Many assume, or fear, that making major life changes over 40 is just not possible, that it’s too late or not worth the hassle. So as part of my Midlife Memo newsletter series I’m hoping to disprove some of these myths, along with introducing you to some fabulous women, who will hopefully inspire you to believe that it’s never too late.
Today I’m chatting to Liz who gave up a successful career as a teacher and took the leap into launching her own business in recruitment. Six years later, after much hard work, drive and determination, I’m catching up with her to see how how she’s getting on.
You were an outstanding primary school teacher, what motivated you to give it all up and start your own business, in a new industry, in your 40s?
I just felt so miserable teaching (the system not the kids) and I had no real control over my day to day. I also had young children myself and was missing out of so much time with them because I worked non-stop. I was treading water all the time!
Did you ever have a time when you almost gave up? What did you do instead of giving up/what stopped you giving up?
I never even thought of giving up (except when Covid hit and we all thought it was the end of the world). It just wasn’t an option as I had to make it work as I had no back up plan. Resourcefulness and resilience are key for me and if I can’t do something I just find a way and dig in and get it done.
What has been the hardest part of the journey so far?
Having two members of staff leave one after the other within a two month period. I was far too close to them personally and you know it hurt – a lot! One of them told me they were setting up in competition to me and stole my database too – ouch!
What advice would you give to someone who would like to do a similar thing?
Absolutely go for it! Honestly the only person holding you back is yourself. Get the right tribe around you and let them cheer you on. Own your mistakes – you will make them – and work on your mindset as it is the key to everything.
What’s your superpower?
People. I am genuinely interested in the people in my life – whether that’s professionally or personally. You can have such an impact on someone’s life or situation just by being there, listening and being interested in them.
What is your favourite quote?
“Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you.”
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
Starting the day right. I love a morning routine. I get up at 5:30 and have a little time for me whether that be a podcast or journaling and I always try to get some kind of exercise in.
What did you learn from mistakes you made in your life?
That they are all part of the journey and it’s not what happens to you that defines you but how you respond to it.
You have two sons – which one thing would you like to change in the world for them?
I hope for a fairer world. That a person’s sex, race, age or colour should make no difference to how they are treated or how they are made to feel.
You can only choose to save one thing. What would it be?
1. Your wardrobe
2. Your makeup bag
3. Your music collection
4. Your shoes
My music collection!
What would you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse?
Say my prayers!!!
Who are the three people who have been the most influential to you? And why?
My dad – he taught me the value of being passionate about my career and that anything is achievable.
My mom – she modelled how to be resilient and face adversity full on with a positive mindset as well as showing me how to be a fantastic mom myself.
Jesus – my faith gives me both peace, strength and purpose. I would be truly lost without this one!
What would be your must-not-miss podcast/book/film recommendation?
Oh my goodness there are so many! I’m sorry this is an impossible question.
How do you feel about ageing?
I’m embracing it. I am braver, more confident and most importantly happier than I have ever been. I think we really do get better with age (like a fine wine!)
What’s the best thing about getting older?
Knowing myself. I just don’t stand for any nonsense or drama now. I know what and who I like, and don’t like, and that’s ok.