Originally posted in the blog, RockingOver40 by Cynthia C. 
It’s 2011, I’m 44, and here I was a 21+ year corporate left-over. Someone who had worked for national and global companies in the world of marketing and sales from Texas to New York. I’d held these fabulous MarCom and Biz Dev positions yet in 2011 when I became an accidental entrepreneur I was lost, unable to find a job in terms of how society labeled me – by age. Sadly, my age was standing in the way of getting the job I wanted. But notice, I said age was in the way of the companies. In their eyes, my age represented being too experienced, too old to learn, too this and too that but mostly, it was my number and that pushed me into a self-inflicted midlife crisis.
I decided to take control of my own career and open a marketing agency. I hit the ground running building connections, closing business, and learning new skills I never thought I would need to learn. And now, my midlife crisis is now a full-blown quest for happiness and success on my own terms and that includes partnering with another agency to go bigger and bolder. Business was steadily coming in and we were securing a wonderful collection of clients from schools and colleges, shopping malls and lifestyle centers, high-end hotels from Colorado Springs to Aspen – and it was fun, for a while. Because after two years, the company left us empty, bored, and passionless.
Now it’s spring 2018 and my business partner and I consciously uncouple. I’m 51 and clueless. It was then that I begin questioning my life’s purpose with thoughts of, “What am I on this earth to do? What’s next? Is this really it and what do I want to do when I grow up – again?”
I started thinking about an idea I’d been holding on to for five years. I never thought this alpha-female (with a soft heart) lacked confidence and for years I held steady gripped in a bit of fear of failing or even worse, doing. Yet, there it was, stashed in folders, Evernote, stickies, bar napkins, and the ears of so many friends – for FIVE long years. My next move to design the life I wanted and suddenly, I was ready. My gut was screaming for me to move before someone did it first. But girl, guess what happened? The negative self-talk set in and I was back to my old school doubt, fear and the thought of ‘would anyone support it.’
I waited and waited sitting in unhappiness and depression until – for the umpteenth time, I said, “That’s it. I’m jumping in.” By that time, I’d been listening to motivational speakers and authors, podcasts and YouTubers, and supportive friends. Plus, what was stopping me? After all, my idea had all the makings of what I needed to bring me joy. My idea you ask. It’s purposely crafting business and lifestyle experiences for women in a way that connects, educates and empowers. Yep. But wait, what makes this different is that we’re focused on the woman over 40 and 50. A first of its kind in the country a matter of fact and I roped in my former business partner to co-find the new company.
We held brainstorm sessions and I began hearing the words I had felt for years. Boredom. Passionless. Unchallenged. Stuck. Lost. These women over 40 were exclaiming what many others were feeling about life and we pivoted from the original idea of a women’s business week (still happening in 2021).
My new mission and purpose in life was born. I’d found clarity and it was amazingly freeing, fulfilling and passion filled. This new company would become a social impact communications company helping others 40 and beyond find their way, their mission, and their desires while emboldening them to do so through special events and programs. You see it turns out, all that I had gone through over the course of my crisis and life overall lead me to this moment and you know what?
It was meant to be.
My Two Cents
When you give in to that whisper, that thing you’ve wanted to do, that connection you’ve wanted to make, that career you’ve wanted but never thought you could have; I’m telling you to own your age and listen. I’m telling you to stop the self-doubt, fear and negative self-talk. I’m telling you to jump. The minute you do, the opportunities are limitless.
Barbara Brooks, Founder of SecondActWomen and a proud 52
We did it! First event in the can last April 2019 and many more inspirational events and programs to come. I took the leap. Will you?