May 26, 2022

Most of the people I talk to about post-corporate life mention a desire to start some kind of business.

The business ideas are varied. Some talk about doing that thing they’ve always wanted to do. Some talk about a romanticized idea of a dream. Many of them talk about parlaying their expertise into some kind of consulting practice or freelance gig.

These ideas are all great starting points for a post-retirement adventure.

Starting a business of any kind is always going to be a climb. There’s usually a significant learning curve involved. And when you’ve been an employee most of your life (and don’t have any business experience) this learning curve can be even steeper.

I say this not to discourage anyone but to highlight the importance of doing our homework and walking into this new adventure with eyes wide open — even if the thing we want to do are the stuff of our dreams!

Converting those dreams into reality requires research and planning so that the dream doesn’t turn into a nightmare.

And this is where the process of putting together a business plan really earns its stripes.

“Are you going to build a house without a blueprint and just wing it and hope that everything works out okay?”


Diane Tarshis is the Founder and Principal of Startup Distillery, a global consulting firm that has been helping entrepreneurs launch successful businesses and secure funding for more than 20 years.

She works with clients who want to reduce their overall risk and compress their startup timeline so they don’t waste time when it comes to replacing their income. It’s about getting it right from the start.

In this episode, Diane answers really important questions, like “Do I really need to prepare a business plan for this “small” business that I want to start?”; “What kind of research do I need to do and how do I do it?”; and “Are best guesses good enough?”


  • Why preparing a business plan is REALLY important, regardless of business type
  • Different kinds of business plans (it doesn’t have to be a 30-page document!)
  • The most important form of research you can do (and it’s free!)
  • Key questions that you want to be able to answer in your business planning


Learn more about Diane Tarshis on her website
5 Reasons People Over 40 Are More Likely to Succeed When Starting a Business
Launching a Business? Don’t Skip This One
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Connect with Lou Blaser on LinkedIn

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About the Host: Lou Blaser

A former management consultant and IT leader, Lou Blaser is the editor of Midlife Cues and the host of the Second Breaks podcast. She is also the author of Break Free: The Courage to Reinvent Yourself and Your career. Lou’s work is focused on exploring how to navigate, thrive, and turn midlife into the best phase in our life.