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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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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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5 Steps to Avoid a Professional Midlife Meltdown

midlife meltdown

From time to time, we all experience feelings of boredom, dissatisfaction or even exasperation in our jobs.  Most of us muddle through, knowing these feelings ebb and flow, as they often do throughout a long career.  But what should you do if those feelings persist and grow stronger with each passing week?  When you are longing for change and beginning to resent work, you might be on the road to a professional midlife meltdown.  In other words, you’re approaching career burnout.

You realize it’s important to be careful in this situation. You’ve probably known people who faced a similar dilemma and took leave, not only of their senses but their jobs as well.  These restless souls decided suddenly to resign and jump without looking.  Gutsy and a bit foolish, yes?  But that’s not you.  At least you don’t want it to be.

Well, what can you do to keep from going through this type of crisis? Let’s break it down. There are five steps you can take to avoid a midlife meltdown, thus saving your career, relationships, and mental state.

#1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

As the old saying goes, “Perception is reality.” You don’t need anyone else to validate your emotions or tell you that you’re wrong.  There’s a reason for your angst or malcontent, even if you haven’t discovered what it is yet.  Let the feelings flow, and you may discover the cause of or solution to your problem.

midlife meltdown

#2. Add a Few Minutes of Mindfulness to Your Routine

Mindfulness is a therapeutic technique used by successful professionals to avoid stress, negativity, and frustration.  When you focus awareness on the present, it becomes impossible to dwell on the regrets of your past or the worries of your future.  Meditation, yoga, and relaxation exercises are all popular forms of mindfulness.  Consider adding one or more of these activities to your daily regimen to stave off a midlife meltdown.

#3. Determine if the Situation is Temporary or Not

Once you have accepted and pondered the situation for a while, consider whether it’s a temporary irritation or one that’s bound to continue.  How long are you willing to tolerate the current state of affairs?  If your job is unbearable or you dread Monday mornings, it might be time to make a plan or take action and make positive changes.

#4. Investigate a Different Career 

Do you daydream starting a more fulfilling career?  If so, check out this epic list of potential jobs and resources: 11 Midlife Career Change Ideas that Don’t Suck.  These positions take less than two years of education and pay a starting salary of 40k – 76K.  You may discover a more satisfying professional life is not out of reach.

#5. Plan to Become the Entrepreneur You’ve Always Wanted to Be

If, however, you long to start a side-hustle or become a full-time entrepreneur, you will need to do some investigation and devise a plan.  Do you know what type startups to consider?  If so, have you researched your competition?  How much money can you get your hands on to fund a potential business?  How long can you afford to go without a steady income?

All are critical questions to answer before leaving your current position.  Check out this basic guide from the Small Business Administration to help you start a business plan.  While some people don’t think a structured plan is critical to success, I firmly believe even a shortened version can save you thousands of dollars and countless headaches throughout the first few years of your startup.

Following these five steps regarding your career can help you steer clear of a midlife meltdown.  You can have a satisfying professional life again.  But it will take patience, research, and commitment.  Let’s face it, anything worthwhile does!

Remember, 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.