Is Now a Good Time to Be Your Own Boss?

Is now a good time to be your own boss?  Apparently, it is for 40- to 60-somethings!  A recent story in my local newspaper reported that more 40- to 60-somethings who lost jobs in the recession are now working for themselves.

What’s interesting to me is that many of these folks, when they started their careers 20 or more years ago, figured they’d be financially set once they got into a good company.

Back in the “good old days,” many people basically worked for one place their entire lives.  Not so today!  These 40- to 60-somethings, who grew up under that old reality, have watched it quickly disappear.

More middle-aged and older men, who lost their jobs during the recession, are starting businesses than woman, or people in any other age category.  The reason is that about 80% of the jobs lost nationwide in recent years (in manufacturing, construction and other male-dominated industries) were held by men.

According to the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College, workers 50 and older are more likely than younger workers to be independent, self-employed workers.  And amazingly, 23 percent of older workers laid off in the past year are considering their own business.

It’s easy to see why.  At this age and stage of your life, what are your choices?

  • Go back to school?  Some may choose to do it, but it’s not for everyone.
  • Send out stacks of resumes for jobs you’re not thrilled about that pay less than what you made before?
  • Go through all of this again when the cycle repeats itself?

It’s no wonder that more middle-aged people, when their careers have been cut short, are choosing to go into business for themselves.  It’s an opportunity to take charge of their lives, control their own destiny, and (hopefully) enjoy a greater financial reward for all their hard work.

So, what are the best businesses to start in this down economy?  We’ll explore this in my next post.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section:

  • Have you always wanted to start your own business, but haven’t yet?  What’s stopping you?
  • Have you, or anyone you know, lost a job and decided to strike out on your own?  If so, how’s it going so far?  What wisdom would you share with others?

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