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10 Epic Reasons You Should Start a Business in Your 40s

Start a Business in Your 40s

One evening a close friend and I were enjoying margaritas. We talked about how at midlife, we feel like we’re not doing what we’re truly meant to do. We
still have a lot left to contribute to society. My friend has a couple of decades of experience building successful business partnerships and I have about the same amount of experience developing compelling content and marketing
programs.

Then a light bulb went off. We wondered if other women in their
late 40s, early 50s, felt the same way. After talking with a lot of our
colleagues and friends, they also agreed they feel like there’s something
else they should be doing.

And I’m proud to say that at 50-something, we’ve launched our baby, Bon
Faire. We help women over 40 use the skills they’ve accumulated either at a job or raising a family to take the leap into something new: taking an idea or passion and turning it into a business with the intent of doing good for society.

Some of our family and friends think we’re crazy. Why the heck would we
want to do start a business at our age? It’s hard work. There’s no guarantee.
What if we fail? We’re doing it for all those reasons because we’re not done…
we’re just getting started. We have valuable insights and wisdom to share,
and there are a lot of women who need our help. There’s no better time to start a business in your 40s or 50s…especially with the state of the world the way it is today.

What if every woman at this stage of life tapped into her power to do good? What if these ladies used their skills, experience, and know-how to launch a business with a social purpose in mind? Wouldn’t that be exactly what the world needs now?

If you’ve had an idea that’s been vying for your attention, here are 10 reasons why you should take action and start a business in your 40s or 50s:

1. You Have Life Experience

The mere fact that you’ve been on this planet for 40+ years means you’ve
experienced a lot in life. Just because you aren’t a billionaire or
have an alphabet soup of credentials following your name doesn’t
mean that you don’t have something of value to share with the world.
Because you do.

2. You’ve Already Done Hard Things

Whether you’ve been at a job for the past 25+ years or you’ve been
raising a family, you’ve learned how to navigate through the pitfalls
and trials that life throws your way. It’s a challenge to start a business in your 40s or 50s but we’re pretty sure you’ve made it through some tough times in your life.
This kind of character and tenacity is exactly what you need to make a
company work.

3. You Know a Lot of People

If you sat down and wrote a list of all the people you know, you’d be shocked at how long that list would be. These people are your network, which will be critical for you to leverage as you get started. Don’t be afraid to tap into this network because somewhere down the line, you’ll be able to help them too. Business is successful when people help each other.

4. You Know What You Want—and What You Don’t 

A key to success in business is clarity and focus. When you’re tuned into what you want, and what you don’t, you won’t be spreading yourself too thin by saying “yes” to everything you think will help you reach your goals. You’ll know what is right for you because you’ve “been there, done that” and likely don’t want to go through it again.

5. You’ve Failed Before

By the time you’ve reached your late 40s, you’ve made some mistakes. You’ve learned some hard-won lessons. And you also know you can’t stop. The willingness to try and fail is a critical characteristic you’ll need as an entrepreneur, but you’ve got that covered because you’ve been doing it your whole life.

6. You’ve Got More Money Now

To start a business in your 40s or 50s, you’ll need some capital. Luckily, you won’t need much if you start an online venture. You’re in a better place financially now since you’re likely not juggling the cost of starting a company with other major life investments like repaying student loans, buying a home or raising kids, though you may have some in college.

7. You Don’t Care What Other People Think 

This is probably the most liberating part of midlife: you don’t give a rat’s patootie what other people think of you. This freedom gives you the courage to take your passion and turn it into profit…even if that passion is painting ceramic frogs. When you were younger, you’d worry about what your parents or friends would say but now you simply don’t care, you’re ready to take the leap.

8. You Know How to Take Responsibility

You may have had to care for children, a friend, family members, or yourself. You know what you have to do to pay the bills so you’re not averse to doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Taking responsibility and ownership will be an important skill you’ll need to ensure success.

9. Your Options Are Limitless 

Because of your network, knowledge, experience, and skills, you can start any kind of business you want. This is more challenging when you’re younger because you haven’t earned a lot of money, developed a set up transferable skills, or experience. At this stage of your life, you have more options on the path to entrepreneurship. You can start from where you are now and move forward freely.

Related Reading: 5 Innovative Franchises Under 100K

10. Your Time is Limited 

This is a good thing, especially if you procrastinate or are easily distracted by that shiny new object. You no longer have the luxury of the “someday syndrome.” Your time on this Earth is more limited than it was 20 years ago. You have an idea, a passion, a purpose and it’s just waiting to happen. All you need to do is take that first step.

Maybe we’re crazy. But we think you’re crazy if you allow society to tell you what midlife should look like, and if you believe that since you’re over a certain age you’re just supposed to sit back and fade away. You’ve got skills and value to contribute. And there’s still work to be done. Now, let’s get to it! Visit Bon Faire and take our quiz to see what kind of Bon Faire woman you are.

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It’s Never Too Late for a Startup!

Never too late for a startup

Let Your Entrepreneurial Spirit Flourish

One of the most exciting things about the world of entrepreneurship is that initiatives are not bound by a retirement age. Business owners are often stereotypically seen as young twenty-somethings straight out of college (or dropouts in some cases), however, the spirit of entrepreneurship should not be limited by this perception. It can be argued that late-life entrepreneurship might be better than starting early since individuals can learn from their work and life experiences to make much more innovative and critical decisions of problem-solving.

