Running an online business can be wonderfully rewarding. It gives you the freedom to work when and where you want and, hopefully, the financial stability to meet your current needs and also plan a little for the future.
However, there will come a time when you desire change. But it’s always hard to know if now is the right moment to make a life-altering decision. It’s difficult to tell the difference between true stagnation and simple frustration or anxiety.
Consider these top five reasons for selling your business now to help you figure out if the moment has arrived for you to cash out and move on.
You No Longer Enjoy Running It
This one should go without saying, but so many people don’t consider this reason to be as important as it really is. Without being too morbid, we can never forget our time on Earth is limited, and that it can be taken from us at any moment.
There will always be things we enjoy doing more than others, but it’s our responsibility to weed out those things we don’t like and replace them with what we love. Your work is no different.
Ask yourself if you really enjoy running your online business. Do you still feel that same challenge pushing you forward? Or do you feel overcome with dread and anger every time you sit down at your computer? If you identify more with option two, then it’s time to move on. Simple as that.
“But what about the money?” a lot of people will say.
No amount of money is worth your happiness and well-being, so if you can’t approach your business with joy and gratitude, then cash out and begin looking for something else.
You’ve Got Other Projects To Work On
Hopefully, you’ve figured out by now that one of the great secrets of success is focusing on one thing at a time (and if you haven’t, well, you’re welcome). This isn’t to say that you can only do one thing, but it does mean you need to be realistic about what you can and can’t do at this current moment.
There’s a good chance your online business was once a side hustle, and there’s an even better chance that it didn’t become something more until you decided to treat it as your top priority.
So if you’ve found other projects you enjoy working on but don’t get the attention they deserve because of your online business, then it’s time to move on. And since you don’t want to ignore your company and wait for it to die, you can sell it and use the money to get you going on your next venture.
It’s Taking You Away From What Matters
Family needs to come first. To be happy and well, you need to make sure you’re spending enough time with those who mean the most to you. If your online business is preventing this from happening, you need to make a change.
It’s true that there’s never enough time. But work shouldn’t ever be the top priority. Even when you’re making good money, if you find yourself reaching the end of the day wishing you’d spent more time with your kids, partner or friends, there’s a good chance you’re working too hard.
It’s Worth A Lot Of Money
Switching over to more practical, professional arguments, it could be time to sell your online business because your company is worth more now than ever. Get it evaluated, and if it’s worth enough, and you’ve got other things going on, then sell out while you can and invest the money in something else.
This one really aligns with the other reasons; you shouldn’t sell out only because there’s lots of money to be made. But if the business has matured and is making you money, and you find your interest and attention elsewhere, it might be time to cash in on your hard work and move on. Another thing to look out for is industry risk. If you’re worried about the direction of the company, selling out now could be a way to get maximum value before it’s too late.
Generally speaking, businesses are worth 2.5 times their yearly revenue, so use this as a jumping off point. But consider getting a professional valuation so that you can see what your business is really worth.
Growth Has Plateaued
This one is a bit tricky since businesses that are growing are traditionally worth more. But if your company has leveled out a bit regarding growth, and you don’t think you have the time or resources to jump-start it, then you might want to consider selling.
Overall, it’s much better to sell at this moment rather than when sales start going down. As revenues shrink, so does value, making it much harder to attract serious offers. If things have slowed, and you can’t or don’t want to speed them back up, consider selling and starting something new.
If you’re on the fence about selling your business, consider these top reasons why you should. If they apply to you, then it’s time to make a change. If not, stick it out and keep working. But be aware of when situations change so you can sell and move on before it’s too late.
Imagine, if you will, you have about ten years remaining on this Earth. It could actually be a few months more or less. The point is, you know with absolute certainty you have approximately a decade to look forward to before you pass on.
This leaves too much time and not enough money to indulgently submit your two-week notice or cash out and sell your business. Although, the thought of retiring and traveling the world crosses your mind more than once. Alas, there are bills to pay and family members to feed.
