Occasionally we invite Elance and Upwork freelancers and clients to discuss issues of importance to others who work in our marketplace. Here are some thoughts from Brian D. Jones, who recently released a his best-selling book, Over 50? Start Your Business!
Entrepreneurship is considered a young person’s game.
An under-appreciated facet of entrepreneurship is the number of businesses being started by people over the age of 50.
Research by the Kauffman Foundation found that over 23% of entrepreneurs who launched companies in 2013 were between the ages of 55 and 64. This is up from just over 14% back in 1996.
Also in 2013 the Nesta Foundation in the UK reported that 70% of companies founded by those over 50 were still in business after three years. Only 28% of companies founded by those under 50 could make the same claim.
What are the implications of these findings for the Freelance Economy?
Freelancers should welcome these Mature Entrepreneurs as potential customers for their services. Their numbers are growing. Their success rates are higher.
It is probably safe to assume that mature founders have a greater need for freelance services than more tech-savvy younger entrepreneurs. More “handholding” may mean opportunities to provide more value-added services. Higher success rates create opportunities to develop long-term relationships and the potential for recurring revenues.
Many Mature Entrepreneurs may become freelancers themselves. You know freelancing is an attractive option. Mature freelancers will learn this too. Especially those who choose freelancing as a “Side Hustle” for extra income. Or as a way to transition from their full-time position. Mature freelancers offer clients a wealth of experience that may tip the scales in their favor.
Mature Entrepreneurs might be more comfortable working with “one of their own” in a Mature freelancer.
Mature employees are in constant danger of being replaced by their employers. An economic downturn might force the acceleration of the ranks of Mature freelancers who are desperate to compete against YOU for business.
Time to get used to working with Mature Entrepreneurs. They represent an almost hidden source of potential business for you. But working with them may prove different than working with other entrepreneurs. Mature freelancers may have an advantage with this growing segment of the entrepreneurial market.
About the author
Brian D. Jones has been a home-based consultant for over 20 years. His new book, Over 50? Start Your Business! is available in the Amazon Kindle Store. His website is www.TheMaturEntrepreneur.com.
Timeline: On May 30, 2016 all work will stop on Elance. To continue working together, freelancers and clients will need to open a new contract on Upwork.
After this date, freelancers will be unable to log hours with Time Tracker or utilize milestones or invoices through Elance. Similarly clients will be unable to utilize milestones on Elance. Clients have until June 5, 2016 to make final payments. All Elance users can withdraw funds and access messages, contacts and files on Elance into 2017.
Now that we’ve completed sending clients, freelancers, and companies unique invitations to join Upwork, we’re taking the next step to wind Elance down. New job posts on Elance have now begun to redirect to Upwork. While not all clients will be asked to post their jobs on Upwork right away, you may be prompted to do so the next time you attempt to post a job on Elance. Eventually, all new job posts will be redirected to Upwork – excluding your active contracts on Elance, which will not be affected.
If it’s your first time posting a job on Upwork, you can refer to this guide for information about what to expect when you bring your profile over, including key differences from Elance. Freelancers can reference our handy Freelancer Moving Guide or take our self-paced online course for move-related information, and companies can refer to our company migration help article for important information to know before moving.
If you’ve already brought your Elance account over to Upwork, the next time you post a job on Elance we’ll send you directly to the Upwork job post form. Freelancers, we recommend you send your Elance clients your profile link on Upwork, if you haven’t already. As a reminder, when you begin a contract on Upwork with an Elance client, we’ll honor the fee you paid before.
If you haven’t brought your account over to Upwork yet, you can find your invitation to join Upwork on your Elance My Jobs page. Once you accept your invite, we’ll take you to the job post form on Upwork.
Active contracts will remain on Elance, but we encourage you to close those down, move them over to Upwork, and rehire your Elance freelancers on Upwork so you can hit the ground running before all future job posts are redirected.
We’ve also made it easy for you to repost and rehire in one click on Upwork. You’ll see your past Elance hires on Upwork after moving your account:
If you’re a Private Talent Cloud client, we will not be redirecting your job posts for the time being. You’ll have a unique transition plan your engagement manager will set up with you. Freelancers working with Private Talent Cloud clients will also be unaffected.
Don’t wait until your next job is redirected from Elance – start new contracts on Upwork today. We look forward to seeing more familiar Elance faces on Upwork!
Have you seen Robert De Niro's latest film, The Intern? If not, you should. It’s about a 70-year old former phone book vendor (De Niro) who decides to “get back in the game” after retirement leaves him unfulfilled. To do so he becomes an intern at a clothing retailer ... and the antics begin.
