I sometimes find it hard to believe that we are where we are today. I remember more than one conversation with my wife, Brenda where we were not too sure what was going to happen once our newspaper business was closed. It was two years ago this week when we finished printing our last issue. It was intentional, not accidental, either. Business was no longer booming and a combination of things just added up to us choosing to quit trying to tread water anymore.
I’m not sure that I’ve actually looked at it in that way. Not the treading water part but the part where we were intentional in closing the doors to a business we had worked so hard at for well over a decade. I like to think that we picked the date of our last issue (July 26, 2016) because it has some significance. However that was not the case, it was the final Monday of the month and we printed the Similkameen News Leader early on Monday mornings without fail.
More Than Just One Anniversary
The unusual thing about the date was that it happened to be an anniversary for me and I didn’t know it when we first chose to finish our run at the end of July. The date of our very last issue was the sixteenth anniversary of my first day on the job for the weekly community newspaper. It was three and a half years later when I bought the business and took over the day-to-day operation of it with Brenda. But for now I’m marking the second anniversary of our career changes.
The Plan Without An Actual Plan
I can’t say we had pre-planned our midlife career changes because that was not how it happened. Brenda was two and a half years into JamBusters! (her home-based specialty food business) and I had already spent the same amount of time as a freelance writer “on the side” when we closed the paper. Neither of our part-time hobbies was generating a lot of money, but they were definitely showing potential if we could only dedicate more time to both of them.
By ceasing publication of the one career that took up most of our time, we freed up the space we needed daily to attempt to make our hobbies slightly more than that. Again, none of this had been planned but when we started talking about the possibilities, it sounded far more than just plausible. It sounded like a doable plan. So that was pretty much what set us in motion to see if maybe we could convert something we were already doing into something worth doing.
Your Opportunity Awaits You
As it turns out, our midlife career changes started with that very logical next step. It wasn’t long before both of us realized that we had the answer to our future already in hand – we just had to use it. If you are contemplating a career change in your midlife, it is not nearly as scary as it may sound. Yes, we did lose some sleep early on as we were worried about whether or not we could pull it off. However, some things worth doing have an element of risk involved.
You won’t know until you take that first step.
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.