#recession #unemployment #optimism
“In America today, women are liberated, while combined individual wealth is the highest in the world – China, in second place, barely has 35 percent of what we do.”
So writes Jack Hunter, politics editor for Rare.us, in a column published Aug. 28, 2016, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
So why are so many Americans bummed out? Hunter asks.
The first reason, Hunter suspects, is that the country still hasn’t recovered fully from the 2008 recession.
“Comparatively low unemployment numbers mask massive workforce dropouts, and, while sage stagnation is partially a myth, pay still hasn’t risen as consistently as it might have,” Hunter writes.
He also blames the bombardment of the 24-hour news cycle, on which tragedy predominates. Finally, he blames a “tin-eared” government and political class that has little in common with those they regulate.
Let’s break down how things are. The recession produced gobs of unemployment. Those who have found new jobs in many cases are not being paid nearly what they were being paid beforehand. Many who haven’t found jobs have given up looking.
Despite good job availability in some areas – most big rigs on the road are advertising the need for drivers, for example – people either aren’t taking advantage of those openings, or may not be qualified to take those jobs.
Couple that with the fact that truck driving, in most cases, doesn’t pay what it once did, even though the work is just as hard, or even harder given the increased traffic on the roads. That’s a disincentive to wanting to take the jobs.
Eventually, wages will start to increase as demand for labor increases.
Although “now hiring” signs are popping not just on the trucks, but at other places of employment, most of the available jobs are those with which one would have difficulty making a living. Many people are cobbling together a couple of part-time jobs to try to pay their bills. Folks like these are not going to necessarily embrace what’s good about America.
The news cycle spends lots of time on bad news, but the bad news has to be reported. Many news outlets try to balance off the bad news with some good, uplifting stories. Hunter talks about America’s success at the 2016 Summer Olympics as one of those uplifting stories.
Certainly, a polarized government like ours will be slow to solve problems, but the cure for most of the country’s ailments lies outside the government’s wheelhouse.
So, on balance, life is pretty good for a lot of people. If you don’t believe you are among them, there are ways in which you can act to improve your situation. There are many ways potentially to make money without the benefit of a traditional W-2 job. To find them, you first have to be willing to look, perhaps, outside your comfort zone. If you’d like to check out one of the best, message me. You might see how people perhaps just like you took their futures into their own hands and helped others do the same.
To get that positive mind-set, look for the good things in your life – friends, family etc. Focus on those. Then, begin to do all that YOU can to find a solution to the problems in your life. The holiday season is perhaps the best time of year to do that. The joy of what is good shines at Christmas, and that joy can spark optimism for the new year.
Remember, too, that, for most of us, there is no great benefactor out there. We must provide for our own futures. If you see life that way, you’ll be better equipped to celebrate the ups and deal with the downs.



“Better not start spending that big raise you might be expecting this year,” says Doug Carroll, a reporter for USA Today.
For the last few years, a raise has been hard to come by. In fact, a job was not easy to come by, so one may not have expected a raise. A steady paycheck was good enough.
But Carroll, whose article was published April 27, 2014, in the Tennessean newspaper of Nashville, says eight of 10 businesses say they expect subdued wage growth in the next three years. By subdued, they mean 0 to 3 percent, adjusted for inflation, Carroll quotes a survey by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE).
We can probably hear each other thinking the same thing: our cost of living goes up, but our paychecks don’t. And, if they do, they don’t go up enough to cover those extra costs.
Let’s put this in perspective. A salary was never designed to cover OUR costs. A salary is something an employer gave a person for work he does. What’s done with the money is the worker’s decision. In decades past, a worker figured out how to make a life with his given salary, and regular, if not annual, increases helped him better his life as time passed.
Combine the extra salary with the worker’s life efficiencies, such as paying off a mortgage, having children grow and leave the house etc. Now, examine today’s world. Raises are smaller. Those life efficiencies are getting fewer. Mortgages are more difficult to pay off because houses likely have dropped in value. In fact, foreclosures have skyrocketed in the last few years.
