#053 We are not retiring. We are just getting started.
I’ve heard many women lately talk about retiring and they don’t understand why it’s not for me.
My friends who are business owners get it. It’s great to be able to retire any time they choose. But it’s also amazing to choose to do your soul’s calling. No matter what age you are.
‘I don’t want to spend my days going to galleries and knitting’ said Marlene, an entrepreneurial colleague & mentor.
Recent studies are looking at the age when women come into their prime.
The results are heartwarming. In the past, it was considered that a woman was in her prime in her 30’s & 40’s. Whereas it’s much closer to her 60’s or 70’s, maybe even her 80’s.
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Hello and welcome to the podcast today. We’re talking about something that has come up for me quite a few times lately and has caused a bit of stir on the inter-webs when I’ve been posting about it. It’s called we are not retiring. We’re just getting started. And I’m here in somewhere that I never thought I would be in any time soon. I am in Melbourne, Australia. I have been trying to get to Perth in Australia for the last two years. And I’ve had a succession of cancelled flights. Perth has been nicknamed the fortress state because of their quite strict COVID restrictions. They are slowly opening up again, but getting an international flight to actually land in Perth has been quite challenging to say the least. So last week when my flights were cancelled again, I re-routed my journey and chose to fly to Melbourne at the last minute and tomorrow I’m getting on a plane to Perth. So, I have had a very unplanned and unexpected, but delightful week here in Melbourne, the weather has been extraordinary and I have got to some wonderful things, going to a Moonlight outdoor cinema to watch a fabulous film “Serrano” and, um, get a lovely cafes. Melbourne is known as THE place for coffee in the world. It has lived up to its expectations. And I have been here many, many times before, but all the times I’ve been before, I was not a coffee drinker. I gave up drinking coffee for 30 years, but took it up again a few months ago, but that’s the story for another day. I’ve met some lovely people for coffee, for lunch, for dinner, just done a few fabulous things but also had quite a severe degree of jet lag. I had two nights in a row where I didn’t sleep for a minute. Then the following day I managed to sleep for 10 hours and then felt totally groggy and like a zombie for another day after that. So, it’s been a bit mad, but all for good cause, and I will be delighted to get to Perth tomorrow and then I’ll be popped into quarantine for a week before I can see my family or see anybody at all.
The thing that I want to speak about today is around the topic of retiring. It’s not so much getting to a certain age and retiring. It’s more like the attitude of retiring or slowing down or just being sort of moved quietly to the corner because you’re of an age where you’re maybe not so important anymore. And I’ve heard many women talk lately about retiring and often they don’t understand why I say it’s not for me. My friends who are business owners get it. It is great to be able to retire whenever you choose. But it’s also amazing to choose to do your soul’s calling for as long as you want to do it, no matter what age you are. And when I put a post out about this, I had so many comments, like a couple of hundred comments and the vast majority were talking about how they are just getting going in their fifties and sixties and seventies.
One of my colleagues said I don’t want to spend my days going to galleries and knitting. When I put that there, there were quite a few women that got a little bit ruffled by that. They asked, what’s wrong with knitting? What’s wrong with going to galleries? Absolutely nothing. It’s more that attitude of not doing your work anymore, not wanting to do your work anymore, where there’s so many of us that feel really like we’re just getting started in our fifties or maybe sixties or even older. Which to me is really exciting, feeling like there’s so much more to do, so much more work to do on this earth yet. And some recent studies have been looking at the age when women come into their prime and in the past it was thought that a woman was in her prime in maybe her 30’s or 40’s.
If you look at that from a fertility point of view, the prime kind of fertility ages are late teens and early to mid-twenties. Whereas now the research is showing that women are coming into their prime offer fertility, but for them, it’s much closer to her sixties or even seventies. And I think that’s really heart-warming. If you look at women in so many different fields around the world, you know, you see incredible women like Judi Dench and so many other women that are just really doing incredible work in their eighties. It really is quite remarkable. And it’s not to say that we must keep working. I think what’s amazing is when it’s a choice, I think it’s quite difficult for women who feel like they have to work maybe in their seventies and beyond because they’re not financially independent enough to support themselves.
