“Business is not financial science, it’s about trading … buying and selling. It’s about creating a product or service so good that people will pay for it.”
Anita Roddick, Founder of The Body Shop
It’s hard to believe that I was ever an employee, feeling trapped and miserable in a job that gave me zero flexibility, capped my income and shackled my independence.
I know what it’s like to yearn for something better but to wonder if you have what it takes to make it on your own. I was a single parent, with no one else to pay my mortgage. I wanted more time and freedom to balance child-care with my own desire to have control over my own destiny. And I wanted my income to be determined by my own efforts, not by the mood or whims or dictates of a boss. I wanted to be in control, riding the winds of fortune and navigating the fluctuating economic landscape.
More than that I wanted to rekindle my passion and creativity in both the workplace and home. And I wanted to make a living doing the work I felt born to do.
Are these things you yearn for too?
I was uncertain about how I could employ myself and create a business I’d love with such a passion, that one day I would say, “This isn’t working; this is fun.”
I’m not a risk-taker. Not a reckless, foolishly optimistic one anyway. I was afraid like you might be. I doubted anyone would hire me, or that I could convince others to buy my products and services. I worried that if I severed the safety chord of a regular wage I may not be able to pay my mortgage.
I’d lost my confidence, and worse, I’d lost my self-esteem, trading in my health and happiness for the ‘security’ of a regular pay cheque. I had a mortgage to feed, and a daughter to support on my own, and so I boxed on. But I never gave up on my dream.
I started feeding my soul, like you are, by reading books like this one—by, and about, inspired entrepreneurs.
If you feel like I once did, wondering if being happy at work will ever happen for you, help is at hand. If you fear that if you leave a job you hate, you won’t be able to pay the bills, this book will help you start smart.
If you’ve bought into the mistaken belief that owning your own business will cost a bomb, or wreak havoc with your work-life balance, this book will set you straight. If worrying about the taxman or legal stuff is putting you off starting a business, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.
Self-employment is an excellent option for Mid-lifers. While some employers may consider your age or wealth of experience to be a liability, that same experience is an asset when you are running your own show.
Prospective clients and customers care more about the value you can provide than they do about your age. And running your own business can also offer you the freedom, flexibility, purpose, and autonomy you crave. Plus, if you structure things right from the outset you’ll end up with more money in your wallet.
I created this book for people like you who yearn for more autonomy and have ever thought, ‘I want to start my own business, but I don’t know what to do.’
This isn’t a quick-tips-start-your-business-tomorrow, follow-these-steps-in-this-exact-order kind of book. Simply put it’s based on my real-world experiences starting and growing many successful businesses, and the experiences of other people like you. Woman and men in their mid-life who want to be their own boss; to live and work with passion—and still pay the bills!
‘To create meaningful music,’ Neil Diamond sings, ‘You have to look into your own life experiences.’ The same wisdom applies to employing yourself—to create a meaningful business, if you turn to your life experiences and leverage off the things that have shaped you, you will find your passion and purpose.
Like Barry, whose bad boy behavior and close shave with divorce led him to create a business helping others save their marriage. And Joy who had no idea whether her business would be successful but followed her heart, and pursued her passion and natural talent for creating beauty in other people’s lives.
In this book, you’ll read about Dame Wendy Pye, who was dumped from her job and, vowing to prove her former boss had made a huge mistake, went on to create her own multi-millionaire dollar publishing business.
Whether you are a start-up entrepreneur, or a businessperson looking for a fresh start Mid-Life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself will help you make the right moves to choose and grow your business with confidence.
I read a book once—it changed my life: The Work We Were Born To Do, by Nick Williams. My hope is that my book will change yours.
“Jobs are a centuries-old concept created during the Industrial Revolution. Despite the reality that we’re now deep in the Information Age, many people are studying for, or working at, or clinging to the Industrial Age idea of a safe secure job.”
Robert Kiyosaki, Entrepreneur and Author
Being self-employed was common until the industrial revolution. Then people began to pour into factories and industries and quickly relied on others to create their employment and provide the security of a steady paycheck.
But now it seems as though careers have come full circle.
In these days of limited job security and continual restructuring, increasing numbers of people are considering starting their own business. As the author of We Are All Self-Employed, Cliff Hakim notes; the only security you have nowadays is that you have a saleable skill.
The reasons increasing numbers of people are opting for self-employment include: greater control over their own destinies, freedom from the politics of the corporate office environment, and increased flexibility and autonomy. Others see self-employment as the only way to create a job they love, find a niche for their passions or pay the bills in their twilight years.
