6 Tips for Becoming an Entrepreneur Later in Life

Entrepreneurs aren’t limited by age, and you can start a successful business at any stage of your life. However, becoming an entrepreneur later in life has its own unique challenges.

Consider these tips for starting a business as a senior:

1. Avoid allowing others to limit your goals. As you get older, you may have more people in your life who try to persuade you away from the entrepreneur lifestyle.

* Your family and friends may have good intentions, but they can also limit your dreams.

* They may remind you that it’s more difficult to start a new business as you get older because you have other responsibilities. Children, aging parents, and others can take up a lot of your time and present challenges when starting a business. However, knowing that these challenges exist can also help you make contingency plans for when time is tight.

2. Ignore your age. Dreams don’t have expiration dates, and entrepreneurs don’t have age limits. As they say, “you’re only as old as you feel.” So if you feel like taking on the rigors of starting a new business, let your age be the last thing on your mind as you move forward with your business plans.

3. Be open to learning from others. The most successful entrepreneurs are open to learning new ideas.

* Stay up to date on new advancements in your field, either by keeping in the loop yourself or by hiring employees or contractors that incorporate this into their tasks.

* Finding a mentor with successful business experience in your field can help your new business see profits quickly and plan for successful growth.

4. Get your family involved. Successful entrepreneurs often have their family members involved in the business.

* Do your children want to help you build a business? Does your spouse have interesting ideas and want to collaborate with you? Your family can help you make your dream come true.

5. Consider the impact of the business on your personal life. How will the business affect your family and ability to continue working your regular day job?

* A new business venture may be exciting, but it has consequences.

* It’s important to consider the full impact of the new business on your personal life. Will you be able to spend time with your children and spouse as you launch the business?

* Your personal finances are another area that can be deeply affected by a new business. How do you plan to pay for the business? If your plan involves draining personal finances or getting new loans, then this can affect your entire family. It’s important to discuss the changes with them before you take action.

6. Consider the impact of your parents on the business. As your parents age, they may become dependent on you. Can you handle the complexities of being an entrepreneur and caring for your parents?

* Younger entrepreneurs may have decades before they have to worry about caring for their aging parents. However, as an older entrepreneur, you don’t have this luxury.

* You may have to handle multiple roles at the same time. How will you balance your lifestyle and finances to manage everything? Can you afford to start a new business if your parents need your help?

* Your parents can have a serious accident or health issue that makes you responsible for taking care of them. The expense of this situation can be detrimental to your efforts with your new business.

You can become a successful entrepreneur and build a strong business at any age. However, it’s important to stay aware of the challenges that come with being an entrepreneur and make plans that will help you overcome these challenges.

From Hobby to Home Business in Five Steps

Do you ever feel trapped in a job you don’t find rewarding? The key to living a more fulfilling life is to go after your passions. Being someone’s employee often requires you to put these passions aside so you can work towards their vision – not yours!

Becoming an entrepreneur is not for everyone. There are many obstacles between you and your dreams, including coming up with the willpower to get started on your project, finding the confidence to get through multiple mishaps, and devoting many hours of hard work to building your vision.

Being an entrepreneur is hard work and can be disheartening at times – but owning your business can be a very fulfilling and freeing experience.

Follow these steps to follow your passions through your own business:

1. Find your calling. You could base your business on a talent you have, a hobby you love, or your desire to make a difference in people’s lives.

* There is a popular belief that it takes 10,000 hours of work before one can be considered an expert in any field. This belief may not be true, but it shows that expertise requires time and hard work.

2. Register your business and apply for necessary licenses. Registering your home business is a very simple process.

* All you need to do is register your business name through the U.S. Small Business Administration and apply for a tax ID.

* You will also have to register your business through state agencies. Applying for licenses is necessary if your field is regulated – for instance, if you prepare food, work with dangerous chemicals, or provide services that require special qualifications such as legal advice or accounting.

3. Create your business plan. Creating a business plan is a systematic process that provides a blueprint for your business and will help you obtain funding for your project.

* Start by explaining what the purpose of your business is and how you’ll achieve it.

* Explain what kind of products you want to sell or list the services you’ll be providing.

* Define your target audience in as many details as possible.

* Create an outline for your marketing strategy and include your expected prices as well as how much profit you expect to generate.

4. Explore your financing options. Go over your budget and business plan carefully to assess how much money you require.

* Look for investors among your friends and relatives, or angel investors through local business associations. Borrowing money is usually your best option if you cannot find investors for your project.

*  The U.S. Small Business Administration is a great place to get started with financing, but you could also contact your financial institution to learn more about the business loans they offer.

5. Get to work! Becoming a successful home business owner requires time, hard work, and real dedication.

* Besides spending some time on developing your products or services, promoting your business, and providing excellent customer service, it’s also important to work on acquiring more skills that will help you become a better business owner.

* Divide the large goals from your business plan into smaller goals you can accomplish on a weekly or daily basis. This division will also help you assess your progress.

*  Keep in mind that your goals might have to shift if your market changes.

The best way to launch your business and achieve financial stability is to put together a detailed plan with a series of small, manageable steps that will lead you to your goals. Use these five steps as a broad template for your project and add any additional steps that are relevant to your business.

