There is a common thread running through the stories of all the successful 50+ entrepreneurs I have interviewed for my ongoing series. They are some of the happiest, most engaged people of any age that I have had the opportunity to meet. Their enthusiasm for life is palpable.
This is not your slow motion, riding into the sunset type of happy. It is more a living life to the fullest, breaking barriers, take no prisoners, everyday’s a new revelation, expectation busting happiness. The good news is that this level of engagement and passion can be reached in non entrepreneurial pursuits as well.
The Annette Davis story is a terrific example of the value of taking on amazing new challenges at 50+. At 53 Annette was a single mom living in Chicago, a daughter away at University and a good job as a Senior Administrative Assistant to the SVP of Education and Child Development Studies with NORC at the University of Chicago.
Annette remembers really enjoying writing in her youth, but with the demands of family and work, writing wasn’t part of her adult life. All that changed in her early 50’s when she went though a period of health problems where the pain prevented her from sleeping. Her sleep issues contributed to her remembering a recurring dream in it’s entirety. The dream wouldn’t let go to the point where she felt compelled to capture it on paper.
This dream that wouldn’t let go led to Annette rediscovering her love of writing. For most that would have been the end of story, but for Annette it marked a new beginning.
You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. – C.S.Lewis
She was now convinced that she had a story to tell and was committed to ensuring that it was the best story she was capable of writing. So in January of 2013 she started her new journey by becoming an undergraduate student at Depaul University’s School of New Learning. majoring in creative writing. She is a recipient of DePaul’s Blue Star for academic excellence, a member of Sigma Alpha Pi, The National Society of Leadership and Success, and a winner of DePaul University’s SNL 2015-2016 Writing Showcase Award for her creative writing works.
Along with taking 2 to 3 classes a quarter Annette continues to work full time and has still found time to devote 6 to 8 hours a week to her writing. Her first novel, The Lost Codicil is being published this month. This doesn’t mark the culmination of Annette’s dream, just the first chapter. In fact she is half way through her second novel and plans to get her masters in creative writing at the completion of her undergraduate studies.
Here is the test to find out whether your mission on earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t. – Richard Bach
Wayne Dyer famously said, “Don’t die with the music still in you.” There is no expiry date on dreams and you are never too old to begin. Annette had a good life prior to embarking on her writing journey, but being in the act of bringing dreams to fruition makes all aspects of your life just a little sweeter. Your life is more engaged, your conversations more animated, your time way more valuable and your story much more interesting,
So is there a bodacious dream that you have inside you that has not yet seen the light of day? Be like Annette and let it shine!!
As President of Your Future Reimagined (YFR) Coaching, I help professionals/executives successfully transition to enjoyable and enriching Next Chapters. Please contact me to book one-on-one coaching, workshop and keynote speaking engagements.