Looking for a new career at 40 or even 50? Perhaps you’ve wanted to start your own business and become an entrepreneur since you’re young. If so, you’re among the men and women who are brave enough to take an unconventional career: an entrepreneur career. However, being an unconventional career it also requires special competencies and mental characters.
If you have been successful in your corporate career you might be very confident with your abilities. You may believe you can directly apply the expertise to a new entrepreneurial venture. Unfortunately, with the statistics of high start-up failure rates, where most of them only last in 5 years, you want to learn about what to prepare before you actually launch and run a business.
3 Key Qualities of an Entrepreneur You Want to Acquire
Having key qualities for starting and running a new business is important. If you own them, you will lower your start-up business risks especially in the first or second years. Here are qualities you want to acquire before you start a new business:
1. Perseverance. This quality is a big and, in my humble opinion, is bigger than passion. Starting a business is more challenging than running a marathon because you cannot see the finish line. Both challenges need physical and mental strengths to handle tough situations. But it is the resilience under uncertainties that make you stand up again every time you fall down.
2. Flexibility. This is about separating what works and what doesn’t then changing strategies based on those findings. A flexible entrepreneur wants to accept hard facts honestly about things that don’t work and try different approaches to reach his or her goal. Flexibility is also good for reducing stress level during tough times, when things don’t work as planned.
3. Self-knowledge. Good entrepreneurs understand their own strengths and weaknesses. They realize what they are really good at and their limitations as well. This also has something to do with how they will add values into their products and services. A good market vision combined with sound research information will result in unique offerings. Self knowledge will lead to self-confidence because the business is well-managed and the risks are under control.
There are at least two ways you can learn whether you have the 3 qualities: self-evaluation or take career tests. You can self-reflect or take an entrepreneurial career test or two.
Steps to a New Career at 40 or 50 as an Entrepreneur
Aside from the 3 mental qualities there are basic skills that an entrepreneur has to master. These include assessing business opportunities, creating a business plan and system as well as developing a working plan. Understanding nuts and bolts of the industry to enter also play a role in devising a sensible plan and a successful implementation.
Here are the steps for you to do to get a new career at 40 plus as an entrepreneur:
1. Identify a business idea. If you are good with creative things, starting a number crunching business such as a bookkeeping business is a recipe for disaster. Assess your talents and interests then find ways to create product or service offerings that solve a problem in a niche. For example, if you have a visual talent and you like graphic designs you may want to set up a design service for local small businesses.
2. Create a business plan. A good business idea won’t be doable without a plan. You want to write a business plan for laying out your business goals and strategies to achieve the goals. It includes all things related to defining products or services, identifying competitors and differentiating your business from them, and securing funds for both investments and operations.
3. Lay the groundwork. Businesses aren’t built-in a day, and you have to go through the mundane tasks of setting up bank accounts, securing business licenses, and jumping through the necessary regulatory hoops. Make sure also you set up your office equipment and write a simple business system.
4. Create a marketing plan. You want to find your target market and come up with a strategy to bring your product or service to that market. You can start with what you’re familiar with. If you are targeting local market just promote your business on local papers or other media. Whether you sell things on the internet or not you want to include a business website and low-cost ways to advertise the site.
5. Pay attention to the details. Many businesses fail because of a lack of attention to details. Depending on the type of your business it may mean sloppy accounting practices, poor inventory control, or missing the deadline for a funding source. Launching a business is a balancing act, and you and your team must walk the high wire with aplomb.
What to Do Next to Get a New Career at 40 Plus?
The shortest route to get a new career is to follow those who have been there, done that. For that reason, try to find a mentor or follow a role model who can lead you to your new career.
You may also want to find and join career changer communities, preferably one with the same career goal as yours. This way you can share fears, doubts, knowledge and personal experiences when moving forward on your new career path of self-employment.