“What…. are you mad? In this economic climate?”
No, I know these aren’t the words you’d most like to hear when you first announce your intention to set up a new business venture but it’s one you’re quite likely to get! I guess we all know where this type of negative reaction comes from because on the face of it, things are pretty bleak ‘out there’ right now. All those things we once took for granted, like job security, predictable pension pots, early retirement options and the like, have now been consigned to ‘the good old days!’
It is women who have borne the brunt of the recession and its aftermath, so it’s little wonder that we midlife women in particular have been feeling pretty insecure about our financial futures over the last couple of years. We could be forgiven for feeling pretty negative about the way things have panned out for us.
But guess what….?
The current economy – this same economy we’ve been moaning about – has actually become a catalyst for some pretty amazing and inspiring changes, in the form of a brand new phenomenon – the ‘olderpreneur’. Such is the surge of older men and women who are choosing to set up in business for the very first time, they’ve even had to invent a new word to describe us!
Majority of small business start ups last year were by women- majority over 50
The largest proportion of small business start ups last year were by women – the majority of those being in the 50+ bracket. They can’t all be mad can they? Far from it – mad no, pragmatic yes.
As we know, ‘necessity’ is the mother invention’ and when the traditional options are no longer available, we are forced to think a bit more creatively. Rather than standing by feeling helpless and powerless, countless midlife women are choosing to look at things from a different perspective – and they’re liking what they see! Business offers them a powerful, creative way forward on all many, many different levels.
Yes, the world may have changed in ways which seem to have ridden roughshod over us but which in reality, actually supports any woman deciding to go into business right now.
This is truly a cause for optimism and celebration – but don’t just take my word for it, let’s look at the evidence:
• The world of work has changed BIG time and interactive technologies mean it has never been easier to set up in business without even having to venture from the comfort of your own home (or out of your PJ’s!) Most start up businesses are run from a home-based office and now it is entirely possible to go global from your kitchen table!
• The old top-down structures are giving way to more open, flexible and innovative ways of doing business. Brand new models of business which focus around networking, collaboration and communication are starting to form around us and these new models play directly to women’s strengths.
The internet has changed the business game
• The Internet has been the big game changer and we can now reach literally thousands of potential clients with little more that a PC and an Internet connection.
• Information is the newest commodity that everyone wants, which means that our experience, our knowledge and our ideas can be a valuable source of income.
But perhaps THE most important outcome from all this, is that vast numbers of women in their 40’s through to 60’s have taken the decision to move into the next phase of their lives doing what they love, helping others and making a difference, whilst adding purpose and fulfilment to their own lives AND making an income at the same time.
Now tell me, does that sound mad…. or does that sound like a BRILLIANT idea?