So whether you want to start your own brand management or compete with marketing companies, know that it is never too late for a startup and here’s why:

1. Aspirations Do Not Have an Expiration Date

Shun the traditional ageist view that only the young can have aspirations of their own. The bottom line is that hopes, dreams, and aspirations do not expire and you should not let societal expectations hold you back.

Entrepreneurship provides you with an opportunity to give back something of value to your next generations – be a role model for your children and grandchildren. Contribute as much as you can while you can! Moreover, startups at later age also allow you to act as a mentor for the young people you will involve in your initiative, a chance to train those who will respect you for your wisdom and experience.

2. There Are Examples of Midlife Success

You are never too old to seek a new venture and the following people are prime examples of this statement. From the exemplary founders of Starbucks and McDonalds who were both in their 50s to Harland Sanders who founded KFC when he was 62 and Charles Flint who started IBM when he was 61. There are countless examples of success stories; people who did not let their age hold them back and polished their ideas to successfully launch businesses.

startup

3. In Today’s Era, There Are Endless Opportunities

Technology has penetrated the traditional framework behind startups in such a way that it is now easier than ever to take an initiative with a solid business idea. In today’s business environment, there are a variety of ways to enter the realm of entrepreneurship as long as you are taking up a relevant challenge and giving solutions for the needs of your consumers.

There are a plethora of options available for your startup venture, aided by the increasing involvement of digital technologies. The virtual world is inextricably linked to the business world and has emphatically altered the way we used to view entrepreneurship by reducing the bounds of time and space as well as organizational agility.

Things can be done, plans can be made and implementations can be carried out, all from the comfort of your home now. This can be even more effective if you plan to initiate an online business. The opportunities are truly endless.

Related Reading: How to Care for Yourself While Running a Startup

You can take it easy and enjoy a more leisurely routine. But if you envision something different for yourself as you enter midlife and beyond, know that the only thing holding you back is your will. All that is required is for you to have a clear vision of what you want to do and combined with initiative, it can take you a long way toward your own successful startup business!

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11 Powerful Podcasts for You; the Businesswoman Over 40

businesswoman over 40

As I have said many times before, I love podcasts.  I listen to all sorts too. Whether it’s a show dedicated to solving real crime mysteries or one intended to expand my knowledge on an exciting topic, I’m an avid listener.  But my favorite shows are about creating and growing successful businesses.  So, in my quest to add quality shows to my audio library, I thought I’d make a list of the most potent podcasts for you; the businesswoman over 40.

#1 About That with Marga Ortigas – This show is about professional and personal transitions at midlife and beyond. Guests discuss how they have successfully navigated life’s changes.

Favorite episode: Breaking Ground with mental health professional, Darby Latshaw

 

#2 Your Next Avenue with Richard Eisenberg – This inspiring new podcast focuses on the work and careers of people fifty and over.  The show is hosted by the Senior Web Editor of Next Avenue, one of my favorite media websites.

Favorite episode: Finding Meaningful Work with author Shawn Askinosie

 

#3 AgeWYZ with Jana Panarites – This weekly broadcast deals with the emotional topic of caregiving and provides resources to those struggling to balance work life and the duties of caring for an aging family member.  It’s perfect for the businesswoman over 40 who is tending to the needs of elderly parents.

Favorite episode: The Legacy with caretaker Maggie McClane

 

#4 The Second Act with Benita Adams – This one isn’t actually a podcast.  You can listen to Benita’s radio show or watch her on TV or catch episodes on YouTube.  Either way, you’ll be entertained by her stories and interviews with reinvention experts.  Check out Benita’s show in this video: What Would I Tell My Younger Self?

#5 Feisty Side of Fifty with Mary Eileen Williams – Mary dedicates her show to boomers and gen Xers who embrace positive change in all aspects of life and look forward to the years ahead.  It’s a real ‘life is just beginning’ type of podcast.

Favorite episode: Interview with Betsy Werley of Encore.org.  This show is especially poignant for the businesswoman over 40.

 

#6 Women in the Middle with Suzy Rosenstein – The host, Suzy, is a Master Certified Life and Weight Coach who’s areas of expertise are midlife and transitions.  Her podcast encourages “frustrated women to get excited about their lives again.”

Favorite Episode: Why You’re Miserable at Work and How to Change It

 

#7 Second Act Stories with Andy Levine – In each new show, (offered every other week) inspiring people recount their experiences of making a significant career change in pursuit of a rewarding professional life.

Favorite episode: Ready for Some Expert Advice? with author Marci Aloboher

 

#8 Forever Fierce with Catherine Grace O’Connell – Each week Catherine is joined by a co-host to discuss a wide range of topics that midlife women find quite interesting. The show can be heard live Tuesdays at 2 PM EST on LA Talk Radio or downloaded from iTunes or Stitcher.

Favorite episode: Interview with the woman who stood up to Tony Robbins on the #metoo issue: Nanine McCool

 

#9 Experience 50 with Mary Rogers – Mary is on the same mission as me; helping midlife women succeed in business.  So, I naturally gravitated toward her show.  If that’s the type of help you need, have a listen.

Favorite episode: Rebranding Midlife Women with Juju Hook

Related Reading: 25+ Terrific Gen Xer, Midlifer, and Boomer Blog to Love

#10 Advice to My Younger Me with Sara Holtz – I love the concept of this ‘pay it forward’ show. Older, wiser, more experienced guests discuss strategies to help younger women achieve career success.  This podcast is all about the things you wish you had known as a professional in your 20s and 30s.

