I am very excited to introduce you to 50Plus Nation. It is meant to be a Web-based home to a community and a dedicated set of resources to serve the needs of the 50Plus demographic. The primary emphasis will be on the thinking more entrepreneurially about our needs and wants in this phase of life.
My statement as to why we need entrepreneurial thinking has become much more succinct:
"Most of us will live longer than we ever expected and may need to generate more income than we anticipated or at a minimum discover interesting new things to do."
A lucky few may need neither income nor engagement. However, for those with a need for income and/or engagement, entrepreneurial thinking can go a long way towards identifying or generating new options.
As I have said in past blogs, being an entrepreneur isn’t a genetic outcome. Entrepreneurship is just a form of problem solving. We all have entrepreneurial instincts that help us solve everyday problems without ever naming the solutions as “entrepreneurial”. Our “inner entrepreneurs” can learn and help us adapt and leverage our life experiences that have provided us with a wealth of knowledge, skill, talent and even wisdom. My goal is to help other 50Plus individuals get in touch with their “inner entrepreneur”. To that end 50Plus Nation won't be just a blog but home to online courses and other methods of sharing this type of knowledge in the most effective ways.
My dilemma in recent months, as I have contemplated this website has been how to do it without creating an "age ghetto" where only the 50Plus age group feels welcome or wants to participate. Members of the 50Plus generation, Tim Berners-Lee, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison and others provided the infrastructure of the Internet but the Millennials and young Gen Xers are the original "digital natives" who jumped in from their earliest years and pioneered many of the current everyday uses of the Web. Millennials and young Gen Xers, have been my "role models" on how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to leverage the Internet for maximum benefit for the 50Plus demographic. I want to find ways to entice them to play a role in 50Plus Nation beyond just referencing their accomplishments. I have some ideas about what we can offer them in return.
Just to be very clear, there are two types of entrepreneurship. First, there are "scalable" models, which require significant investment and lots of people, like Facebook, Google, Twitter and other household names on the Web. As you know, that is not what I am recommending we shoot for in this phase of life, the financial risks are very high. "Solopreneurship" or “micro-entrepreneurship” is about building something for yourself, focusing first and foremost on lifestyle. It can be about creating your own job, just generating additional income streams for whatever need, requiring time but very little money whether the goal is income or just new forms of engagement.
In his NY Times best seller published in 2012, The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau, a young Gen Xer who I introduced you to in January, wrote about solopreneurship. He provided numerous case studies of successful Web-based solopreneurs. My first course on 50Plus Nation will be an in-depth guided tour of the world of online business, picking up from where Chris left off 4+ years ago. We still live in an amazing time. It is custom made for our experience, the source of various forms of “authority” that can be mined, packaged and presented to the world. The Web allows us to reach 4 to 5 billion fellow human beings in an instant with an offer. A well designed package of “authority” can easily be the basis of new income or it can lead to many new forms of engagement with the world.
Using myself as an example, my “authority” is teaching entrepreneurship. My choice of delivery mechanism had been blogging but I am adding online courses as a new dimension. If you join me in this class we will survey the current state of the Web over 6 weeks. You will understand not only what I am doing and how I am doing it, but what you can do, if you so choose. There is an enticing menu of options to pick from. On the tour I will introduce you to more young “role models” to see what they have accomplished and how they do it. My sincere hope is that I can entice a number of them to take advantage of the 50Plus Nation platform to share their knowledge directly with us. Our goal should be to find ways to reciprocate, to share some of our accumulated wisdom with them in new ways. I think two-way cross-generational mentoring, done right, could be very powerful.
Millennials and Gen X deliver their unique authority by writing blogs, filming video blogs, recording audio podcasts, giving live webinars, writing e-books or self-publishing paperback or hardcover books, hosting regular conferences, speaking at conferences while many are beginning to do what I am embarking on, taking my teaching to the Web. The list goes on. You will learn that even the niche of teaching online classes on entrepreneurship can take many forms that we will dissect.
At the bottom of this post is a link to the first 50Plus Nation course. It will be self-paced, made up of pre-recorded videos, written material and printable handouts, not to mention links to a variety of sites, tools and other resources on the Web. The course will also incorporate live feedback from me via streamed office hours on Zoom, recordings of which will be held in a library of content for future reference in case you can't make it live. There will also be tools for interaction with fellow classmates via a private Facebook group. You will learn how to experiment with prototypes to find a model that works for you and your audience.
During this course, if you decide that teaching your own subject online sounds interesting, 50Plus Nation will be a place to try your skills alongside me on the same platform. The subject of my second course is likely to be the mechanics of how to create and deliver your own online course. Alternatively, it could be about blogging, podcasting, publishing or something else but that will depend on group feedback. We will design together. For now go ahead and hit the link and take a look at the first course.
My existing e-mail list from my personal blog at wgordon3 has moved and is now the mailing list connected to 50Plus Nation which is where I will communicate from going forward. I am excited to have you continue to join me on this ride. Fasten your seat belt.
The class will likely be offered again in late August or early September. If you have an interest in being considered for the class please sign up for the waiting list. You will be the first to know.