There was a great article today in The Huffington Post about Bob Bernstein, a 60-year-old who was laid off from his job as a real estate broker. He immediately dealt with the “Now what?” syndrome, questioning what he might possibly be suited for doing at his age, knowing he wouldn’t be getting another broker position in the recession.
No jobs? No problem. Bernstein created his own.
“I thought that with the right domain name, whatever creative concept I could come up with could generate some income and maybe even compete against the big guys,” Bernstein told HuffPost.
Bernstein didn’t have the skills to write all the code for a website, he hired a 2007 start-up company called DevHub.com, and used them to create 12 different websites. The sites include DealstoVegas.com, Outtreck.com, Careersquick.com, RXCare.org, ZipQuote.com and more. ZipQuote now nets him about $500 to $1,000 per month.
“I get to work from home, I’m totally focused on what I do because I know it’s all for my family and our future, and I’m building a business that is mine, rather than working for someone else and building their business,” he told HuffPost. “It’s absolutely rewarding and totally satisfying. I could do this sixteen hours a day.”
The lesson to be gleaned from Bernstein’s experience is an important one. While layoffs and cutbacks have become an all-too-familiar reality in a lot of work environments, the good news is that it’s not a career death sentence. You don’t have to join the hundreds, sometimes thousands of people who are competing for the same job, fill out unemployment paperwork or even dust off your resume.
You can make your own luck. You can become your own boss. And you can be successful at it. Now, it’s not to say that this is a walk in the park, but it is empowering to hear stories from people who have made it happen.
Have you ever considered going to work for yourself? Tell us about it in the comments.