I’m what’s called a “baby boomer.” A baby boomer is anyone who was born after WWII but before about 1964. Like many boomers, I followed the prescribed formula for economic success. I went to college and graduate school. Got a job, actually many jobs. I was a medical researcher for a number of years. Then I moved into several closely-related high-tech fields. No need to go into detail. This is just to point out that my skills were a good match for the high-tech job market. So, what’s the problem?
Congress Changes The Rules
Over the years I noticed that the prescribed formula for economic success was working less and less well. When I was growing up, a family only needed one income. Retirement was provided by the employer. While we were all busy with our careers and families, the picture changed. In fact, it changed drastically. Now it takes two income earners to keep a family to the same standard. And retirement is our own responsibility. What’s worse, the retirement provision we’ve been encouraged to take, the 401K, is not even close to being adequate for a real retirement. Not if you spent a lot of years in school.
A few years ago I woke up and realized that I was headed for an economic train wreck. If I continued to be an employee, I would never get to a point where I could retire. Because of the economic hard times, income has not gone up. And because of fear-based behavior of our employers, many of us find ourselves working longer hours for the same or less pay. I realized that while I may be able keep it going now, there would come a time when I’d no longer be able to work the long hours and be as sharp as I need to be in my field. I’d be too old, unable to keep the pace. When that day came, I’d have to leave my job without sufficient retirement funds. Train wreck.
Other Boomers in Trouble
Many baby boomers are likely to find themselves in the same position, since it’s a consequence of the economic times and several acts of Congress that changed the way we do retirement.
What’s an employee to do?
Searching for a Solution
I tried a couple of things. I joined several MLM’s. I also created a photography business. I got some results with each of these. But because I lacked marketing skills (I was a math and science major), I didn’t have a clue how to make either of these businesses replace my normal income, let alone save extra for retirement.
Marketing: The Weak Link
Please bear with me. I am getting to the punch line. In the process of working for
startups and MLM’s, I learned that the weak point in every single business I ever participated in was marketing. To discover the new formula for economic success, I must master marketing or hire someone to help with it.
Amazingly, about the time I was going to give up on MLM, my upline discovered something called “Attraction Marketing” and passed the discovery along to me. “Attraction Marketing” is a new word for an old thing. It is the old, effective marketing principles, but adapted to the internet. Once these principles are mastered, you can make any business work, assuming you have some product or service that people actually want. Remember ‘Pet Rocks’?
At some point, you do have to jump off the train to avoid the wreck. There’s too much I want to do with my life to remain a slave to a failed formula for economic success. Though I believe it is possible to master marketing techniques, build a downline, and have a full-time job all at once. I chose not to do that. The professional jobs I know, want a lot more than 40 hours per week, even if they deny it. There are no unions to protect professionals from the craziness of employers. So, I jumped off the train.
I have to say, jumping was the best decision I ever made. It is a joy. It is completely empowering to become economically self-sufficient and to write your own formula for economic success.
Now it’s my job to help others do the same.