I don’t care how great your idea is, if you lack time, money, passion, energy, and patience the best idea just won’t fly. And I don’t mean huge sums of money, necessarily, but enough to get you through the first three years when the IRS says it’s OK to lose money.
Most likely, you are trying to replicate your salary with a retirement or side venture, not build Exxon. So let's explore small ideas that could prove winners for three lifestyle entrepreneurs, including myself. Here's one for examination that can be grown or stay small with almost no initial investment except time.
Improv Theater for the Active Elderly
A fairly recent migrant from New York to western Massachusetts, David Shepherd is best known for his pioneering work in improv theater. In fact, you can read his profile in the archives posted on this blog.
David is active, but not as spry as he once was. Yet, put him in front of an audience willing to risk appearing a bit silly and he’s a genius at getting amateurs to express themselves. Not long ago we were spinning some ideas for David to generate extra revenue and it clicked: bring improvisational theater programming into retirement communities where active elders are often seeking educational activities that double as entertainment. The idea seemed a natural for David’s passion and energy level. That meant we proceeded to the next level of questioning:
We then asked these questions:
1) Is there a market?
Given the numbers of baby boomers heading into retirement, and the blossoming numbers of retirement communities of all kinds there certainly could be a market. Only a survey – starting locally -- would indicate thumb’s up or down.
2) Is there any money to be made?
Same answer as No. 1. About an hour or two of calling programming directors at local facilities would provide the answer.
3) Should he proceed?
I felt that David should proceed as he was such a perfect match for the service and I suspected that with the right approach he could earn at last some pin money. We took an hour to spin out 20 or so bits that would catalyze an audience and agreed that David should try out a few gigs for free.
The last time I tuned in, David had worked the boards at a local rehab center. The audience was not the greatest for his experiment, but the programming director was enthusiastic. He’s honing his approach and heading out the door for more marketing. (David travels, by the way, and is available.)
ANY THOUGHTS FOR DAVID?