Career Planning After 50-Manager to Self-Employment Freedom
"When the First Career Planning Answer is No-Keep Looking-You'll
Find the Way out of Your Stressful Career Situation"
Successful Career Planning Led Mike to Self-Employment...
Mike had worked in the vehicle repair business for over 35 years. Three years ago at age 55 he was an
area manager for a chain of quick lube shops. The constant travel, repeated employee training, customer
complaints, sales demands from higher up, and employees who couldn't get to work on time were wearing him out.
He started looking at other career opportunities. None seemed to excite
him. Mike's hobby was working with wood and building bird houses. He gave them to neighbors and friends and
every month or so he sold a couple of dozen to a local pet store.
Mike thought long and hard to determine if he could turn his hobby into a successful career plan after
50. After much analysis, Mike concluded, if he built bird houses twelve hours a day and sold every one at
a reasonable margin he would fall short of replacing his area manager salary. There had to be another
Mike's Career Planning After 50 Journey was at a dead end-What to do?
Mike began looking at various career ideas. He researched what similar products were available on the internet.
There appeared to be a market for what he made. But the question remained, how could he leverage
his time and resources to make the career change into a new and successful career.
Testing the waters, his successful career plan took another turn as he began studying marketing his bird houses
via the internet. He set up a web site. He offered a free report on the many values of having a
variety of birds living in bird houses on your property. He wrote a number of articles on the many
types of bird houses and had them published on the internet.
Visitors to his web site began increasing and he made enough sales each month to more than pay his internet and
material expenses but were far short of his area manager salary.
He continued to work for the quick lube company and study marketing on the internet. There had to be a way to
make a successful career change.
Chance Encounter Helps Lead to Career Change
Several months later he and a friend were fishing at an area lake. Mike noted some wooden items for sale in the
bait shop. He inquired as to who make the items. He learned that several area farmers were augmenting their
farm income by operating wood shops on their farms.
Mike contacted and had a meeting with the farmers, and after some discussion they agreed to build bird
houses of his design, he would pay for the materials and one farmer would ship bird houses to
They worked out a system of emails, from the time the order was placed on the website, money
collected, email sent to ship product and payment make to the shipper and the builder of the bird house. After some
fits and starts the system worked to everyone's satisfaction.
Step-By-Step Successful Career Planning
Getting closer to his goal of quitting his job, Mike kept close to his customers by sending out emails
recounting stories of customers enjoying the song birds in their yard. He developed other wood related
products and soon he could count on a satisfactory level of increased business whenever he sent
out an email.
After six months of increased monthly internet business Mike pulled the plug and quit his job.
He worked hard at increasing traffic to his site which translated into additional business and more names on his
He has been featured speaker at bird watching groups and written several articles for their
newsletters which helped bring him more traffic.
He has branched out into selling bird house building plans, bird food, bird feeders, and hummingbird feeders. He
outsourced all of the shipping to his bird house builders.
His income soon reached over 120% of what he was earning as a quik lube area manager.
Summary of Mike's Successful After 50 Career Change Plan:
This is what we learned from Mike's journey of changing careers after 50:
1. Don't quit your day job until you have the career change nailed down. Work part-time, if
possible, in the new career until you are sure you like it and it can pay the bills.
2. When you initial analysis says no, keep looking.
3. Leverage your time and effort by outsourcing.
4. Grow your business by upselling to existing customers.
5. Selling one product can lead to a whole related family of products.
6. Continue studying marketing using the internet.
7. Start small but build a foundation so it's easy to scale up.
Mike, after much career planning and analysis now has the personal freedom that eluded him in
his previous career. Importantly, he has begin researching other internet niches that he can move
into selling a variety of products. Learn more in articles about successful career planning.