I think that’s a whole different conversation, but I think women are really beginning to recognize that they don’t have an expiry date. Look at the queen of England. She is 95 and still working in her role, not sure whether that’s what most people want, or whether it’s even a very good example, but it’s the truth of what it is. So, it really is a mindset thing, her mindset thing around when you want to do what you want. I think we go through so many different cycles in our lives, we certainly have different hormonal cycles, but we also have different seasons of purpose throughout our lives. And I have read some studies that say that we go through our working life, we go through 13-year cycles of moving from one thing to the next, and there are questions as to whether we are meant to do the same thing for all our life, or are we meant to move from one thing to another. I’ve certainly done that. I worked as a nurse over 13 years, and it overlapped with studying naturopathy and natural medicine and running a clinic there for a couple of decades, really. And then I’ve been a coach since 2008. So that’s 13, 14 years this year, but that’s not finishing any time soon. And there may be another, another cycle coming through on top of that. I certainly don’t see an expiry date for it. And one thing that was quite clear in the comments on the post is that women don’t want to work hard as the years go on.
They don’t want to be working 40, 50 hours a week. And that’s certainly not my intention either. It certainly isn’t my reality now. And it’s certainly not going to be, be that as the years go on. Particularly once we get into the menopausal years, we need so much more space for ourselves. And I think that we need to see health and self-care and really taking exquisite care of ourselves as a business strategy, as part of what I call the money-making activities in our business. I think that’s incredibly important. And one of the very funny things about so many women reacting to saying about going to galleries and not wanting to spend all our time there, today I had the most magnificent day, and I went to the national gallery of Victoria. That was absolutely exquisite. The Chanel exhibition was there. And I had the most glorious time strolling around and reading and listing all about that exquisite work and how timeless it all is. I had so many reflections around it sort of for how it relates to business, but I also really enjoyed just really marveling at the magnificent of all things Chanel. It really was quite exquisite. Also, there was another exhibition in the same gallery as well, which was called the bark ladies. It was the work of many indigenous women in Australia and their incredible artwork. I was mesmerized by it. It really was incredible. If I had another day here, I may have gone back again to go up the floors and look at the other exhibitions that were on in there.
So I think that I do not want to spend every day of my life going to galleries, but I certainly will be doing some of them in the future. I don’t mind a good gallery here and there. So, it’s about the mindset of retiring, of not being ready to stop my life’s work, that ever evolving and stepping into the next iteration of who I am and seeing who, who am I here to serve? At the moment I know exactly who I’m here to serve and will be for a significant amount of time, I believe, but we shift and change as time goes on. It’s really amazing to step into what’s next for us and not to have any constraint on that, to be able to be, have the freedom.
I think we are so fortunate to live in a time when we have the internet. We have a way of working online. We have everything that we need that our mothers, certainly our grandmothers and great grandmothers didn’t have available to them on what many women still, even in today’s world, because of where they live or their situational circumstances, do not have the freedom that we have to create profitable businesses that can support us as we go on. It really is an incredible opportunity for us to do our life’s work and to decide whether we want to retire or maybe not. I mean if you look at people, like when did Louise Hay start Hay house? I think she was 56. So, you look at the statistics of when different people started different things, different actors have started acting in their forties that we even imagine must have been working in that job for all their lives, but they haven’t.
They just step from one thing into another. So, it is incredible to be able to do our work at any age, for as long as we want to, and maybe sometimes step away from it and have some, some periods of time off and step back to it. It really is up to us. We really do have the freedom to do that. But what has to happen first is that a business needs to be profitable. A business needs to have a good solid foundation, a business needs to be bringing in recurring income so that it sets you up for being able to decrease hours and step away for periods of time, if that’s what’s desired. And I think that is a very smart way to set up a business, so that that can happen. For example, like me here now on the other side of the world, from where I normally live and being able to just work a few hours a day, a few days a week, that is an incredible thing.
I’ve got a team to support me and to support our clients. I am still there holding the space for everybody and doing a small handful of calls during the week to the groups where I support. At the moment, the doors open to my beautiful business marketing mentoring program for women over 40, it’s called wholehearted marketing. And I’d love to invite you to join us. It’ll give you all you need to show up to share your message, to connect with your dream clients and sell your offers. And you can pop along at my website, thesarahleather.com/wm, standing for wholehearted marketing. I’ll pop the link down below in the show notes. And thank you for being here today. I’m going to be back to you soon with so much more, and I’d love to hear your thoughts, feel free to leave a comment. And how do you feel about retiring, is that for you soon? Or do you feel, like me, that even though you’ve been doing this a long time, you’re just getting started. I think it’s really, really exciting. Thank you, bye for now.