Favorite episode: How to Have a Good Day with Caroline Webb

 

#11 Women Killing It with Sally Hubbard –  Sally is an investigative journalist who has created an inspirational broadcast that celebrates and features rockstar businesswomen.  They share what has worked in their careers and what pitfalls to avoid to thrive in any job.

Favorite episode: How to be Confident with Regina Huber

I hope I piqued your interest with a few of these podcasts for the businesswoman over 40.  Let them motivate you to reach for the stars in your quest for success.  If you have any suggestions for new podcasts we should listen to, please leave a comment below.  And, as I always say…

Life is better when we lift each other up.

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The Other F Word Director Shines Her Spotlight on Midlife

the other f word

Throughout her career as an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and director, Caytha Jentis has focused her attention on stories of interest to moms and women in general.  In her latest project, the popular Amazon series The Other F Word, she shines her spotlight on midlife and the joys and pains that come with it.  While the ‘F’ could stand for the word forty or fifty, it might just as well stand for fun or friendship or fearlessness.

The show humorously addresses the issues near and dear to women over forty who are, as a group, woefully neglected by the entertainment industry.  Caytha’s  main characters attempt to navigate the ever-changing landscape of the middle years with help from well-known actors like Judy Gold, Steve Guttenberg, and others.

I spoke with Caytha Jentis about the series and the difficulties she encountered launching it.  Not surprisingly, she faced an uphill battle getting this project off the ground.  Yet, her grit and determination paid off; to the benefit of fans around the world.

Caytha Jentis
Caytha Jentis

Jen Monks: What was the inspiration behind The Other F Word?

Caytha Jentis: I was looking for the next great story to tell.  My two kids were getting older, and I said, “Wow, this is a really interesting chapter in life.”  Parenting older children or becoming an empty nester wasn’t anything that was being covered episodically at that point.  My children were coming of age, and I felt like I was, in a way, coming of age too.

JM: What reaction did you receive from your industry when you were pitching the show?

CJ: I just want to acknowledge that selling television is hard for everyone.  Even Norman Lear had a tough time selling a show that dealt with older people. I was routinely told my idea was good, but I was pitching a tough demographic.  I didn’t know what that meant at first.  It’s code for, “Your characters are too old.”

The other thing I ran into was a perception that my demographic watches traditional television but they’re not on YouTube, and they’re not using digital content.  It’s a fallacy that we don’t watch or can’t figure out how to stream Amazon.

JM: Why do Hollywood executives avoid series aimed at women over forty?

CJ: I had this profound realization that, in this industry, you are either prey or you’re put out to pasture.  There is a little space for women like Sarah Jessica Parker or Reese Witherspoon who have broken through.

I don’t think it’s all entertainment’s fault, per se, but it’s just this larger thing.  Advertisers don’t want their sexy Lexus next to a commercial about Depends.  Besides, advertisers don’t think they need to court us.  They think we will just buy regardless.

“In this industry, you are either prey or you’re put out to pasture.”

JM: Has it been difficult to find sponsors for your show?

CJ: No, but some brands stay away from my type of material.  My characters sometimes swear and talk about sex toys.  I want to tell my stories fearlessly.  Many companies don’t respond to that.

JM: What kind of reception have you received from your audience?

CJ: I’ve been overwhelmed by it.  The success has been huge.  We have been able to reach nearly a million people.  And you have to go directly to Amazon to watch the show, so it’s amazing to me.  With a minimal marketing budget, we have been able to grab so many people.

I feel like our success is a success for all women in this pivoting and reinvention phase.  If I can persevere with this impossible dream, then maybe I can inspire others.

JM: What type of show is The Other F Word and what topics do you cover?

CJ: I wouldn’t call it a comedy.  It’s humorous, but it’s totally driven by drama.  There are so many relevant themes going on.  The four main characters deal with death and parenting and separation and health.  It’s about change and transition.

JM: How has creating this show affected you?

CJ: I used to write to run away from my life.  Then I began to look into my own world and experiences for material.

I have been so profoundly changed by the people I have met.  It’s been a great place to be positive and open a dialogue.  And many of the themes we cover are universal.  All generations can connect with our stories.

JM: What advice would you give people who want to reinvent their career?

CJ: Do your homework.  You need to have passion and fearlessness.  Don’t be afraid to cry and get up and go for it again.  It’s now or never.

Related Reading: 5 Hottest Franchise Opportunities for Successful Women

JM: You recently released season two of the series.  How can we ensure there will be a season three, four, and five?

CJ: My simple ask is to watch the show and if you like it, share it with your friends.  There’s nothing else out there like it.

Things are beginning to change for our demographic and women are all a part of that.  Hopefully, if we keep driving these big numbers, we can’t continue to be ignored.

JM:  Thank you, Caytha.  I hope you’re right.

 

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Midlifers and Boomers; 20+ Best Facebook Pages for You

midlifers and boomers; 25+ best Facebook pages for you

On the heels of my first post in a series of resources for Midlifers and Boomers, I’ve composed a list of targeted Facebook pages for the woman over forty.  They range from well-known, popular pages to obscure, smaller ones. As long as each is useful or entertaining, that’s all that matters.

The topics covered vary widely as well.  From pressing health matters to funny memes, you’ll get a little bit of everything with this list.  Consider it a Facebook buffet.  Are you ready to eat up?

 

Humor and Inspiration

  • Rocking Over 40 encourages you to be bold and own your age while striving for personal and professional success.  Very empowering messages found here!

  • Amazing Women 50 and Better is a blend of positivity and humor.  Stop by when you need a little ‘pick-me-up.’

  • Purple Clover has a sarcastic and clever vibe.  I simply couldn’t leave this popular page off the list.

