Empowered and Unleashed: Lessons For Women Over 40 Who Crave More In BusinessJune 17, 2023 June 21, 2023 /
Women Over 40, it’s your turn.
Recently I was at my niece’s high school graduation party.
A handful of my sister’s dearest friends came to celebrate my niece as well, and it was wonderful to see all these women. All were friends she’s known since childhood, so I’ve also known them all for 35+ years.
In a conversation with one of her friends, we started talking about my sister’s birthday this year (she’ll be 50, and I’m just about to turn 53 as I write this). As we were talking about this, her friend (who is 48) was saying that she’s “not looking forward to turning 50 at all.”
My response was so immediate and natural that I didn’t think about it before I said it.
“I absolutely love being over 50! I am so happy with who I am at this stage in my life. It just gets better.”
She looked at me, a little surprised, and said, “Really?”
It wasn’t coming from a place of judgment at all… it was genuine curiosity.
Anyone over 40 can probably think back to when you were in your 20s, and 40 seemed so far away. And old. 😅
There’s a lot of truth to the body aging and things changing, but we have access to so much more information and understanding… I truly believe that you can be in better shape in your 50s than you were in your 30s if you want it.
It’s all up to you.
The magic starts happening when you realize this is your life, and you get to choose what it looks like.
I started my business back in 2008 at the ripe old age of 38.
Which, at the time, didn’t feel old unless I was looking around at all the 20-something bros who were “killing it” (more on that in a minute).
I started my business for a few reasons:
- I was widowed in 2003 with two small children (6 & 2). I wanted to be home for them.
- I have always felt in the deepest part of my being that I was meant to do something different with my life (entrepreneurial, not a job).
- I wanted more freedom.
The years between 2003 and 2008 were some of the most challenging years of my life (up to that point, because let’s face it, none of us get out of this life without heartache and challenge. I’ve had more since then, but we learn to hold it differently as we age).
Fortunately, I found an amazing therapist who has since become more of a mentor, and I still speak with her/see her today. She’s also an incredible model for creating whatever you want in your life. I have nothing but massive appreciation, gratitude, and deep love for her.
She also challenges me.
Which is what I’m hoping I can do for you.
There have been three distinct “spaces” I’ve been in since I started my online journey. I’m calling these spaces because they’re way too broad to be a niche.
- Internet Marketing
- Creator Economy
The common thread among all three is that they’re all dominated by men.
For the first ten years online, I was “The WordPress Chick.
I discovered WordPress, grabbed the domain name (which, btw, someone wants to buy… hmm..), and went about sharing what I was doing with WordPress.
I wasn’t a developer or a coder, but I was figuring out how to use it and thought I’d share what I was doing.
This was truly a case of ignorance was bliss.
Until I started getting some skadouchey people trolling me (one guy, in particular, was a complete dick, but I don’t even remember his name, so what does that tell you), then I started doubting myself.
When I started podcasting in 2013, things changed.
I was tired of being “behind the computer” and creating “how-to” videos for WordPress.
I don’t think I need to go too deep into this space… it’s been all about bro culture from day one. Nuff said.
The Creator Economy
I wish I could say this space was different, but it’s still heavily dominated by men, even though there are amazing women doing incredible things.
Is all of this because women don’t promote themselves as heavily as men do?
But it’s a lot deeper than that.
Women don’t want to promote themselves the same way men do.
I get that these are generalizations, but after 15+ years of doing this, you start to see patterns.
It’s high time women start changing the narrative.
Last week I was having a conversation with a friend over Voxer.
She was telling me that she had picked up a new project management tool during AppSumo days and wasn’t sure she was going to keep it because it lacked a few features.
My response to her was, “You know what my problem is with project management tools? I hate using them all. I don’t want to do that work, and it’s not where I shine.”
After she stopped laughing, she said she loved my response.
The crazy thing is that everything in me fights that truth because there are so many men out there telling me that I have to have productivity systems, create a second brain, and master these tools (obviously, they’re not, but that’s what I hear).
There are so many systems and tools available that do the same thing… but does it matter if I don’t want to be the one using any of them?
This has been a huge realization for me recently.
Hear my heart... I’m not saying you don’t need structure in your business. You do. But when it starts feeling like a part-time job to manage your tools and systems, something is off.
This is why I’m hiring someone to manage this for me.
So… back to the productivity bros.
The responsibility lies solely on me to unsubscribe, stop reading, and unfollow these guys. I have zero FOMO about joining their cohorts or following their systems.
And NONE of this is about them.
At 53, I’m trusting ME.
Women Over 40 Stepping Into Their Power
I don’t know if I can find the words to clearly express how juicy this part of life starts to feel.
And for any woman under 40, I highly recommend you hang out and spend time with older women. Soak up the knowledge, the experience, and trust in the wisdom they share with you.
Before I left Costa Rica earlier this year (having lived there for almost two years, and yes, I’m going back. My goal is to go back & forth between Costa Rica and California) – I was able to spend some time with my therapist and her friends.
All of them are about 20 years older than me.
I don’t know if it was after that experience or not, but I told her how wonderful it was to see women in that phase of life living such full, rich lives.
It wasn’t as much about living in a foreign country as it was about women consciously choosing what they wanted.
It’s incredible to observe.
It excites me about this chapter of my life.
My therapist once shared a paraphrased idea from the anthropologist Angeles Arrien. When I first heard it, I was younger and didn’t fully grasp its meaning. This was back when I was 32 and began therapy after losing my husband.
She said, “Women’s natural pace is medium to slow.”
In my 30s, I thrived on being as productive as I possibly could. In fact, for most of my life, I received praise for how much I accomplished.
