At 55 I have decided to create another legacy for myself.
Why? Because I figure I still have another 30 or so years to make a difference in the world.
So why settle for only one legacy when I have plenty of time to create a second or maybe even a third.
Have you thought about what people would say about you if you died tomorrow?
What your legacy would be? How you would be remembered?
This is what I hope they would say about me.
She was a successful woman who had an impressive career
She wasn’t afraid to take risks or opportunities and that paid off for her
She always made a difference
She was unconditional in her love
She was there when we needed her
She brought joy and laughter to our lives
She lived her life according to her own plan and no one else’s
So if this is the legacy I have built to date the big challenge is how to get a new legacy started.
Starting a new legacy
I am pleased to say I am underway.
Last October I launched fearless after 50 which was pretty damn scary and really, really exciting.
This involved me completely rethinking who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. It moved me out of the corporate world as a human resources professional into the entrepreneurial world where I have started my own business in my mid 50’s.
It was not an easy road however to get to launch date and it took two to three years to get me there.
So for those of you who also would like to do something different with your lives here are my tips on how I did it.
Do something that makes a difference!
If you are really lucky you have another 20 or 30 years or so to go so don’t waste this time.
Find a way to continue to make a difference to the world.
For me this was about working out two things.
What is my purpose?
What are my passions?
I had ideas about what these might be but I had no way of defining them or getting any clarity about them.
So a bit like Elisabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love I started searching.
Unfortunately I couldn’t take a year off and travel around the world finding the answers but what I discovered was I didn’t need to.
I had all the answers within me. After all this was all about me and this was my life no one else’s. I just needed to take the time to find them.
Any one can do it if they take the time and are fearless enough to really look for the right answers.
For me it involved a lot of thinking, meditating, questioning, learning and self reflection to discover that my purpose in life is to teach.
When I looked at my life I discovered that I had always been teaching as I moved from high school teaching, to corporate learning and development roles and finally coaching and mentoring leadership roles.
So whatever this next stage of my life would look like it would involve teaching, but teaching what?
This is where my passions came into the picture.
I wanted to make my heart and soul sing!
The first passion was a no brainer.
I had to be able to write. The desire to write had been within me for as long as I could remember. In my forties I thought I would write children’s books and I spent quite a few years dabbling in that space all with no real outcome.
I always knew writing would be part of my future I just had to find what I wanted to write about.
The second passion took me longer to uncover but in reflection it was also a no brainer. I was passionate about good health.
A lifetime of dealing with Endometriosis and then the perfect storm of menapause, adrenal fatique and Hashimoto’s Disease in my early 50’s had been a huge wake up call for me.
The outcome was and continues to be a passion for looking after my body, mind and soul.
The pieces of the puzzle were starting to come together but there was still something missing.
Who would be my audience?
There was actually a very simple answer to that question.
During my corporate career I had always loved working with women. Learning from them, following them, mentoring and coaching them.
And what better age group to focus on than those women who were entering their 50’s or moving into their 60’s, 70’s or 80’s.
They are the women I could really connect with. They are the women I could make a difference to.
How to pull it all together?
I had to find a way to take my purpose and my passions and roll them into what would be a sustainable business for the future.
Fearless after 50 is born
Let me first make a really important point. I couldn’t have launched fearless after 50 if I had been trying to do it 10 years earlier.
Why? Because I needed social media. I needed a platform to blog. I needed a way to easily connect with women.
Let me also admit that prior to October 2015 when I launched fearless after 50 I was a social media virgin. I had a Linked In profile because it could help my professional life but I had no idea how to use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
I had decided I didn’t need it, I didn’t like it and it was an imposition to my time and privacy.
Once I realised however that social media was fundamental to the success of fearless after 50 I became far more interested in what it could do for me.
I would create a fearless after 50 website for women 50 and over that focused on helping them to age with confidence and live their passions.
I would start blogging about my own story and then write regular blogs that would educate and inform women on issues relevant to them.
I would build a community of fearless after 50 women who I would coach and mentor through workshops, conversations and my blogging.
Facebook and Twitter would be my initial social media tools.
I would build a confident community of women over 50.
There was something in my way however!
It was my beliefs.
Like all of us I have a set of beliefs that I have nurtured over the years sometimes without realising it, that drive how I think, how I feel and what I do.
