good for our wellbeing, particularly in our Third Age. Meet Up is a great platform for this – there are dozens of groups in every city dedicated to all kinds of hobbies like exploring new restaurants, seeing movies, discussing philosophy, trying new technology, playing music etc. It is likely that you’ll find others interested in the same things you are!

Hobbies that engage our creativity are also great for our wellbeing. Examples include writing. cake decorating, knitting, woodworking, restoring old cars etc.

Ultimately, hobbies take many shapes and sizes and that’s the beauty of them. They are without question, good for us and well worth the time invested. If you’re still struggling with any feelings of guilt or over-indulgence, look at it this way, hobbies are a public service! In pursuing a hobby and actively managing stress and anxiety, you’re doing a good thing for yourself, your family and your community. You’ll be calmer, more creative, healthier and more confident and one heck of a role model for anyone needing inspiration. Thank you!

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Calmness is the cradle of power."
J.G. Holland

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Is Now the Right Time to be an Entrepreneur?

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Is Now The Right Time to be an Entrepreneur?

Is now the right time to take the plunge, back yourself and start your own business?  This might sound crazy at a time like this, but I bet it’s crossed the minds of many.  The economic impact of COVID19 has meant that lots of people are being furloughed, retrenched, made redundant or forced into early retirement, and lots will be thinking about what’s next for them.  The prospect of a drawn-out job search, perhaps long-term unemployment or accepting lower pay and benefits could be just too gloomy for many, especially those who were looking to do something different before all this mess happened.

Research in 2019 from Penn State University found that older people are an underestimated source of entrepreneurial flair! They found that people like us often have a wide variety of interests and these stimulate and feed ideas and innovation.  In addition, our ideas often have community interests at their core. 

The perception that innovation and entrepreneurial behaviour is the domain of the young is unfounded – research from MIT and Northwestern University highlighted that entrepreneurs 50 years and older are nearly twice as likely to achieve success than those in their 30s.

The reasons for this success are likely to include things like a richer network to tap into for suppliers, co-founders, new hires and financial supporters. Older entrepreneurs are also likely to have their own money to invest in the venture and we can’t overlook the years of experience they bring to the equation.  Even better if the startup business is in the same industry because then we can leverage all our experience and knowledge. 

If you are considering the bold move to your own business, maybe you should! Carefully consider the need for your business idea.  While it might sound contradictory, it is clear that recession hits small businesses the hardest.  However, it also creates a fertile ground for innovative startups. For example, I recently saw an online start-up where the service being provided was the set up and facilitation of wonderful online events e.g. birthday parties, 50th wedding anniversaries, etc.  Not an idea that perhaps would have gotten much traction in 2019, but 2020 is a whole new ballgame! 

In addition, research suggests that it’s the things we don’t do in life that we regret the most! So, if you do want to start your own business there are some important steps to get busy on:

1) Get clarity on your idea

Try to understand what you want to do and why you want to do it.  Getting clarity here is critical.

2) Conduct your research

Is there demand for your idea? Do the research to make sure that you have support for your assumptions; check that people will pay for what you’ll offer, understand who are your competitors and what will you do that competitors aren’t doing already?  You’ll also need to explore likely pricing, costs and profitability. Also review what skills you will bring to the enterprise and where you might be lacking. Is it realistic for you to bridge those skill gaps yourself or can you fund buying these skills in?

3) Create a business plan

This will help you test profitability, understand your financial needs, and give you a roadmap for bringing your business to life and growing it. There are some helpful business planning tools online to help with this.  Over estimate how long it will take you to begin to earn income, can your finances carry you through that period?

4) Obtain registration and incorporation

This step usually includes things like choosing a name, deciding on the legal structure for your business, obtaining a bank account, obtaining a domain name for your website, getting a tax number etc.

5) Corral the team

Round up the people with the expertise you’ll need for success, for example marketing, customer service, technical support, accounting, banking etc.  To keep expenses down at the outset while you test your concept, can you do some of this yourself, or do a barter agreement for something you can provide? OR this could be rewritten to say identify what you can do yourself and what you MUST outsource at the outset. Those you must outsource, can you do any form of barter agreement with the provider or pay in installments?

6) Financial Resources

There are multiple sources of funding and interest rates are at their lowest in years.  However, take time to explore the costs and benefits of each potential source of funding, such as your own cash, a loan, an overdraft, cofounders, friends and family etc. 

Don’t get me wrong!  I am not advocating that this is a great time to set up a business. Ultimately, with the world and domestic economies in a state of uncertainty, it’s probably a difficult time to summon the courage and follow your dreams in terms of starting your own business.  However, whether it’s by choice or not, more people than ever will be questioning the merits of the standard employer/employee relationship and thinking strenuously about what’s next for them.  If you took the plunge, what would you do?

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