Post by Robbi Hess, Big Idea Facilitator
Have you ever wondered, "Is it encore career time for you?" Have you ever wondered what an "encore career" even is? If you're like me, in the Baby Boomer tribe, we are looking to reinvent ourselves. Why? Well, because we can. Other times, and recently I saw a lot of friends lose their jobs in a corporate takeover, you're "forced" into action.
You don't have to be a Boomer to think about reinvention and an encore career -- you may be forced into it. If you're lucky, you didn't put all of your eggs into the corporate basket. I know there are some people who are so focused on the path of their career that they don't explore who else they might be or who they might become.
Because I was never a great employee, I was always exploring other revenue options. I was worried about having one paycheck because what if that paycheck went away? I saw my father go through that. About six months prior to my high school graduation the factory at which my dad worked abruptly closed down. Dad had been there for more than thirty years. After the plant closed, the employees also found out that all of the money they thought they were putting into a retirement fund had been misappropriated.
Is It Encore Career Time For You?
I remember the tension in our household. My mom had never worked. My dad was now faced with trying to survive and take care of his family on unemployment checks. It was more than the money, though, I think my dad considered himself an employee and had never explored anything beyond work.
My mother, I realized years later, was an entrepreneur. She'd always been crafty -- she knitted us slippers, clothing, comforters for our bed, mittens and more. Then she started doing plastic canvas crafts and making potholders on this little loom. Eventually she began attending craft shows to sell her handmade items. I don't know that she ever truly made a profit because it was difficult to charge what a handmade sweater is truly worth in hours spent making it, but she made enough to buy Christmas gifts and little extras. She was diligent in tracking her inventory and expenses and profit. I never knew she would have, and should have, been considered an entrepreneur.
I'll bet if you had asked my mom she would not have considered herself a business owner, but she was.
What point was I making? Oh yes, that my mother went from homemaker and Mom to business owner to help with some of the household costs. She continued her crafting even after my father had found another job.
For me, no matter what job I had I was always pursuing writing gigs. When I was an executive assistant at a drug and alcohol clinic I freelanced for the local paper. I submitted non fiction queries to magazines with "how to write" pieces. I had a good clip file growing. One day, I decided I couldn't take working in an office -- the petty politics and backbiting were too much for me. I also had a hard time knowing that once that building door closed behind me that I was a prisoner until 5 pm. It was not good for my mental health.
I jumped with both feet into journalism. I bought my own magazine and published that for several years (I'm actually considering reviving it) and then started working with Yvonne DiVita (yes, the Yvonne of this Lipsticking blog) at their book publishing company which morphed into a writing/blogging business.
Following that I went full time into being my own boss. I filed an LLC, in the past few years my business has grown to the point where I incorporated. I market myself. I seek out new clients. I write content and edit content for clients. I am, and have been, living my encore career for the past twenty years; it was then that I jumped from employee to entrepreneur.
What are you waiting for?
Do you have a passion for something outside of the career your enmeshed in right now? Can you turn that passion into a profit? What do you really want to do? What's stopping you?
Are you still struggling to come up with your Big Idea? Believe me, I understand. I am still struggling to come up with my Big Idea for my next novel, but a business Big Idea is something I have never been at a loss for.
Need help with your Big Idea? Let me know in the comments below. Let's chat!
About Robbi: Award-winning author, newspaper columnist, Nanowrimo fiction-book-finisher I have been a writer, solopreneur and social media manager for close to a decade. I am a pet mom to Henrietta, the Diva Poodle, two Devon Rexes (Ickis and Oblina, named after a favorite kids' tv show), a Goldendoodle, two other rescue cats and three reptiles. When I am not writing for my clients, I am working on my cozy mystery. Reach me at Robbi AT AllWordsMatter.com