I knew I had a whole lot of beliefs that supported my vision for fearless after 50 but what I hadn’t expected were the beliefs that I had that weren’t supportive of my vision.
Sometimes however these beliefs are so ingrained into who you are that you don’t even know they exist until you try to change things.
If you do not address them however you are setting yourself up either to fail or to experience a whole lot of pain.
If I wanted to create fearless after 50 I had to identify these beliefs and find a way to change them and replace them with beliefs that would support my vision.
Lucky for me I only identified three beliefs that were hindering me moving forward.
I am not an entrepreneur
Now of course at that stage this belief was absolutely correct as I was not an entrepreneur. But that didn’t mean I wouldn’t be a great entrepreneur if I set my mind to it.
But a little voice inside me which I think came from the fact that no one in my family had ever been entrepreneurial was telling me I couldn’t do it. It was something other people did, not me.
I am no good at marketing or networking
I had been aware of this belief for a while and it had certainly been one of the key reasons when I set up my Human Resources consulting business that I focused only on contracting work.
Underpinning this belief I think is another fundamental belief I have that marketing and networking are both forms of selling and selling is bad.
I have no idea why I have this belief as both my brother and niece have careers in marketing and selling and I spent a number of years doing sales and merchandising training for international organisations.
Social media is not for me
So while I had realised that social media was essential to my success and part of my plan I still had the belief deep down inside me that was telling me social media was not for me.
I had 3 choices.
Leave the beliefs in place and change nothing
Try to move forward with fearless after 50 with these beliefs in place
Challenge the beliefs and replace them with new enabling beliefs
But as I was completed committed to changing my life and launching fearless after 50 there really was only one choice to make and that was the last one.
I questioned the validity of the beliefs
After much investigation I discovered there was no truth to any of them. As is often the case with limiting beliefs they had developed from ignorance and lack of understanding they had flourished through fear.
I took away the ignorance and fear
I started reading about entrepreneurs and what they did and I realised that some of the most influential people in the world were entrepreneurs. They had all started out with a good idea and their courage and vision had made them successful. They were no different to me.
I explored marketing and selling. I did a number of on line courses and it changed my whole perception of why you need to market. I realised that marketing and selling are all about getting your message out there for others to hear.
I started playing with Facebook and Twitter and was pleasantly surprised when I saw how easy it was to connect with others and how much I enjoyed it. I was recognised that I was in control of how often I used them and what I chose to share. I also got very comfortable with the fact that how people react to things I post is their issue not mine.
Hand on my heart, these are my new beliefs
I am a smart and successful entrepreneur
Marketing is actually quite fun and key to my success
I should have been using Facebook years ago
So fearless after 50 was born in October 2015 and I am now six months into building my new legacy.
Like all new ventures it has had moments of exhiliration and excitement and moments of deflation and disappointment.
There has also been some pretty good doses of fear which I have learnt to love as they tell me that I really am changing things.
Biggest fears overcome so far
Pushing the publish button on my first blog “Rocking my Third Age”
Sending my second blog “Finding your “P’s” – Passion and Purpose out to my first subscribers
Starting my fearless after 50 Facebook page
Going to my first networking function
Changing my profile on Linked In and putting Entrepreneur at the top
Getting my first photo shoot done
But this blog is all about my new legacy and what people will remember me for so lets jump forward to after I have died and see what I hope people will be saying about me.
She was a visionary and entrepreneur
She made a lot of difference in woman’s lives
She created a highly successful business from the heart
She was inspiring and influential to woman across the world
She was unconditional in her love
She brought joy and laughter to our lives
So that is me and I look forward to continuing to share my story with you through my blogs and social media.
If you havn’t subscribed to my blog I invite you to do so. I would love to have you as part of the fearless after 50 tribe of fearless women (and a small number of brave men).
I encourage you to ponder your legacy and consider whether you have passions or a purpose that are waiting to be discovered and lived.
Fearless after 50 Workshops
If you live in Brisbane, Australia why not join me for one of my fearless after 50 Workshops.
A special day for women where you can spend some time:
- discovering your passions and purpose
- celebrating your life
- uncovering new insights into who you are
- creating a new legacy
The first workshop is on Sunday April 17 and I would love to have you join us.
To get further information on details and other workshops dates go to www.fearlessafter50/workshopsretreats or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.