Livin' & Learnin'

We have been self employed more than once in life. I’ve made all or part of my income from self employment for many years. We sold our business about 10 years ago and I haven’t done any freelance work or started another business in all these years. Now with retirement, I’ve been looking at that possibility again.

There are many lessons your business will teach you. One of the most important is: what kind of business you would want if you had it to do all over again. I did learn that lesson. I know what I want and what I don’t.

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A business can consume your life. A business is your life. I can’t say that I don’t want that again because it’s unrealistic. Any business must be the center of your life. Ignore the claims that you can work only four hours a week and make a living. Eventually maybe, but not in the beginning. It simply won’t happen that way.

With that said, there is some truth to the adage that “if you do something you love, you won’t work another day in your life.” I don’t know who said that, but I believe it. It’s also the first truth of being in business. If you hate it, you won’t work it like you should.

I encourage anyone to seek out a way to earn beyond a job. It’s liberating, but there are some pitfalls.

It’s important to ask yourself some questions before taking the plunge into your own business. Search your mind and your soul for answers. Being in business isn’t for everyone and it’s better to find out where you fit sooner rather than later.

The SBA has a list of 20 questions to ask yourself.

What about money? Do you have enough to start a business? Will you need to borrow? If you do, beef up that business plan. It will help you in many ways and not just getting money. Better yet, find the money without borrowing. Sell something. Earn it somehow, etc. You won’t have the added burden of a bank loan.

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Business plan resources:

The Small Business Administration
BPlans: The Ultimate Guide to Business Planning

Talk with like-minded folks on forums.

Often, someone has been through and solved the very problem that is vexing you. There are many forums out there so don’t limit yourself to just these.

The Small Business Forum

Another Small Business Forum

You may have heard that many new businesses fail. Some throw out a 90% failure rate for businesses. The real number is much less than that, but you should be determined that you aren’t going to be a statistic.

The Small Business Administration’s Starting a Business information.

There’s a special section for people over 50 who want to be Encore Entrepreneurs

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