This Second Career May Be For You!

By Jerry Lambert

(Author’s Note:  I originally wrote this article not long after I launched TBPC.  However, because of my association with Primerica at that time, I wasn’t able to publish it.  Since I have broken ties with Primerica, I can now post it.  I hope you find it enlightening and enjoyable.  – JL)

This week I am going to talk about one of the Side Hustles I tried fairly early on in my forced retirement.  Primerica (Primerica Financial Services).

Financial advisor sitting with coupleYou may, or may not have heard of Primerica.  It is one of the top financial services companies in the country.  The Primerica business model is unique.  They actually put the needs of their clients first.  That business model enabled Primerica (PRI) to go public with one of the most successful IPOs of 2010.

The business has two sides to it.  The client-side and the opportunity side.  The client-side offers products that range from investments to debt reduction, insurance, legal protection, and much more.  The opportunity is to own a small business, with Primerica’s help.

Primerica is a solid company that has been in business since 1974 and has built its reputation by helping out families that have been ignored by the larger financial services companies.

That’s great you say, but how is this an opportunity to own my own small business?  A good question!  Primerica has grown the company by always being on the lookout for sharp people who want the freedom of running their own business.  If you meet with a Primerica Representative, and they are impressed with you, you will be invited to an interview.

Overhead view of business people talking

If you join Primerica as a Representative, your business is grown entirely on word of mouth referrals and your ability to recruit others onto your team.  You join the business as part of a team, then you start working on building your own team.  To build a client base and recruit potential Representatives, you will be asked to contact your friends and family.  This is to see if they are properly protected financially and/or looking for a way to start a small business.

This is where a lot of people will shy away from Primerica.  Nobody wants to tick off their family and friends by “ratting them out” to Primerica.  However, what it all comes down to is that every family should know where they stand financially, and where they can do better.  This is where you can help, with the financial products I listed above, and the prospect of earning some extra money.  If you decide to join the company as a Representative, there are some small startup costs.  $99 to join the company and $25 per month for website access.  That’s it.

Now, for the not-so-rosy part of the picture.  The targeted demographic age group for clients (and prospective Representatives) is 25-35, married, kids, job, and homeowners.  Since we are in the 55-65 age bracket, unfortunately, that doesn’t apply to us.  However, if you have a large family, who might need some of the services that Primerica provides, you may be on your way.  Plus, some of your family members may be interested in becoming Representatives.

Man using two telephones

I’m not going to lie to you.  Unless you are a naturally outgoing person and/or have a large group of family or friends in the demographic I mentioned earlier, Primerica may not be for you.  I worked HARD for 9 months and came away with 2 clients and 1 recruit onto my team.  I am one of the clients and my recruit dropped out of the business before really getting started.

That said, this may be an income stream for you to check out.  If you are able to create a decent sized team, it will take on a life of its own.  Keep in mind that the time commitment to be successful at Primerica is substantial.  If you are the type of person who is willing to bust your hump for a few months, or up to a year or two, then Primerica may be for you.

HERE IS MY GIGANTIC DISCLAIMER!  During the whole 9 months I was trying to build my Primerica business, I was bringing in Zero Dollars of additional income!  This added a level of pressure that was not conducive to success in the company.  The opportunity is designed for you to start part-time and eventually go full-time.

Couple on red carpetThat said, if you are the type of person who would like to give it a try, I would definitely recommend using one of the other income-producing Side Hustles (possibly driving for Uber & Lyft) to bring in some cash.  This will relieve a lot of pressure to succeed right off the bat, with Primerica as your only income stream.  I only wish I had approached Primerica this way in the first place.  My results might have been different.

Well, there it is.  If you live in the Detroit metro area and would like to learn more about Primerica, please contact Heidi McCarroll from the Troy office at 586-619-0123.  If you live outside the Detroit area, contact the Primerica Main Office at 770-381-1000.  Ask to be put in touch with a Representative in your area.

Hopefully, this article has helped point you in a direction you may not have considered before.  If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and enjoy talking with people, this may be the opportunity you have been waiting for.

If you like what you’re reading on TBPC, please leave a comment and share the website with your friends.  Also, if you would like to be notified of new posts to this blog, please click on the “Follow” button in the lower right corner.  Until next week, may your parachute fully deploy, and may you have a soft landing!

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Have You Ever Thought About Becoming an Entrepreneur?

It Might Not Be Too Crazy After All!

