Why older is sometimes better.
There’s a war out there. A war for jobs, space for new businesses and for confidence. For older women leaving the workforce, for whatever reason, their confidence in themselves as dynamic people with abilities and ideas has often been eroded. Silverpreneur.
We don’t realise it, of course. We drift into ageing without a backwards glance. We’ve been so brainwashed into thinking that the third stage of life will be filled by lattes with friends, golf, and the occasional shopping trip. Time to rest and relax the brochures say. Time to be yourself and get off the work treadmill.
But what if you don’t want to step off the treadmill? What if you’ve had dreams of running your own business, being entrepreneurial, independent and meaningfully busy?
I’m a self-styled Silverpreneur.
I have grey/silver hair, am the wrong side of the official ‘retirement’ age for women and I’ve been running my own business for the past five years – and very successfully too, thank you very much! I have had many different jobs but they have all mainly revolved around managing offices, marketing, event management and PR. My last job lasted me 23 years and was my favourite. I had become a journalist by accident – most of my life changes seem to have happened by lucky accident; right place, right time kind of stuff.
Things took a turn in the workplace and I would have preferred not to be there, but I was older, living in a smallish country town, with very few job opportunities for my skills set. I needed to work. We had a mortgage and three kids, a car loan and other debts. I stayed.
Did I say I loved my job?!
Almost 20 years down the track – and I can’t believe I lasted that long, but as I said, loved my job – I made a brave and perhaps rash decision to resign. Nothing on the horizon and I’d had been worn down to the point that I felt uneducated, unemployable and with no portable skills. After all who’d want an ageing journo in an industry which attracts the young.
But I was surprised. Within months of leaving work, I had created my own media consultancy and had clients.
Many older women find they have a lack of confidence by the time they finally exit the workforce or consider going into business on their own after years of caring for their home and family. But they don’t need to worry. If you have a passion for what you want to do, then you will find the opportunity.
Find your niche and grow into it.
Silverpreneurs don’t have as much to risk if their businesses are home-based and not much capital expenditure. Service businesses are best for this. Take training opportunities wherever you can find them, network and find a mentor if you can. There is a wealth of information on the internet which can help you.
Let your passion show and talk about it wherever you go. Have business cards and don’t leave home without them – they’re your most valuable tool. Surround yourself with supportive and positive people and don’t listen to the negatives. Take small but positive steps. Build your brand and your confidence will build with it.
Follow your dreams and let your silver shine!
Talk to people – network
Keep up to date with technology
Be afraid and do it anyway!
Nan Berrett – Silverpreneur, media consultant, content writer. Passionate about social media marketing and where that can lead and equally passionate about older women succeeding in their business dreams. Based in the fine wine country of the Clare Valley of South Australia, but network worldwide. She can be found at: