How to start over, I mean REALLY start over

I’ve always been a person who believes you must be in ready mode for opportunities. Starting over, however over the age of 55 is not easy. I didn’t expect it to be.

We sold our large sprawling home in Texas, gave away most of the antiques and rather large furniture, knowing that we would never live in a large home again anyway. When we felt we had downsized substantially, we packed up and drove across the country to California. I made the joke that we were continuously waving at the Californians heading to Texas, and we questioned if we were moving in the wrong direction!

Some newspapers in Austin Texas at one point reported hundreds of Californians were moving there almost daily. Whatever the numbers, there are several reasons that Californians would move to Texas. If they were tech entrepreneurs, Austin was the destination. The cost of living in Texas is much more reasonable than California.

Neither of these reasons however were why we left Texas for California. I received a career changing opportunity that I felt if I didn’t accept it now, that kind of chance would never come again. And since our adult children and their families live in California, we thought the decision was right, for us.

But I didn’t expect that change would come in twos. A year after working in my dream job, changes beyond my control were devastating to my career.

Now here I am over 60 and I had planned to work forever, or at least another 15 years. If I left, the chances for another great job opportunity would be slim. If I stay, I would be miserable. At this point, being miserable just didn’t have a place in my life. But what could I do?

Well, I thought, I had taught entrepreneurs of all ages and from all over the world, about planning and starting businesses. I was very successful if we measure success by the numbers of businesses that were developed as a result of my teaching, directly and indirectly.

So here we go again, I’m heading down the path of change again. This time as an entrepreneur. I reaffirmed something positive about myself. I have been a good teacher, and always enjoyed being a learner. So, I took my passion for teaching, and realized I could help myself the way I had helped others. I founded Silver Founder Academy, Inc., teaching people my age how to start a business.

Did you know that the fastest growing demographic in the US to start businesses are over 55?

What have I learned, so far, that I could share with you, who may be choosing entrepreneurship as a career change in the last third of your life?

Believe in yourself.

Believe that your career, and life experiences have given you a truck load of tools. Use them, even if some seem rusted, get a little WD40 and clean them off.

Be afraid, but don’t obsess over fear.

Fear is healthy when you manage it. In the beginning, you will be managing that fear every day, and sometimes every moment, but that’s ok, because you are building the self-confidence you need to continue with the unexpected.

Do your due diligence, in whatever manner that means to you.

I am working hard to stay away from retirement money. Less new things, but I don’t need to buy new clothes and jewelry. I don’t need to buy more books and music and movies, nor more furniture. And the travel is limited to visiting the kids, only a 5-hour drive away. I’m good at budgeting and have gotten even better with practice.

Find your passion.

What are you good at? Anything! Just identify it. And uncover how much you really know about it. Use it to your advantage. 

Practice exercises that will help your stress level.

Walk everywhere you can. Or do Pilates, yoga, meditation, play tennis or golf. Listen to music or read. Or do it all, because these things are your vitamins. You need stamina and perseverance, and stress reduction brings out the strength of mind and body.

And whatever you do, shut the self-talk off that is harmful.

That was the hardest thing for me to do, but the moment I realized I was listening to the negativity I was feeding myself, I countered with

But you deserve doing this because you are smart and talented, and if not now, then when. The ‘when’ may never come so now is when I will do this.

And with this change, I am recreating my life the way I wanted all along. I am a Silver Founder.

Showing 2 comments
  • Matt Jackson
    Reply

    You’re passion for life and willingness to embrace change, no matter what stage of life you are in, is an inspiration to us all! Your thoughts shared here really speak to anyone seeking to find their next path in life. I’m so excited as you begin your next chapter as a Silver Founder!

    • aleffel
      Reply

      Thank you Matt, for your support! Stay on the journey with me!

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