After the frippery of my last blog a semi serious one this time. It’s ‘make my mind up’ time. Make a decision about my new scheme. The one linked to my new identity. Can’t work out whether I’m being incredibly stupid in seeking out new commitments or whether this is the purpose in or of retirement I’ve been half heartedly searching for since I retired. That’s a hell of a sentence but then this is a hell of a decision. I mean it might not be because they, whoever they are, might turn me down flat and then it’s decision made.
As the title suggests, it’s this searching for a new identity business to which I have referred before. I know that I said my new identity was a writer. But is this quite enough? I think, now I look at it, what I meant was a writer whom people read. I am certainly writing. I write pretty much every day and I enjoy it. But…
So I had this great idea. I’ve always been good at having ideas. It might be said it’s my best quality. Look at the number of unpublished books, scripts, plays, etc. I’ve generated. Only a fraction of which I’ve revealed so far. And the thing is they’re all on different topics – cricket, questions, crime, driving, New Zealand, psychology, golf, ghost stories, sitcoms, plays, even the beginning of a film script starring Hugh Grant as a psychiatrist and that doesn’t include the professional stuff.
So, both personally and professionally I have ideas. My work abroad to which I have referred before, the projects I’ve been involved in, instigated even, and personal stuff, like building a summerhouse, planting a vineyard, buying land in Colorado (now there’s a future blog if ever there was one)having puppies, they, and many more, were all ideas. It is a great comfort in my old age to know that this side of my brain still works.
And hence the latest idea and desperately needed it was too. I needed an idea that would address my loss. That’s the loss of roles I told you about; social role – gone; doing good work role – gone; financial security – maybe gone. That’s a big hole to fill, ergo I need a very good idea, and in some ways it is a good idea, it will substitute for the first two roles although not the third because I’m not looking to charge ‘them’ a fee of any kind beyond a cup of tea and a biscuit.
This idea is a rather neat continuation of what a lot of my previous job was about – standing up or even sitting down in front of people and doing ‘presentations’. It might broadly have been called ‘training’. And this scheme will involve this aspect of my previous career that I used to enjoy and got a good feeling about (mostly) and a lot of my self esteem, but I wouldn’t call it training.
I remember when I headed up a project in my work where we were required, by our Local Authority, to generate income to pay, in part, for the running of the project. This took us outside our cosy little comfort zone wherein we got paid whether people liked what we did or not. We needed to look for as many ways as possible of generating income. To address this we came across and used a brilliant little business planning tool I guess you might call it. It looked, if I can remember it, something like the diagram at the end of this blog.
What the model means in a nutshell, is that – upper left quadrant – you can keep doing the same things for the same people. Upper right quadrant – you can do the same things with new customers. You can – bottom right quadrant – do new things with the same customers and finally – bottom left quadrant – you can do new things with new customers. The risk quotient increases as you move through these quadrants. But more important, the model suggests that a successful business, and that is what we were at this point, needs activities in each quadrant.
OK, so what’s this got to do with retirement and me? Well, it means that in my retired state I can try and carry on doing what I’ve always done. I wrote about this before. Or I can carry on doing what I’ve always done but for new ‘customers’. Or I can do something totally different for the people (schools) I used to work for. Or I can do new things for new people. The scheme I have in mind falls mainly into the last box, which makes it the most risky but there is a bit of each box in the scheme – it’s a bit like what I used to do in that it involves preparing (truth be told the bit I enjoy most, so good to keep) and presenting ‘a talk’.
It (what the ‘it’ is I’ll explain later) involves psychology, so that bit I know. What’s different is the age group. Whereas before my psychology training was applied to children and young people, now it would, if successful, be applied to retired people. Too big a leap? Well, maybe, but then I have met older people who were incredibly childish and children who were incredibly mature; so perhaps not so different. Watch these pages for my latest retirement venture. If it starts it will be after the New Year. January 9th to be precise.
The more observant among you will have noticed that January 9th has been and gone and I do have something to report. I did go to a meeting of senior people and I will report on it shortly.
Old customers new customers