Now I work differently.
With intention and ease.
The best part? I still get plenty done, and I enjoy the process more.
It’s All About Claiming It and Owning It
I want to see more women claiming their skills, expertise, and what they want. Own how far you’ve come and what you want to accomplish, regardless of how old you are or what stage of business you’re in.
I’ve been listening to the book “10X is Easier Than 2x” by Dr. Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan (highly recommend). What I love most about this book is that it’s a reminder that in order to reach our 10X goals, we need to get rid of lesser goals.
At 71, Dan Sullivan (who is now 75) decided he wanted to write 100 books in the next 25 years. He’s already written 33. 🤯
I want to see more women claiming they want to 10X their goals.
IF… that’s what they want.
My guess is that most entrepreneurial women do want 10X goals; we just don’t say so.
Here’s a little food for thought on 10X :
- There is NOTHING wrong with wanting material things. I’m so over the self-righteous attitude that wanting less makes you a better person.
- On the flip side, having gotten rid of so much and learned to live with less in Costa Rica, it’s also freeing to realize how little we need to be happy. I’m at a stage where it’s all about quality, not quantity.
- Wanting to earn a high income does NOT make you shallow. We live on a planet that operates with money as its currency.
- Women who earn more tend to help more (not that we have to, but helping and supporting tend to be innate qualities in women).
- Having more money allows you to buy back your time. For most people (women and men), the older we get, the more we realize our time is what is most precious.
- Retirement is going to look very different for my generation and younger generations. Personally, I want to work as long as I love what I do, but having money in the bank for that stage of my life is peace of mind.
Here’s an incredible quote from Susan B. Anthony from 1853:
“It matters not how overflowing with benevolence towards suffering humanity may be the heart of women, it avails nothing so long as she possesses not power to act in accordance with those promptings,” she realized. “Woman must have a purse of her own.”Susan B. Anthony, 1853
My challenge to you when it comes to what you want is to take the time to go deeper.
Get quiet, take some deep breaths, and allow yourself permission to want what you want.
Anytime you find yourself judging what you want, ask yourself if that’s really your judgment or someone else’s.
The Importance of Deeper Work, Connection, and Rich Experiences
The last “big event” I went to was Funnel Hacking Live in 2018.
And as of now, I have zero intentions of going to an event that big again. I had debated on going to the High Level event in October, but I decided to go to Costa Rica for a couple of weeks instead (#nobrainer).
I think FHL in 2018 was about 3000 people, and it’s since grown to 5000 attendees.
That’s just way too many people for this girl.
It’s also not the energy I’m craving at this stage in my life.
My idea of an “event” is one I’ll be hosting myself (the plan is the first quarter of 2024) in Costa Rica, with a small group of women where we mastermind, connect, and support one another—a combination of learning, experiences, deeper connection, and relaxation (and massages available for anyone who wants one).
One of my dearest friends, who grew up across the street from me, came to visit me in Costa Rica three times in one year. Once was with other friends (and we rented my therapist’s house, which, btw, you can rent here), and the other two times, we were at my place.
Her trips there were a mix of relaxation, a few experiences, and lots of hanging out together.
This is what I crave now.
When I think about Deeper Work (hat tip to Cal Newport & his book, Deep Work), it all comes down to one thing:
Being present at the moment and enjoying what I’m doing.
This post is a perfect example.
It’s a Saturday morning, I’ve just finished up my coffee, the sun is out, the windows are open, and I’m not thinking about what else I could or should be doing.
The Value of Creating Rich Experiences in Business
Last week I witnessed a public lashing from one young bro creator about another.
Bro 1 was claiming that Bro 2 was stealing all his stuff and using it to sell his own course. Never mind the fact that Bro 2 has been publicly writing and publishing for the last few years.
The funny thing was that Bro 1 was so high on himself (he’s grown an incredible business and definitely knows what he’s doing) that he started claiming basic writing principles as his own (for example: Be clear, not clever).
Bro 2 handled it like a class act, and I think this public lashing backfired on Bro 1 a bit.
Creating rich experiences in business (and life) allow you to see things from a much broader perspective.
Something Bro 1 wasn’t able to do because he’s either drank too much of his own Kool-Aid or hasn’t had enough life experience to think through this with a more objective perspective.
Had he paused a hot minute to process before responding, er, reacting, that could have gone completely differently.
Unfortunately, this is also part of how we learn. I’ve had my own fair share of “oops, I could have handled that better” moments. This is what’s so fantastic about getting older.
We become more deliberate and conscious about how we do things (ideally, anyway).
It’s imperative that we get out of our own worlds once in a while.
I both love being at home and love new experiences – it’s a bit of a dichotomy. Every now and then, though, I push myself outside of my comfort zone for a new experience because that’s when my mind is opened.
That’s when I learn.
That’s what inspires me and brings a whole new dimension to what I’m creating.
Craving More In Business – It’s Up to Us
As I wind down this post, I do want to point out that there are so many amazing women entrepreneurs who have created exactly what they want in their lives and businesses.
Find those women and model what they’ve done.
Tweak it, adjust it, and pull out the pieces that resonate with you.
Then bring all of your “you-ness” to whatever you’re doing and go ALL IN.
Maybe some of you reading this are hitting that point in your life where you can say, “Yep, it’s MY turn.”
I know exactly where I’m going and what I want to create in my business and life. I’m craving more, so I’m going to create it.
New relationships, experiences, offers… all of it.
My hope for you in reading this is that you feel that spark light up within that says, “Yes. I’m ready to create what I want,” and you go for it with every ounce of your being.