Many entrepreneurs are too busy to notice the distress signals that the old way of doing business is obsolete. such owners blame their dissatisfaction on the economy or increased competition. Sometimes it takes slowdowns or losing the business to force small-business owners to let go of what isn't working, such as trying to be all things to all customers or clients.
After those entrepreneurs pick up the pieces, they realize that success comes when they focus on the aspect of the business they enjoy. "It's never too late to do what you love, and midlife is the perfect time to find the niche where you will succeed beyond your fondest hopes," says career consultant Nancy Anderson in her inspiring new book, Work With Passion in Midlife and Beyond: Reach Your Full Potential and Make the Money You Need (New World Library, 2010).
"Given the volatile economy, rising costs of living and likelihood that safety nets like Social Security and savings may not cover expenses when you are older, it is imperative that you start now to find the work that engages your heart and soul," Anderson writes in the introduction to her book.
She takes midlife-and-beyond readers through a step-by-step process that helps them understand who they are and what they value at this stage of life. Citing client stories as examples, she shows that finding the work that gives meaning to the second act of life begins with accurate self-knowledge. "Once you know what will make the best use of the strengths you've honed over a lifetime of experience, success is inevitable," she says.
Anderson offers some signals that can indicate it is time to change the way you do business, including:
• Feelings of restlessness and boredom.
• Impatience with employees, customers or clients.
• Loss of business that used to be dependable.
• Illness and depletion of energy and enthusiasm.
• Using alcohol, drugs and other distractions to get away from it all.
Rather than interpret those distress signals as failure, she says, readers should think about why they got into business in the first place. If what they are doing now isn't their passion, then it's time to think about what will excite them about getting up in the morning. The answer could be as simple as getting rid of discarding outated methods or habits such as spending time with people who waste their time - or maybe upgrading their clientele, products or service so that they match personal higher standards.
Changing a small business to reflect who the owner is at this stage of life will attract new and better customers and clients. Business owners will also experience the fulfillment that is missing in their lives.
And having become familiar with the pain that precedes change for the better, they won't have to wait for disaster to strike before they take the action they need to take.
For more information about Anderson and her work, visit http://www.workwithpassion.com.