I must admit that the term ‘midlife crisis’ has always had me wondering. I am quite sure I passed the midway point of my life a few years ago and I don’t recall going through anything I would remotely consider a crisis of any kind. Sure, the regular pressures of life and living may have caused some stressful situations but never once do I remember anything resembling a crisis.
I guess it really has a lot to do with how we handle circumstances. My wife, Brenda, tends to refer to me as a ‘flatliner’ which is her reference to me being calm and subdued in most situations. Others may choose to use the word ‘emotionless’ to say basically the same thing. In my defense, I am not an unfeeling individual. I just prefer to approach any and all problems, issues or concerns with a cool head.
I think that is what helped me get through the transition into my third career. Don’t get me wrong, there were other influences including the fact that both Brenda and I were dealing with the next part of our lives together and that God was also in the mix. However, being able to take an objective look at things and reason it out with logic made the big decision a lot easier.
The big decision was to close our business. I had worked there for 16 years and had been the owner of it for just over 12. It was both scary and exciting at about the same measure and pretty much at the same time. I still don’t think I would have termed it a crisis. If anything, had we kept the business open and tried to keep treading water it would have become a crisis.
Where I get a lot of encouragement is the material I have been reading about what we have experienced. The rate of business start ups by entrepreneurs aged 50 and older is impressive and makes me think that if we are not part of a trend, we soon will be. In fact, Brenda and I chose not to go from business owners/operators to becoming full-time employees. Sure, we both have part-time seasonal jobs where we are ‘employees’ in some people’s eyes but in actual fact we are really contractors.
Our full-time gigs are entrepreneurial in concept and design. We both have home-based businesses we actually started as hobbies. Now they are our regular sources of income. Still, there is no crisis in sight.
Sure, I may sound like we’ve got it made because the common perception is that we sold our business and are living off a bag of money. That could not be further from the truth. We closed our business to stop it from losing more money than it had been over the past couple of years. We are carrying a hefty debt into our future but, you know what? Our future looks bright and it doesn’t really matter what we owe as it still is not a crisis.
I think where we see a crisis developing is from our personal fear of breaking away from something that has either been secure or feels secure. This is especially true for those of us in our 50’s as we all get scared about starting over in a new job or career at an age where we think there should be no ‘starting over’ parts and only comfortable, cozy and secure parts.
I was afraid of starting over for maybe a few minutes. Then it dawned on me that I wasn’t starting over…I was just switching gears and that got me over the scary part and pushed me into the exciting part.
If you find that you need a bit more proof and a whole lot more encouragement to get away from that life-draining job you think you can’t live without, I strongly urge you to learn more about our story and how we did it. I have written an eBook that will give you the tools to avoid the midlife crisis others talk about. It’s titled “Surviving Midlife Career Changes” because that is precisely what we did – and you can, too.
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.