|Have you ever had one of those moments in life where you wake up and say, “I just can’t do this anymore”? Maybe it’s a relationship that just isn’t working. Or maybe it’s work that isn’t working. That’s what happened to me. 26 years, 8 months and 11 days after the first time I ever walked in to the WESH-TV studios in Orlando, I walked out.
I kept thinking I must be nuts. After all, I had a high profile, well paying, semi glamorous job in the TV news business. I probably could have ridden it out for years. But I just couldn’t take it. At the age of 48 I chose to start over again. Turns out, I’m not the only one.
At no other time in American history have so many 40, 50 and 60 somethings opted to try a change of careers. Some decide to take the plunge because they’re worried about layoffs. Others want to run their own business. Most are simply tired of working for somebody else.
I guess I was one of the many who felt like I had more to offer, more to contribute. I knew I was just going through the motions. I wanted a new challenge, new responsibilities. But what to do? Years as an anchor/reporter required little knowledge of financials. I don’t even balance my own checkbook. My wife handles anything to do with money, thank goodness! Bottom line, I had very few business skills.
But there’s one thing I know about as well as anyone, people. Nearly every single day of those 26 years as a feature reporter I’d invite myself in to people’s homes and get them to open up and tell me their life’s stories. So what I didn’t know about trust funds, I made up in just plain trust. And after years of listening I started to notice a common thread that ran through everyone, regardless of occupation, education or age. They all had things in life they wished they had done.
One of my colleagues at WESH had a similar revelation. Marc Middleton lived most of his years in the sports world. The key to his success was humanizing the athletes he would interview. He found that even they had things in life they wish they had done. Marc clearly understood that one thing we all have in common is a need for growing bolder. Just like that, a concept was born.
At first, Growing Bolder was all about aging. A massive age wave is about to wash over us like a giant silver tsunami. Over the next ten years in this country, the number of people over 50 will increase by 75%. The number of people under 50 will increase by 2%. The good news is there are more opportunities for people over 50 than ever before. They are starting new careers, traveling and following their dreams. Even so, their demographic is the most ignored and underserved of all. Marc’s dream was to fill that need. His belief was so great, he quit his job to pursue it. He truly jumped out of the plane without a parachute.
When he explained why, it hit me like a bolt of lightning. I wanted in! So did Andrea Coudriet and a number of other challenged starved friends from WESH. We’ve set out on a most ambitious undertaking. We’re building a global intergenerational on line community. One that reaches out to all ages.
GrowingBolder.com is unlike any other website. We approach it as if it were TV on the internet. It’s a vibrant, vigorous place to participate in personal and professional fulfillment, intellectual exchange, shared interests and just plain fun. There’s nothing else like it.
So keep logging on, participating and discovering all we have to offer. And think about ways to start Growing Bolder. It’s something we all should do!
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