What is a BOOMERPRENEUR?
Definition: A Boomerpreneur is an entrepreneurial person who was born as part of the baby boomer generation.
Many people in the baby boomer generation desire elements of a retirement lifestyle…freedom, travel, less stress. But they want to combine this with some income producing activities. This has lead to a trend towards many of the baby boomer generation building a business. This enables them to create income but also live the lifestyle that they choose.
“I think there is a boom in boomer entrepreneurs, otherwise known as “boomerpreneurs” – Bernard Salt
Bernard Salt is a leading Australian demographer and regular columnist in The Australian. In September 8, 2016, he wrote that the baby boomer generation was always going to reimagine their retirement years. He said this makes sense because most haven’t done physical labouring work their entire life as previous generations often did.
Longer life expectancy
Combine this with medical advancements and longer life expectancy and this interesting generation has many reasons to choose a different way of living their lives when they retire from the work they have been doing.
He quoted statistics showing that there had been an annual increase of about 27,000 people aged 60-64 in the workforce in the years from 2000 to 2016. That’s 434,000 additional workers or an increase of 165% of baby boomer’s continuing to work.
Baby boomer entrepreneur numbers are rising
But what claimed my interest even more was that between the census of 2006 and 2016 the number of self-employed 60 – 64 year olds jumped by 49,000. That is a big trend change in 10 years.
Today’s 60-somethings…come with big expectations of lifestyle. Settling back into “pension life” isn’t as attractive a proposition as is setting up shop as an independent consultant or business owner.
Boomers aged 60-something are reimagining how this decade may be lived and thus far it seems that they imagine a continuation of work and, for some, further work in a self-employed mode.
He wrote of the boomerpreneur’s office being mobile: at home, the cafe, the client’s office, the airport lounge and created a word image that I really love…
The image of a 60-something then begins to shift in the 2020s from daggy retiree to gadabout entrepreneur finally free of kids and mortgage.
I can see the formation of a new 60s tribe to rival the cultural impact of this decade’s 20-something hipsters. I can foresee loose fashionable clothing, uber-cool meeting and working places, eclectic interest groups, convenient travelling companion hook-ups, start-up discussion groups, baby boomer-gen-Y mentor-protege relations, as well as the promulgation of a much needed entrepreneurial culture.
Embracing the opportunities of the information age
In 2018 we attended a business workshop in Costa Rica. There were a few younger people at the event, but by far the attendees were over 50, many over 60 and some over 70. What we had in common was a desire to keep on learning, to keep on earning and to have a purposeful life. This random group of boomerpreneurs from around the world shared a desire to make a difference and to live life to the full.
Re-imagining older age
What’s not to be excited about as the boomer generation shifts into their 60s and 70s. We can change the way retirement, work and small business are imagined? There has always been an element of the baby boomer generation that has not been prepared to follow in the footsteps of previous generations. Sheer numbers meant that any social changes that they followed became part of ‘normal’ life.
As more of the baby boomer generation embrace the concept of being a baby boomer entrepreneur I wonder how long it will be before this new word – Boomerpreneur – becomes a common word in social and mass media?
10 Useful Tips for Boomerpreneurs
1. Believe in your abilities, skills and experience.
You have a lifetime of experience, skills and knowledge. Understand that you have much to offer and be confident in what you can achieve.
2. Stay up to date and keep learning.
You must have deep contemporary understanding about the area in which you are working.
3. Have a clear business strategy.
You need to be able to articulate your big idea and how it relates to your business.
4. Embrace technology.
Business in the 21st Century requires a good understanding of what technology can do for your business. This means that you must develop some technology skills. You have to keep up with the technology trends to be competitive in the market.
5. Make your decisions slowly.
Fast decisions may feel good, but long term decisions need to be thought through. Their impact will be felt for a long time and can impact on your wealth, health and happiness. Don’t put your trust in people who claim they will help you make millions in a short time. Do due diligence about each business decision you make.
6. Prioritise your health.
There is no point in being unable to enjoy the rewards of your work. No-one wants to be the richest person in the cemetery without having enjoyed the journey to get there!
7. Listen to your instincts.
You are probably right and even if you aren’t you will not be able to proceed smoothly if your instincts tell you something isn’t right for you. This is a lesson that cost me a lot of money.
8. Do something that matters to you.
It may not be that you absolutely love the work you are doing. It may be that the outcome really matters to you, or that the reason you are doing something is enough to motivate you. Some lucky people can create a business based on something that they are passionate about. Most others get their motivation through the purpose or the outcome of their business activities and that is enough.
9. Family comes first.
The people you love, the people who care about you, should always be a top priority. Don’t let your goals drive a wedge between you and your family.
10. Don’t be too proud to seek help.
Look to trusted business mentors, but be very sure about their credibility and their reputation for delivering what they say they will give you. Share what you are doing with people you trust and appropriate family members so they can give you some moral support when you need it. Get a competent virtual assistant to do the jobs that you don’t enjoy doing or find difficult.
(Adapted from ‘Huge growth in older entrepreneurs: how you can join them’ by John Fitzsimons published in Yourmoney.com 21/08/2017)
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