  • Midlife Mayhem is interactive and entertaining.  Join in and answer questions or laugh at pictures and memes.

  • Life Starts After 50 inspires and helps you feel better about getting older with themed days like ‘motivation Monday’ and ‘feel good Friday.’

  • Aging Abundantly shares uplifting cultural stories and thought-provoking ideas about midlife and beyond.

  • Sad But True Life of a Middle Aged Woman is, you guessed it, funny with a dash of unfiltered attitude for flavor.

  • Women After 50 boasts well over one million followers for two reasons; it is witty and covers all the topics close to our hearts.

Parenting, Grandparenting, and Family Life

  • Grown and Flown gives parenting advice and support to those with older teens and young adults.  An empty nest doesn’t mean your worries stop.

  • The Midlife Mamas shares the most interesting family-oriented posts on the web.  I can quickly get sucked into the feed on this page if I’m not careful.

  • Daily Caring gives practical tips and advice to those caring for a parent, spouse or sibling.  Such a good resource!

  • Fabulous Grandma is the page you follow the second you find out you’re gonna have a grandchild.  This is THE feel-good place for grandmothers!

Travel and Leisure

  • My Itchy Travel Feet is for boomers who have wanderlust and long to find inspiration through adventures.

  • Mid-life Cruising! shares the experiences of a couple as they live their lives sailing the Caribbean.  Bon voyage!

  • AARP Travel Center is a partnership between AARP and Expedia that offers member discounts on travel to locales all over the world.

Money, Business, and Career

  • iRelaunch educates and supports professionals attempting to return to work after a career break.

  • Boomer Benefits empowers those new to Medicare and unsure of what it covers.  Use it as a resource to compare benefits and prices.

  • Life Wise Lady is my page (not so subtle #humblebrag).  I help women over forty create and grow successful businesses of their own.

Related reading: 25 Fantastic Facebook GROUPS for Midlifers and Boomers

Health, Wellness, and Food

This is a mere sampling of the many wonderful Facebook pages dedicated to midlifers and boomers.  You can find hundreds, if not thousands, of others to follow.  As a matter of fact, if you would like to share your favorites, mention them in the comments section below.

Life is better when we lift each other up.

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25 Fantastic Facebook Groups for Midlifers and Boomers

Fantastic Facebook Groups for Midlifers and Boomers

To whom do you turn for support and resources as a woman over forty?  Do you confide in family members, neighbors, co-workers, or high school friends? Perhaps the answer is no one.

As midlifers, we experience daily challenges particular to our situations and ages. The sandwich generation, as we are sometimes called, is pulled in multiple directions as we caretake our parents and children, our jobs and romances, our changing bodies and plummeting hormones.  We yearn for emotional support and comradery to maintain a sense of balance and clarity.

Thankfully, with the rise of social media, we no longer rely on proximity to establish connections to people with whom we can relate.  Facebook groups is a prime example of a tool that can help us find quality connections.  According to Pew Research Center, only eighteen percent of Facebook users are women ages forty-five to sixty-four.  However, there is no shortage of groups dedicated to midlifers and boomers.  In fact, the task of narrowing down hundreds or thousands of social groups is daunting.

But fear not my friend.  I have narrowed the choices by eliminating groups of less than two hundred people and those that allow men to join.  Sorry, fellas!  My list of 25 fantastic Facebook groups for midlifers and boomers is for women only.  Of course, the exceptions are groups created for singles and finding romance.

 Update: I have added a few groups to this post and started my own FB group.  It is a community of businesswomen and bloggers over forty who want to share their wisdom, products, and services with each other.  Join Life Wise Lady!

Support of All Sort

  • The Latte Lounge (Top Tips 4 Women Over 40!) This “virtual coffee shop for all women over 40, 50, and BEYOND” is a delightful forum to contribute interesting articles, health recommendations, advice, and news.  It was formerly called Top Tips 4 Women Over 40. 

  • Over 40, Fearless & Free (Women’s Group) is a safe place to share inspiring books, tips, and delicious recipes.  There is a maximum of six posts per day to keep down the number of notifications you receive.

  • Fab Women Over 50 is where to go to chat about issues important to you at this stage of life.  It’s an active community of positive, like-minded women who encourage and engage each other frequently.

  • 40+ Women Divorce Support Group is dedicated to helping those who are separated, divorced, or widowed.  You may ask questions or offer guidance to make the most out of one of life’s most stressful situations.

  • Rocking Midlife – Join the crowd and connect with fantastic ladies from around the world.  You can indulge in humorous videos and memes or seek comfort and counsel.

  • Women Over 50 ROCK was established to empower women with themed days like ‘Monday Motivation’ and ‘Tuesday Tips.’ While the group is mainly one of support, you are allowed to promote your Facebook page or a product/service on Fridays.

  • Forever Fierce: The Midlife Revolution – The name says it all.  This collaborative community was founded to “shift the perception of women at midlife and beyond.”  Although this group emphasizes style and fashion, various topics are welcome for discussion.

  • My Side of 50 covers issues like health, retirement, food, fashion, travel, grandchildren, and aging parents.  It’s a one stop shop for midlifers and boomers who want to establish virtual friendships.

  • The Flock (of TheMuttonClub.com) – Meet, chat up, and laugh with feisty, outspoken ladies here.  Topics vary and there are no holds barred.  You may also promote your business page on Fridays.

 

Parenting

  • Midlife Moms is for women who have babies or toddlers a little later than most.  I am not a member, but I imagine the talk and advice revolve largely around parenting small children and the struggles of midlife motherhood.

