Rewind a few years, and I was staring down the barrel of a miserable middle-age and beyond. I didn’t have a great pension, and while I’d had an exciting career, I wasn’t set up for life.
Like so many of us, we put off the inevitable, and then when those silver streaks start showing, we suddenly realise that we’re not as perhaps “fiscally aware” as we would have liked to be. More and more people realise that their paltry pension pot won’t carry them through the golden years.
Turning your passion into a profitable business is infinitely possible right now, regardless of your age. With the online course industry projected to be worth over $3.25 billion by 2025 (Forbes), more and more people in their 50s and 60s are turning their experience and know-how into a digital course.
Want to set up a new business when you’re over 50? Then you’re in good company. According to the Office for National Statistics, more than 4 out of every new business in the UK are started by people aged 50 and over. And it’s a growing trend.
I set up my business from my spare room because I didn’t fit into a career box anymore, and for health reasons couldn’t go back to commuting long hours each day.
I began by working one to one with people and teaching them how to be Confident on Camera. As my business took off, I realised that the more successful my business was, the harder I worked – and I had to find another way.
My husband had just retired, so we wanted to enjoy this time together. He didn’t want me chained to my business.
I wanted to live more and earn more, and I wanted to have time for my family and travel and write. I turned my knowledge into an online course and began selling it online on social media. Fast-forward a couple of years, and I’ve now sold over 50,000 courses, and these now sell while I sleep…
Creating digital courses has also enabled me to still make money from home during the Pandemic and even when I was home-schooling my son.
And that’s the beauty of building an online business that fits around your life rather than feeling chained to the business.
It’s firstly about figuring out what you want to do. What’s your superpower? What could you teach others? Perhaps you’re a better baker than Bake Off or a whizz at organising. The first step to creating a successful digital product is figuring out what you want to share.
People want to learn from people like them and being of a particular age is now a benefit instead of a weakness. Who would you instead learn social media from? A 20-something whizz or a woman in her 50s who can explain Instagram in a way that makes sense to you?
I now work with small business owners to set up a digital course who are consultants and coaches, pet-preneurs and ballet instructors and they all want to live more and work less.
Like 81-year-old Stan who loves tap-dancing and people and is building an online community to combat loneliness. Or 60-something Kathleen who took her ballet studio online so she could spend more time with her grandchildren in Melbourne.
My book, Make Money While You Sleep shows the exact roadmap to start making money while you sleep. The beauty of the online world is that age or location is no longer a barrier to your financial success – you just need hard work, a willingness to stand out from the crowd and the fire in your belly to go for it.
- Figure out what you want to teach and try to identify a gap in the market. What’s your superpower that makes you stand out in a crowded space?
- Niche down. There’s a saying in the online world that there’s riches in the niches – and for good reason. Perhaps you can drill down on your audience by targeting a different age or sector in society. The more your talk to your potential clients, the more successful you will be.
- Automate your systems. You can’t make money while you sleep if you don’t build processes and systems to do the work for you.
- You don’t have to be a know it all! Be prepared to get scrappy in the beginning and go all in on one social media platform – whether that’s LinkedIn or Facebook.
- You don’t have to do it all! We all start somewhere! Learning all the systems and tech is full on, but if I can do it, you can do it! You’ve got this!
Make Money While You Sleep by Lucy Griffiths (Hodder & Stoughton, £14.99) is published 30th December 2021.