When I was given an early retirement from my full time career in 2009, I was delighted. I had a wonderful, long-term career that had provided very well for me, and earlier for my son when I was a single parent. But things had changed in that industry to the point that the only thing I loved about it anymore was the money. My son was raised and I had remarried. My life was at a place where I wanted to do something that I really loved. In the years prior to my “retirement,” I had been reading about life coaching. I loved the concept of meeting people where they currently were in their lives and helping them to move to a place they wanted to be. That journey is so positive and that’s what I wanted in my life. So my own journey began for me to become a certified life coach and start my company, “Positive Life Decisions.”
Being back taking classes at my age was exciting! I loved it! In fact, I loved it so much that I took a year and obtained four different coaching certifications! I have to say that I love learning. Although, not just anything, but learning more about human nature, personal growth and how to help people make their own lives better in some way. At that point, however, I knew that it was time for me to stop being the student and start using what I had learned to help others. That’s when things got challenging.
Yikes, I had become a business owner! I didn’t think about that part when things were exciting for me while going to school. I didn’t know anything about being an entrepreneur or running a business. I can tell you that my learning curve has been huge! I can’t begin to tell you the mistakes I have made. I worked for large corporations my entire career. There was no way for me to know what it was like to be a solopreneur. I’m still learning how to do that successfully every day. What I do know is that my business is a “heart-based” business. I had never heard of that term until I started coaching, but it immediately resonated with me and I clearly knew that was what I had.
Like I said, training was great, but a coach has to coach what they know. I knew what it was to be over 50 and starting over. I was a bonafide, card carrying baby boomer (those born from 1946 – 1964…the largest generation in history) and had been though pretty much everything baby boomers are going through. That was a no-brainer for me. But something started to become clear. All of the clients who were reaching out to me were women over 50…and, I loved them!
About a year ago, I did a research project on what women over 50 want. With that information and the insight I gained from my clients, I’ve been able to develop programs specifically for women over 50. I can tell you that they are amazing women. They are not looking to retire and sit in a rocking chair. They are asking: “What is my purpose in this next phase of my life?” “What can I do that I love and can make money doing?” “How can I stay healthy and engaged in life as I grow older?” “I want to do something different, but I don’t know what that is.” These are just some of the comments I hear. These are smart, engaged women!
Some of the ways I’ve been able to help these women is through assessments, personal coaching, group coaching for women over 50 and workshops. I have resources available where I can refer them, when needed. There’s nothing that makes me happier than when a client has an aha moment, a breakthrough, or gains clarity about what they want. That’s generally the hard part. The next step is to make a plan of action so they can follow through to get where they really want to go. I’m not only their coach, but their cheerleader, their accountability partner and a resource. I’m only a phone call or email away for them. In fact, I give a one-hour complimentary session to those who are interested to find out if coaching is for them. My email address is Connie@PositiveLifeDecisions.com to make an appointment.
Oh, and I’m not done yet either! I am adding new programs and resources to my business this year. I want to keep growing and learning. I want to feel as if I’m doing something meaningful with this phase of my life while making a living. I’ve heard the saying, “doing well while doing good.” That’s what I want for my “heart-based” business.
Connie Challingsworth is a certified life, re-career & retirement coach and founder of Positive Life Decisions, Allentown, PA. Through private coaching, group coaching and workshops, she helps people discover who they are as they revitalize dreams and discover passions, and design a plan to “make the rest of their life the best of their life.” Connie’s passion is working with women over the age of 50. Connie holds the following certifications, accredited by the International Coaching Federation: Certified Life Coach; Certified ReCareer Coach; and Certified Retirement Coach. She also is a Too Young to Retire Certified Facilitator. Connie holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA. She has more than 30 years of experience in business, many of which were spent in the pharmaceutical industry. She resides in Breinigsville, PA and is married to Tom Dutcher. She has a son and two grandchildren who live in Pittsburgh and a sweet little dog named Teddy.
From the Heart is a monthly column where local women share the trials and triumphs in their life. If you would like to submit an article, contact Andrea Hartley at 609-533-7966
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