  • Having Babies Over 40 (Women Only) – If you are planning to get pregnant or are pregnant or recently gave birth, then you will be welcome here.  It’s a supportive, friendly crowd of “kindred spirits ready to welcome you.”

  • Moms with College Kids – When the hatchlings fly off, you may need tips on how to handle this transition or how to accept your empty nest.  Members also discuss college admissions, internships, and surviving ‘adult children.’

 

Health, Fitness, and Wellness

  • Day Off Diet Support for Women Over 50 assists midlifers in their struggle with weight loss.  Everyone benefits from the tips, strategies, stories, and recipes shared amongst members.

  • Peri / Menopause Support Group gives direction to those in the beginning stages of menopause or those who have been experiencing this transition for years.

  • ForeverHer – This group focuses on wellness and exercise trends for ladies who are thirty-five plus.  Members offer tips, encouragement, and reviews to inspire you to stay fabulously fit.

 

Relationships, Dating, and Romance

  • The Original- Over 40 Single Mingle is a “make friends and see what happens” kind of crowd.  You are encouraged to share pictures, discuss events, and arrange meetups.

  • For Over 50 Senior Singles Dating is similar to the group above.  However, the admins strictly forbid anyone under fifty from joining.

  • World Wide Senior Dating and Romance – Don’t let the name of this club discourage you from joining if you are a midlifer.  Singles forty and up are accepted if they have a Facebook profile with a picture of themselves.

 

Style, Beauty, and Fashion

  • Beauty Q&A..Insider Tips – This is a U.K. only group for women to share, ask about, and learn beauty tips.  They frequently discuss trends and which products and services they prefer and why.

  • Ageism is Never in Style – Don’t you just love the name?  The group was created for women who feel ignored by the fashion industry simply because of their ages.  Feel free to contribute style tips, blog posts, and inspiring stories.

  • Mamas Over 40 Who Love Makeup, Fitness and Fashion! –  This bunch of gals is, of course, into chatting about style, clothes, makeup, and fitness.  They share the latest trends and discuss releases and give reviews.

  • Style Your Way to Success Over Fifty was created by a midlife image stylist. Interact with this empowering tribe by giving advice, asking questions, or posting pictures of your confidence boosting outfits.

  • Silver Foxy is all about women (and the occasional man) who want to maintain natural, silver hair.  Contribute tutorials, tips, videos, and pictures of yourself and your lovely locks.

Related Reading – Midlife Reinvention; Is it Time for a Professional Pivot?

For Writers and Business Owners

 

I sincerely hope you discovered a few groups that piqued your interest on this list. After all, we need to vent and share our successes and frustrations occasionally. Do you remember the intro to the show Cheers?  “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.”  My apologies if that song gets stuck in your head for a while.

Do you belong to any fantastic Facebook groups for midlifers and boomers?  If so, don’t keep it a secret.  Please share the names so we can all join.

Life is better when we lift each other up.

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Midlife Reinvention; Is It Time For a Professional Pivot?

midlife reinvention

Imagine, if you will, you have about ten years remaining on this Earth.  It could actually be a few months more or less.  The point is, you know with absolute certainty you have approximately a decade to look forward to before you pass on.

This leaves too much time and not enough money to indulgently submit your two-week notice or cash out and sell your business.  Although, the thought of retiring and traveling the world crosses your mind more than once.  Alas, there are bills to pay and family members to feed.

The situation is distressing.  You always assumed you would have ample opportunity to begin a midlife reinvention when it felt right.  But you don’t have the luxury of time anymore.  The inevitable truth sinks in and tears fall as you grieve.  Eventually, you accept your destiny and your focus narrows on quality rather than quantity.  Serious decisions about how to spend the balance of your life need to be made.

Will you:

  • find a more satisfying job in your current field?

  • go back to school for a new career in a different industry?

  • switch to a part-time position and spend more time with family?

  • sign up for more volunteer or charity work?

  • start the business you have always dreamed about?

  • revamp your existing business to better reflect your interests and values?

  • stop working with difficult clients or stop taking on impossible assignments?

Clarity comes quickly to those on a deadline.  You discover making these life-altering choices is both terrifying and liberating.  The constraints that held you in unsatisfying situations seem to loosen and fall away.  You are suddenly less willing to tolerate toxic people and negative environments.  “Life is too short,” you tell yourself.

Alright, time to come back to reality.  The truth is, you probably have more than ten years to live.  You likely have plenty of time to plan and implement a midlife reinvention, should you want to.  However, think deeply about how you will spend your remaining days no matter what your age.  Not to be morose, but they ARE numbered.  Nobody knows when they have reached the half way point.

Related reading: 11 Midlife Career Change Ideas that Don’t Suck

Acknowledging this, what profound changes do you want to make in your professional life?  Are you ready to make a plan and take the first step?  Tell me about your career goals in the comment section below.  Putting your ambitions in writing might help get the ball rolling.  Remember, you are the author of your own story.

Life is better when we lift each other up.

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25+ Terrific Gen Xer, Midlifer, and Boomer Blogs to Love

gen-xer-and-boomer-bloggers

I thoroughly enjoy midlife.  I didn’t think I would at first.  Father Time dragged me kicking and screaming into my forties, but I’ve embraced this experience now.  Everything my mother and grandmothers told me about this chapter in life’s story is true.  They assured me I wouldn’t worry as much about my physical appearance and would put greater value on the time I spend with family and friends.  That is all true.