Children that grow into adults are leaving home later, if at all. Those adult children may be finding it difficult to support themselves, perhaps because they have lost a job and are having trouble finding another. If they do find another job, it is often for less money than they were making, compounding the difficulty of independence.
Financial upward mobility is more difficult to achieve because employment that may have been secure decades ago is far from secure now. We have to find multiple sources of income so that we are not so dependent on one job, or one employer.
The good news is there are many such income sources out there. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You’ll find financial assistance in two ways: spending less and earning more.
It’s logical that high unemployment keeps wages down. It’s also logical that as employers’ non-wage costs rise – 31% of those surveyed by NABE reported rising material costs, Carroll reports – employees will pay for it with flat wages.
We can curse out our employers for not paying us enough. One might argue that we almost never get paid enough working for someone else. But cursing or blaming your employer wastes energy.
We have to manage our own financial situations ourselves. We have to continually look for jobs or other income that will better our lives. We also have to spend what we have wisely.
In fact, living BELOW one’s means may be the first step toward financial independence. If one lives below one’s means long enough, and invests wisely what he is not spending, eventually he can live better, if not the way he wants, regardless of his employment situation.
So, to paraphrase Chik-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy, earn your money, however much or little, honestly. Spend it wisely. And, if you are fortunate enough, give the rest away to worthy causes.


The goal of past generations is to have the next generation be better off than they were.
Many of us can remember a time when, if we worked hard, we advanced. If we had a job and behaved on the job, we could work as long as we wanted, retire when we got older and have a few good years of leisure as a reward for our hard work.
By most accounts, this was called the American Dream.
The recession of 2008 may have changed everything. We now have a world in which the middle class is shrinking because hard-working people are losing their jobs, and having great difficulty finding another that pays as well – if they find one at all.
Lifestyles are being cut back. Pessimistic views of the future abound. Perfectly good, hard-working people are getting discouraged. Spirits are being broken.
Thomas Picketty, a French economist, draws a picture of consolidation of wealth in fewer hands in his book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century.” New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman calls the book a phenomenon. Krugman wrote about the book in an April 24,2014, column.
Picketty sees a world in which more wealth will be concentrated in a decreasing number of hands. He sees that as a dangerous trend.
No one wants anyone to get paid for laziness. Most people want to work, and want to be paid fairly for what they do. Krugman points out that more conservative economic policies of government are leading to wealth being spread more lavishly on fewer people, at the expense of a majority of others.
Without getting into a debate about the values, or evils, of socialism or capitalism, let’s look at what we have in front of us.
Many of us have gone through a downsizing at work. Companies are learning to operate with fewer people, thanks to technology advancements and other things.
When this happened in previous decades, those who got laid off were reasonably confident they would find work before too much time passed. Today, that’s not necessarily the case. There are millions of people who have been out of work for extended periods, and employers are not hiring them because they have been out of work for so long.
Hence, the capitalistic wealth distribution formula – work=money – is turned on its head. The socialist voice is getting louder. In other words: more heavily tax those few who have benefitted from this, to cover those that they injured in the process.
But there may be a better way than wealth redistribution through government. Make more widely known the available vehicles for a person to change his life. There are many opportunities out there for people to live their dreams, despite having been hurt by the current economic trends.
For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. At the same time, some people have to change. It was comfortable having a job, going to work, work as many years as a person wanted and retire not only with the means to meet needs, but perhaps to also enjoy leisure.
You can be angry at wealth concentration in a few hands, or you can find a way to gain more wealth for yourself, and help others do the same.
That’s the ultimate in people helping people. If more people did that, proper wealth distribution would naturally occur, without government interference.
It’s always better to earn your own wealth than to take someone else’s. Look for a vehicle that allows you to do that, without impoverishing others in the process. Look for that vehicle you and your friends could ride together — and work together to enrich each other.
