Navigating My 50’s

By on September 4, 2012
water color of woman in desert

By Jeannine Clontz –

As a teenager, I specifically remember when my father entered his 50’s that there was a sense of ease in our everyday lives. He even boasted that things were easier in his 50’s and he mellowed out quite nicely, making for better relationships with all of us kids.

But that’s not at all what I, or many of my friends experienced. Times sure have changed for our generation. I started my own business in 1998 at the age of 44. Two years later I was diagnosed with a debilitating disease that made it clear having my own home-based business was about the only option open to me.

I struggled for several years, and by the time I turned 50, I knew I needed to reinvent my business by using independent contractors to cover some of my business when I was unable to do the work due to the progression of the disease.

By the time I reached 55, not only had the disease progressed to a point where I was much less able to function, but I had been hospitalized with a nasty infection twice, came out of the hospital with yet another incurable disease that left me unable to walk or drive, and went from taking 3 prescriptions a day, to taking 12 prescriptions and several injections a day! After that second hospitalization, I was totally homebound for 11-months.

I have always considered myself to be the optimist, to always take my lemons and make lemonade, but now I was faced with making a really big decision. Was I ready to throw in the towel, close the business, go on disability and give up, or find some other way to stay vital, in business, and fight to maintain some quality of life?

Of course, I made lemonade! I again reinvented my business so that 90 percent of my work is being done by a team of talented independent contractors, monitored and managed by a project manager, to allow me to not only keep the business growing, but to create a saleable business for the future.

I’m still in the driver’s seat as far as marketing the business and adding new clients and workload, but I am in a much better position to deal with my health issues without sacrificing the quality and value that my clientele have come to expect from working with me.

Of course, I would never be able to do any of this without the incredible support of my husband, Neil, who has to help me with those personal care issues I cannot, including sometimes driving and taking me by wheelchair to appointments where the walk or drive is too far for me to manage.

My 50’s are certainly not what I had thought they would be, but I still have a lot of fight left in me to meet the challenges these health issues have presented to me, and I’m not at all ready to give up on the business I’ve built over the last 15 years – I’ll simply continue to reinvent myself to meet those challenges and make more lemonade!

 

Jeannine Clontz, IVAA CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: http://www.internetmarketingvirtualassistant.net, or contact her at [email protected]

About Jeannine Clontz

Jeannine Clontz, IVAA CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: http://www.accbizsvcs.com, or contact her at [email protected]

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Navigating My 50’s