To be honest, though, there are certain problems and stressors that come with being a woman over forty.  You begin to experience the loss of important people in your life more frequently, you worry about your health and mobility on a regular basis, and you wonder why your value as a career woman seems to diminish as you age.  I used to question if I could find a community of ladies who could help me celebrate and commiserate throughout this interesting journey.

It turns out, there are dozens of female writers who expertly share their lives and advice every week.  Some make me laugh while others simply inspire.  Take a look at these 25+ gen xer, midlifer, and boomer blogs.  Invite them into your life.  You’ll be glad you did.

 

1. Roxanne Jones – Boomer Haiku

Type of blog: humor

Topics covered: retirement, aging, health, sex

My favorite post: If Advertising Told the Truth

 

2. Crystal Arzu – The Middle Years Journey

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: family, friendship, health, career

My favorite post: Midlife Birthdays are Different

 

3. Elaine Ambrose – Midlife Cabernet

Type of blog:  midlife and humor

Topics covered: friends, family, health, mortality

My favorite post: Handkerchiefs and Smiley Faces

 

4. Debbie Harris – Deb’s World

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: family, travel, fitness, redundancy

My favorite post: How to Embarrass Your Three Daughters in One Post

 

5. Cathy Lawdanski – My Side of Fifty 

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: fashion, family, food, health

My favorite post: 5 Tips for an Awesome Multigenerational Family Vacation

 

6. Shelley Merchant – A Woman in Her Prime

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: beauty, food, love, career, family

My favorite post: Green Chili Chicken Manicotti

 

7. Peggy Reskin – Barefoot Front Runners: Sex, Women, and Power

Type of blog: empowerment

Topics covered: women’s rights, feminism, history, sex

My favorite post: Markers of Feminism – Fathers Today

 

8. Carol Owens – Healthy Empty Nest 

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: family, fitness, travel, self-improvement

My favorite post: 7 Ways to Boost Self Care When You’re Feeling Down

 

9. Rebecca Olkowski – Baby Boomster 

 Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: travel, food, wellness, entertainment

My favorite post: Are You Taking Life Too Seriously and Missing Fun Opportunities?

 

10. Linda Hobden – Boots, Shoes & Fashion

Type of blog: fashion and lifestyle

Topics covered: clothes, shoes, reviews, interviews

My favorite post: 5 Spring Discoveries

 

11. Vicki Marinker – Lifestyle Maven 

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: food, fashion, beauty, wisdom, fun

My favorite post: Oh My Aching Bones

 

 

12. Leanne Le Cras – Cresting the Hill          

Type of blog: midlife and lifestyle

Topics covered: family, friends, marriage, introspection

My favorite post: What if I Die Alone With My Cat?

 

 

13. Joan Stommen – Gramcracker Crumbs 

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: active aging, fitness, travel, family

My favorite post: How We Met; the Importance of Family History

 

 

14. Tamara Grand – Fitknit Chick

Type of blog: fitness and health

Topics covered: exercise, food, mobility, nutrition

My favorite post: Mobility Training for Midlife Exercisers

 

 

15. Sue Loncaric – Sizzling Toward Sixty & Beyond

Type of blog: midlife and lifestyle

Topics covered: health, menopause, travel, recipes

My favorite post: Menopause – Are There Non-Hormone Options?

 

 

16. Diana Frajman – Crone Confidence

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: wisdom, empowerment, humor

My favorite post: 8 Traits of a Confident Person

 

 

17. Anne Parris – Midlife Boulevard

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: beauty, family, food, health, travel

My favorite post: 10 Steps to Take as You Face Your Empty Nest

 

 

18. Shari Broder – Weight Loss for Foodies

Type of blog: weight loss

Topics covered: health, food, nutrition, goals

My favorite post: The One Thing You Must Do to Permanently Lose Weight

 

 

19. Carol Cassara – Heart Mind Soul

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: self-improvement, travel, health, grief

My favorite post: How Can a Guided Journal Help With Grief?

 

 

20. Jen Monks – Life Wise Lady

Type of blog: business ownership and career

Topics covered: entrepreneur, social media, money

My favorite post: 11 Midlife Career Change Ideas That Don’t Suck

Life Wise Lady also has a Facebook Group for business women and bloggers over forty.  We share wisdom and tips while supporting each other’s dreams.  Join here!

 

 

21. Cat McD – Rebloom Room

Type of blog: travel and moving abroad

Topics covered: community, foreign countries, women

My favorite post: Better Together: Why I’m Building a Community for Women

 

22. Valerie Hoff DeCarlo – Valerie Hoff

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: food, family, travel, fashion

My favorite post: Getting Kids to Eat Vegetables with My Easy Gazpacho Recipe

 

 

23. Patti Stevens – Live Balanced Naturally

Type of blog: healthy lifestyle

Topics covered: balance, ageless living, food, health

My favorite post: Five Ingredient Tea with Amazing Health Benefits

 

 

24. Rebecca Perkins – The Midlife Coach

Type of blog: midlife and coaching

Topics covered: change, self-improvement, wellbeing

My favorite post: What is a Midlife Crisis Anyway?

 

 

25. Joanne Mallon – Opposable Thumbs

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: beauty, fitness, travel, health, business

My Favorite Post: Tried and Tested – The Best Facial Sunscreens

 

 

26. Sarah Harris – Makes Me Wander

Type of blog: lifestyle

Topics covered: mindfulness, well-being, family, travel

My favorite post: What Now?!

 

 

27. Candace Allan – Text Me, Love Mom

Type of blog: midlife lifestyle

Topics covered: empty nest, grandkids, aging parents

My favorite post: Hey! Stop Spying on Me!

