Finished At Fifty? Not a Chance!

Finished At Fifty? – Good Times For Baby Boomers

finished at fiftyFinished at fifty, actually – Fifty and f**ked? was an idea I had for a website last year. I decided not to go ahead with the original title for a number of obvious reasons. The F word associations with porn and potential problems with advertising being the most obvious. I still feel it would resonate with a lot of the baby boomer generation of which I am one, for all the right reasons. I’ve toned it down to “Finished at fifty?”

My thinking, based on my own experiences as a pre and post 50 year old, was that times are pretty tough for that particular age group. Brought up in an age before what is now commonplace: Internet, Social media, smartphones etc, many baby boomers have been displaced or sidelined in recent years. The jobs and careers we trained and studied for are gone or going. The pensions and retirements we worked hard for aren’t looking too rosy for many of us as that day grows closer.

We staked everything on a job for life deal that didn’t pay off. Some struggled to build businesses. These are now being disrupted by a new digital economy and mindset. It’s no wonder that so many of us can feel finished at fifty. What can we do?

Everything Else Might Be Broken But You’re Not

The truth is that we can do a hell of a lot. If we accept that the system and economy we grew up with and assumed would always be there for us now – isn’t. If we get out of the comfort zone that’s actually not all that comfy anymore.

You see us older types have a number of distinct advantages over the younger generation as I see it. We grew up without all this fancy tech, but have seen it change our world. That means we can appreciate it more than those who take it for granted. In the workplace we’ve seen email and internet searching make life simpler. At home we’ve seen it make buying decisions, access to information and shopping easier.

Us baby boomers have usually made a career change or two in our lives. We grew up in times where that was possible. Jobs were relatively plentiful – we were able to re-skill and move on. Yes that get’s harder as we get older but it’s still do-able. If we re-skill ourselves for the digital world now it’s probably the last time we’ll ever have to do it.

Forget The Job For Life Thing

Because that really is a job for life, or rather an independent income for life skill set. A skill set that is not dependent on traditional employment or a flagging, superannuated economy.

Starting a business was for me, until recently, not a realistic possibility. I was clinging to a job that “guaranteed” an income which paid for a reasonable standard of living. I’d bite into the savings every time an unexpected emergency reared it’s ugly head. I just didn’t have the time or money. As I neared 50 in 2008, however I could see the industry I had invested 12 years in falling foul of the recession. People all around me were losing their jobs and I knew my turn was coming. I seriously did feel that, good job wise at least, I would be finished at fifty.

I Thought I’d Be Finished At Fifty But I Was Just Getting Started

finished at fiftyIronically – and this makes nonsense of the idea that a job is the less risky option – it was redundancy when it inevitably came that gave me the chance. That and the all changing power of the internet and the digital economy growing up with it. Redundancy, because of the length of service under my belt and the business development role I’d climbed my way to by then, came some capital and some time.

£8000 and 4 months garden leave on full salary to be exact. Not enough time or money to start a traditional business and get it into profit before the bills started going unpaid. More than enough however, with the right re-skilling, to start an internet business.

On the run up to my lay off I’d been researching online business opportunities. I’d even dipped a toe in the waters a time or two with mixed results. By the time the axe fell I knew that there were millions of products and services I could sell online. Many of them suited my passions, existing skills and experience. I also knew that I’d have to learn internet marketing to turn that into an income.

Around that time – call it kismet or whatever – I was introduced to a company called SFM (Six Figure Mentors) I’ll admit the name sounded a little hypey at the time but they came highly recommended from a trusted source. They seemed to offer exactly the mix of IM training, marketing systems and profitable affiliate opportunity I’d been looking for (which was also well within my budget). I went ahead and signed up for their free, 7 day video course. I was hooked.

Reinvention In The Digital Age

Since then – just over 2 years ago – I’ve been a business partner with SFM and partner company DEA (Digital Experts Academy). I’ve more than replaced my old salary, working from home. In fact my partner and I have been able to move to a better home in a beautiful location, and are far more fulfilled and happy than we’ve been for years. I’ve been able to use my new skills to grow my partner’s traditional business too.

Has it been hard work? Yes: I’ve had to change a lot of my old attitudes, mindset and outlook – going from employment to self-employment will do that; I’ve had some steep learning curves but we are not talking the sort of gruelling, grinding work that a 9-5 entails. No commuting, answering to a boss, adjusting your personality to fit into a corporate mould…

The SFM and DEA approach takes all of this into account. It provides mentoring and training that takes even a first time entrepreneur through all that at the same time as providing the practical skills and systems needed to create multiple online income streams.

The Difficult Thing Is That It’s So Simple…

daveblogWhat’s been the most difficult thing? To be honest it’s the mindset. Making money online, when you learn the ropes, simply doesn’t take a lot of time: If you’ve spent many years believing that if you’re not chained to the grindstone 8, 9 or 10 hours a day you are not justifying your pay check; If you’ve been conditioned to feel guilty about taking a sick day or a holiday, then earning potentially vast sums of money by working just a few hours a day from wherever you want to be is a mindf**k! At first.

The truth is though that in the new economy – the one that IS working – time is NOT money. When you sell to a global marketplace that never sleeps using automated systems a little time can go a long way. It doesn’t take much time to place an online advert, to write a blog post, to shoot a video or leverage social media. If your’e anything like me you’ll have heard the phrase “Work smarter, not harder” time and time again. Now I fully understand how to do that.

A Sweet Spot In History

So far from being finished at fifty, baby boomers are actually at a particularly sweet spot in history. There is ample opportunity to move into early semi retirement right now with a new skill set or to take  your retirement and lifestyle plans back off hold.

The SFM who I mentioned earlier have helped thousands of individuals to transition into this new economy. Many of those are baby boomers for who him the co-founders (even though both are in their 30’s) have a particular soft spot. Why not do as I did a couple of years ago and sign up for their free 7 day video training series on the link below. Finished at fifty? Far from it!

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By Dave Menzies