Baby boomers, those of us who are between the age of 52 and 70, find ourselves at a crossroads. There are an estimated 76 million of us, or about one-quarter of the population. We’ve spent a large part or our lives working, many of us for businesses and corporations that may have hit hard times economically. For others, we’ve just lost our drive. The appeal that our once comfortable 9 to 5 gave us now just leaves us hitting the snooze button a few more times and wondering when our workday will end. And then it hits us. Life is short and getting shorter. The crossroad appears.

Job or Business

We have a wealth of information and knowledge that all these years of living has brought, but the corporate world doesn’t always see it that way. They may be wondering how many years you can give to the company. And going through your mind may be the same question—how many years do I want to give to the company.

Freedom

If the tie is starting to feel less like an accessory and more like a noose, or you’re looking longingly at jeans as your putting on your dress, the direction may be clear. Freedom becomes increasingly important as we age. We find ourselves agreeing with Nelson Mandela who said it rather succinctly, “I am the master of my fate and the captain of my destiny.” We feel a longing for self-responsibility and self-mastery, with no one to answer to but our own inner conscience.

Finances

This is usually where the path becomes a little less clear. We’re concerned about putting our nest egg into a business and then falling on our faces. Enter the world of franchise ownership. Consider David Brown, a 57-year-old baby boomer who found himself sick and without a job. He was too old to hire and too young to retire. His answer was to buy a frozen yogurt franchise. He now plans to open up two more and eventually become a semi-absentee owner.

Franchises offer less risk and less capital. The brand is already in place in addition to a marketing strategy and support from the company. You’re not reinventing the wheel, but jumping onto the bandwagon of a proven success.

Inspiration

If fear still has you at the crossroads, consider this: Harland Sanders was 65 when he started his franchise business, Kentucky Fried Chicken. Inspiration is the key, which means, don’t chase the money, chase your passion.