Baby boomer business owners get more than their fair share of life’s curve balls. They’re at risk of relationship breakdowns, parental illness, personal health challenges, major family changes and financial stress. Despite these factors, according to Roy Morgan’s State of the Nation report, they are still running almost half of all small businesses in Australia.
What’s interesting is that as people get older, they actually come to possess more of the right skills to succeed in business – it’s not all about fresh blood! Psychologist Colin Benjamin, co-creator of the Morgan Values Segments says people over 50 become more entrepreneurial as they have a growing willingness to take risks in return for rewards. So what’s stopping you from taking those risks?
Often it’s a number of things. Perhaps you’re listening to the wrong people and procrastinating over big decisions. Maybe you’re dumbing down what your gut’s telling you, or even working harder, but not getting anywhere. It’s hard to keep up momentum, which is why people like Lorraine Pirihi exist to provide the clarity and direction you need to get going again.
Lorraine is a coach based in Melbourne who specialises in helping baby boomer business owners regain their sense of purpose and enjoy their lives more. Here are four of her top tips to help you get out of that rut.
Don’t try and do too much at once. You may feel overwhelmed with problems, or feel there’s a number of things you want to change with your business or personal life, but don’t try to tackle everything at once! Instead, start small and prioritise the changes you want to make, for example:
- If you need to get fit, put time in your diary to exercise and stick to it.
- If you want more time off from your business, book Friday afternoon off and make sure you take it.
- If you know you need to do some planning, book it in and head to a library or coffee shop to give yourself a change of surroundings.
Making these small steps – and actually sticking with them – will help you gain the clarity needed to address the bigger issues.
Get to know yourself again
When you’re stressed and under pressure, you can lose sight of who you are. Be truthful with yourself about what’s really going on and be willing to learn more about yourself.
This can take time and energy, so give yourself space to do it and be prepared to admit that something different might need to happen for real change to occur. Seek out new information from outside eyes on what you’re doing and how effective it is.
When I created my own business, I was very clear about my outcome, I wanted to have a business that I enjoyed, which helped others be more productive and effective in their lives. I also wanted a business which gave me flexibility to be around for my family, to work from home and earn a sustainable income. I focused on what I wanted. Where ever you want to apply this principle to in your life, business, career or relationships, how you communicate with yourself or others it doesn’t matter – you need to decide, what outcome are you looking for?
Be willing to adapt and change
The world around us is changing so quickly and baby boomer business owners have to be ready to adapt to this fast-paced and technologically oriented society.
This requires new skills, new practices, new understanding and new habits If you want to keep yourself well and your business booming. You need to be open to advice and embrace new possibilities – but do it for the right reasons, not just to keep up with the younger generations.
Don’t be afraid to get help
You wouldn’t get advice from an engineer on how to run a marathon, regardless of how good an engineer he was. If you’re stuck in a rut and you’ve lost your spark, find a proven expert who knows your specific challenges and how to deal with them. Sometimes it takes a fresh perspective from an outsider to help find the best path to this new lifestyle.
Getting help is not a weakness, it’s a strong move to admit you need help! If you’re wanting to reignite your business and enjoy more of your life, there’s no better time than now to do it. To make those changes, you’re going to need help and support because if you could do it on your own, you would already be doing it.