Midlife Is a Springboard
Starting your passion project in midlife.
Posted Oct 17, 2020
Tom skipped college and went straight to work. Just like so many of us, he lived in the moment, focusing on the grind of family, and work. He didn’t have time for anything else. But, in his 50s, he decided to take a leap and take a stab at being a radio show host. He’d always fantasized about being behind the microphone asking the tough questions, but the idea this could be a reality was not even in his consciousness until he hit midlife. By 50, he had the stability and confidence needed to make the leap. The new adventure was both exciting and frightening, but he figured he had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Ten seasons later, Tom has an award-winning, syndicated talk radio show: The Tom Matt Show. He is so glad he followed his passion.
According to the Harvard Business Review (2018), the average age of a successful startup founder is 45. Why is this? Perhaps it is because midlifers have had a chance to gain confidence and skills, learn from failures and successes, and bring well-honed life experiences to a new venture.
According to CNBC (2019), financial stability and security may be factors that play into making a change in midlife. Women hit their peak pay at 40 and men at 49. This may be just the incentive needed to leave a job that isn’t fulfilling, but pays the bills because 58 percent of workers are willing to take a pay cut to completely change careers.
Midlife is a time to try new ventures because time is limited and we know it. Putting passion projects off until “next year” just won’t work anymore. The chance might not come along again. Time has meaning in midlife and it seemingly passes so much more quickly than in the 20s and 30s. This is the time to seize opportunities and midlife is the time to capitalize on them because we have the expertise and the knowledge that it is “now or never” and living with regrets is often more frightening than taking a leap toward a new adventure.
Midlife is the perfect time for new beginnings. The great thing is these new beginnings come with the wisdom we’ve gained, the connections we’ve created, and the confidence we’ve fostered in ourselves.
What’s your passion project? Writing a book? Becoming a podcast host? Entrepreneur? Whatever it is, midlife is the best time to start.
Research: The Average Age of a Successful Startup Founder Is 45. (2019). Harvard Business Reveiw. https://hbr.org/2018/07/research-the-average-age-of-a-successful-startup-founder-is-45
Nearly half of workers have made a dramatic career switch, and this is the average age they do it. (2019). Cnbc. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/31/indeed-nearly-half-of-workers-have-made-a-dramatic-career-switch.html