 

Related Reading: Overcoming Shyness After 40; Why Now is the Right Time

I hope you discovered several kindred spirits on my list of 25+ gen xer, midlifer, and boomer blogs.  They will bring you a true sense of joy and community.  If you found value in this post, please share it with the women you know and love.  Life is better when we lift each other up.

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Overcoming Shyness After 40; Why Now Is The Right Time

Have you ever scheduled an interview, a date, or a meeting and needed to give yourself a pep talk before the big moment?  You took a deep breath and swallowed hard, telling yourself, “I can do this.”  Suddenly a wave of nervous energy crashed over you, and a familiar voice flooded your mind with doubt.  “What if they don’t like me?  I’m going to make a fool of myself.  I can’t do this.”  Then reluctantly, yet with a sense of relief, you canceled the event.  By not overcoming shyness you have missed out on countless life experiences as well as business opportunities.  You are not alone.

According to Dr. Bernardo J. Carducci, P.h.D., head of the Shyness Research Institute at Indiana University Southeast, about 40% of adults worldwide believe they are shy.  And as a result, they are less likely to advance in their careers and not surprisingly, have fewer social connections.  Does this scenario sound familiar?

 

Don’t Play Coy With Me!

At this point, you might be asking, “Was I born this way?”  That’s a good question.  While Scientists debate whether there’s a gene that causes shyness, Carducci does not believe people are born with it.  He writes, “shyness is characterized by three major features: excessive self-consciousness, excessive negative self-evaluation, and excessive negative self-preoccupation.  All three characteristic features of shyness involve a sense of self.  And the sense of self does not develop until approximately 18 months of age.”  And there doesn’t appear to be one single cause for this affliction either.  Perhaps your shyness stems from your temperament, personality, upbringing or a combination of all three.

Keep in mind; I am not referring to a social anxiety disorder.  That’s significantly more serious than being bashful.  If you hyperventilate or need to make a pitstop for adult diapers at the thought of attending a social or networking event, you should probably get some professional help.  I battled both shyness and panic attacks in my life.  And I assure you, they are completely different.  You can read about my struggles here. 

I’m not talking about introverts either.  They feel comfortable spending time alone and prefer solitary activities.  Timid people, however, long to interact and participate in activities and gatherings, but don’t feel capable.  So, what’s the secret to overcoming shyness as a mature adult?  You have probably tried to conquer it in the past or hoped to outgrow it by now, but shyness isn’t going away on its own.  Perhaps the time is right to consider a few new resources.

 

Podcasts: Keep Calm And Listen On

I listen to several podcasts on varying topics each week.  I find them to be educational and entertaining.  Whether in my car, on the treadmill, or cleaning the house, hitting the play button on my phone makes these mundane tasks seem more enjoyable.  Here are three highly rated podcasts that may help in overcoming shyness.  You can find them on iTunes.

 

Shyness.com: Plant Food For Shrinking Violets

Shyness.com is a comprehensive catalog of resources for those seeking treatment for this problem.  Sponsored by The Shyness Institute in Berkely, California, this website is packed with helpful information.  You can find suggested books, research, therapists, training programs, meditations, and more.  Dr. Lynne Henderson, P.h.D., is the director of this research facility.  Listen her speak about shyness in the workplace in a fascinating radio interview here.

 

Hypnosis: You Are Getting Very Sleepy-

The fair-minded part of you may be intrigued by this potential remedy while your skeptical side may have a few doubts.  As it turns out, clinical hypnosis, self-hypnosis, and sleep hypnosis have been used successfully to treat everything from shyness and anxiety to asthma and irritable bowel syndrome.  Famous athletes and top business people have used this focused, guided imagery for years to enhance performance.

The British Medical Association has concluded that hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for phobias and anxiety-related issues.  While it does not work for everyone, it may well be worth a try.  The National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists can help you locate a professional near you.

 

 

Related Reading: Midlife Reinvention; Is it Time for a Professional Pivot?

 It’s never too late.  You don’t have to live your remaining years on the sideline and continue to miss out on social experiences and business opportunities.  What have you got to lose?  Overcoming shyness after age 40 is possible if you are willing to be open-minded and consider trying new techniques.  Or, perhaps you have already conquered this demon.  If you have, please help us all and share your secret in the comment section below.

Life is better when we lift each other up.

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11 Midlife Career Change Ideas That Don’t Suck

Want to know what’s wrong with most lists of midlife career change ideas?  They SUCK!  That’s right; I said it.  That is unless you inherited a large sum of money, don’t need to rely on a realistic income or you relish the idea of starting a four-year degree program in your forties or fifties.

Many similar lists describe great, high paying positions requiring a bachelor’s or master’s degree or are full of jobs that almost anyone can qualify for, but the pay is lousy.  My guess is, you have a pile of bills to pay.  I understand.  There’s a mortgage, car payment, food, medical insurance, and cell phone plan to contend with every month.  Some midlifers are also footing the bill for their kids’ college tuition.  Ouch!

So, let’s get real.  In order for the majority of midlife career changes to be possible, they have to be long on financial rewards and short on educational requirements.  Face it, if you’re reading this post, you’re no spring chicken.  Sorry.  Yet you still might be looking at over twenty years of full-time employment.

