The other day I read an article called “5 New Year’s Resolutions Those Over 50 Should Never Make,” and I started to bristle when I read #4. It starts with “Resolve to reinvent yourself”–as in, those over 50 should never resolve to reinvent themselves. As a passionate advocate for the encore movement, I have staked my own encore on the idea that that Baby Boomers can and should take advantage of the longevity bonus by reinventing themselves…so needless to say I was a little put off.
But then I kept reading.
“Resolve to reinvent yourself,” it says, “–unless you have a real plan.”
The idea that people over 50 can have a second career or chase a long-lost dream in middle age gets a lot of lip service. The problem is, it’s one of those things that’s easier said than done — especially if all you do is talk about it.
If 2015 is going to be your year, you need to do more than exercise the old jawbone. You need to have a plan. You need to take the first step. People who have successfully written a second chapter in their lives all have one thing in common: They took action. They got started. They did more than talk.
Unfortunately I’ve witnessed the “all talk” syndrome over and over again. We entrepreneurs—encore, solo, or otherwise—are full of great ideas. It’s so much fun to think about them, talk about them, scribble them down in blinding bursts of brilliance, and keep them all tucked away in a special file called “My New Business.” It’s fun—and it’s easy.
It’s easy dream about the life you’ll have once you’re doing what you love. It’s easy to say, “Oh, everything will be so much better after I start my business.”
And it’s easy to say “Not yet.”
Not yet; they’re all depending on me.
Not yet; I have to get everything in order first.
Not yet; I—I—I—
One of my clients recently shared this beautiful quote from Nigerian poet Ijeoma Umebinyuo: “Whenever you feel you are not ready, just start. Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just…start.”
The dreaming is easy; it’s the doing that’s hard. And scary. But I want to encourage you to make 2015 your year to dive in and start your encore. To do the work, to have a plan, to take the first step. To take action. Just start. I believe you can…and I would love to help you.
Happy holidays! Here’s to new beginnings.
Jackie B. Peterson
P.S. Stay tuned for lots of new BSR tools to help you get started in the new year! We’ll be welcoming new members to the BSR team, creating new courses, and publishing an ebook full of inspiring stories of encores who did the work and got started.