Never Too Old to Get Rich by Kerry Hannon [Book Review] – Career Pivot

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never to old to get rich

Never Too Old to Get Rich: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Business Mid-Life by Kerry Hannon

never to old to get richNever Too Old to Get Rich by Kerry Hannon is a guidebook for people in the second half of life who want to start a business. The book is dense with information, presented as a series of case studies and interviews that profile twenty people who started businesses after a career spent doing something else. Never Too Old to Get Rich is full of specific advice backed up by real-life examples.

Entrepreneurship is not a Young Person’s Game.

Hannon cites research that shows that businesses started by people over 45 have nearly twice the success rate of businesses started by people in their 20s. The idea of a successful youthful startup is not a common real-world occurrence.

Not a Roadmap to the High Life

The concept of “rich”, referred to in this book title, is not always a reference to monetary gain; for most of the people profiled, money was not their greatest motivation for starting a business. While all the businesses profiled are making a profit, only a few generate a great deal of cash. Some are non-profits and the founders are rich in the feeling of satisfaction they get from making a difference rather than receiving purely monetary rewards.

Hannon’s deep expertise, honed through years of consulting and writing about employment, is evident throughout this book. The voice of experience shines through in the voice of the author as well as those of the successful business owners she profiles. It feels solid, encouraging, and realistic. Starting a successful business takes resources, planning, and hard work, and example after example shows you how it can be done.

A Wide Variety of Businesses and the Motivation Behind Them

The business profiles in the book are organized into four general categories. These are businesses reflecting a passion, cross-generational teams (both inside and outside of family ties), social entrepreneurship, and women entrepreneurs.

Well-Structured Case Studies

Each business profile in this book shares a rich history of how the business was started and the challenges it faced along the way. These stories are full of details, and the author asks many of the same questions of each business owner. This structure lets me compare different businesses and founders using a similar yardstick. It allowed me to see patterns that emerged, as well as places that each business was unique.

Each profile also contains a section that shares advice from the business owner and lessons to be learned from the type of business or person being profiled.

Passions Don’t Always Translate to Profits

Readers are advised to think carefully about what business they want to start, especially if it’s related to one of their hobbies.

Something that is a relaxing refuge when you see it as a hobby can lose its appeal if you need the hobby to turn a profit. There are several people, including the author, who turn away from some business ideas for this reason. Hannon includes ideas for putting a hobby-based business through a trial run to see if it can be a viable full-time business.

Great Source for Advice and Inspiration

The depth of information presented in this book makes it difficult to do it justice in a review. If you are interested in starting a business that reflects a change from your day job career, I recommend this book highly. I think you’re likely to find someone who is following a similar path to the one you’re facing. You will also find not only people who succeeded but also those who decided a particular path was not going to work for them, along with the reasons why.

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Worthwhile for Anyone Considering a Career Pivot

I strongly recommend this book for anyone thinking of pursuing a new career in the second half of life. It may validate and guide your choice, or it may give you new things to think about. Either way, I think you will benefit from reading it.

CREDIT: Nick Hagen for The New York Times

This was written by Cleo Parker. Cleo is a marketing insight and analytics professional with a background in advertising who currently lives with her husband in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. She is also a lifelong purebred dog enthusiast and was recently approved to become a licensed AKC judge. Cleo combines her professional and personal interests in her Dog Marketing Blog and is employed part-time at a local university. She is working on a career pivot that sells her marketing expertise to dog clubs and businesses.

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