How do you make the most of the time you have left in the workforce and still make a decent wage?  By choosing a new profession that pays at least $40,000 annually and won’t take more than two years of additional education to qualify for.  That’s a tall order, but not impossible to fill.  So, without further delay, here are my 11 midlife career change ideas:

1. Surgical Technologist:

Scrub techs, as they are sometimes called, prep patients and operating rooms for surgery.  In addition, they sterilize instruments and supplies and hand them to surgeons during procedures.  Obviously, to be a good candidate, the sight of blood shouldn’t make you light-headed.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for this position is a surprising $44,330 and the job outlook for the next several years is good.  Training programs of one or two years are available at community colleges and vocational schools. Learn more from the Association of Surgical Technologists.

2. Wind Turbine Service Technician:

You weren’t expecting that one, were you?  With the expansion of the green energy industry, job openings for this position are on the rise.  If you don’t mind working several hundred feet in the air in tight spaces, this could be the career for you.  There are even offshore wind turbines to be fixed and maintained if that tickles your fancy.  The typical annual salary for technicians is $51,050.  An associate’s degree from a tech school or community college is required.  Most companies will offer and require additional on-the-job training.  For further information, go to WindTurbineTechnicians.net.

 3. Paralegal Assistant:

No, you won’t get to make objections in court or make an emotional closing argument to a jury as a PA.  They work behind the scenes conducting interviews, drafting documents and verifying information for lawyers in their firm.  While the legal field is not as glamorous or dramatic as shows like Law & Order would have you believe, this is a respectable position with a median pay of $48,810 .  An associate’s degree or certificate in paralegal studies is required.  ParalegalEDU.org has additional details on the courses and training you may need.

4. Licensed Practical Nurse:

LPNs usually work in hospitals and are supervised by registered nurses.  Duties include taking vital signs, administering medications, changing dressings, and performing CPR in emergencies.  Is it just me, or does this sound remarkably similar to the job description of a parent?  Yes, but the pay is better.  The median salary for an LPN is $43,170 per year but varies by region.  Training programs at colleges take one or two years to complete and most states require licensure.  Due to shortages in certain locations, employers may even offer a signing bonus, tuition reimbursement or other incentives.  Get additional facts from the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses.

 5. Computer User Support Specialist:

That title is a mouth full, don’t you think?  Otherwise known as help desk technicians (HDTs), they troubleshoot and provide assistance to computer users, usually via phone or email.  These specialists identify and solve hardware, software, and operating system problems for people within their company, clients or end users.  HDTs are the techy super-heroes you call after banging your head on your keyboard in frustration.  They make a good median salary of $51,470 per year.  Education requirements vary widely.  Many employers ask for a bachelor’s degree in computer science while others only require a two-year degree.  For information on how to become a computer user support specialist, click here.

6. Social Media Manager:

Yes, you can earn a decent living by becoming media and tech savvy.  That will be handy when you want to spy on your kid’s Instagram account.  A thorough understanding of programs like PhotoShop and social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest is a must.  Larger companies will require a bachelor’s degree in marketing or communications.  However, some smaller businesses will accept a two-year degree.  Classes can be taken to fill in any skills gaps you have.  For a list of several certification courses, click here.  Candidates with little experience or education should not expect to make the median salary of $47,190.

 7. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer:

This might be my favorite of the health-related jobs on this list because it pays well and involves almost no handling of body fluids.  Yay!   A medical sonographer operates equipment that creates images through the use of sound waves.  The images are recorded and given to a physician to aid in the diagnostic process.  This field requires at least an associate’s degree and certification or licensing from your state.  The median salary is a whopping $63,630 per year.  Learn more through the American Registry for  Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

8. Court Reporter:

Stenographers or Stenotype operators, as they are often called, produce transcripts of court proceedings using voice writing equipment or machine shorthand.  The 2015 median pay for this position is decent at $49,500.  Great listening skills are a must.  In other words, chatterboxes need not apply.  Candidates must complete a court reporting program at a community college or dedicated court reporter school.  CourtReporterEDU.org can answer any additional questions you may have.

 9. Occupational Therapy Assistant:

OTAs work under the supervision of an occupational therapist.  Duties include guiding patients through exercises and making them cry.  Or, perhaps that was just my own personal experience.  In any case, they provide treatments to clients, monitor progress, and report the results to the therapist in charge.  OTAs earn an impressive median salary of $54,520 and need only an associate’s degree in occupational therapy assisting and state licensing.  Not a bad return on investment.  The American Occupational Therapy Association has more details.

Related Reading: 25 Fantastic Facebook Groups for Midlifers and Boomers

10. Criminal Investigator:

Remember the campy detective shows you grew up with like Magnum P.I. or Charlie’s Angels?  Well, this career rarely involves car chases, black-tie events, or bathing suits.  Bummer.  Private investigators gather information through interviews, court records, surveillance, and the internet.  They report their findings to law enforcement, corporations or the individuals who hire them.  The median pay for this job is $45,610 per year.  The education needed can vary from a high school diploma to a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.  Professional Investigator Magazine lists the license requirements for each state.

11. Dental Hygienist:

I personally get the heebie-jeebies when I think about reaching into someone else’s mouth, but maybe you are mentally tougher than me.  If you are on the fence about this one, know that the median pay is an eye-popping $72,330.  That might get you to say, “Open wide!”  Hygienists clean teeth, make dental impressions, remove orthodontic appliances and perform a host of other tasks.  You will need to complete a two-year degree in dental hygiene and get a state license.  Learn more through the American Dental Hygienists Association.

Well, there you have it, my list of 11 midlife career change ideas that don’t suck. What do you think?  Did I leave off any well-paying jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree or more?  Let me know in the comment section below.

Remember, life is better when we lift each other up.