An Important Lesson
The wisdom of midlife can help the next generation and act as a guide for us in planning our future. For me a great lesson was revealed through persistence as I began a new business while still in my 30s.
This lesson began while I worked as Director of Counseling at Mitchell College in CT. At the time, I was actively volunteering for what is now Landmark Education. I’d met a man, in one of the seminars, who wanted to design a career marketing course with me. I saw this as a great way to meet people that might be interested in doing psychotherapeutic work as well. It was at that point, I considered going out on my own. Here I was, 32, the youngest Director of Counseling in the State and restless. Eager to test my talents in the business world I wanted to expand. I was optimistic and excited about developing a new future. Neither my husband, Jim, nor I had any certainty that I would be able to attract enough people to make a viable business. But, Jim had a job, so we had enough money to survive.
It was a scary time. But the blindness and daring of youth fortified me. That was, until I talked to our seminar leader in Landmark. He thought it was a terrible idea. He discouraged me. He said I was crazy to leave a secure position that many people would give their eye teeth to have. I knew it was a good job, but it wasn’t challenging enough. I felt like his advice asked me to bury myself alive. I knew it was risky. But, I did it anyway. I decided to try it and just keep going no matter what.
As it turned out, the career marketing program was great, but not as interesting to me as psychotherapy. I still wasn’t doing what I really wanted to do. Eventually, I met another psychotherapist and we went into business together. I was scared and excited the whole time. There were moments I thought about quitting. But, then, I realized there was nothing else I really wanted to do. I told myself to shut up and forget about my concerns and discomforts. Then, I’d refocus my attention on what was next on my plate and do it. The focus relieved me from fear. My new colleague and I designed and lead groups. My therapy practice exploded. I was able to quadruple my income after 4 months in business. How often does that happen.
Find Something You Love
I am telling you this story because it takes persistence to create anything in the world. Even though self doubt rode shotgun as I worked toward my goals, I learned to stand my ground and keep declaring myself a private practice psychotherapist. You can do it too. Just find something you love that much. In midlife, your life lessons are your partners. They help fortify you for whatever path you venture down. They are also the gifts you give to the younger generation. Check out my free ebook. It is designed to fortify you in your venture.