Think of the good you can do in the process. Best of all, think of the fun you’ll have doing it.


If you are finally back at work after a long unemployment, your life has changed.
In decades past, one may have had a job that had ebbs and flows. He worked when there was work, and got laid off when times were slow – only to be hired back when times improved.
In those days, jobs – particularly in the trades – didn’t go away. They sometimes went on vacation. Those who faced that situation often planned for it. More importantly, when they got hired back, it was often a better situation from what they had before.
For most professions, THOSE DAYS ARE GONE!
Today, if one gets laid off, often the job is never coming back. The person has to re-invent himself or herself. That can take time. You may know someone, even yourself, who has been out of work for months or years. As they look for jobs, they are discriminated against because they have been unemployed for so long. If they get another job, it is often for less money than they were making.
Wall Street Journal reporter Veronica Dagher talked to experts in the field and, in an article published March 2, 2014, offers advice to those who are finally working again after a long employment. In short, the six steps Dagher found in her research are: 1) Celebrate in moderation. Have a drink or an expensive cup of coffee, but don’t take a big vacation. 2) Set a new budget. A smaller salary means a reduced lifestyle. 3) Start saving and tackle debt. Bills may have drained your savings and increased your debt. Start building your savings and paying down debt. 4) Get a checkup. You’ve probably put your health on hold to save money. Start taking care of yourself again. 5) Catch up on retirement. You’ve probably drained any retirement account you may have had. Start building it back up. 6) Plan on your job going away again. Employers are constantly restructuring. They have to. You are just one reorganization, or one bad manager, away from the end of your career in certain fields.
If you are working, be thankful — no matter how bad your job seems to be. If your work situation is terrible, look to find something you can do part-time to help you get out of it. A second job may not be the answer you are looking for. There are oodles of opportunities out there to augment your income without having a traditional job. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You, and your friends who may be in the same boat, just might find a way to eventually walk out of miserable jobs with smiles on your faces.
Re-inventing oneself is not the same as being someone you aren’t. You can still be you, with all your beliefs, quirks etc. Re-inventing oneself means taking control of YOUR situation. You can’t stop your employer from downsizing or reorganizing. He may be very sad to have to let you go. Regardless, things happen and YOU have to deal with it. Often, that means changing priorities, learning new things and, most of all, being open to looking at new things.
Not everything out there is going to suit you. Sometimes, you have to take a job you hate to get you over an immediate financial hump. But, long term, the future is in your hands and you can achieve great things if you want to.
Here’s hoping that if you were out of work for a long time, that you’ve finally found a new job that suits you. If you are newly unemployed, check out some of those other opportunities out there while you are looking for a new job.
If you have a job you hate, or you have a job you fear is going to go away, start to re-invent yourself now. Spend your free time checking into some of the ways to pick up extra money. So, when, or if, the day comes that your boss tells you goodbye, you’ll be OK.
Or, better yet, you can tell your boss goodbye first, and leave smiling.


One would think that with still-too-high unemployment, people would be afraid to change jobs.
And, one would think that even if an employee moved on, he or she could be easily replaced.
Yet, companies today talk about the difficulty retaining good employees.
Those companies are putting in nice extras in the workplace to make it a place people want to work.
Lance Williams, business editor for The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville, says seven out of 10 American workers admit they are “checked out” at work or they are “actively disengaged” on the job. Williams also says that out of 100 or so Americans on the job, about 30 are actually engaged or involved in, or enthusiastic about their jobs.
Williams wrote a about this in a June 30, 2013, column in The Tennessean.
That means that the “good” people in any organization are about 30 percent of the workforce. They are the ones employers want to retain. The odds are against the employer finding another good one to replace a good one who has left.
That same edition of The Tennessean spoke of “intrapreneurial” spirit, as Anita Bruzzese calls it, and finding purpose in everyday life to help your motivation soar, as Gregg Steinberg talked about. Both Bruzzese and Steinberg are authors and experts on the subject.
