Besides starting a part-time business as a trial run for full-time self-employment. There are at least three additional reasons why you might choose to become a halfpreneur – Money, Meaning, and Mission.
Money is the most obvious reason. You may be on the halfpreneurial path because you know you will need more money a few years down the road perhaps for your children’s college tuition or for your retirement. However you may need more money in your life right now for your car loan, your mortgage, or the tuition you never saved enough for. If you really need cash immediately, you may have to consider a second job, since few entrepreneurial ventures pay quickly, however affiliate marketing is one means that some individuals have used to quickly bring in income.
Some individuals still swear by Bum Marketing as a way of quickly generating money. Unfortunately that second job may be difficult to find. Just ask anyone who is unemployed and wants to supplement their income or a retiree who needs to return to work for more money or because they are incredibly bored. Yes, there are retirees who put far more planning into their finances than into what they wanted to do with the rest of their lives and discover that with no structure in their lives they are bored and miserable. This leads to the second and third reasons for becoming a halfpreneur – meaning and mission.
Given a choice everyone wants to do work that they care about and find interesting. There are a few people who might say that it does not matter, that they don’t care what they do, but if given a choice they would pick something they care about before choosing something they found totally uninteresting, even if money was their primary motive for self-employment or employment.
What is interesting, worthwhile, meaningful is however highly personal. Our personal perspective on what is meaningful is largely based on our personality, our upbringing, the culture we are part of, and even our genetic heritage. So one person’s definition of “meaningful” might be working toward filling their
highest ideals, whereas others may define “meaningful” as raising their children and grandchildren, and others would say that meaningful would be contributing to a cause or campaign like developing the solar power necessary to get the world off of its gluttonous appetite for oil. There is nothing that makes one person’s definition of meaningful better than any other.
Meaning combined with passion is even better, and there are two ways this connects with your home business or small business. Your business may allow you to create income based on what you find meaningful or are passionate about. For example, you get the basic 200 hour yoga certificate so you can begin teaching yoga or you might run summer programs teaching urban and suburban families how to enjoy fishing as a family activity, if fishing is your passion.
On the other hand, It may be your passion that you want your halfpreneurial venture to support . If your passion is your children and you want to be able to stay home and raise them, then starting a home-based business that provides sufficient income allows you to live your passion. Someone approaching retirement age may have
a passion for traveling and once thought that travelling is what they would spend their golden years doing. Now a hard look at their finances puts their dreams in serious doubt. Are there travelling halfpreneurs?
Yes, with a little brainstorming, we could identify several businesses that can be done from varying locations. For example, becoming a self-employed copy writer might never have been this 50+ year old individual’s first job choice, but it is very mobile and
pays well. OK, he may have to do some writing while he is traveling, but he does get to travel as much as he wants! Other ideas for work and travel include operating tours and starting import and/or export businesses.
A third reason for starting your own small business is that you feel that you have a mission. There is something else in life that you must do or you see a need that you can fill. While researching the term “mission” several equivalent terms kept emerging: purpose, life purpose, and calling, a long with some interesting definitions:
– an overall theme for your life which transcends your daily activities.
– an ongoing commitment to a principle that becomes who you are. It is not a belief or a goal to be achieved. It is not what you do but who you are being. It is not something that is discovered like interests, but a commitment you chose. It’s essence is contribution.
– the quality you have come to earth to develop, the type of service you are here to render, the segment of the planet or population you have come to enhance, improve, or heal. It pervades your entire life; it is much broader than one job, one business, or even your entire career.
Does everyone have a mission and is it a good reason to start your own business? I have talked to people who say definitely “YES” and most people know from an early age what they are here to do. Most of the students in my Self Assessment and Career Planning courses, however, hope they will someday discover their mission. This may be more realistic. Mission may be something that we grow into as we live our lives and we may not discover that need that we can uniquely fulfill until we
have experienced a great deal of living. There are coaches, advisors, healers, yoga practitioners and others who start businesses to work with those who are experiencing what they overcame: PTSD, ADHD, cancer, drug abuse, divorce, bankruptcy, etc.
We probably have many missions over our lifetimes. Raising our children may be one mission, but we may have other missions. And then I have spoke with people who seem to firmly believe that a paycheck is more important than meaning or passions or interests. If they had to admit to a mission or purpose they would say that it is to make money, which means they do believe there is a purpose to their life.
Now the halfpreneur is in business and the goal of any business
is to make money, however the need for money may very well overlap with needs for meaning, passion, and a sense of purpose or mission. If you choose to start your small business or home-based business just to make money, that is OK too. Just remember that every thriving business meets a need or provides a service.