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How I became Rookie of the Year at age 59

In January of 2015, I plunged into a new career. I was excited, anticipating the unknown. I thought I would like it, but I wasn’t really sure. Accompanying that doubt was a nagging, small voice that admonished: You probably won’t be able to do it. When that happened to me, I forced myself to push through it.

For the first few months, it was a daily struggle. Every day brought new challenges — often, they were technology challenges, but more often, it was something I just didn’t know. The expression, “You don’t know what you don’t know,” became my mantra. Slowly, from books and training and mostly just stubborn perseverance, my knowledge base grew, and I found myself becoming more confident.

The year before, my oldest son had left for college, and I sensed my role at home was changing. I felt restless and suddenly realized I was bored. Hiking, golfing, going to lunch with friends and volunteering no longer filled me up — and, overachiever that I am, I did a lot of volunteering. I had retired from a career as a wealth manager with a major Wall Street firm when my boys were 6 and 9 years old, so I had been volunteering for 10 years.

I did some internal processing and realized I missed working. Part of what I missed was being good at something — another part was knowing I had enhanced the lives of my clients through my personal effort and abilities. I have to admit, I also wanted to see if I could build another empire. I missed feeling challenged.

So, in the fall of 2014, I did a lot of research and exploration into various career options and thought I would invest in a franchise. It turns out, when you click on a “Learn More” link on the Internet next to a franchise concept, your contact info goes out to franchise brokers. I immediately got called by a franchise coach, who promised to walk me through the research process. He was a nice man, and I enjoyed talking with him, but my head kept saying, “I could do what you’re doing,” leading to thoughts about what I would do differently (read: better). At the end of the call, he said, “You should do what I’m doing,” and that was it.

I work from home connecting people in transition, mostly women who are first-time business owners to businesses that are a good match for them based on their investment parameters, skill sets, income and lifestyle objectives. Walking people through the process of reinvention is very rewarding. In my last career, I provided peace of mind by directing my clients’ money. Now, I am connecting people to their dreams of self-employment, which hopefully will lead to financial security and additional net worth, along with the satisfaction of knowing they achieved this through their own skills and hard work. Helping people invest in themselves, instead of managing their passive investments, is much more exciting and empowering — for them and for me.

A few weeks ago, I returned from my association’s annual convention. At 59 years old, I was awarded Rookie of the Year.

What I learned in 2015:

  • Working hard on a new challenge is invigorating and empowering — even joyful.
  • I derive deep satisfaction from working and seeing the seeds of my own efforts flower.
  • You’re never too old to start over.
  • Never stop learning.
  • It feels awesome to help other women start over.
  • I’ve still got it!

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