Bottom line: if you aren’t motivated at work, find something there that WILL motivate you. If you own a company or manage people, create an atmosphere at work that will motivate people. Employers like entrepreneurial types within their organizations. Before the word entrepreneur became in vogue, these folks were called self-starters. They didn’t require much direction from their bosses and figured out new and better ways to do things.
No one expects a job to be a vacation or a hobby. Everyone expects to work – even handle unpleasant chores. But if you are employed, you need to find some perks in your job – something other than a paycheck that motivates you to do well and enjoy your time there. Sometimes you have to create them. Sometimes, your boss needs to create them. But you can’t depend on the boss to make your work life a total kick.
If you are among those who are “checked out” at work, it will be noticed. If you don’t care, then no one else will care if you go. If you do care, it will be noticed. No one will want you to go, and other employers will want to steal you.
Companies can replace skill, but it’s more difficult to replace MOTIVATED skill. Every employer wants its staff to be motivated, and each must take action to help find that motivation. Otherwise, the few motivated ones will be gone and difficult to replace.
If you are a motivated person, but not working in the right place, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. It may be just the thing to keep you from “checking out” at work. It may be the thing that will help you find purpose in everyday life. It may be just the thing to be “intrapreneurial” with others.
To bosses: work on not just getting out the product, but getting the most out of your workers. To workers: if you have a good job, but don’t feel it is right for you, try to find something you can like. If you can’t, keep looking. There are good places to work.
You need to be working in a place that gives you more than money and benefits. You might even already be working there, but haven’t yet found your purpose.


Upward mobility in America is a myth.
People can’t get ahead because the “system” is keeping them down.
Thomas Sowell, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a syndicated newspaper columnist, shoots holes in those “facts,” in a March 2013 column. Despite those conclusions from academic studies, Sowell says that if you look at individuals, there are clear models of upward mobility in America today.
He cites Asian immigrants, who came to the U.S. with little money, little, if any, command of English, but who have persevered and succeeded. Their children often do very well in school.
Success does not have to be for the privileged, or highly educated, few. There are many ways out there to be successful, regardless of background, birth or circumstance. To take advantage of those many opportunities, one has to, first, look for them. Once he has found one that suits him, he has to be determined to work at it. Once he’s done that, he has to help others do the same.
One of the reasons for Asian immigrants’ success is that they initially get help from those who came before them. Their grit and determination is a shining example to follow.
Admittedly, some folks who have done just about everything right can encounter curve balls that throw off their meticulous life plans. People can lose jobs. People can be shown the door by their employers, and have their careers cut short, because they reach a certain age. People can get ill, and see everything they’d worked for eaten up with medical bills, many of which could be outrageously high.
And, everyone is different. Some people willingly take charge of their lives. Some have trouble doing that. But, the ability to move up the economic ladder is still very much present. It just may not exist in certain areas anymore, because of technology and productivity increases.
Perhaps that good-paying job you had has gone away, and is not coming back. That doesn’t mean the system is keeping people down. It means that individuals have to look elsewhere for opportunity.
It is easy to get frustrated looking for opportunity, and fall into a funk. Then, you start to believe mobility is a myth and the system is against you. Those folks would be advised to know that circumstances may not be their fault, but how you react to them is clearly under their control.
Opportunities of the past may have passed. One might think of a generation or two ago, when a person got hired by an employer, with good pay and benefits, and that person could stay for life if he wanted to. There are few of those opportunities left. Today’s employment situation is very fluid, and probably will become more so with time. One has to look at a job as temporary, with limited duration, and spend some time outside of work looking for those golden opportunities.
Then, if confronted with one such opportunity, one has to have the courage to go for it, knowing that there will be people around to help them, when they are unsure of themselves.
