At a recent Dare to Dream session, I was advising the audience to watch for signs and to pay attention to what was happening around them. Maybe they keep bumping into the same person, or reading articles on the same topic. Take note.
When I think back to when I was 50, there were several signs that it was time for me to take the plunge, leave my safe government job and strike out on my own.
1 . Inspiration from a speaker
As part of a leadership award that I had received, I got to attend my first ATHENA conference. At the conference the keynote speaker did an excellent job in presenting what the award represented. To explain, ATHENA had done research to see if there were some common characteristics in the women who received their award, and of course, there were.
Bonnie St. John Dean took those eight tenets and elaborated further on what they meant. One tenet was authenticity. This message really resonated with me, because at the time I was working in government and pretzeling myself to fit the bureaucratic norm. Even then I had an entrepreneurial spirit and the rules felt constricting.
2. My mother had a stroke
Just as we were leaving the conference in Denver, we received a call from my daughter to say that my mother had had a stroke and they didn’t think she would make it. So I flew home and took off straight away for the Isle of Man. In fact, she did rally round and lived for several more years. But this wake up call served to remind me of how fragile life was.
3. My project was cancelled
Upon my return to work I learned that a project that I had been working on for over a year had been cancelled. I was excited about this career portal for girls and so disappointed that it was not going to happen, at least not then.
After hearing Bonnie, I realized that I had to be true to myself. My mother’s brush with death reminded me that life is too precious to be wasted on projects that did not come to fruition.
When I reflected on all these signs, I decided enough. I handed in my resignation and made plans to start my business.
What about you? Are there signs that you are ignoring? Perhaps the universe is telling you something. Pay attention. It could be that it is time for you to make a change or to explore some new opportunity. And don’t let your age hold you back, these days we have many good years left in us!
Fifty seemed as good an age as any to start a business, after all I brought experience and expertise to that new role. I also had a lot of connections, which I used to land contracts. And the rest as they say is history.
As for my next chapter, stay tuned…
Company of Women
I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.