The strong voice inside says, “I could start a business, and through hard work, achieve financial rewards large enough to sustain my lifestyle. But how? What type of business would I choose? What are the risks and the rewards?” And the dreaded thought that still lingers: “Am I too old?"
Women over 50 want to own the passion they feel bubbling up inside. Women want financial independence and the freedom and flexibility to forge their path through their life's journey.
Turning fifty is a milestone in our lives. Somehow, we have crossed a defining line when we reach fifty. Today we drove by the senior housing development, now referred to as “senior living,” which only allows people who are at least 50 or 55 to live in the development. With a start, we think, “OMG! That’s me!” But I’m not old!
We feel we have paid our dues, worked hard our entire lives, and feel we are finally grown up. Not old. Just grown-up. We know our parents will never feel like we are grown up, but we know we have reached the threshold, and we can say that we are grown up. Turning fifty can be a powerful feeling allowing us the freedom to come into our own.
Then it’s 60 and 70 and 80 – and we feel lucky we are still alive and kicking! It’s a shock to become our parents. For many of us who had children, they are at an age where they do not need us as much as they did when they were younger. We have more time available. We have more money than we did at thirty or even forty.
We have more focus and even more discipline because we were usually the ones who kept the rest of the family on track and on schedule. We learned to organize to get our family members where they needed to be. We do not have the same demands on our time as we did earlier in life which affords us more freedom to explore our options.
Many of us have experienced ageism in the workplace, adding further to our desire to want to go out on our own. When we encountered this ageism, some of our thoughts went to “Should I start the lift - faces, boobs, under our arms, eyes - you name it? We thought, “If only we could find that perfect wrinkle-erase cream, I would be better seen and asked to take on the new plum project for an increase in pay.”
I am over fifty, and I will tell you, “We are tired of being taken for granted! We are tired of being judged. We are tired of being passed over in our corporate life. Do those corporate executives think our minds have atrophied because we reached a certain age? Or, like a can of tuna, that we have exceeded our expiration date? What’s wrong with THEM?”
Today I admit I still look in the magnifying mirror and think, “I must be sleeping on my face wrong to have all these lines.” I admit I had facials every month until the pandemic hit. I admit I smear cream on my forehead where I see a tiny frown line and pull back on my ears and raise my brows to make the lines disappear.
I admit I did have some of that extra skin removed above my eyelids that I know appeared in one night, and I love the new look. I realize I look at my underarms and pull my sleeves on my blouse down. Regardless, I will defy the bogus notion that aging women are not attractive. I will embrace my wrinkles as badges of courage, determination, and genes. After all, I have had quite a few years to earn them.
If you are in the corporate world and you are over 50, you may have observed a difference in how you are treated versus ten to twenty years ago when you first started with the company. Unfortunately, ageism is alive and well in the corporate world. This world judges your dress, your looks, your actions.
Do you still feel a lack of full respect, responsibility, and financial reward equal to the male colleagues of your same stature in the company? When you experience a judgmental attitude, do you feel devalued or like you are on a treadmill? Do you think life is eluding you? Do you feel an urgency to make a difference?
When you reach 50, you are clearer about who you are, what you want, and what motivates or drives you. When women over 50 ruminate about starting a business, the clarity around the purpose of the business goes beyond the traditional profit-driven business. That purpose-driven business is attractive to other women.
According to a global study, the findings of the 2020 Zeno Strength of Purpose research sheds new light and unequivocal proof that companies leading with Purpose will prevail. (link to https://www.zenogroup.com/insights/2020-zeno-strength-purpose) After evaluating over 75 brands, their research found that global consumers are four to six times more likely to trust, buy, champion, and protect those companies with a strong purpose over those with a weaker one. So having a purpose is a good thing.
You have knowledge and capabilities. You have paid your dues. Have you been on the corporate track for years? Are you stuck in the good life with the house you always wanted, the car you love to drive, but you are still not feeling satisfied?
You have had some time to consider what you want to do for the rest of your life. Is what you are doing today, right now, fulfilling to you? Is what you are currently doing enough? Are you passionate about your job?
A Microsoft study from June 2021 discovered that 41% of workers worldwide are considering quitting their jobs. Are you feeling you want to start anew to live your passion? Do you feel another level is available for you to achieve to fulfill your purpose? Are you willing to settle for what you have? Or are you at the point where things must change!
Feeling the need to change has no age limit. The awakening to start something new is becoming a need rather than a want. Instead of a complete switch to another job, the answer may be a side hustle to bridge from one source to another. Or the solution may include going back to school. Or becoming an entrepreneur. And what would that take? What would you do? How can you decide what you are good at and what interests you?
Those decisions can take a long, circuitous route. Give yourself the gift of finding out who you are at this stage and who you want to be. My guess is that you want to be independent for as long as you physically and mentally can. You do not want to have to depend on your family, either to take money from them or to live with them because you cannot afford anything else.
A revolution has begun. Some of us “burned our bras” in the 1960s. Today we are fighting back in the economic forum. We are not interested in retiring to playing golf or bridge as a full-time pastime. We have had our morning coffee on the patio, and we are ready to get up and move! We have traveled, and we have volunteered. We are ready to find fulfillment, discover our passions, and get our juices flowing again. We want to do something creative and exciting where we are in control. Something to create a new lifestyle for ourselves, a lifestyle business.
Forbes calls 50-Plus Women the New Entrepreneurial Superpower. Today, according to the Small Business Trends Survey results, there are more than 13 million women-owned businesses in America and counting. In addition, women in America start 1,817 businesses every day. Women own 31% of small businesses and franchises in the United States. According to the Small Business Trends survey results, the percentage of small businesses with women owners is up from 27% last year in the US.
It's time to start thinking about yourself. What do you want to do with the rest of your life? How soon do you want it to begin? What research do you need to do to move on to the next step?
Don’t wait! It’s time to move! Start here!