When I was 51 my main concern was finding a home business which would accommodate my recent lifestyle changes such as trying to fill an empty nest and living with my terrible menopause symptoms.
I knew I couldn’t go back into employment because of my menopause and so I HAD to find a home business which fitted around my low mood and zero energy days.
This is the situation I found myself in at 51 – I’m now 53:
Empty Nest: My two boys were 16 and 19 at the time and they were carving out new adult lives for themselves.
Menopause: I knew I couldn’t go back into employment because of my menopause symptoms.
Unemployable: Even if I wanted to go back into work, I would have found it very difficult to get an office-based job at the age of 51.
No Income: Due to personal reasons I was not running any type of home business, therefore I was not making any money.
Because of these new life situations I must admit that I was lost, totally lost.
I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself or how I was going to move forward.
Sean, my lovely husband, was trying to understand my situation and he did to some extent, and so he was reassuring me and supporting me as best he could. But of course, this journey of being a women in your fifties is a very personal journey. Only you know how you feel as a mother when you have an empty nest, and your menopause symptoms are also personal to you.
But, never a one to give up, after moping around for a week or two feeling sorry for myself I decided to start a new home business, but this time things would be different – very different.
How I Tackled Choosing My New Home Business At The Age of 51
At first I just sat on the couch with an A4 lined notebook and did some deep thinking and sole-searching whilst jotting down notes.
I knew that it was vital that I honed in on the main objectives which I wanted out of my new business, such as:
- Use this business to fill my empty nest > to give me a new purpose.
- Choose a business to fit around my menopause symptoms.
- Find a business which I could run if I was having ‘low mood’ days.
- Find a business which caused me the least anxiety.
- Choose a business which I could work on only part-time.
- Choose a business which I would actually enjoy.
- Choose a business which would bring be in at least $2,000 per month.
So the above were what I actually wanted from my home business.
Now I just needed a way to find and choose a business which would fulfill all of those seven objectives.
And this is when I decided to do a self-assessment on myself.
So I sat down on my beloved couch again one morning whilst I was alone in the house, and wrote out a very rough draft of a self-assessment – all scribbled in my A4 lined notebook. I then typed this rough draft up in a Word document and kept going over it and refining it over and over again during the next few days.
But, I persevered with my self assessment exercise because I knew that I was never going to find a home business without it, as I had realized that this was one of the main mistakes I made when choosing all my other home businesses – I should have done a self-assessment first!
Talk about having a slap your forehead light bulb moment – jeez.
After I was finally happy with my self-assessment, I then compared it against all the home businesses I had listed to find the home business which suited me the most, and a one which would accommodate my new lifestyle – you know; the menopause, empty nest etc..
And I finally decided that my dream home business would be this ‘Her Dream Business’ business blog – the blog which you’re reading now.
So that’s basically how I came up my home business idea at the age of 51.
And now you’re probably wondering how you can do the same too?
Well, you know what I’m going to say don’t you, and that’s – you need to do a self-assessment first and foremost.
But don’t worry, I’m not going to leave you high and dry.
I’ve outlined below the 9 steps which I took to steer me in the right direction, and you can now follow these 9 steps to do your own self-assessment.
Of course, you’re likely to have different reasons from me to start a small business from home, and that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you do a deep and truthful self-assessment so you can come up with your own business idea which is suited to you now, now that you’re in your fabulous 50’s.
This is really important; because a business idea which was once suited to you when in your 30’s or 40’s, might not be suited to you now at the age of 50+.
Follow along with these 9 points to help you do your self-assessment:
1) Your Current Life Situation
You need to assess your life at it stands now, today.
This is what I done (as above) and you need to do the same.
- Do you also have menopause symptoms which are causing problems?
- Are you wanting to fill an empty nest?
- Maybe you have occasional low mood days, even depression?
- Do you have an illness or a disability?
- [fill in your own reason here]
Obviously this assessment is about finding your perfect home business, but once you’ve chosen your ideal business, you should hopefully be in a better frame of mind to tackle other areas of your life such as health & fitness and relationships & friendships. They all intermingle at some point.
- Write down your current life situations.
3) Your WHY / Business Objectives
This is a biggie because you’ll need the drive and determination to push on to set-up and run your home business when you hit obstacles and are having ‘meh’ days.
Motivation only takes you so far. Motivation comes and goes, so don’t rely on motivation.