Research also highlights the fact that many people in their 40’s and 50’s and beyond also opt for self-employment as a way to counteract organizations that under-value the significant contributions mid-lifers can still offer. Ageism and the reluctance of some recruiters and hiring managers to hire older workers is sadly still a reality.
Sobering research suggests that many businesses fail within the first few years. With sound planning, robust research, passion, and perseverance you can build your business with confidence.
Employ Yourself will help you learn:
For convenience, I use the terms ‘business’, ‘self-employed’ and ‘employ yourself’ to refer to any activity that means you are your own boss—whether as a freelancer, contractor, business owner or self-employed person etc.
Let’s look briefly at what each section in this book will cover:
Step One, “Choose Your business” will help you generate business ideas, and tap into your passions and life experience to work with purpose and find the right product for the right market. This will make it easier to decide what you want to do. What you’ll discover may be a complete surprise and open up a realm of opportunities you’ve never considered. Take The Entrepreneurial Quiz and determine if self-employment is the right step for you, and learn how to boost your chances of success.
Step Two, “Mind Your Business,” take a realistic preview of entrepreneurial life. Discover why many businesses fail and plan a winning strategy. Lack of relevant experience and cash flow challenges cause many derailments. Empower your fear before you make the leap into self-employment—isolate the knowledge you need to acquire and the savvy experts you’ll need on your side. This section will help you master how to get your business off to a sound start. Start small but aim high.
Step Three, “Grow Your Business,” is where the fun begins. You’ll learn how to create a ‘lovemark’—an authentic, values-driven brand that sets you apart in a crowded market, and attracts clients to you. You’ll explore ways to steal like an artist; leverage off others successful strategies; and develop your business in light of your passions, enthusiasms and life purpose. Are you ready to start your business and be your own wonderful boss? Try the Ready To Start Your Business Quiz and find out.
Step Four, “Thrive Like A Pro,” explores some of the steps needed to develop a professional mindset. You’ll learn how to minimise obstacles, challenge your fears, overcome resistance, blitz stress and avoid burnout by achieving greater balance, joy and fulfillment.
Mid-Life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself concludes with showing you how to identify your point of brilliance. I’ve also included a link to three free workbooks:
All these workbooks are resources from Passion Driven Work and Free To Be Me—my career and life coaching programmes. Yours for free! You can find out more about these programmes here: http://bit.ly/1Sb5GUx
You don’t always need buckets of money, or the courage of a lion, to start your own business. Plenty of successful entrepreneurs have started their businesses on a shoe-string budget and launched new careers while combining salaried employment. Many have felt the fear and launched their business anyway.
I was in my mid-30’s, a single parent, holding down a steady job when I started my first business, Worklife Solutions. I was worried and fearful that I’d fail, but I did it anyway. It’s one of the most creative, joyful endeavors I’ve ever done. Since then I’ve created many more businesses and helped people all over the globe become successfully self-employed.
Like Lisa, who shares her story in this book, and other budding entrepreneurs who’ve taken a strategic route to finance their businesses.
When I first started out in business over a decade ago, I thought about all the people I knew or had read about, that were successful in their own business. What I found applies now, as it did then. The list below is what they have in common. As you read this list think how many strategies could apply to you:
They were doing something they loved; their passion drove them.
Making money was not their sole motivation. Their businesses grew from a desire to serve others; they were not trying to force something on others or to make a killer sale. Instead, they wanted to make a positive difference and create something of value. They didn’t badger people into buying their goods or service.
“You have to believe in yourself. Even when you don’t, you have to try,” encourages Serena Williams, tennis super-star and 21-time Grand Slam champion.
“There are moments when I am on the court and I’m like, ‘I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this’. But then I fortify myself and say, ‘I can, I can’—and it happens. If you believe in yourself, even if other people don’t, that really permeates through and it shows. And people respect that.”
If the strategies above sound like things you can do, or are willing to try, chances are self-employment is right for you. But to double check, try the following Entrepreneurial Personality Quiz.
Do you have the right personality to be an entrepreneur? Or are you better suited to being a Franchisee? Would contracting suit you better? Or is paid employment really the best option after all?
Before committing yourself to starting your own business of any type, you need to ask yourself whether you have what it takes.
The following quiz is written as though you are still in a salaried role.
This is an edited extract from “Midlife Career Rescue: (Employ Yourself): How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late” by Cassandra Gaisford. To purchase your copy and learn how to follow your passion to prosperity, click here to go to your online bookshop.
I am an artist, storyteller, intuitive guide, mentor and Reiki master. All my creations are infused with positive energy , inspiration, and light. I believe in magic and the power of beauty, joy, love, purpose, and creativity to transform your life. My greatest joy is helping your realize your dreams. That makes my soul sing!
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