Facing tough times, I'm very conscious that I haven't written a blog post for a few weeks now. Close friends will know that I'm having a rough time with my Dad's health at the moment. He's in and out of hospital like a yoyo.
Pictured with my son and I on Dad's 94th birthday, he was still running his own business until the end of January this year, when he had a fall. Things have gone from bad to worse since then. He's getting wonderful medical attention from our UK NHS, but no-one can quite work out what's wrong with him, apart from general losing the will to live. So sad to see him like this.
There's little my sister and I can do, living 5 hours away from him. We go and see him as often as we can, and he has a full-time live-in carer for the times when he's home. So we know his physical needs are met. We talk on the phone to him every day, and he has good friends who call in to see him.
Tough Times In Online Business
On a practical level, we have taken over running his business for him until he gets back on his feet, which is taking up a chunk of time – but I just can't get my head round anything else right now.
On top of that I've had a chest infection myself for about 6 weeks now – and I'm terrified of passing that onto him. It's a busy time of year in my offline business too, and I'm trying to conclude a rather large business deal that's been dragging on since August last year.
So all in, online business in general, and blogging in particular, has taken a back seat for a while now.
“They” say you need to have a good “Why” to keep you going through the tough times in business.
For some people, their “why” is to live the “laptop lifestyle”, jetting here and there with fast cars and holidays in the sun. I've reached the time of life when these things mean nothing to me.
- I love my house. My son “did it up” for me, and I enjoy sitting in it and remembering how we chose everything together. It's far too big for me, but I enjoy the space. The street I live in is pleasant, but 1/4 mile further out it's not an area I'd choose to live in now. I've researched houses where I'd ultimately like to live, and the price I should realise on this house could get me a very nice one in a much better area, nearer to my son and his wife.
- Holidays? Been there, done that. I have two short breaks a year, and this summer I'm going out to spend some time with my other son whose business is in Spain.
- Time freedom – I already have. I've been self-employed for the vast majority of my life. Working for a “boss” drove me nuts for the short time when “things” changed and I needed to. Happily I was able to cut loose again some years ago.
- My car starts every time I want it to. And where I live, you're lucky if you reach 30 mph on the trips I do.
So actually “My Why” is simply to be able to afford (in time) exactly what my Dad has now…. a gardener and live-in carer who does his housekeeping, prepares his food, drives him round and gives him the freedom he wants.
That's his choice, not ours. We've asked him to come down south to a residential centre nearer to my sister and I. But he refuses, because he wants to stay in his own bungalow, surrounded by memories of my Mum who died almost two years ago.
The work he has done in his 80-year working life has given him the means to do that.
Working for 80 years? Yes, he left school at 14 and was still running his own business until the end of January of this year. His “books” were perfect.
Some may cringe at the thought of working 80 years, but he enjoyed that work. He was self-employed in businesses he loved and took time off when he wanted to. When reminiscing, we always say that the period when I worked with him was the happiest time of my life too.
Get Rich Quick
My Dad is not rich by today's definition of rich. But the work he did over those 80 years has built for him the ongoing income to afford a comfortable lifestyle. He doesn't owe a penny to anyone. That's a lot richer than many of today's high-fliers, dashing round in leased cars, with huge mortgages and credit cards maxed out.
I see some people online promoting “Get Rich Quick” schemes. Heck I've tried a few myself. But often they're crash and burn type plans. I don't want to introduce anyone to a “crash and burn” business. Even if I could live with my conscience “getting rich” off the failure of others (which I can't), dashing from new launch to new launch is harder work than I have the energy for. That applies to “product launches” as much as “business launches”.
I'll be very happy to “Get Rich Slow”. Where “rich” is defined as having the income to easily afford a live-in housekeeper/carer when I'm old enough that I need one.
Not a very exciting prospect? It's far more pleasant than the option of poverty in retirement.
But what have I been doing about it?
Get Rich Slow
Because I am so short of time, I am using the process of information publishing to build an online business.
If this interests you, click here to learn more and optionally receive a book explaining how to start an information publishing business.
This will be my “Plan B” for retirement income.
If you don't have in place a “Plan B” that will give you a comfortable residual income in your latter years, you may like to start thinking about it now.
Planning For Retirement
It's not a fun thing to think about. And in my 30s, 40s and even 50s, I genuinely never thought I would want to retire. But now, with my elderly Dad to visit, and two gorgeous grand-daughters – I'm wishing I had done better retirement planning.
When I was in my 30s I laughed at my accountant who said I needed a pension. When he finally persuaded me to take one out, the wretched company went bust, even though it was the darling of the low-risk options. What I finally achieved in pension income has been “too little, too late” and would see me living at poverty level, were it not for my self-employed efforts.
So, for me, a retirement business has been the answer.
But which one to choose? Certainly not a crash and burn “new launch” plan! It must also be affordable (obviously) with no requirement for high start-up costs. Promotion is entirely optional, but top class support if members choose to build a business.
With my hectic life I need a retirement business that can give you a steady residual income, even through the tough times. So I chose a slow-burn business that lets me take time off for family and offline work and still be there when I come back to it.
The one I have chosen is a Private Members Club in which we join together in Angel Investing. You can learn more about it from short videos here.
Update April 2022: Sadly my Dad died at the grand old age of 98 – as was his wish, he stayed in his own home until about 5 weeks before his death. Thanks to the work he'd done in his younger days.
To build my own retirement income I am still promoting both the programs above – yes, like my Dad, they have stood the test of time.