Updated: Jun 16, 2020
Have you reached that point in your life when it's time for a change in the way you work and earn a living?
We did recently. We decided that we no longer wanted to be employed by someone else - been there, done that and worn the T-shirt out! Our last experience of working for someone else had left us feeling that we wanted to do something for ourselves and to fail or succeed by our own efforts.
We wanted more control over how we worked, what we did, and when we worked. That's not to say that we don’t need to earn money and contribute to the household. But if we didn’t make a change now, in our 50’s, we felt the opportunity may pass us by.
So we started our own business - Third Quarter Tribe cic. We wanted to use our recent experiences to help others over 50, just like ourselves, to find a different way to live their lives and earn a living. We set up our business as a social enterprise rather than a private company. This is a “not for personal profit” organisation as we wanted to be able to give back to our community We invested in the business ourselves, conducted our own marketing and developed resources. We have used our previous professional and friends networks to get us started, scoured what we could to use for free (this is written on Google docs for example), and acquired a ton of new skills. What we learned from the process we intend to share with people over 50 to help them develop their own ideas.
It has been, and is, scary. What if it doesn’t work? Will we be able to earn a living from this? We don’t know but we believe in what we are doing, are proud of what we have produced and we are confident. Most importantly we believe that now, more than ever, support for the over 50’d to work is very needed.
But we didn’t stop there. We decided that we would like to do something different too, in fact, two other different things! We started a small retail business - Boxes of Bits trading online, again investing ourselves in buying products, putting together the products, and marketing the business. And as dedicated gardeners ourselves we thought that we would like to spend some of our time doing something else that we loved and have knowledge about. We are now developing a small gardening and possibly cleaning business locally.
It sounds like a lot doesn’t it? And it is. The challenges of earning an income can be steep but the satisfaction from your first clients immense and the positive feedback they are giving us worthwhile. We have found that by working for ourselves we have far more energy, motivation, and dedication plus the sheer variety of our work makes work interesting again. We have found that it has improved our physical and emotional health. We take more time to do things outside of work when we want to, if the sun shines we may do something for ourselves with our families or our own gardens. We work hard but the greatest benefit has been the laughter, the lack of anxiety, the feeling of control, and the shedding of needing to jump to the tune of others. But the best of all - it is so much more FUN.