Can Your Business Benefit From a Midlife Crisis?

Beth GoldsteinHappy Holiday Season. I’ve spent a lot of time this year pondering the direction of my life and my business. You see I turned 50 earlier this year (good opportunity for you to feign surprise) and, as anticipated, I had my proverbial midlife crisis.I’m still in the midst of wondering where all the years went and did I make the right decisions along the way. I’m confident that I made a lot of really great choices, but trust me, when I made bad ones – they were doozies. Let’s face it, we all have “dirty laundry” but to be successful it’s critical to decide what to clean up and what to discard.

As we approach the new year, this month we’ll explore how a midlife crisis might just be what the doctor ordered for your business to rise to the next level!


Sometime it Just Takes a Few Grey Hairs…

I have learned a lot from my choices over the years (both good and bad) and am diligently trying to use those lessons learned to guide my future decisions. A colleague recently asked me if I was worried about becoming obsolete as I get older and I reminded him that I work at two universities where the median age (of most educators) is still older than 50. But, after making that statement, I thought further and have to acknowledge that, regardless of the age of my colleagues, staying on top of my game must become an even more significant priority as I enter this new decade.Can you have an empowering midlife crisis that catapults your career or business to the next level? I’m counting on it!The questions I’ve been asking myself about choices I’ve made over the past 50 years (well, the first 10 probably don’t count) have proven to be quite powerful. They have demanded that I carefully rethink and reconsider every aspect of my business and personal aspirations. I admit it, I am terrified of becoming obsolete as I get greyer (I already spend too much time with my hairdresser) and there are many things that I need to carefully review as the clock ticks.The world is a different place than we knew it 20 or 30 years ago and the pace of change continues to hit us at an unprecedented rate. Therefore, we must each learn how to avoid obsolescence while ensuring we remain passionate about what we do every day.  Are you still passionate about the things you cared about 20 or 30 years ago? How about 5 years ago?

The same soul searching questions I’ve been asking myself this year about my personal decisions have to be asked about my business choices. Not just this year (because I’m of ‘that age’) but every year because time slips by rapidly and none of us can afford to not ask these questions routinely (I suggest at least once a year but not daily or you’ll make yourself nuts).

Let’s review some soul-searching questions (you may have already asked yourself these):

  1. Are the things I care about today the same ones that led to my current business or career choice?
  2. Do I love getting up every day (or most days) knowing that I’m going to be doing something important?
  3. Am I restless and in need of a change?
  4. What would life look like if I could wake up tomorrow in my perfect job or running the ‘ideal’ company or non-profit?
  5. Do my answers terrify yet also excite me?
  6. Finally, (and this is the million-dollar question), What am I going to do in 2014 to create the change I desire? 

Remember, only you can make the change you need to have a successful midcourse correction. It’s never too late!

Enjoy the holiday season and I hope that you begin 2014 with a renewed energy in your walk and in your talk.