I started my own business
Starting a business at the age of 61, how many would do that? Perhaps not the majority of either men or women, but some see the possibilities and not the obstacles. If one has a dream, why let age stop it? Perhaps we will even have more success at a higher age as we have more experience and perhaps even more knowledge. Sometimes age is looked at in a negative way; we are too slow, not updated and so on. Read this interview and learn that age is not an excuse to give up.
Name: Debbie Thompson
Family: Married with one son
Lives: Florida, USA
At the age of 61 you started a home-based, part-time business. How come?
For most people my age, starting a business is probably not on their bucket list. The majority of seniors are likely looking forward to retirement, to kicking back, sleeping in, and doing whatever they darn well like! And why not? We've worked for most of our lives. Shouldn't we just relax and take it easy? That sounds fair, but I have chosen another path, and here's why.
Many healthcare experts suggest that healthy aging should include the following: an active lifestyle, purpose, social connections and proper diet and exercise. Keeping active helps us on many levels. The body was meant to move, and like mental activity, if we don't use it, we lose it. That's one reason why exercise is so important, but more on that later. By running a part-time business, I keep busy. I have clients to contact, meetings to attend, supplies, samples, etc. to order and provide, many, many things to organize and make happen, new skills to learn. They keep my mind and body working, and because it's my own part-time business, I am my own boss.
Sadly, many people retire and find no purpose to replace their careers. After devoting all of their waking hours to a job and family, they have difficulty filling their time in a constructive, positive way. I joke that they are like teenagers with money and time, but no parents to guide them.
Others become depressed, lonely, or isolated with their job or family suddenly gone. For me, starting the business is a way to reach out to others. How can I help you with what I'm doing? Who needs what I've got? It's purposeful activity and another way to make friends and social connections.
Many seniors also start losing muscle mass, which leads to loss of strength and mobility. Many don't know that as the body ages, the ability to digest certain things - like some proteins - is reduced. Eating well and exercise is a must when we grow older.
So as you can see, running my own business is not only a career, but a way to keep fit and active which increase the possibility of a great old age.
Tell about the business and what you are doing.
Believe it or not, it's in social marketing. What I love is that the products and the company are really great, and I work as much or as little as I choose. And it was super affordable to get set up. You know, if you want to start a business these days, you'd typically have to invest quite a bit of money. Many people start a franchise, for example, but that requires many thousands of dollars! But for just $ 49 in your first year, $ 29 for every year thereafter, you get a website, your own online store, where your customers can go online at their convenience to shop.
The company takes care of website maintenance, accounting, shipping, returns, customer service, product research and development, legal agreements, etcetera. My main job is marketing and education. I show people what the products can do for their health, sports performance, mental productivity, and physical appearance since I offer nutrition, supplements, makeup, personal care, and cosmetics for men, women, and babies. Oh, and the products are all vegan, in some cases Kosher-certified, Peta-friendly, non-toxic, and good for the environment. This company is committed to providing pure, safe, and beneficial products. In fact, they're working on becoming a B Corporation.
What was the reaction from friends and family when you did this a bit later in life?
Good question! I have never really done something like this before. I've mainly worked in the education field my whole life. First, I taught secondary/high school; then junior college; then a four-year college. Then I transitioned to self-employment centered around writing. And that's what got me looking for something else to do. With my current work, I'm seated in front of a computer for most of the day, so I seldom interact with new people or get a ton of activity. I missed face-to-face interaction with my former students, and I get tired of sitting.
With this business, I need to get out and meet new people regularly. Plus, I have to keep learning new things for my store, using social media and online communication. I value those things a lot! It sure beats sitting in front the TV every evening, or worse, getting tied up in controversial political discussions online. Ha!
Maybe it's not as much as a shock to my family and friends because I had previously transitioned from teaching to my current writing activities. But it is a stretch for me. I mean, I wasn't much into skincare, but here I am selling this high-quality antiaging skincare line! Plus, anyone who knows me knows I almost never wear makeup. Yet, here I am selling it! But the truth is that we offer almost 400 products, so there's plenty that I do use, especially in the nutrition line since that helps with weight management, and people often report such tremendous health benefits. That's what keeps me going - the fact that these products are really helping people. And, of course, I'm happy to help others get started with this company. It's a nice way to earn an extra income without much risk. And it can be done in the USA, Canada, the UK, Poland, Australia or New Zealand. So you can literally make money in your sleep.
Oh, and by the way, I was reading a recent article about the high percentage of seniors in the US who are retiring with almost no savings. That's pretty scary to me. This business is a safety net for me, especially as I build a steady clientele that keep shopping at my store. I envision a time in the future where I'll only be doing my business, and that will require even less attention from me. I'll mainly be maintaining and servicing my clientele. So starting a business at this age has been nothing but positive.
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