Is your child finalizing those pesky college applications? You might be busy for a few months with helping to complete the financial aid forms and making the final college selection, but then what? As your child prepares to go off to college, what is the plan for your next stage in life?
If you have done your job well, your child is a mature almost-adult who should be capable of functioning well in a college environment. He or she may stop in for the holidays and summer vacations, and might ask your advice here and there, but your role in child care is greatly diminished. Now what?
Instead of becoming angry or depressed, many empty nesters like to think about starting their own small business. The pressure isn’t so heavy to earn money and succeed now that the children are grown, and they feel like they might want to pursue something they have always dreamed of accomplishing. If they are not particularly interested in entering or returning to the corporate world, the opportunity to be their own boss can be especially appealing.
Empty Nest Entrepreneurs
The empty nester brings many skills to the small business world – organization, patience, and an ability to work with different temperaments. If you’re thinking about starting your own small business, take some time to assess the skills you have built up as a parent, counselor, and advisor. Perhaps you can turn these skills into an online blog or become a life coach. Think about whether there is something you have always wanted to do, and research now to learn how others achieved success in that area.
You can start to get in business mode by taking a few classes at a local community college or meeting with a Small Business Administration advisor. Some great at-home business options might include becoming a personal financial advisor, a marketing or management consultant, or a website developer. Another idea is to use the knowledge you have gained by financing your child’s education to enter the world of college financial aid advisement. With college costs increasing and greater concern about student loan debt, more students and their parents are looking for help in solving the financial aid puzzle.
A college financial aid advisor offers advice on the college application process, helps fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), assists in the search for college scholarships, and advises clients on the options available with federal and private student loans. Hours can be flexible, based on the number of students you advise. The emotional rewards are great, especially when you help a family realize that college is not an unattainable dream.
If you are an empty nester who is looking for a small business opportunity, the CFAA Training Institute provides an insider’s education on the college financial aid industry, along with marketing advice and tips. Contact the CFAA Training Institute today for more information about becoming a Certified College Financial Aid Advisor™.