Take care with whom you trust. There will be people who will see THEIR opportunity in YOU, and show you little or no appreciation for it. If you are in such a situation, look at it as a way to support yourself until your own plan, takes shape.
To look at one golden opportunity, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. The value will be obvious. The opportunity will be strictly up to you.
Don’t let yourself be a victim. Don’t become a statistic that will help justify the conclusion that mobility is a myth, and the system keeps people down. There is a whole contingent of people who don’t believe that for a minute. You’d be taking a step toward your own success if you hung among them.


Are you hanging on, hanging tough or hanging it up?
Or, are you just hanging?
Whatever you feel your state is, it might have something to do with whom you are hanging around.
Sure, family and old friends are great to have. They are great to have fun with. But, are these people you love keeping you from something better?
Do you feel the need to find new people, perhaps who have been very successful, to see whether you can get better?
As most leadership experts say, success starts in the mind. If the people you are closest to are telling you that you can’t do something, or that something is not for you (because it’s not for THEM), do you feel that they might be wrong?
Sometimes, it takes a new set of people to give you perspective on what you can do. Sometimes, it means reading good books, listening to good CDs and finding new people to hang around with.
You might need people who will tell you that “hanging” is not an option. You have to work on yourself. You have to take action to get out of your hanging state. You have to find the people, the organization(s), the reading material that will change the way you look at life – and yourself.
Are you working JUST to earn a living? Do you hate what you are doing, but think you can’t leave because your family and friends told you how great your security is? Working for someone else means you are building someone else’s dream. It’s certainly OK to work for someone else, if you are also building your own dream.
Take the story of the company owner who interviews a prospective employee. He shows the prospective employee pictures of a big house, with a beautiful view and lots of fancy cars in the driveway. He tells the prospect that if he is hired and does a good job, “all this will be mine!”
That’s how it feels at many jobs. Careers can be rewarding, but in today’s world, careers are cut short by machines, foreign workers and the like. What your father did for 40 years may not last you 40 years, no matter your education.
You may not be able to hang on, or hang tough, until you can retire comfortably. Some 40 years ago, change came more slowly. Today, change is constant and instant. It’s not a matter of rolling with change, but those who are most comfortable adapting to change are going to be the most desirable and have the most longevity in the work force.
It’s also important to have a Plan B, in case your best-laid career plans go awry. For a look at one of those options, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You can work full time at your job, and part time on your fortune. Perhaps, one day, YOU can tell your boss, to quote the Johnny PayCheck song, to “Take This Job & Shove It.”
Change is the operative word in any situation today. If you hang around long enough, you won’t recognize your workplace. If you hang tough, and deal with change as it comes, you may survive longer than most. If you can hang it up on YOUR terms, you will be one of the lucky ones.
If you don’t pay attention to change, even if you don’t like it, you could be hung out to dry. Fighting to stop or resist change could leave you hanging, eventually.
So don’t just hang. Improve. Take action. Find the right people to hang around with, lest you get hanged.


We are easing out of the Great Recession, though it is still difficult for some.
We are heading into the Great Inflection, according to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.
We are in a hyper-connected – not just connected – world, Friedman asserts. We are seeing more wealth created, and much better productivity in the workplace.
But, that isn’t translating into lower unemployment. You see, some of the jobs lost in the Great Recession will never return.
Think back to the time when World War II ended, the Industrial Revolution was in full swing, labor unions had great clout and – here’s the big one – technological progress was relatively slow.
If you got laid off from a job, chances are it was a slow period for your employer. When things picked up, you were back to work. Men – most married women did not work then – would crow about “steady” work. In other words, there were few peaks and valleys in their business. They got a paycheck every week for their 40 hours, plus, for some, the bonus of overtime.
College education was for the few. Parents wanted their sons to get out and work, and their daughters to get married. That idyllic life didn’t work out for everyone, but it did for a large number of people.
