By now you should know that I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. With the way 2019 ended for us, I have to admit that I may need to reexamine that. After seeing a great deal of success with both of our home-based businesses for most of 2019, things took a turn in November. No, the market didn’t take a dip for us where suddenly no one wanted specialty jam or needed any web content written. Both of us ended up dealing with personal health issues.
How This Affected Our Midlife Career Changes
Brenda’s workload leading up to the Christmas season was astronomical. There were so many products to produce to stock up for what we thought was going to be a very busy season. The thought of the extra work was enough to spook anyone and looking back on it, I’m glad that we decided to downsize what we were doing to get through the season. We canceled vending dates and focused on our weekly venue which took off a lot of the pressure.
Then in mid-November, I got sick. I don’t normally get sick. Sure, the odd cold here and there but it has been a very, very long time since I’ve been seriously ill. What I thought was food poisoning turned into a bowel blockage with several complications. It forced me to stop writing for weeks and sent me to the Intensive Care Unit of a regional hospital. What started out looking like a strong finish for both of our businesses for the year turned into a total derailment.
The Silver Lining In All Of It
I suppose we could have looked at our situation as a devastating end to what was otherwise a record-setting year for both of our home-based businesses. Instead, we looked at ways to reduce some of what was going on that led to our crashes. For Brenda’s business, JamBusters!, we determined that we should cut down on the number of extra vending events we’ve been adding to our calendar and just focus on where the business is already well established.
As for me, I am slowly getting back to ghostwriting for my clients at Looseink Freelance Ninja. I will likely keep a slightly slower pace for the next few weeks to allow me to fully recover. Thankfully, all of my clients have stuck by me and are waiting for me to get better. My goal is to reduce some of my workload and try to manage my time a bit better. Follow up doctor appointments will help me to further define what that change could look like.
We Are Not Changing Our Careers
If anything, we are comfortable in our midlife career changes. All we need to do in 2020 is take the lessons learned from the end of 2019 and use them to guide us into the next year. I don’t anticipate huge changes, but we will be doing some more fine-tuning. That way we will be able to continue doing what we enjoy but maybe find a more efficient way to achieve our goals without having a repeat of November 2019 happening to us again.
Learn How To Survive A Midlife Career Change
It isn’t every day you will have access to someone who has experienced a midlife career change. My wife, Brenda and I went through one at the same time. Then last month we were able to weather disruption to them. I have written an eBook on how to make it through your first career change as an adult. It contains tips and advice from someone who has been there. It is titled “Surviving Midlife Career Changes.” It is available at Amazon by clicking HERE.
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.
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.