But as fun as the movie is, the film’s premise brings up an interesting fact:
Entrepreneurism isn’t limited to 20-something millennials and Stanford MBAs.
In fact, starting a business today is a reality for anyone who sets his or her mind to it … regardless of age. And this is exactly the point author Brian D. Jones makes in his new book, Over 50? Start Your Business! Build Wealth. Control Your Destiny. Leave A Legacy. (available at Amazon’s Kindle store).
Jones (who continues the conversation on his website and blog, The MaturEntrepreneur) begins by debunking the myth that entrepreneurism is exclusively a young-man’s (or woman’s) game. This includes noting some of the many folks who started a wildly successful business later in their careers (Ray Kroc opened his first McDonald’s at age 52, while Ferdinand Porsche’s namesake automobile first rolled off the line when he was 56 years young). In fact, the complete list of late-blooming businesspeople and artists is inspiring and eye-opening.
The Over 50+? Start Your Business! book then goes on to provide readers with a step-by-step guide to starting a business. This includes detailed sections on: The 3 Foundations For Success, 5 Steps To Starting Your Dream Business, and a 90-Day Action Plan. You’ll also discover how to channel your passions into a successful business, rather than taking perhaps the road more travelled or expected. Plus you’ll get tips on how more mature business people can best tap into today’s Connected Economy.
The text also mixes in Jones’ insights on aligning your lifestyle and habits with success, geared specifically to those over 50 (but probably good advice for anyone of any age). Not coincidently, Jones also notes the importance of using freelance talent to accelerate business growth, as time-to-market is even more critical when you’re starting at 50+ (and probably have less technical skills than your average millennial).
An inspiring read for your parents? Colleagues? Friends?
If you’re an “experienced” talent and looking to start your own business, this an enlightening read. Or, if you know someone 50+ who has considered kicking off a startup or you feel might be a great candidate for entrepreneurism, you might want to surprise them with a copy or point them to the Kindle store edition. You might be amazed at what they’ll accomplish.
About Brian D. Jones
Brian D. Jones is on a mission to inspire and support people over 50 who want to start their own business. He enjoyed corporate success for over 10 years as an engineering project leader and management consultant. Since 1995, he has been a home-based independent consultant. Brian graduated magna cum laude from Drake University with a BA in Mathematics and Spanish. He later earned a Master’s degree from the Stanford School of Engineering, and also received his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. His website is http://www.thematurentrepreneur.com/
Addendum: Within the next two weeks, we’ll begin moving new Elance job posts over to Upwork. Don’t wait to transfer your reputation over to the unified Upwork, and to get set up for new projects. We’ve already invited your clients to move to Upwork, and when you and your client begin a contract together we’ll honor the fee you paid on Elance. To stay updated on the move, visit our forum.
We’re continuing to wind down Elance and move your reputation and work to our unified Upwork platform. As mentioned in our recent forum post, we extended the timeline to make some improvements to the experience, based on your feedback. This includes building the ability for agencies to merge their Elance and Upwork accounts.
Here’s an updated timeline:
· Everyone in the Elance community will receive an invitation in the next several weeks.
· Once invitations are complete, we’ll begin to limit the ability to post new jobs on Elance.
Thank you for your patience during this transition.
Why migrate? Your business will benefit from moving to Upwork.
Freelancers and clients who have made the transition from Elance to Upwork are now realizing the benefits. Upwork has doubled the amount of jobs available to freelancers, which are resulting in 34% higher earnings than on Elance.
We’ve also launched major marketing campaigns to attract even more top clients, and we’re making it easier for search engines to find you through your Upwork online profile (Elance profiles will soon become less visible in search engines). Plus we’ve just introduced Upwork Enterprise, bringing you a world of new, long-term opportunities with large global clients.
You’ll find it easy to settle into Upwork.
While moving from Elance to Upwork may initially seem like a big departure, you’ll soon discover that things are quite familiar. You’ll still find clients from Elance, as well as new prospects now working on Upwork. There is also the protection you’ve come to know and trust, including Hourly Payment Protection and Fixed-Price Payment Protection (via escrow).
It’s easy for your existing Elance clients to find and hire you, and you’re able to keep your current pricing structure with these existing clients. Here’s an example of what your Elance clients will see on the screen when you’ve moved to Upwork:
We’ll continue to keep you posted on major milestones that get us closer to winding down Elance. In the meantime, we encourage you to accept your invitation today (available on your Elance My Jobs page), and start shifting your efforts to Upwork.