8 Tips for New Graduates (or anyone for that matter) Still Looking for a Job

Finding a job may be the toughest job you’ll ever have. The failure rate is quite high. You will hear many “no’s” before you get a “yes”. Looking for your first professional job can be daunting.

If you’re a recent graduate and still looking for a job, you might not be taking advantage of all the available opportunities and resources. One small change in your approach could allow you to move out of your parent’s home.

Take advantage of these job-search tips:

1. Make the most of your university’s services. It’s important to your school that you find a great job. All colleges and universities advertise their placement rates. Smart high school students look at job placement figures when choosing a school.

* Just because you’re out of school doesn’t mean you can’t still avail yourself of your school’s career services department.

2. Spend the necessary time and money to create an effective resume. While there are many instructional resources dedicated to constructing an effective resume, many graduates still struggle to put their best foot forward. If you’re unable to create an impressive resume on your own, get help. Considering paying for a professionally written resume if necessary.

3. Create a profile on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool. This website is constantly searched by recruiters. Networking activities on LinkedIn fill many of the available jobs. Many of these jobs never even appear in public.

4. Do a little housekeeping on your social media accounts. The photo of you drinking beer while standing on your head might bring a smile to your face, but it won’t bring any job offers. You’re an adult now. Many professionals avoid making social media accounts.

* Consider closing your accounts. If you choose to keep them, consider what you’re willing to show the public. Keep in mind that many potential employers are insisting on seeing your social media accounts from the inside. These requests have held up in court.

5. Practice your interviewing skills. There’s more to preparing for an interview than reviewing common interview questions and contemplating your responses. Find a friend or family member that regularly interviews job candidates to conduct mock interviews with you. Your school’s career placement services department can also provide assistance.

6. Build a website. A personal website is another useful tool. You can provide much more information that a typical resume will hold. It also provides positive information if a potential employer searches your background.

7. Get on the phone. Many job-search gurus believe that you’re not doing anything to find a job if you’re not making at least 100 phone calls per week.

* Call potential companies and ask the appropriate people for advice on finding a job. Asking for employment will put them on the defensive, but everyone likes to give advice. Look on LinkedIn to find the ones to call.

8. Contact alumni for advice. It varies from school to school, but some alumni groups are very active and loyal to each other. You never know who will want to help you. Facebook and LinkedIn are searchable by school attended. Reach out and see what happens.

Avoid losing hope. It can take time to find the right employment opportunity. Take responsibility for your job search and spend time searching each day. Until you find a job, consider your job search to be your full-time job. The perfect employer is searching for you right now. Ensure they can find you as quickly and easily as possible.

If You’ve Got 100 Visitors Per Day to Your Website and You’re Not Making Six Figures, Something Is Horribly Wrong

Ben Angel tells you how to increase website traffic and boost your bottom line.

Marketing expert Ben Angel has a serious question for you: Are you struggling to drive traffic to your website or, more importantly, to monetize your existing traffic?

In this video, Angel says that it’s a common myth that loads of website traffic are required to generate serious sales from your online presence. He gives tips to show you what it really takes to turn 100 web visitors per day to your website into six-figure sales each year.

“It’s totally disheartening to put in all those hours of hard work only for nobody to notice you,” he says.

Source: If You’ve Got 100 Visitors Per Day to Your Website and You’re Not Making Six Figures, Something Is Horribly Wrong

Investing in Precious Metals? Profit With Lesser-Known Options

Investing in Precious Metals - Gold Silver and Platinum - Money Hacks

Consider these excellent alternatives to gold and silver:

Investing in precious metals is a smart decision. These metals tend to keep their value over time, can gain value due to high demand, and are very easy to sell as long as you invest in coins and bullions.

The main advantages of investing in precious metals include diversifying your portfolio, creating a hedge against inflation, and providing you with something to fall back on if your other investments don’t perform well due to a financial crisis.

Gold and silver are by far the most popular options for investors. There are some obvious advantages to adding these metals to your portfolio since they are always in demand. However, lesser-known precious metals provide you with more diversity and could yield better returns.

1.Palladium.This precious metal is used to make catalytic converters for cars. It’s also needed to purify water and manufacture fuel cells.

Demand for palladium is likely to stay strong due to its many industrial uses. In addition, fuel cells are used to power electric cars, an industry that could explode in the next decade. An ounce of palladium currently goes for a little over $600. You could invest in palladium bullions or in the PALL ETF, which holds bullions.

Download Free Investing in Precious Metals Profit With Lesser-Known Options (PDF)

Asset Allocation Strategies

assets strategy - exampleAsset allocation can be an active process to varying degrees or strictly passive in nature. Whether an investor chooses a precise asset allocation strategy or a combination of different strategies depends on that investor’s goals, age, market expectations and risk tolerance.

Simply stated, asset allocation is investing your money in different categories of assets—typically stocks, bonds and cash equivalents such as money market funds—so your investments are well diversified.

Invest Confidently With Asset Allocation Strategies (PDF)

** These allocations are presented only as options and are not intended as investment advice. The investment mix that is appropriate for you depends on your age, investment horizon, goals and attitude about risk. Please consult Ascendant if you have questions about these options and how they relate to your own financial situation.

The percentage allocations shown above are target allocations as of 4th quarter 2011 as an example. These target allocations, and the actual percentage allocations to each asset class, are subject to change at any time. In addition, the underlying funds included in a portfolio the may change. **