Our Jubilee weekend in the Republic of Ireland was a hoot. A big birthday became a long day’s blarney into night over 3 days, with family, friends and dance music. The song that got everyone on the floor, even the lager-inhibited, was Robbie William’s ‘Angel’. And it wasn’t the last dance! Well, why wait till the end?
In business-building terms, ‘waiting till the end’ is not the choice for more and more women on the other side of 60, who are keen to start over. So what’s this all about? Yes, pensions are going down in value, but I bet the reason is more than just economic. Could it be that as people are living longer, they feel fitter and want to continue being active players? And perhaps they feel that they have much more to give at a time in their lives when they’re expected to give little. Perhaps they’re seeking a life transformation. Here are two phenomenal women, go-givers who have created new beginnings for themselves and have transformed their lives:
- Julie Kertesz: Previous occupations: chemist, computer products retailer. Age 77, born in Hungary and grew up in Transylvania (yes, really!). In a long struggle for self-determination, she lived in France, the USA and London. While raising 2 children, she got her PhD in physics (despite her husband’s opposition). Twice divorced she decided to translate her story writing to the stage when 74 years young! Life transformation, indeed! She’s now an in-demand Toastmaster, speaks at ‘Spark London’ and guess what? She’s also on the comedy circuit. Her opening line, ‘Why the f… am I doing this shit at my age?’- quietens hecklers and gains acceptance. She says, ‘I’d never spoken like that before.’ She’s also a story-telling coach and blogger and recently won best newcomer in the Silver Stand-up of the year: Die Laughing competition and a Toastmasters International gold award for advanced communicator.
- Carolyn May: Previous occupation: worked in a further education college for 26 years; progressed from A level teacher to head of department to head of faculty and finally professional development manager. Having raised 4 children, she took redundancy (aged 58) and experienced a life transformation. She was ‘attracted to the idea of being an entrepreneur’ and founded ‘Still Much To Offer’ (SMTO), a recruitment and employment company which helps older people find work. Carolyn says, ‘I want to change the employment culture so older people are recognised and employed for what they can offer’. As for her late entry into business, she says, ‘I wasn’t frightened. I thought it was up to me to make a success of it. And guess what area of business she finds most difficult? Sales and marketing.
So mature sisters are doing it for themselves; seeking life transformation, learning new things and challenging the stereotypes of older women as slow, feeble and ‘past it’. Behind every successful business woman is an intelligent meeting of needs – their own, (emotionally and financially) and the markets, whether feeding the comedy circuit or helping older people to have control over their future. And what does it require? Courage, determination, persistence, a willingness to be different, stand out and take risks. And I’m guessing here, but I bet they received coaching somewhere along the line.
Remember, Winning Pathways Coaching helps women regardless of age and background, to identify their passion and purpose, to go for it and achieve a life transformation. Contact Claudia here, to find out how coaching can help you become CEO of your life faster.
Thanks to Homa Khaleeli (The Guardian 5.6.12) for some of the material here.