August 09, 2022 4 min read 2 Comments

Why You Should Start A Business at 53

When Danielle and I first founded Carolily, it was just after my 53rd birthday. The women I paddled with couldn't understand it. My family asked, "Why now?". And most of my friends wondered why I didn't just want to retire. While everyone in my immediate circle was questioning my decision to start a company with my daughter, I knew it was the right choice. I had their support and I did not need their understanding.

While you may never wish to be a business owner, I think it is so important that we try new things in our fifties (and sixties, seventies, eighties and beyond!). It is of the utmost importance for us to continue growing and here's why!

Remind Society Of Your Place In It

As we discussed in last week's article, "To Be Neither Seen Nor Heard: How Society Views Women Over 50", we are often considered redundant and unnecessary. We spend our lives giving back to those around us, only to be told we are not needed once we reach middle age. 

It is shocking, insulting and enough to anger the best of us. But, one of the easiest ways to fight ageism is with action. By starting a new business, hobby or passion, we are firmly staking our claim in the world by taking up space. We are engaging with the community in meaningful ways and those around us are sure to notice. We know that we are valued members of society and while we do not need  anyone else to agree with us, it sure is nice when they do. It is a very natural thing to want to be respected.

Ditch Your Comfort Zone

One of our amazing clients shared these thoughts on our last blog post and they really resonated with us:

"I also know that I need to show up for myself and be the boss I’ve always been – I recently traded my car in for a truck and I ship my own horses to events and do more things that scare me – and that is giving me back some of what I have lost!"
- Kim B.

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Do one thing every day that scares you.” Try something that takes you out of your comfort zone and sense of normalcy. Perhaps you have always wanted to take dance lessons, but think "you're too old". Then dance lessons are exactly what you should do! Maybe you have an amazing business idea, but don't think anyone will care. The right people will care and it is up to you to find those people!

It can be incredibly scary trying something new, but there is so much reward and pride on the other side of it.

When starting Carolily, I had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Incorporating a company was new to me, as were the tax and financial requirements that came along with it. I taught myself what we needed to get off the ground and eventually asked for help. It can be just as scary seeking help as it is figuring something out on your own. Both sides of the experience took me outside of my comfort zone initially and, now, I am proud to say that I feel confident when dealing with our taxes!

It's Fun To Be A Student

There aren't many times in our adult life that we get to be a student by accident. Not unless it's our children teaching us something new about technology (and that's more by force than by accident!). It is up to us to actively seek out these opportunities!

There can be so much joy in being a student and gaining a new skill. When we rid ourselves of expectation and open ourselves up to the idea of learning something new for fun, the stress of it all evaporates.  There is no pressure or looming deadlines, just the chance to better ourselves.

What will you learn? A second or third language? An instrument? Maybe it's something you've always meant to do, like learn how to drive standard. Or how to make French macarons. Whatever it is, don't let anything hold you back. As cliché as it sounds, there is no time like the present.

If you need a little reminder on how to live in the moment, I recommend you read our article, "How To Enjoy The Present Moment".

You Never Know Where It Will Take You

Whether you are starting a new business or hobby, there's no telling where it may take you!

When we first started Carolily, we had big dreams, but we could have never imagined being invited to New York Fashion Week as a new business. Or that we would be able to bring joy to so many woman's lives. It has been a wonderfully eye opening adventure and one we couldn't possible have predicted.

Much like our business, your new endeavor may be fruitful in ways you never expected. Regardless of the recognition or accolades that come with your new journey, there is going to be an overwhelming sense of accomplishment that simply can't be beat. You decided to try something new, despite the barriers society puts in front of us, and THAT is something to be so proud of.

What Will You Do Next?

While you may not be interested in starting a business or are well beyond your 53rd year, there is ALWAYS something new you can learn. Life is so wonderfully full of surprises and the universe often rewards us for trying new things.

With that in mind, what new things are you going to learn next? I would love to hear in the comment section below!


2 Responses

Sherrie Winstanley
Sherrie Winstanley

August 18, 2022

Your article is both interesting and timely! I completely ‘get it’ and concur that we, as aging women, have an abundant wealth of life experience, knowledge and wisdom, valuable skill sets and discernment when it comes to a decision as to whether or not to start a new business, or, in my case, when I was 58, founded a new charitable nonprofit that supports immigrant and refugee women in Winnipeg who have been impacted by intimate partner violence/women abuse/gender-based violence (check us out at www.shadewinnipeg.org). Scary, intimidating, such a high learning curve on so many levels, and yet exhilarating, needed, and a humbling experience over these past 10 years to play a role in the healing journey of each woman in reclaiming her self worth and dignity, learning how to advocate for herself, understanding her rights and responsibilities in Canada, and transforming generations to come. I love what I do, and although hearing some of the stories of power and control and abuse over these women, I do take time to care for myself, one of which was to order a beautiful Carolily necklace that I proudly wore for the first time during a trip to southern Ontario for my niece’s wedding and continue to be thrilled to show off! Thank you, ladies, for your inspiration and willingness to stand up to the dysfunctional attitudes toward aging women! We are a force to be reckoned with!

Heather Fenton
Heather Fenton

August 18, 2022

I absolutely LOVE these inspirationals. I learn so much from you sharing your experiences and I truly believe in your words of wisdom.

Have you ever thought of writing a daily positive and challenging reminder as inspirations in a short story version? (Similar to the chicken noodle soups. ). A good read for the ladies room!! If it included some pictures of your beautiful jewelry pieces as well as some photo opportunities from your adventures, it would be a nice way to start the day!! (Therefore making us feel more a part of the Carolily Family!!)

Thanks for sharing this post. They are thoughtfully and uniquely written. A wonderful reflection of being a successful Carolily family member. ❤️

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