Wendy Schonhardt chose to start her own business when launching a second career after getting laid off at the corporation where she worked for over 30 years.
Wendy, who lives and operates around the San Gabriel Valley and Orange County, advises employees over 50 years of age to seriously consider starting their own business as a back-up plan in their current position.
What are the benefits of starting a business as a second career option?
Our economy is not the same and company loyalty is not the same as it once was. Staying in the corporate environment means you might change jobs every 3 to 5 years, so job stability is volatile.
Running a small business on the side that can specifically run with or without you is key. I would not recommend any small business, though. Some operations will take up all of your time. The company I’m with, Market America/Shop.com, is designed to be a 2 year to 3 year plan and this gives you time freedom.
How did your background in facilities management prepare you for your own business?
My background did prepare me to think strategically and in a business-oriented manner. I dealt with various people in different industries. The Market America, Shop.com model does have a strong educational program. If you don’t have the degrees or technical background, you’ll find that the training system we have works. Plugging into a system is what makes a person successful.
Every person can tap into their past experiences whether or not you worked in a corporation. Stay-at-Home moms gain day-to-day knowledge. This business says consistency is the key. Daily activities and being timely helps you be successful.
It’s vital to surround yourself with people who will build you up and won’t tear you down.
So you’re saying be in a positive environment?
And think about yourself positively, too. I think of the chicken versus eagle analogy.
A lot of times people may say you’re a chicken. Chickens have their heads down all the time and they can’t fly. They’re totally dependent on someone feeding it and it doesn’t produce much. And we tend to eat the chickens.
I like people to think of themselves as eagles. Eagles can soar and they fly higher than most other birds. Crows might nibble at an eagle’s feet, but it’s a majestic bird that can soar high above predators.
The eagle is one of the creatures that represents high quality and high standards.
In any business, you want to be the best you can be. So if you start a business as a second career, make the decision that you’re going to excel in what you do.
Click here to read Part 1 of Wendy’s interview.
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