By Jerry Lambert

Hello, and welcome back to The Brown Parachute Club!  I hope you enjoyed last week’s article about College vs Vocational Education.  Hopefully, you know a young person who could benefit from it.  This week, I wanted to tackle a topic you may (or may not) have been thinking about.  Becoming an Entrepreneur or a Small Business Owner (SBO).

American coinsI know what you’re thinking, “I don’t have two dimes to rub together and you want me to think about starting a business?”  Well, yes.  I want you to think about it.  There are many successful business that have been started by folks in our age group.  Many of these people were laid off from their main source of income.  I’m not going to lie to you, it’s probably not the best set of circumstances to start a business.  However, necessity is the mother of invention.

There are two schools of thought.  Use your years of experience at your old job and strike out on your own as an Independent Contractor.  Or, take stock of your resources and try to make a business out of your biggest hobby or passion.  An article on CNBC’s website states that many laid off people chose to start a business simply because their re-employment chances are so abysmal.

I have to be honest.  I am a failed Entrepreneur.  Many of the businesses I started over the years failed.  Mainly because I didn’t have the time or money to give the business an honest shot.  I have tried everything from government auctions, to partnering with travel agencies, to building mobile websites, just to mention a few.  Some of them could have made it, if I had more time to spend on them.  I think that’s the reason many businesses started by the over 50 crowd succeed.  Especially if they have been laid off.  They have the time necessary to build their new business.

IS09AN5KKAs you probably know, the majority of new businesses in this country fail.  Motley Fool states that 4 out of 5 new businesses fail in the first year.  Not great odds, but looking at it from the other side of the equation, that means that 20% of new businesses make it through the first year.  The businesses that do succeed seem to have one element in common: PASSION.  You have to be passionate about whatever you decide to turn into a business, or it is more than likely doomed to fail.  Also, it takes the time and money that I mentioned earlier, but passion can take you a long way.

In this article I am going to give you examples of folks just like us, who started their dream business after 50, and are doing very well.  These people have truly taken lemons and made lemonade, or coffee, or bagels, or wine.  Whatever their passion may be.

One way to start a business is to turn your hobby into a business.  Say, you’re a stamp collector with some degree of knowledge in that area.  You could start a website offering up some of your more valuable stamps for sale.  If your website catches on, you could make money by putting up other collectors’ stamps for sale on your website.  That’s just off the top of my head.  If you choose to do this business, don’t forget your inspiration!  I accept tens and twenties.

What really can get you sick is when you read a story about some guy who is pulling down six figures in the corporate world.  Then he GETS BORED.  He starts up a company based on his lifelong hobby of butterfly collecting, or some such thing.  The company is a huge hit, and inside of a year he’s a millionaire.  Meanwhile, we are having a hard time making ends meet, let alone starting up a company based on our interests.  We don’t have the luxury of “Getting Bored”.

is09ak8qf.jpgHowever, it might be easier than you’d think.  In this day and age, the Internet has become a world-wide marketplace.  Just look at Amazon and Ebay.  There are people from all over the world selling products on those websites !  The only problem with that sort of business is that the competition is very stiff.  Your company might be so far down the product list only a dedicated bargain-hunter might stumble across it by accident!

I guess to me what it all comes down to is this.  Do you go big, or go home?  Unfortunately, most folks in our situation, we don’t have a load of cash sitting around, just waiting for an investment in a fledgling business.  You may need to find other sources of startup cash.  But remember, whether your business succeeds or fails, you still owe that money!  For that reason, I would stay away from Ricco the Loan Shark.

Portrait of a pit bull mix

I found an article on Arkenea.  It features a list of people who started their own businesses after the age of 50.  This includes one female bodybuilder, who started her business at 56 and is now 78!  Good Lord!  One guy started a bakery without any baking skills!  Maybe he was good at eating donuts?   Another guy started a coffee company with his wife, in Hawaii no less!  Also, many of the people in this article have started up an online business.  I have to admit, looking at some of them, I wouldn’t think they could turn on a PC, let alone have a successful online business!

The point is, if THEY made it YOU can too!  At least that’s what I keep telling myself!  I found that article very inspiring.  It shows that, regardless of your age, with the right amount of timing, money, and luck, you can still build a successful business in America.  If not, there’s always the Lottery.  That reminds me, the Powerball is up to almost $460 Million.  Got to buy a ticket today!

If you like what you’re reading on TBPC, please leave a comment and share the website with your friends.  Also, if you would like to be notified of new posts to this blog, please click on the “Follow” button in the lower right corner.  Until next week, may your parachute fully deploy, and may you have a soft landing!

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