Finding my Feet Again, at 76
by Bernard Kelly
My measure of success has always been based around having a successful 'business" but at age 76, I've now concluded that I simply don't have the motivation or energy to create a new "traditional" business with employees, so my objectives keep shifting.
And I'm grateful that I have found a connection with a pro bono business coach.
Here are the projects that I'm working on - actually I often think that I'm like a Boy Scout trying to puff a tiny fire into something more substantial.
(firstly) While I do definitely need an income, my first business plan (to assist retirees adapt their homes for later life) identified problems such as long lead times to find clients, the coordination of the tradesmen, the potential for conflict and minimal income.
So I canned that thought.
(Secondly) Then I thought that I could go the self publishing route with my unpublished book Exciting Dynamic Geelong, but I simply now don't have the energy to become a platform speaker.
(Thirdly) Perhaps another possibility is starting out as a tour guide, using the $2 Travel Club in the group Retirement - Enjoy It More that I facilitate at the South Barwon Community Centre in Geelong, and gradually moving it into a travel company. I'm going to float this thought at the next meeting, on 18 May.
(Fourthly) However I have had business cards printed "Emotional Marketing - finding elusive clients" which I enjoy, and have an aptitude for, and have one client already. This concept emerged from a marketing subject that I've just concluded for my undergraduate degree in Business (online from Torrens University).
This first client is an accountant who wants to connect with entrepreneurial startups, although my thinking is that he would do better by targeting businesses that are perhaps slightly more mature. Obviously this will give me minimal income initially, but it's a start.
And now I have injected myself into a group called Entrepreneurs Geelong as I took over as the admin for their Meetup group. The membership renewal fees hadn't been paid, so when I paid, I became the admin. There are 830 names on the list, mainly hopefuls, and - due to Covid - it has been in recess for the past 18 months so (if I tread carefully and don't upset the remnants of the Committee) that would appear to be a marketing vehicle for my embryonic business Emotional Marketing - provided I can be there at the rebirth. I have chatted by phone with the President - who is still enthusiastic to preserve what he has achieved over the past five years, but doesn't appear to have a committee.
I know that I will be able to add value to EG. So there might be some jewels in there for me.
(fifthly) there are plans afoot for a minature outdoor railroad locally - so I've joined the steering committee. My contribution is about introducing local youth to such practical skills as civil engineering, mechanical engineering, business management etc.
So that's my recent journey. I know that the long uphill slope is still there ahead of me, but as I say to my wife "that's where I find like minded friends".
Bernard Kelly MBA
61 414 778 518