Senior Women: Think Like an Entrepreneur and Take Charge of Your Career
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” —Thomas A. Edison
Not ready to retire?
Sick and tired of age discrimination?
What are some meaningful career goals that you would like to accomplish before you call it quits?
Is owning a business high on your list?
Perhaps you’re like many women who have tried and tried to find just the perfect opportunity for a business. But you’ve failed.
But all is not lost.
The youngest Boomer woman, born in 1964, turned 55 this year (2019).
Most people hardly consider 55 as “old.”
And even if you do think of yourself as old, starting a business is within your reach.
I love this quote: “Successful entrepreneurs find the balance between listening to their inner voice and staying persistent in driving for success—because sometimes success is waiting right across from the transitional bump that’s disguised as a failure”—Naveen Jain.
Are you ready to become an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurs are managers as well as leaders.
You are a manager and leader of your career; it’s time for you to take charge and develop a strategic, thoughtful, and personal business plan to ensure your success as a business owner.
In the traditional sense, managers focus on planning, solving problems, and working to reach goals. Leaders have a vision—they originate ideas, influence, and motivate.
As an entrepreneur in charge of your career, you must fulfill both the managerial functions and the leadership role.
Thus, in this article, I want to spur you on to think like an entrepreneur and immediately develop a personal business plan (“Failing to plan is planning to fail”—Alan Lakin).
Many times, aspiring entrepreneurs don’t achieve success because they aren’t focused; their search for a new profession is aimless and confused.
Here are 6 key steps to help you take charge of your career:
Step 1: Create a Personal Career Profile
A personal career profile is a self-assessment of your skills, interests, knowledge, experience, and values. Use your profile as a reference tool you can draw from to develop a plan to begin your search for the perfect business opportunity.
Your profile should highlight your strengths, achievements, education, training, motivations, and uniqueness.
What are your top 3 strengths and skills you would like to use? This tool will also be useful when applying for a business loan, should you need one.
Step 2: Write a Vision Statement
Identify Your Core Values. What’s important to you? What’s your dream job? Write out your vision statement, which is the #1 rule of entrepreneurship and leadership = to know where you’re headed. And keep it simple.
Step 3: Believe in Your Services
What can you provide a customer or client? What are you selling? What will the customer or client miss out on if they don’t hire you? In other words, what is your value to your business niche?
You must be completely confident. Perhaps you need to upgrade your technical skills.
Step 4: Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
In addition to your leadership role, as an entrepreneur, you also manage the day-to-day activities of your business.
You will set S.M.A.R.T. goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely—and include flexibility. Make a list of your top 5 short-term goals and your 5 top long-term goals. Setting SMART goals will help you organize your thoughts and provide accountability.
Step 5: Market Yourself
How will you communicate your services and your value? If you work as a freelancer in your desired industry, you should also prepare a target list of clients for whom you would like to work.
One way to make contact and to get referrals to these companies is by sharing your list at networking events or with individuals you meet during your search for new business.
And consider using social media, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, as well as blogs and Web sites to connect with people.
Step 6: Relax and Have Fun
Entrepreneurs work hard, fulfilling both the leadership and management roles of their enterprise. An active search for clients is likewise hard work.
To avoid burnout and feelings of anxiety, you need to take time for health, reflection, relaxation, and fun.
Only practicing deep breathing exercises and meditating will do much to reduce stress and will invigorate you for the long haul. Tip: add your favorite pastime activity to your profile to show that your interests go beyond “drumming up more business.”
Make the Commitment
If you are committed to taking charge of your future career or profession and to doing what’s necessary to manage your search effectively, then think like an entrepreneur!
Uncertain about your future profession?
Not sure where to begin?
Here are a few ideas:
- Refine your business idea/research
- Write a business plan/action plan
- Get financing
- Create your personal brand story and advertise
- Start a blog
- Get a patent on your new invention
- Start a small business, such as freelance
- Buy a business franchise
- Get a mentor who is influential and inspiring
- Work as a coach or consultant
- Raise funding for your new business idea (restaurant, bakery, clothing boutique, bookstore, etc.)
You don’t want work to feel like work. What is it that Confucius said?
“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
What’s your passion? What do you go to bed dreaming about every night?
Indeed, dreaming alone will not ensure success; only taking action will help you to accomplish your goals.
But if you procrastinate, you’ll never realize your ultimate career aspirations.
You must get out of your comfort zone and do it now!!
Follow the 6 steps in this article and take charge of your career.
Think like an entrepreneur!