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💡 Business Tip - Design a New Model of Retirement (Issue #45)
Leaning into purpose, passion, and fulfillment
I was recently on a group call with some people who are thinking about retirement. Many are trying to decide when they can retire based on their financial planning. Some are closer than others. Quite a few people are worried they can never fully retire because life is just too expensive, their nest egg isn’t very large, and the social security system is almost drained dry.
A few people mentioned they fear losing their cognitive capabilities once they leave the workforce. They also worry about losing a sense of purpose. They don’t know what they will do with their days to stay active—mentally and physically.
However, people seriously dread the thought of being stuck in jobs they no longer enjoy and facing that unhappiness for the rest of their years. They are burned out and ready to be done. But they aren’t sure what an alternative future might be. Some had a few ideas about hobbies and monetizing passions, but they weren’t very clear.
I want to challenge this negative view of what work is. What if “work” doesn’t have to be the experience you know and often dislike? What if you could change the definition of earning a good income and making a living? I don’t think work has to be the four-letter word we’ve let it become.
Working a traditional 9-5 job for an employer can become unpleasant because you are not in control. You don’t get to design the experience of your daily job.
You don’t control the hours you work. Your boss determines your daily schedule.
You don’t control who you work for and with. You don’t get to choose your boss, and you rarely get to influence who your coworkers will be.
You don’t fully control how you do your work or what your responsibilities are. Your employer has specific requirements and expectations for you.
You rarely control where you do your work. Ask the employees who are now being forced to return to a corporate office, even when it makes little sense (e.g., they sit in Zoom meetings all day).
You don’t control how much you earn. Your boss determines your wages and if you receive raises or promotions.
However, if you intentionally design your own job in your own business, everything changes. I’ve been doing this for almost 13 years now. I actually enjoy working! I like the idea of doing this for the rest of my life vs. retiring and trying to find other things to do every day.
I decide what days of the week are my working days.
I determine the hours I work every day.
I choose who I want to work with. I really do like my clients and enjoy talking with them!
I set the pricing for my goods and services, so I control my income.
I certainly control the definition of my “job” and how I do my work.
I work wherever I want! I can run my business at home, in a coffee shop, on a beach in Maui, while I’m visiting family in the Midwest, in a ski resort near a warm fire, etc.
The challenge is to define this lifestyle business long before your retirement years are upon you. You do not want to wait until the last minute and scramble to figure things out when you discover that retirement life is:
More expensive than you expected.
Full of surprise expenses.
A little boring, with no genuine sense of purpose.
Not challenging you mentally and keeping your mind active.
I’m sure some of you are sitting there with a smile on your face and thinking, “Oh, I have fully planned for retirement. We have plenty of money saved, significant investments, and no worries. I’m just going to relax and enjoy life!”
Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard this many times.
I know lots of retired folks who thought they would be fine playing golf every day, fishing at their favorite lake, and going on endless vacations. Then, one day, they were bored and wondering what to do with themselves. Or, one of their children experienced a financial disaster, and they had to burn through retirement money to help them out.
You know what?
It doesn’t hurt to think about a side hustle that could keep you engaged and give you purpose when you leave your primary career. It never hurts to have something you enjoy doing that also just happens to put some extra money in your bank account.
However, think about it now. Plan for it now. Be prepared to transition into the next phase of your life seamlessly when the time comes.
You’ll create a better plan, build a better business, and have a better chance of success and happiness later if you take the time to plan well now vs. scrambling and panicking later. Trust me!
So, what ideas do you have for a lifestyle business during your anti-retirement? Share in the comments.
I’m Larry Cornett, a coach who can work with you 1-on-1 to design, launch, and optimize your business. You might also be interested in my “Employee to Solopreneur” workshop. I live in Northern California near Lake Tahoe with my wife and Great Dane while running my businesses 100% remotely.