Start a Business – Start the Rest of Your Life

27 01 2010

Don’t let the current economic situation prevent you from launching a business. Recently, I attended a student entrepreneurship social where a presenter indicated that 50% of the Fortune 500 businesses were launched during a recession.

So if now is the time to start a business, you may be wondering just which business to start. In Marika and Howard Stone’s book Too Young to Retire: 101 Ways to Start the Rest of Your Life, they do just that – provide a list of 101 ideas for your next career:  self-employment. Here are five of their suggestions that caught my eye:

  •  Cruise ship lecturer. So much downtime between ports. So many opportunities to blow your diet. No wonder professors and other experts with presentation skills are in demand on the cruise-line circuit.
  • Personal coach. Coaches help motivate people to set goals and make moves in their lives they might not consider without support. Six-figure incomes for coaches are not impossible.
  • Drive/deliver cars for an auto-rental agency. If you enjoy driving, have a current driver’s license, and a clean safety record, this is a good way to see the country all expenses paid.
  • Second-home, property-management business.  Off-season, the condos are shuttered, unoccupied. A property manager pops in for 10 – 15 minutes a week to check for leaks, makes sure the AC or heat is working, and nips potential problems in the bud.
  • Virtual assistants (VAs) are independent contractors who from their home office provide administrative support to small businesses through the Internet, fax, telephone or other methods of communication.

Not all the above ideas will necessarily replace your current income, but that may not be what you are searching for. Perhaps you are looking for greater balance in your life: more time with your family and/or more time to pursue other interests.

So what’s holding you back from starting the rest of your life!


Stepping Out of Your Same-Old

21 01 2010

Ali Brown’s recent blog entitled “Trying Something New” got me thinking of a few things I have done over the past several months to step out of my same-old, same-old.

On January 2 my husband and I cruised for the next 10 days with the Founders of the Brigham Young University Entrepreneurship & Technology Center. This was our first cruise, but that doesn’t fully answer Ali’s question: “When was the last time you did something for the first time?”

Sting ray

While on the cruise, I kissed a sting ray! What, you’re not totally impressed with that? Okay, maybe that’s not such a big deal for you, but I was not thrilled with them swimming around me, anxious for me to feed them. I could clearly hear the theme music from “Jaws” the whole time. The point is that even though I was really nervous, I did it.

I also tried out snorkelling for the first time. What a fun experience. I’m not sure why I have never tried it before. Quite likely it’s just another of those experiences that I have not bothered to seek out. While I’m not quite ready to purchase my own equipment, I do plan on seeking out more opportunities to snorkel.

This blog site is a first for me. I’ve written a few articles that were posted on other sites and in magazines, but I was reluctant to commit to a routine of posting and coming up with article ideas. As well, I find it daunting to put my ideas and thoughts out there for others to read and comment on. What if they say something nasty! I realize that I don’t have to approve them, but that seems like a half-hearted risk on my part – why not allow those who disagree with me to post their opinions? I’m going to think on that for a bit. So far I don’t think I’ve written anything controversial.

But what about you? Let me repeat Ali’s question: “When was the last time you did something for the first time?”

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

18 01 2010

As a Canadian visiting the United States for a year, I am unfamiliar with the holiday Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I asked the young couple working out in the apartment gym what exactly is done to celebrate the day. They smiled and replied, “Exercise,” but then went on to briefly explain that there wasn’t anything special done to commemorate this day.

So I decided to listen to Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech “I Have a Dream” in YouTube. (I love YouTube. That and Wikipedia are two of my favourite resource websites.)

Given in August 1963, it is a timeless inspiring message for everyone.  Within two months of his speech, congress passed a new civil rights bill into law.

For me it is a reminder of the difference one person can make. One person who stands up for what is good and true.  People like Martin Luther King Jr. are an inspiration to me in my life’s journey to make a difference in the lives of those around me.

Bev McCrostie, M.Ed.
Virtual Assistant Certificate
Red Deer College