The situation is distressing. You always assumed you would have ample opportunity to begin a midlife reinvention when it felt right. But you don’t have the luxury of time anymore. The inevitable truth sinks in and tears fall as you grieve. Eventually, you accept your destiny and your focus narrows on quality rather than quantity. Serious decisions about how to spend the balance of your life need to be made.
find a more satisfying job in your current field?
go back to school for a new career in a different industry?
switch to a part-time position and spend more time with family?
sign up for more volunteer or charity work?
start the business you have always dreamed about?
revamp your existing business to better reflect your interests and values?
stop working with difficult clients or stop taking on impossible assignments?
Clarity comes quickly to those on a deadline. You discover making these life-altering choices is both terrifying and liberating. The constraints that held you in unsatisfying situations seem to loosen and fall away. You are suddenly less willing to tolerate toxic people and negative environments. “Life is too short,” you tell yourself.
Alright, time to come back to reality. The truth is, you probably have more than ten years to live. You likely have plenty of time to plan and implement a midlife reinvention, should you want to. However, think deeply about how you will spend your remaining days no matter what your age. Not to be morose, but they ARE numbered. Nobody knows when they have reached the half way point.
Acknowledging this, what profound changes do you want to make in your professional life? Are you ready to make a plan and take the first step? Tell me about your career goals in the comment section below. Putting your ambitions in writing might help get the ball rolling. Remember, you are the author of your own story.
Life is better when we lift each other up.
Want to know what’s wrong with most lists of midlife career change ideas? They SUCK! That’s right; I said it. That is unless you inherited a large sum of money, don’t need to rely on a realistic income or you relish the idea of starting a four-year degree program in your forties or fifties.
Many similar lists describe great, high paying positions requiring a bachelor’s or master’s degree or are full of jobs that almost anyone can qualify for, but the pay is lousy. My guess is, you have a pile of bills to pay. I understand. There’s a mortgage, car payment, food, medical insurance, and cell phone plan to contend with every month. Some midlifers are also footing the bill for their kids’ college tuition. Ouch!
So, let’s get real. In order for the majority of midlife career changes to be possible, they have to be long on financial rewards and short on educational requirements. Face it, if you’re reading this post, you’re no spring chicken. Sorry. Yet you still might be looking at over twenty years of full-time employment.
How do you make the most of the time you have left in the workforce and still make a decent wage? By choosing a new profession that pays at least $40,000 annually and won’t take more than two years of additional education to qualify for. That’s a tall order, but not impossible to fill. So, without further delay, here are my 11 midlife career change ideas:
1. Surgical Technologist:
Scrub techs, as they are sometimes called, prep patients and operating rooms for surgery. In addition, they sterilize instruments and supplies and hand them to surgeons during procedures. Obviously, to be a good candidate, the sight of blood shouldn’t make you light-headed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for this position is a surprising $44,330 and the job outlook for the next several years is good. Training programs of one or two years are available at community colleges and vocational schools. Learn more from the Association of Surgical Technologists.
2. Wind Turbine Service Technician:
You weren’t expecting that one, were you? With the expansion of the green energy industry, job openings for this position are on the rise. If you don’t mind working several hundred feet in the air in tight spaces, this could be the career for you. There are even offshore wind turbines to be fixed and maintained if that tickles your fancy. The typical annual salary for technicians is $51,050. An associate’s degree from a tech school or community college is required. Most companies will offer and require additional on-the-job training. For further information, go to WindTurbineTechnicians.net.
3. Paralegal Assistant:
No, you won’t get to make objections in court or make an emotional closing argument to a jury as a PA. They work behind the scenes conducting interviews, drafting documents and verifying information for lawyers in their firm. While the legal field is not as glamorous or dramatic as shows like Law & Order would have you believe, this is a respectable position with a median pay of $48,810 . An associate’s degree or certificate in paralegal studies is required. ParalegalEDU.org has additional details on the courses and training you may need.
