Our 'socially accepted' working life in the Western World presently stands at around 50 years. We generally have the ability to seek work at a little before the age of 15 and are expected to graciously retire at around 65 years.
So tell me, how much of your '50 year allocation' have you spent building your own business so far? How many years have you spent building someone else's? And most importantly, what are actually willing to do with the time you have left?
Your Business Advisors
So who do you think might be the best person to advise you on how to best use what's left of your working life? Should you speak to your accountant, lawyer, financial planner or coach first?
I'd suggest that there are two people that you should consult before you speak to anyone else. Those two people are
(i) the 15 year you, (ii) the 65 year old you
The 15 year old you.
Can you remember the kid you were when you were 15 years of age? What sort of attitude did you have? What kind of beliefs did you have about the world around you? What dreams did you hold for how you were going to spend your future career?
What if you asked the 15 year old you whether or not now was a good time to set up your business? What would they have to say? Would they tell you that you're crazy and encourage you to keep slaving away at your job, day after day, week after week, year after year whilst you top up your pension contributions and pay down your mortgage?
Or would they tell you to just get out there and start having fun doing something your really passionate about and make a stack of cash in the process?
And what about the 65 year old you?
Cast your gaze over to the 65 year old you. What pearls of wisdom do they have to share about your working life. No doubt they'd pull out that old chestnut 'It's better to regret the things you've done, than to regret the things you haven't done', regardless of whether it's in context or not!
But what other insights would they pass on? Would they encourage you to take a 'leap of faith' right now and build a business that you could be truly proud of?
Would they call you to greater levels of contribution so you could actually be a catalyst in shaping a better world?
Make the most of your opportunities
Make no mistake, your 50 year clock is ticking. Does it make sense for you to give birth your business ideas right now? If not then when?
Allow yourself the time and space to move outside of your existing work context. Invite in the vibrancy of youth and the experience of old to guide you. You've got a brilliant business idea inside of you. You just need to get out there and share it.
Damien Senn is a Life and Business Coach as well as a fully qualified Chartered Accountant. He helps professionals, artists and entrepreneurs create compelling futures.
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