Sunday, July 2, 2017

     After a stimulating 45-minute  conversation with a dear friend yesterday, I was reminded of how young the two of us are and the incredible energy we have. This month will mark another birthday for me. I am two years older than my friend. We laugh about our age, rolling our eyes and gritting our teeth, but we applaud one another on our stamina, our drive, our courage and our success as we compare our goals for the year. 

     We decided a few months ago that this is “Our Year.” That means, we’re going to make it big or quit. Neither of us is a quitter, so the only choice is “make it big.” Now defining “big” may vary with whoever is making it, but for us it means making money 24/7. This means we must make money while we sleep. How will we do this all by ourselves with no assistants, no agents, no PR team? We will do it by digging in our heels (mine are 4” high). We will work every day. We will network monthly. We will think, rethink, let go and think again. We will fail, and then we will fail again, and then, voilà, we will succeed. Neither of us has anything to lose and nothing to prove. We have each had our successful careers, my friend, President of a small business, and me, a wonderful 40-year teaching career whose tentacles still reach out to me weekly on my Facebook page. No, we aren’t trying to be women of the year; we are following our passion and living our purpose. 

     How lucky am I to have found a soul sister who, like me, gets high on ideas, gets drunk on relevant research, gets obsessed with making it past the three feet to the gold. (See Napoleon Hill)

     When I hang up the phone after our monthly conversations, I write down all the ideas and tips my friend offers and inspires. So does she.The energy from our conversation is like an aphrodisiac; I can’t get enough. I immediately lose myself in my work. 

      So you might think, “What work can two seventy-something women have to do that’s so exciting?” Well, you’ll just have to wait for the headlines. There will be headlines, even if they appear on Facebook, on our own websites or in a fake newspaper that she and I create. The beauty of all this is that we are in love with the process. The result is a bonus. When you can wake up everyday at our age and get excited about your purpose, that is success. When you can shut your laptop after a good brainstorming or research session and know that you’re making progress, that is success. When you don’t give up, that is success. When you share the journey with your friend, that is success. 

     We are both on stage performers. We need the stage, and the audience needs us. Part of our work is finding the appropriate stage and marketing our talent so the audience in front of us appreciates what we do. It would be so much easier with an agent, a tech assistant and a PR team, but that’s not in our budgets. Part of our goal is to make more than we spend, and that’s a huge challenge. 

     The other part of the stage performance is keeping our confidence high and our anxiety low. The only way to do this for us is to read and re-read our testimonials and engage in our monthly pep talk/brainstorming sessions. It’s a wonderful life, and only stage performers can understand the language of the journey.

      “Quel en est le but?” I always asked my student this question, “What’s the point?” The point is that no matter how old we are, we can be a Judi Dench, a Jane Fonda, a Sally Field, a Helen Miren. Our wrinkles are status symbols of our previous successes. Our imperfect skin represents the toughening that has had to occur in order to jump through the hoops of the naysayers. We have learned to turn a deaf ear to those who try to discourage us, some of whom are family and close friends. We have learned to follow our hearts and listen to our guts. We have learned that the world gets crazier and more intimidating every day, and we don’t have time to waste. We need to “make it’ now. Just three more feet. What’s your “gold?”