Someone, somewhere, has coined older entrepreneurs as “Encore Entrepreneurs,” has a ring to it don’t you think? Lately there have been many discussions and quite a bit of press about this phenomenon, from the Boston Globe, to The Guardian, to the BBC. The U.S. Small Business Administration even has a site dedicated to it. A 2011 study by Encore.org and Metlife showed that 9 million people, or 9 percent of all those ages 44 to 70, are in encore careers and no less than 31 million Americans ages 44 to 77 are interested in pursuing encore careers. What is the reason behind it, why are Boomers not retiring, but instead starting a Second Act. Got me to thinking that we would love to hear your story and to feature it in Our USA.
I’m one of those people who have tended to doubt themselves, particularly when it comes to making decisions. Give me a test where I have to memorize things, and I’m your girl. I’m a poster child for the American education system. I learned how not to think for myself, so that I could score higher, win ribbons, and do the things I really didn’t want to do. Then when I walked out of a legal career to reinvent my life based on listening to my desires and instincts, I realized I had no idea how to go beyond someone else’s rules and find my own code. And this is what creating an inspired life is all about. It’s about being true to yourself, the self you are in this minute, not the self you think you should be, and not what other people–or even you–would usually do.
Shakespeare, the dude, wrote, “To thine own self be true,” and I think he would have made a fine career coach or guru. Real success comes from astonishing independence, being present to your immediate truth rather than to external or internal expectations. Inspiration doesn’t always arrive dressed in linen and smelling like lavender. Sometimes, it comes through raw insistence of what you do not want to hear. Listening is the price of flourishing.
I’ll give you an example. Continue reading