- Thursday, 24 May 2012
What is an Oldpreneur?
An Oldpreneur is someone who has been an employee their entire career, but decides to start a business. To be an Oldpreneur you must be at least 50. You do it for excitement and challenge and because you have noticed a gap in the market. Perhaps, like me, you are starting a business because you have received terrible service in your chosen field. But mainly you do it because you fear the prospect of retirement, and want stimulating activity and the company of a mix of people.
So you are an Oldpreneur?
Yes, I had a good job as Company Secretary of Clarks Shoes, which I gave up to start a business. I didn’t take an enormous financial risk as the business was relatively inexpensive to get off the ground. The greatest risk was of failing, and losing the social standing and network which came with my old job.
It is really important to me to do something active – I’m not very good at leisure and relaxation and I love to have company, so the thought of being retired and not intellectually challenged wasn’t appealing
What is the business you set up?
A niche solicitors practice specialising in Probate Wills and Powers of Attorney. It’s called Purely Probate. I had a grim experience with a traditional high street solicitor’s probate service – slow, pompous and expensive. I knew I could do better and do things in a way more appropriate to the 21st century
And how is it going?
I’ve been in business for over a year now and its going well. There are highs and lows, of course but on the whole it has been a very positive experience. I have learnt masses and been constantly challenged. There is rarely a dull moment. When you start a business you expose yourself, your strengths and weaknesses become very obvious. You also meet lots of new people and that is what I have enjoyed most. It’s very satisfying to feel you are providing a useful service, particularly for people who have recently been bereaved.
Can older people solve the problems of the economy?
We can certainly do our bit. We are likely to have a different slant on things to younger entrepreneurs. We are probably in less of a hurry and can draw on our experience. We want to build something that is sustainable in the long term. Our motives may also be slightly different. For example I am driven by the wish to do something useful rather than the desire to make a fortune. I would like to give meaningful employment to other older (and younger) people too as my business builds, and I can afford to employ more people.
And I understand you blog about being an Oldpreneur?
Yes, I started blogging at http://oldpreneur.com/blog/ from the time I handed in my notice and I have kept going – it is a personal story in which I am very honest about the highs and the lows.