You can stand there staring down disappointment, the way you’ve done over and and over again. Or, you can take your hobby, the thing you love doing, and turn it into money in the bank. In other words, a profitable business.
The word ‘business’ tends to rattle some baby boomers. Hey, it rattles everyone at one time or another. The idea of being your own boss, running things your way, is frightening when you also realize it means putting your nose to the grindstone, so to speak.
I’ll speak for the women I talk to. We’re retired, or looking at retirement, and while we long for sunny afternoons working in the garden or visiting with the grandkids, we don’t want to slip into the trap society is pushing us towards - the one that says “you’re used up, go lie down and cover yourself with a nice quilt.”
Nostalgia rings true in our ears, of late. The world is bombarding baby boomers with memories of those turbulent sixties and those flower power seventies and those years beyond, where we were suddenly adults and we had kids and we needed to be ‘responsible.’
The memories are as clear in our brains as yesterday’s lunch. (I think I had soup for lunch yesterday, or was it a ham sandwich?)
Sometimes we aren't the people we thought we'd be
If we allow ourselves to dwell in the past, and some of us do allow it, we remember things differently than our sisters remember them. The colors are similar - a lot of red and green, a lot of yellow and blue - but they don’t settle on the experiences. I remember it this way, you remember it that way, she remembers it somewhere in-between. And, in our collective consciousness, we all want our version to be the right version, the one recorded in the history books, and taught in grade schools all over the U.S.
The problem is - like so many people who live to the ripe old age of retirement (whether that’s 55 or 65 or 75+), we aren’t the people we thought we’d be. We remember the great hope we had of being accomplished, of changing the world, of singing and dancing through the laughter. Because it was never going to end. We were young and “sure to have our way.”
But, the way came and went and we’re left bereft now. We’re left staring down disappointment.
Disappointment, however, is a fleeting friend, a thing of small moments, a sense of should haves and might haves. And, at its heart, disappointment invites reinvention.
We have more opportunity now than ever before to turn our disappointment into a paid hobby that supports us as we dance and sing into our senior years. Why shouldn’t we dance and sing and skip our way into our 70s and 80s and more? We have all the answers now. We aren’t the frivolous children of the flower power years, imaging that the world would stop just for us.
We’re grown women. We understand the talents and magic in our fingertips. We’re full of experiences and knowledge we never imagined having, all those long years ago.
And, best of all, we’re ready. We’re ready to throw the old out and open the door to the new. We’re ready for the excitement of us.
Hobbies can become those businesses you want them to become.
Oh, don’t fret so! It doesn’t have to be like it was when you worked in someone else’s business. This is your business. You can work 10 hours a week and play the rest of the time. You can sell your creations over the web and in craft shows and through workshops, on your own schedule.
You can be in charge. In charge in ways you have never been before. You can take your skill and desire and passion and talent, yes, that magic that’s been lighting up your hopes for too many years, and turn it into profit.
Understand this, while you are turning your magical talents into money, you’re doing a service to your community.
You’re building community with others.
You’re paying taxes.
You’re inspiring younger people.
You’re showing the world you won’t go lie down and pull a quilt over you. Instead, you’ll sew the quilt and sell it to someone who needs it.
You’re earning money to do some of the things you’ve always wanted to do.
You’re finding time to be alive and vigorous and happy. Happiness, as you know, is contagious.
We’ve discussed this before. How we won't go quietly into that good night.
Second Act or Encore
Some people call this our second act. Others say it’s an encore. For us, maybe, it’s merely a return to that young woman we were just out of high school. That young woman who had dreams of being more than an employee for someone else. That young woman who was eager to meet the morning, come rain or shine.
She’s still with us. Her wonder and hopeful expectation is still with us. Her can-do attitude still endures. Her determination knows no bounds. And, her ability to connect with other women, just like her, is phenomenal.
Forbes gets it. Forbes shares Kerry Hannon’s article,”Proof That The Most Successful Entrepreneurs Are Older Ones”, where she shares one reason baby boomer women are good at being entrepreneurs,
David Deeds, the Schulze Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, concurred. “Entrepreneurship is a team sport, and women are good at working with others. That gives them a little advantage.”
This is not a woman staring down disappointment in the way we think. She isn’t holding back tears because disappointment knocked her down one too many times.
She’s staring down disappointment with a glare that says, “Come and get me, baby! I will take you apart and eat the pieces for lunch.”
So, that’s what I had for lunch yesterday. I ate my disappointment that life wasn’t necessarily going my way, at that moment. As I chewed and swallowed, I began planning. Planning to get moving today, onward and upward, as they say.
If you’re a baby boomer woman whose talents are ready for prime time, ready to make magic and let that magic make you some money, let’s talk. I am your Nurturing Big Ideas Facilitator. - we can meet disappointment head on and turn her into whatever color success you want her to be. It’s a bit of work, but you’re up for that, right?