This year I was fifty. You may be forty or sixty, but I want you to know that NOW is the perfect time to start an online business.
The online world may be full of bright, glossy-perfect young things but I'm telling you that the technology that's now available, is going to allow us in the previously invisible years, to stand up, stand out and share all our magnificent wisdom and experience.
But why now is this such a perfect, wonderful age for us to transform ourselves into entrepreneurs?
That old friend and foe. I can hardly believe (I know this is a cliche and I'm sure it's true for you too) but surely it was only three minutes ago that I was twenty-four! And suddenly it feels as if time is running out or that I might even have left it too late.
Mortality, always pushed far away and seen as something that happened to other people when I was younger, has become a consistent presence. It whispers over my shoulder during the day and shouts loudly during my sleeping dreams.
And I know that my time is finite, so I'm flipping well going to make the most of what I have. There's an urgency to accomplishing our dreams that we may not notice when we're younger.
But mercifully, there's also a heightened awareness that we can make this time fantastic for us, that thriving in our middle and later years is well within our reach.
I have a strong sense that I want this to be the time when I produce my best work, when all the creative influences that have ever found a home in me, create a magical alchemy and find a new, exciting way to express themselves through me. I want this work to flow effortlessly out of me, I want it to be strong, powerful and inspiring. And I long to become a real positive force for change for others and help them on their journey.
But I don't want this time to be just about work. I want to have fun and laugh with my friends and family, I want to see more of the joy of life. I want to revel in its juiciness.
And in reality there is plenty of time. There is time for us to do all of this, to decide how we want to contribute. There is space now, for us to grab a new or expanded business with both hands and start running with it.
We've got the experience of years and years of triumphs, trials, setbacks and disappointments, celebrations and lessons learned from all our "seen it all before" beingness.
You and me, our circumstances may be different, but we've seen a lot of life. We've cried buckets and laughed to the core of our being. We know life. We've glimpsed the patterns, and seen the circles, we know that what rises can also fall, that everything,every joy and sorrow is transient.
We have the perspective of time, the long-view. We know what remains true and authentic over time. Sure, we've had our off moments and made our mistakes but we know what's important and what's just trivial foo - foo.
We've got to know our strengths and weaknesses over time in a whole range of situations. We know our passions, what lights us up and what deadens us, we've done the groundwork for starting a successful business.
We've got the skills
Skills gap? What skills gap? We've been honing and practicing our craft for decades. If you've been dreaming of setting up some sort of service based business, I bet you've been developing master status over a long period of time.
Hey! Thirty years ago I began my journey of learning how to talk to colleagues, managing my boss, presenting in front of an audience, discussing client needs. And you're the same. You can't tell me that in all that time, we haven't, all of us picked up and mastered those skills.
And yes, I know the technology can be daunting, (note to self to get facebook live ticked off) but there is always a way to work out how to learn what you need. It is possible to teach an old dog new tricks, it's just about being open to the possibility that we can learn, change and adapt. And we certainly don't need to let lack of confidence in our own abilities be the reason why we don't start a journey of entrepreneurship.
We take it in our stride
As a child and young woman, I was very shy and insecure. Then somehow ( never figured quite how this happened but delighted that it did) my first job after graduation was in training in the HR department of a large firm. Standing in front of people was initially terrifying and then thrilling. Then I started running courses about assertiveness (yes, I admit there was something here about we teach what we need to learn) but over time and repetition, the messages sunk in.
Finally I've got to the stage where I'm willing to be a bit different, to stand up for what I believe in and quite frankly care little for what others think. I can be outrageous if I want. And setbacks, criticism, it's all going to be taken in my stride
Being in our middle and later years has for many of us in our culture been seen as the time when we don the invisibility cloak and settle for a quiet, thoughtful life, when we are pushed to the very edge of life.
But just have a look and there are beautiful women out there redefining attitudes and reminding us that we don't have to settle for this. They're challenging fashion, and health and fitness norms, they're working, learning and contributing and there needs to be more of us.
And yes, now is the perfect time to reclaim your middle or even your later years, and make them the best of them. And if setting up a business is part of that dream for you, don't let the youth of all the others out there, put you off because I'm telling you, NOW IS OUR TIME.
It's time for us to flourish and thrive as mid-lifers.