You need dogged determination and pure tenacity when it comes to running a home business, and this is why you need your WHY.
What is your WHY for starting a home business?
- Want to leave employment?
- Want to work part-time and semi-retire?
- Want to make more money to retire at 60+?
- Want to travel more and just enjoy life?
- [fill in your own WHY here]
What do you want from your business? What are the reasons for wanting to start it?
- Write down your WHY’s.
4) Your Past Business Failures
I know you mightn’t have ran a home business before, but if you have then write down why you think this business(es) failed – or at least why you stopped pursuing those ventures.
Was it one pinnacle reason, or was it a combination of reasons?
If you haven’t ran a small business before, but you wanted to and never got it started – why not?
Why did you not pursue starting a business? What put you off? What were the obstacles that stopped you?
- Write down all the reasons why you failed and/or why you never started a particular business.
5) Your Strengths
Now you need to identify your strengths. What are you good at?
- Are you known to be the best person to lend a sympathetic ear?
- You have great communication skills.
- Do you go out of your way to help others?
- You’re very creative.
If you come up short on your strengths, ask your partner, a friend or family members. They’ll certainly know what some of your strengths are.
- Write down a list of all your strengths.
6) Your Weaknesses
Similarly, you also need to know what your weaknesses are.
- Do you have limited patience or a short temper?
- Are you hopeless at writing and grammar?
- You’re not very assertive.
- You lack focus and attention to detail.
I must admit that this is an uncomfortable exercise to do, but it is really important that you do it as you need to chose a business which either avoids these weaknesses, or at least you’ve identified them so you can work on them.
- Write down a list all of your weaknesses.
7) What Do You Like Doing?
What do you enjoy? What do you like doing?
This could be a hobby or an interest.
- Do you love to be around people?
- Or do you prefer to be alone?
- You love to write.
- Do you love to read.
- Are you technical and love to be geeky?
- You love to create new [graphics, jewelry, crochet garments, enter your hobby here].
What makes you happy and puts a smile on your face? What do you like doing which doesn’t stress you and relaxes you instead?
- Write down and list all of the things which you like doing.
8) What You Don’t Like Doing
What things do you have to do which you dislike? What things have you done in the past and have said “I’ll never do that again!”
- Do you dislike numbers and anything maths related?
- Do you really dislike bookkeeping?
- What about email management?
- Customer service?
- Writing blog posts or articles?
At first this might seem difficult, but when you get going it’s amazing at how many tasks you come up with that you don’t like doing.
- Get them all written down into a nice little (or big) list.
And lastly, what does your 50+ years of experience show?
- What one main skill have you perfected through work?
- What other little ‘mini skills’ have you notched up under your belt?
- What knowledge have you accumulated?
- What experience, and wisdom, have you gained which you can share with others?
You definitely have a lot to offer. In fact, you’ll have a lot more to offer than you originally think.
This will be your core offering in your home business.
This is where you will share your knowledge or skills, package them up in a product or service, and sell them in exchange for money.
- What skills, knowledge or experience can you offer to solve other people’s problem?
Putting It Altogether
Although there is much more work to be done to find a home business idea, this is an essential exercise to do in order to learn about yourself.
I strongly urge you to set some time aside and do the above nine steps, and then see how much clarity this will give you.
You will be in a much, much better position to start looking at home business ideas when you’re armed with your self-assessment.
The next step is to look through all of the home business ideas out there, and then match them up with your self-assessment.
I know that this can be a confusing process to go through, and this is the exact reason why I created the Home Business Roadmap ebook.
These are the exact steps I took to find and start my dream home business, and I put them into an ebook format to share with other women aged 50+ to help them find and start their dream home business too.
Here’s a quick run-down of what’s inside the book:
- A whole section on getting your mindset ready for business.
- 72 home business ideas, separated into categories.
- The full self-assessment exercise with worksheets.
- Identifying your dream home business idea.
- Identifying your target market
- Market research
- Creating your business plan
- Creating your marketing strategy, and
- Creating business systems.
So as you can see, it really is a step-by-step roadmap taking you by the hand from finding a business idea, all the way though to launching your business.
Hi, I’m Claire Bullerwell
I’ve ran dozens of home-based businesses, both offline and online, since my early twenties. I started this blog to share all my wealth of knowledge and experience to help women just like you; to find your dream home business. Fill that empty nest, work around your menopause and just live your best life at 50 something!
Follow me and let’s get acquainted…