Like many 50-somethings, I’ve had many different jobs including flight attendant, English teacher, college administrator, paralegal, intelligence analyst (uh huh) and technical writer. The common denominator for me has always been writing. I kept a journal when I was a flight attendant and kept on writing through all of the stages of my life.
In May 2000, I founded WORDRunner, Inc. my own writing business and went to work full time for one of my clients, a government entity in 2007. I still have my writing business, and in fact, have several clients. I don’t feel like I have the luxury to rely on one source of revenue (a job), so I keep my writing business going. My passion is to help people reinvent themselves and I’m especially interested in entrepreneurs because I’m fascinated by those intrepid individuals who can make something out of nothing. My husband Kevin is one of those people, although I would categorize him and people like him as “reluctant entrepreneurs.” He was always the proverbial good soldier – the first one in and the last one out. Unfortunately, our life changed immediately after 9/11. After 25+ years as a producer in the advertising industry (post production), he was laid off at 51 years old. Fast forward to the end of 2013 and we’ve had our challenges. After our household income took a hit, we were slammed with numerous health challenges. Fortunately, we’re on the upswing, but it has been very difficult.
This “50+Reinvention” project is my way of trying to use our story to help you. Here’s something I’m going to share with you that I used to have a lot of shame around, but not anymore: we ended up having to go through personal bankruptcy. Unfortunately, we went through about $250,000 in long-term savings and life and disability policies, the value in our condo, etc. and THEN had to go through BK anyway. Our attorney said she would have NEVER let us go through our 401K money, but here’s the thing: every time we took money out (for my husband’s business, to pay for health care, etc.), we thought it would be the last time. I hate to admit it, but if I had it to do all over again we would have declared bankruptcy and protected our assets. My husband is now 63 and I’m 54 and we’re literally starting over. Honestly, the jury is out whether or not we’ll succeed. If our story is extrapolated across the country, it’s no wonder that the suicide rate has gone up 50% from 1999-2010! I’m horrified and can’t just sit by. If anyone can learn from our story, I’m happy to share it.
So, what is “50+Reinvented” all about?
First, let me tell you what I am NOT trying to achieve: I am not a career counselor. I am not trying to help people find their next “job.” What I’m trying to do is help people find their next step… whatever form that takes. I’ve studied entrepreneurs and continue to immerse myself in entrepreneurial activities and I like to think I have an entrepreneurial spirit.
So, what is my goal?
I have one goal: to get a dialog going about how to forge a new path… create the next chapter.
How do I plan on doing this?
I want to create a space where displaced people can go to learn from others who have been successful in making a significant transition. A lot of people have been ‘stuck’ for a while and are feeling hopeless. This site will be ‘crowd-sourced’ and will serve as a window into other people’s lives by sharing stories about reinvention and providing resources.
If you would like to send me your stories of reinvention or message me with your thoughts, please click here to contact me.