I have to admit that I never saw it coming. It actually dates back to September 11 of this year when I was hired by a new client on Fiverr to write a set of five 500-word articles on casinos. I don’t recall that I have had much in the way of casino content before this, but it was one of those jobs that were part of an ordinarily busy week of writing for me. I finished the job on time, got paid and never thought much of it after that.
Then on September 22, 2019 the client, based in Chicago, contacted me via LinkedIn. I was away on a weeklong conference related to my local municipal elected position but he had indicated an interest in connecting with me via phone once I got back home. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’ve had the odd client reach out to me in the same manner with not much other than a promise to work together more frequently in the future.
However, this sounded a bit different to that as he hinted at discussing an ‘arrangement’ but put it in such a way that I was intrigued and we finally connected on the phone October 2, 2019. The conversation revolved around a contract commitment that would provide me with a guaranteed steady stream of articles to write on a weekly basis. I could keep all my current clients and would receive payment in full for all work completed each week.
I signed the contract October 3, 2019.
What Has Changed As A Result
Well, I am three weeks into this long-term contract and I have found that I am not able to take on any more short-term work. I am keeping all my current and existing clients as I can work them in and around the weekly contract orders. I can’t fit in the volume of single order jobs I was getting from my profile on Fiverr. That’s okay. I am now in a situation where I have to focus on those elements that have helped build my home-based ghostwriting business.
We Are Both On A Record-Setting Pace
It is safe to say that with this contract I will finally see a consistent level of income that will be greater than what I earned in the early days of us owning the newspaper we had for 12.5 years. Plus, Brenda’s home-based jam/jelly/salsa business is currently at a record sales pace for 2019. I know I’ve said it before that this year our third quarter transition had completed. I just didn’t really understand what that meant until now.
If you have been struggling to get ahead and are in the 50+ age bracket, don’t worry. You can become successful and have a great income later in life. Both Brenda and I have been working in that direction ever since we took a leap of faith in July 2016 and shut our newspaper business and turned two hobbies we were dabbling in on the side into our new careers. It is known as making midlife career changes and both of us can teach you how to survive yours.
How To Survive A Midlife Career Change
You have more talent, skill and abilities than you may think you have. All you need to do is put some of them to work for you. Even if you have been unemployed for a period of time or think no one will hire you because of your age (which is bunk, by the way). I have written an eBook on the topic that will inspire you and teach you how to make that change. It is titled “Surviving Midlife Career Changes.” It is available at Amazon by clicking HERE.
For some reason I have been asked the same question twice in the past few days. The conversation that leads up to the question generally revolves around the midlife career change I made from newspaper owner/publisher to freelance ghostwriter. Those who know me will tell you that I put a lot of effort into the things I am passionate about. Writing seems to be the common thread that has connected all of my career moves and to me the third quarter transition I have made makes perfect sense.
So, when I was asked the same question by two different people at two different times only days apart it got me wondering. My answer was pretty clear, I do not miss it. Or at least I don’t miss it all that much these days. I actually picked up a copy of a Big City newspaper the other day to read over breakfast. I couldn’t get into it. All I saw was bad news. You know, the stuff that says little about your community other than it has problems that you can’t fix. For me, I couldn’t be bothered to read any further.
I guess that sort of confirmed it for me.
That part of my life has been over for just over three years now. I’m onto bigger and better things. My ghostwriting career is firmly in place and business is steady. I also have an elected position that brings me more than enough mental stimulation. I am not lacking for something to keep my mind active and productive. The newspaper business did all of those things as well but also including a few other things I no longer need in my life. The stresses that came with trying to keep up with technology and industry changes were difficult.
However, they also helped me to understand that in order to move on and capitalize on the technology and changes to the industry, I had to jump in with both feet. The newspaper was unable to do that but I could without it. Now that I am so far into my new life, the old one that was attached to the newspaper has either gone or has been replaced by the one working on new things that technology has made possible. It is for these reasons that I do not miss the newspaper business anymore and look forward to what ghostwriting will bring.
It means I have moved on.
Thinking of A Midlife Career Change?
A midlife career change is not as hard to make as you may think it is. If I can do it, so can you. If you need a little bit of support in making your third quarter transition, maybe I can offer you a bit of help in dealing with the change. I have written an eBook on the topic that will inspire you and teach you as well. It is titled “Surviving Midlife Career Changes.” It is available at Amazon by clicking HERE.
I talk a lot about the way both Brenda and I flipped hobbies into new, full-time careers. I guess I do that simply because it is not only the truth, but in a way, I’m still a little amazed at how well it has turned out. While I don’t normally think about our third quarter transition in that way, there are many ways that it is brought to my attention while living it in real time.
Typically, while in conversation with someone who has asked the question “So, what are you doing these days?” the response I get while telling our story often acts as a trigger. Sure, I don’t normally get into details about the struggle to decide whether or not to shut down our newspaper business nor do I dwell on the details around the first few, scary months.
Guest Speaker At The Local Museum
For the fourth year in a row I was approached by the organizers of a local music event to make a presentation during Culture & Heritage Week in mid-August. I wasn’t immediately sure what I wanted to base my PowerPoint event on but since I was asked just prior to the anniversary of the closure of our newspaper business that happened to be fresh on my mind.
Once I decided that the topic was going to be “History of A Small Town Newspaper” I started keeping notes of things that popped into my head that would be interesting to cover. I actually focused very little on the actual history and more on the people and hidden extras that the newspaper had in its history. I think it made for an interesting presentation.
The A-Ha Moment
Somewhere during the evening when either Brenda or I was telling stories related to a PowerPoint slide on display on the screen it dawned on me. We have come a long way in the three short years following our last printed issue of the paper. Like I said before, I know this but don’t always think about it and during that evening it came back to me once more.
Blazing Our Own Trail
I know our story is somewhat unusual in places simply because of the fact that both Brenda and I were already doing something on the side prior to making our midlife career changes. But the rest of our story can easily be your story as well, if you are seeking a change for the better and happen to be in your 40’s, 50’s or beyond. It is never too late to make that change.
You could say that we were blazing our own trail because there really wasn’t a model in mind for what we were doing. There also wasn’t a lot of reference material out there to guide us so we did it our way. To this day we are still fine tuning our new careers but we are at a place now where we enjoy our lives and have some more control within them.
Thinking of A Midlife Career Change?
It’s not as scary as you may think. To give you some assistance, I have written an eBook on the subject. It is titled “Surviving Midlife Career Changes.” It is available at Amazon by clicking HERE.
My name is George Elliott. I have been in the Media Industry since 1978. I spent 23 years in Broadcasting and worked in a total of six different radio stations located in southern British Columbia Canada during my career. In 2000 I switched gears and moved into the Print Media Industry at a small town, local weekly newspaper. In 2004 I bought the paper and operated it with my wife, Brenda until July 2016 when we closed it. I launched a freelance web content and article writing business from my home in January 2014.