4. Licensed Practical Nurse:
LPNs usually work in hospitals and are supervised by registered nurses. Duties include taking vital signs, administering medications, changing dressings, and performing CPR in emergencies. Is it just me, or does this sound remarkably similar to the job description of a parent? Yes, but the pay is better. The median salary for an LPN is $43,170 per year but varies by region. Training programs at colleges take one or two years to complete and most states require licensure. Due to shortages in certain locations, employers may even offer a signing bonus, tuition reimbursement or other incentives. Get additional facts from the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses.
5. Computer User Support Specialist:
That title is a mouth full, don’t you think? Otherwise known as help desk technicians (HDTs), they troubleshoot and provide assistance to computer users, usually via phone or email. These specialists identify and solve hardware, software, and operating system problems for people within their company, clients or end users. HDTs are the techy super-heroes you call after banging your head on your keyboard in frustration. They make a good median salary of $51,470 per year. Education requirements vary widely. Many employers ask for a bachelor’s degree in computer science while others only require a two-year degree. For information on how to become a computer user support specialist, click here.
6. Social Media Manager:
Yes, you can earn a decent living by becoming media and tech savvy. That will be handy when you want to spy on your kid’s Instagram account. A thorough understanding of programs like PhotoShop and social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest is a must. Larger companies will require a bachelor’s degree in marketing or communications. However, some smaller businesses will accept a two-year degree. Classes can be taken to fill in any skills gaps you have. For a list of several certification courses, click here. Candidates with little experience or education should not expect to make the median salary of $47,190.
7. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer:
This might be my favorite of the health-related jobs on this list because it pays well and involves almost no handling of body fluids. Yay! A medical sonographer operates equipment that creates images through the use of sound waves. The images are recorded and given to a physician to aid in the diagnostic process. This field requires at least an associate’s degree and certification or licensing from your state. The median salary is a whopping $63,630 per year. Learn more through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
8. Court Reporter:
Stenographers or Stenotype operators, as they are often called, produce transcripts of court proceedings using voice writing equipment or machine shorthand. The 2015 median pay for this position is decent at $49,500. Great listening skills are a must. In other words, chatterboxes need not apply. Candidates must complete a court reporting program at a community college or dedicated court reporter school. CourtReporterEDU.org can answer any additional questions you may have.
9. Occupational Therapy Assistant:
OTAs work under the supervision of an occupational therapist. Duties include guiding patients through exercises and making them cry. Or, perhaps that was just my own personal experience. In any case, they provide treatments to clients, monitor progress, and report the results to the therapist in charge. OTAs earn an impressive median salary of $54,520 and need only an associate’s degree in occupational therapy assisting and state licensing. Not a bad return on investment. The American Occupational Therapy Association has more details.
10. Criminal Investigator:
Remember the campy detective shows you grew up with like Magnum P.I. or Charlie’s Angels? Well, this career rarely involves car chases, black-tie events, or bathing suits. Bummer. Private investigators gather information through interviews, court records, surveillance, and the internet. They report their findings to law enforcement, corporations or the individuals who hire them. The median pay for this job is $45,610 per year. The education needed can vary from a high school diploma to a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Professional Investigator Magazine lists the license requirements for each state.
11. Dental Hygienist:
I personally get the heebie-jeebies when I think about reaching into someone else’s mouth, but maybe you are mentally tougher than me. If you are on the fence about this one, know that the median pay is an eye-popping $72,330. That might get you to say, “Open wide!” Hygienists clean teeth, make dental impressions, remove orthodontic appliances and perform a host of other tasks. You will need to complete a two-year degree in dental hygiene and get a state license. Learn more through the American Dental Hygienists Association.
Well, there you have it, my list of 11 midlife career change ideas that don’t suck. What do you think? Did I leave off any well-paying jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree or more? Let me know in the comment section below.
Remember, life is better when we lift each other up.