Adventures in Retirement:
Mike and Chris Scott, owners of the Staveleigh House B&B
Mike and Chris Scott stood at the doorway of Staveleigh House, a charming B&B in historic Sheffield, Mass., beaming a warm welcome our way. You would think they had been innkeepers for decades, providing comfortable lodging and home-cooked breakfasts for travelers like us, but you would be wrong. The following morning, over steaming baked apples and sinfully good French toast with local maple syrup, Mike and Chris were generous enough to recount their journey from being newly retired to becoming the proud owners of the Staveleigh House.
Mike’s career had been in technology, where he had held management positions at well-known biotech companies. In the most recent decade of this career, he found himself cycling through a number of jobs with increasing frequency, due to mergers and acquisitions, startups that didn’t quite start up and non-materializing biotech products that failed to go to market. Throughout this period of professional turmoil, Mike and Chris discussed the stability – or lack thereof – in the biotech industry and started to ponder alternative professional and personal lives.
Chris’ career had been as a registered dietitian, consulting for the Visiting Nurse Association, and also working as an exercise physiologist in cardiac rehab. (Translation: She was a health care professional with food service experience.) Although both Chris and Mike were approaching what corporate America deems retirement age, they were looking for one more “job” that would harness their considerable energies and enthusiasms.
“We’d kicked around the B&B concept, off and on, since around 2008. Our initial thoughts centered around wanting to stay active and, more importantly, to be our own bosses,” said Chris. Each time they started to move forward on the B&B concept, another professional opportunity presented itself to Mike, and so the B&B was again put on the back-burner.
In 2008, reorganization at Mike’s then-employer had him out and looking yet again. He and Chris purchased five “how to run a bed and breakfast” books, and the research was off and running. Later that year, they attended a 2½ day intensive seminar on Cape Cod for aspiring innkeepers, where their knowledge and interest increased exponentially. Mike and Chis also thought that they both had the requisite, basic transferrable skill sets to succeed in the innkeeping business. Or did they? What skills do you need to own and manage a B&B?
Stay tuned for the next article to find out more!
Sally Haver retired in 2013 after a long career with the The Ayers Group, div. of Kelly Services as a Senior Business Development Executive. Since retiring, she has found that there are many people who are working during their post-retirement years, and not necessarily because they have to work. Some retirees are interested in pursuing a lifetime dream, and others find tremendous fulfillment simply by undertaking a new challenge. Sally Haver is an editor and a frequent contributor to The Connector, covering the emerging new work force of retirees, who are choosing to work for the sheer love of it.