Contrast that period to today. If you have a job, you fear change, because it comes quickly and you don’t know how that change will affect you, until it does. Companies reorganize one day, and a few months later they do it again. Each time, usually, more people lose their jobs, replaced by some machine which, likely, will be “old” technology a year later.
As companies cut jobs, many of them are creating new and different ones, either at the same time, or a short time later. The people being cut may not fill the bill for the new positions. Something to think about: if your current job is a series of repetitive tasks that don’t require you to create anything, you should be thinking about learning something new. Chances are, your job will not last as long as you want it to.
Some of the folks from those earlier working days, once they hit a certain age, balked at learning “new stuff.” They were counting the days until they could retire. Today, if you don’t learn new stuff, regardless of your age, you will be gone, probably sooner than you want to be.
Friedman points out that with rapid change, the workforce has to keep learning. Your schooling, whatever it is, won’t last you the rest of your life anymore. It will always be with you, but education today is merely an entry vehicle. The people who survive in today’s workplace are those who are always learning, who can deal with change in stride and can foresee what might be coming. As Friedman puts it, you have to provide added value to the technology.
For those of you either shut out of the modern job market, or who live in fear that one day you will be, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. It’s one of the best of several ways you can create wealth WHILE you await your fate in the job market. One day, perhaps, you might not even need the job market.
In much of the discussion about employment and the economy today, many long for those old days. Jobs were “protected.” Work was, for many, “steady.” Workers had a certain security that they were convinced was never going away. Many today fight the changes that connectivity, technology and other productivity enhancements have brought. They want it stopped. But, it’s like standing on railroad tracks and holding out your arms, thinking you are going to stop one of those bullet trains.
Progress will happen with or without you. You can choose to fight the Great Inflection, or you can work to be part of it. If you can’t beat it, either join it or look for a new plan. Put your fate in YOUR hands.


Are we, or have we been, moving into a trend in which capital surpasses labor as the economic engine?
New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman thinks so.
From the working person’s viewpoint, the economy is still quite depressed. But economic figures are improving and corporations are making record profits. Many of these companies are holding on to their cash for dear life, fearing the investment and regulatory climate now and to come.
Krugman points out that manufacturing is moving back to the U.S. from overseas. He uses the example of manufacturing computer mother boards. They are made largely by robots, so the cheap, Asian labor is no longer needed. Perhaps that’s why we hear that China’s economy is contracting.
But let’s look at the way things are, from where you sit. Chances are, if you are still working, you have at least some fear that your job is going to go away before you want it to. Perhaps you are saving your pennies, and not spending frivolously, in anticipation of being shown the door at work. The U.S. savings rate needed a shot in the arm, for sure, but how it is getting it is quite disconcerting.
Perhaps you are out of work, and have been for a while. You scratch your head because the job you had, which you had thought, or even had been told, was vital to your company just went away. It’s not as if you had done a lousy job at it and were replaced. Your job just went away, and it’s not coming back.
Meanwhile, you hear about record profits for companies and wonder why they are not putting some of that money back into their operations, i.e. in creating new jobs. Well, they probably don’t have to. Technology has improved to the point at which machines replace people in big numbers. No matter how much money they have, companies will not create jobs they don’t think they need. Some will actually cut jobs they should maintain.
This phenomenon is detrimental to what we know as the middle class. Because those with the capital have political benefactors, they may be creating a political system that lets them get richer at others’ expense. When the successful are protected in this way, the less successful become more vulnerable. As Krugman says, we’re not talking about a gap between the educated work force and the less educated. In this milieu, EVERYONE gets paid less. When the less successful become more vulnerable, they not only get paid less for what they do. They pay more for what they need.
Krugman says that the rich also are fighting to eliminate inheritance taxes. He may find some disagreement here, because inheritance taxes can prevent family businesses from being given to future generations of that family. Sometimes, families have to sell their businesses to cover the tax bill, and there is something wrong with that. On the other hand, there could be large amounts of wealth being easily transferred to people who are already wealthy, without adding to the economic engine.
