Photo Credit – Capitol PhotoInteractive
Last week I had the great pleasure of watching one of my former clients, presentation skills coach Gilda Bonanno emcee the the 13th annual Women’s Business Development Council Business Breakfast in Stamford, CT – an event that celebrated the Connecticut WBDC, which has helped to grow 4,000 businesses to date.
It was a real thrill for me to see Gilda wow the crowd of nearly 700 business leaders and entrepreneurs (Excellent job Gilda!) but the event also served as a great reminder of the many wonderful free and nearly-free services available to help aspiring entrepreneurs. Not just in Connecticut, but throughout the country.
Thanks to the US Small Business Administration (and your tax dollars) you can take advantage of a wide variety of online and local classes, workshops, counseling services and networking opportunities to help launch, build or grow a semi-retirement business.
I’ve had clients use them for years and I recommend them to you as well. So if you’re ready to go from idea to income, here are three free (or nearly free) SBA-affiliated resources to consider:
“Helping people is harder than it looks. And yet, every now and then, if you’re willing to take a risk, you can have a truly transformative impact in ways that will continue to ripple out to other people.” - – Nick Kristof, Pulitzer prize winning journalist and co-author of the newly released book, A Path Appears, speaking during the closing keynote of Encore 2014: Building an Encore Nation.
I just returned from the Encore 2014 conference, and without a doubt, it was the single best conference I have ever attended – three days of inspiration and unparalleled networking opportunities. For those of you unfamiliar with Encore.org, it is an organization and movement dedicated to second acts for the greater good and the belief that post-midlife is a time to use one’s personal skills and experience to help others.
I’ll be writing more about the conference on Next Avenue later this month, but in the meantime, being at the conference reminded me to share some of the many helpful Encore resources that you can use to plan your own purpose-focused second act.
Here are four of my favorites:
I’m often asked, “Nancy, what are some easy things I can do now to start to plan for my eventual retirement?”
I get that emphasis on “easy.” Finding the time to focus on the future is not so simple when you’re busy working hard at your full-time job. But even if you can only spare a few hours each month, there are some simple things you can do now to begin to plan for the future.
Here are 5 suggestions:
While traveling on an airplane recently, I sat next to an IT exec in his late 50′s and we got into a lively discussion about second-act careers (shocking, I know).
But when I asked him what he had in mind for his second act, he sighed and said, “You know, I think about a lot of things. But I gotta admit that the thought of doing something really different scares me. I can’t get this vision out of my head that I’ll end up as a greeter at Walmart and then one day I’ll bump into an old colleague who will ask:
“Hey, didn’t you used to be…?’”
If you’re thinking about starting a business during retirement, you’re going to need a business plan.
Now before you roll your eyes, I want to clarify that a business plan doesn’t have to be an extensive or lengthy document. In fact, for most retirement businesses, which typically don’t require any outside funding, a one-pager is likely enough to get you started. A one-page business plan describes your business and what it will take to run it, all in a single page.