Encore! the audience screamed! The applause was overwhelming! The actor hid in off stage, behind the heavy curtains. When she stepped back onto the stage, the audience went crazy!
This scenario isn’t unfamiliar to anyone. We’ve all experienced this, mostly as a member of the audience. For those who were the actor achieving the applause, more power to you!
Today’s post is about becoming that actor. It’s about learning to perform a great second act.
And, what it means to embrace that second act.
Nurturing Big Ideas is about second acts. Some people call this our encore life. It’s when we’ve completed that first act - the one that comes before ‘retirement’. Not all of us think of retirement as a second act, or an encore. Some of us think of it as continuing on with our life.
We, the women in our baby boomer years (and there are oh so many of us!), are not retiring to the back porch rocker, or to baking cookies for the grandkids, or reading all those great novels we have on our nightstand.
We’re starting something new. We’re starting amazing and creative businesses. We’re looking at 30 or 40 more years of good health and energy. We’re loud advocates of Dylan Thomas.
Yes, the good night is coming; we aren’t deluding ourselves about those dim shadows slowing slipping into view. But we aren’t beckoning them as some think we should. We’re ignoring them, as we face the sun - allowing shadows only behind us.
It’s our second act. It’s our time. We’ve done and given for others. Now it’s time to do and give to ourselves.
Oh, that doesn’t mean leaving family out or ignoring the bonds of joy with grandkids and pets and spouses.
It means, learning to perform a great second act that is both invigorating and self-fulfilling.
And, why “perform”? Why not just do it, as Nike says.
Here’s why - Shakespeare was right. We are all but actors on a stage. You are not just a business woman when you take your passion - be it a hobby or years of experience in business - to a second act. You have always been a performer. The difference now is that your performance has more meaning and more purpose.
It’s no longer to support a ‘job’ or to even further a ‘career’. You are to be applauded for both of those, as so many of us are in the ranks of former ‘workers’ and/or ‘career centered women.’
Now, learning to perform a great second act involves becoming Julie Roberts or Meryl Streep or Cher, or even Lady Gaga, who I wrote about on LinkedIn this week. These are women who have mastered the ability to be the person required of them at the moment. The character in the play they are currently starring in.
That ability to be an actress, or the politically correct term ‘actor’, is what’s required of you as you begin your path into entrepreneurship. As you take your big idea, just one for now, and turn it int a profitable business.
Some of you are going to do this without pause. You’re the on stage personalities. I was never one. I still am not fond of being on stage. The only time I can endure the stage is when I’m in front of people who care about the same things I care about.
These are people like yourselves. Women on the edge of something really big! Women who desire more from their second act than a pat on the head and a whispered, “We love you Grandma.”
This post cannot teach you how to perform a great second act. Some say to fake it till you make it. But, that’s not very good advice. Faking anything just leads to trouble.
Chloe DiVita, my daughter, advises us to act “as if” what we want to be, is what we are. Don’t pretend to love what you do - either love it and do it, or don’t.
Don’t spend too much time worrying about your performance, at the start. This is something you will learn and get better at, over time. Even great actors study and learn and some still get butterflies when they go on stage.
Your second act is a continuation. I like to say it’s a rebirth with a memory. You’re reborn as a new being, but your memory is full of experiences from that ‘before’ time. Your memory serves as your guide. It helps you be what you want to be, and to shed the failures of yesterday.
Nurturing Big Ideas can help you do the same. We bring years of experience and rebirths of our own. The time to learn how to perform a great second act is now. And, as you gain more insight into what you want to do, into who you are as a baby boomer woman, you will also learn to grow and build and become - phenomenal in your own right!
Tell us what your big idea for your second act is. How will you learn to perform a great second?