If this trend of forced idleness continues, it bodes ill. Look at what is happening in other countries, where young, often educated people can’t find work. Such free time among a disgruntled group can lead to all sorts of bad things.
However, in all this, there is good news. There are lots of ways out there to make money, without worrying about having a traditional job. To check out one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. Hear and see the stories of how average people are making above-average incomes, and helping others do the same. It also attacks the notion of paying more for what one needs.
So if you are working, think about your plan B. Savings will certainly help you, but they may not cover all your bills without a paycheck. If you are not working, don’t be discouraged. Check out one of the many opportunities there are, through which average people, regardless of education, are prospering. Sometimes, becoming successful just requires being open to looking at something different.
It has been said that the best way to help the poor is to not be one of them. The best way to fight the capital vs. labor battle that Krugman illustrates is to find ways to generate more real capital. Kurgman calls the capital guys robber barons. If you help people prosper with you, that’s makes you a benefactor.


Jody Reeves, 53, dreams of starting a neighborhood seafood shop in Atlanta.
Will she fulfill her dream?
Research shows that the number of Baby Boomers starting businesses is increasing, according to a report by David Markiewicz, a business writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His report was published Sunday, Dec. 9. 2012.
Mind you, most businesses are still being launched by 20-somethings or 30-somethings. But those in the older set, who decades ago looked forward putting their feet up, collecting a pension and relaxing, are launching businesses by increasing numbers. Markiewicz quotes figures from the Kauffman Foundation, which says the number of people 50 and older launching businesses has increased every year in each of the last 10 years.
Also, Markiewicz reports, the percentage of new entrepreneurs ages 55 to 64 has grown to 20.9 percent as of 2011, from 14.3 percent in 1996.
What’s behind this trend? There is a combination of dreams and realities at work here.
For some, starting a business has been a lifelong dream that had to be postponed for years because they needed a steady income to raise families. Back when the 50-somethings were in their 20s, starting a business was risky. Having a job was not nearly as risky. One tends to be risk-averse when security is there for the taking.
In this economy, however, there are new realities. Having a job is more risky than starting a business. Companies are outsourcing tasks to avoid hiring people. So, instead of doing a task for a company as an employee, the company can hire you as a contractor to accomplish the same thing. No guaranteed salary and benefits to pay. No sick pay. No pension contributions. No disability payments.
Some Baby Boomers have found themselves out of a job, but not ready, able or eligible to retire. They have had to start over at the back end of their careers. They are starting businesses out of necessity, and hoping they can succeed.
According to Markiewicz’s report, Reeves doesn’t know whether her seafood shop will ever become a reality. “ Some days, it’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, I can do this.’ Other days, I think I might just be better off to go work at Target,” Markiewicz quotes her.
There are a few considerations for anyone of any age when thinking about starting a business. First, do you have what it takes to make it through the launch phase, which could take years, before you see anything resembling a steady profit? Rule of thumb: if you need a paycheck tomorrow, this might not be for you – at least not now.
Secondly, patience and perseverance are essential. If you are the type to try something that may not work initially, then give up on it, starting a business may not be for you.
Thirdly, if you’d love to ditch your boss – if you haven’t already been ditched — but don’t know what you would do instead, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. There are lots of ways to make money without having a job. This is one of the best. If you are intrigued, you might think about getting set up BEFORE you have to, so that when you are shown the door, or when you can’t take it anymore, you can walk out with a smile because you’ve prepared for it.
Putting one’s feet up in retirement is a nice thought. But, to paraphrase poet Robert Burns and novelist John Steinbeck, the best laid plans may not come to fruition, through no fault of yours. Speaking “Of Mice and Men,” getting out of the rat race before the rats win is the best thing anyone can do.
Don’t wait until you’ve lost the race. Take a little time now to prepare so that the rats can only THINK that they’ve won. You will know something the rats don’t know.