About 3 months after I retired, the Great Recession came down on me like an avalanche and basically wiped out my savings.
I could not start over doing what I used to do, which was real estate investing, because the real estate market had crashed, and I had little recent experience doing anything else.
I was over 50, unemployed, and literally did not know how I was going to buy groceries for the rest of my life. I lost a LOT of sleep before I finally discovered the idea of becoming an appliance repair technician.
I know I am not the only one in this situation.
There are people out there over 50, post-retirement, that have either lost their savings or are living on borrowed time. They need not just supplemental income but a day job, and are having more than a little trouble finding employment. Even menial jobs are flooded with applicants, companies can have their pick, and believe me we are not first on the list.
Starting an appliance repair business is an exceptionally good fit for this set of life circumstances, even if, like me, you are starting from scratch with no technical background.
While age is usually an obstacle to finding a job, oddly enough it is actually an advantage in the appliance repair business for several reasons:
- First, customers assume I have years of experience from the moment they open the door, and I can bypass the usual “newbie” scrutiny. With the confidence, I gained by studying Uncle Harry’s course and relying on his support network while out in the field, all I have to do is keep my mouth shut that I’ve only been at it a short time, fix the appliance and be on my way. If the customer is satisfied, that’s all that matters, and no one ever needs to know the truth.
- Second, with my lifelong work experience, I don’t have a tendency to make some of the common business mistakes younger people often make. For example, I avoided overspending on my startup business in the first year. I did not lease a storefront or an office but worked out of my home instead, I used my personal car as a service vehicle, and I only advertised for free on the internet. Because I knew to proceed with caution, my business now has solid roots and continues to be successful.
- Third, years of dealing with people have been the foundation of my first class customer service. I get great reviews on internet search sites because I know how to treat people. I know not to focus on making money, but on taking care of my customers. These common-sense ideas are not new, but they are learned and reinforced over time.
With running my own appliance repair business, I do not have to worry about getting hired by someone else and competing in the marketplace with younger applicants. I can also control the volume of calls I take, so I don’t have to work at a pace that would kill most guys my age. And, all my years and wisdom are an asset that gives me an edge, rather than a liability to be hidden or excused.
I am grateful every day not only for an opportunity to work for a living, but to actually make enough income to start thinking about and planning for retirement again.
2 Replies to “For Ex-Retirees Only…”
This is a very good story and now I have a little more confidence after reading it. I am also over 50. 53 to be exact. I have been wanting to start my own appliance repair service for awhile now. I have a strong technical background in electrical and electronics. Did you studied the appliance repair course and eventually started your own business? At my age I do not want to work as an apprentice for an appliance repair company. I work out of a service truck now doing 3 to 4 calls a day Monday through Friday for the last 14 years. So I am know newbie when it comes to dealing with customers. Just want to say “Thank you” for publishing your story and congratulations on starting your appliance repair business. If you can give me some ideas on where I should start on “starting appliance repair business” would be greatly appreciated. Like I said. I don’t want to work as an apprentice for an appliance repair company. So with my technical background and reading “Uncle Harry’s” course or some other courses. Would that be a good place to start?
Hi Paul – I understand not wanting to work for someone else – after being self-employed all of my adult life, I’m not sure I could have a boss even if I wanted to. Yes, I bought Harry’s home study course and started taking service calls 30 days later. I just leaned on his support system for new techs and was able to make my way through the startup of my business exactly as I have documented it here on my blog. Absolutely – get Harry’s course – it is the best stepping stone out there between thinking about starting up your appliance repair business and actually doing it. As I have mentioned before, I started with absolutely no technical experience at all, so you should have a good head start on me. Best of luck to you – appliance repair is a great business!