Tag Archives: featured

The Burgeoning Silver Economy

online shoppping

online shopppingSometimes it takes a while for a message to sink in. Consider the following:  I’m a visiting fellow at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing. I blog about how to live productive and meaningful second half of life. I regularly attend conferences about longevity. And yet, it wasn’t until – shortly before Christmas –  I found myself watching a parade of innovators present three-minute pitches on products for the over-50 market that it dawned on me:  as a 53-year-old, I am the demographic they are trying to reach.

The setting was Zinc, a London-based incubator that seeks to solve the world’s most pressing social problems at scale. This year’s mission, Zinc 3,  supports products and services that add five more years of high quality to later life. I’m one of a number of fellows for Zinc 3, there to offer advice and help these projects come to fruition.

The products featured at the December event – all of which are still in the development phase – tackled topics ranging from menopause to hearing loss to job skills and beyond. While not all of them struck a chord with me, I was surprised by how many of them did. And if they weren’t quite right for me, I could definitely see their appeal for friends and family.

Read the rest of this post over on the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing blog

Image: Black Friday Online Shopping via PXFuel

New Years Resolutions 2020

new year's resolutions

new year's resolutionsHappy New Year!

In recent years, I’ve dedicated myself to a concept at the start of the year, rather than a list. Past years have featured concepts such as slow living, authenticity and balance.

Although I’m quite drawn to thematic New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve not yet sorted out what this year’s watchword is. So I’m going to revert to form and list ten small, discrete goals I’d like to commit myself to in the coming months.

Here goes:

a. Take more baths. I’ve long suspected that, much like the pet vs. anti-pet distinction – you can neatly break people into two groups: those who are pro-bath and those who are pro-shower.  (Apparently, I’m right! There’s a whole #teambath vs. #teamshower debate I’ve blissfully ignored for years.) Given the rapidity with which I approach life, I’ve always stood solidly in the shower camp. But I want  to make 2020 the year of the bath – at least once or twice a week. I think it will help me to sleep better. And, courtesy of my 16 year-old, we now possess about  50 assorted bath bombs and I’m curious to see whether those actually make a difference. Some people drink wine in baths. I think I’m going to try reading…which brings me to my next resolution.

b. Watch more good TV.  My husband and I don’t watch a lot of television. On weeknights, we read before we go to sleep. And we’ve deliberately chosen not to subscribe to Netflix, Amazon TV or any of the other streaming services so as to make watching television that extra bit harder. But we also know how very good television has become over the past decade and are woefully behind on household names such as The Crown, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Shtisel. So on weekend evenings, I’m going to priotise good TV and see how many of these series we can work our way through. (Have already tried – and dropped – Fleabag. Sorry to disappoint.)

c. Work less. I’ve fessed up before to how hard I find it not to work on weekends. Although the ultimate goal here is to stop working on weekends altogether, I don’t think a cold turkey approach is realistic for me. But I do think I can manage to adopt a 24/6 strategy. Stealing a page from  Tiffany Schlain’s new book, 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week, which is all about unplugging from technology one day a week, I’d like to extend this concept to work altogether. I made this commitment about 10 years ago – declaring the Sabbath “me-time”  – and I really did feel the mental and physical benefits. So I’m going to try and renew this vow in 2020.

d. Schedule in Admin Time. One of the things I can never quite find enough time for is the assorted admin that governs both my work and personal lives:  responding to emails, billing clients, keeping track of expenses, planning blog posts. If you subscribe to the Getting Things Done methodology (and I now do, courtesy of Nozbe), you’re also meant to check in with all of your projects – as well as an empty drawer you stuff things into – once a week. Nozbe recommends that you find a nice place to do your half day of admin – a nice cafe, etc. – to make your administrivia more palatable. I think I first need to find that half-day, commit to it, and then find the location. (Currently eyeing converted Edwardian era laundry-turned-cafe/pub in my ‘hood.)

e. Write more. A little bit over a year ago, I began writing fiction. But I’ve also conceptualized a series of essays about family. While I’m at it, I need to find an agent for my book manuscript or bite the bullet and self-publish. Because writing for me is a joy, I try to be less hard on myself in this department than I am about hitting goals in my paid work. But there are certain milestones I’d like to hit this year – like getting a short story accepted – and that requires putting in the work.

f. Walk more. I don’t own a car, so that certainly gives me a leg up on this  goal already (no pun intended). But most of my walking is purpose-driven:  it gets me from A to B. On Christmas Day, I took a long, meandering walk around my neighborhood while listening to a podcast. It was utterly refreshing. I am blessed to live in a city with a seemingly infinite number of wonderful nooks and crannies, many of which you wouldn’t know about unless you stumbled upon them. So I am going to try and take more advantage of walking in the New Year. Lucky for me, new research suggests that my naturally brisk pace may decelerate aging. Yippee!

g. Eat less meat. Yeah, yeah. I know. Everybody’s doing it. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to cut down on your meat intake. Especially if you’re a meat and potatoes gal such as myself. But after listening to a recent BBC Radio 4 programme featuring author Jonathan Safran Foer on what we as individuals can do to help mitigate climate change, I decided I could make an effort in this direction. Foer says , “There are four acts which matter significantly more than all others, these are flying less, going car free, having less children and adopting a plant-based diet.” I’ve already done #2, it’s too late for #3 and I’m somewhat limited on #1 by where I live in relation to friends and family. That left eating less meat.

h. Meditate longer. I’ve long prided myself on my near-daily mindfulness practice. But my husband – a fellow Headspace aficionado – recently suggested that I increase my daily dose of meditation from 10 minutes to 15, as he does. Initially, I resisted. “I’ve got too much to do!” I retorted. He arched an eyebrow. So I tried it. He’s right. It’s better.

i. Create a new set of affirmations. This one’s a case of “Practice what you preach.” Not only have I extolled the virtues of affirmations on this blog, I also encourage clients to use affirmations to set and achieve their business goals. But your goals shift over time, so it’s important to update your affirmations accordingly. Check.

j. Celebrate the Sabbath. I don’t mean this literally. But I’ve discovered  that one of the most important ways for me to relax on weekends is not to go out on Friday nights. Whenever I do it, I always feel exhausted and anxious on Saturday morning, even if I had a good time. So I am going to start turning down all social invitations for Friday nights. Bonus! This will make more time for more “good TV”!

As I look over this list, I’m not quite sure if they add up to a collective watch word for 2020. I’ll keep working on that…

What do you hope to achieve in 2020?

Image: Top New Year’s Resolutions by Forth With Life via Flickr

Creating Holiday Traditions When You Live Abroad

Christmas tree ornament

Christmas tree ornamentI got an email from two of my siblings recently asking my opinion on a family matter. Apparently, one of our aunts used to send a tub of popcorn to each of her grown-up nieces and nephews every Christmas to share with their children. My siblings thought that this year, as our aunt passed away six months ago, my mother should carry on this tradition.

“Huh?” I responded. “What are you talking about? I never got any popcorn…”

The Cost of Living Abroad During the Holidays

I’ve lived abroad or 13 years. While there are many things to recommend expat living, one thing that’s never quite the same is the holiday season. You can institute new traditions within your own family, but you will always feel slightly bereft.

I was reminded of this when reading a delightful account of Thanksgiving traditions by New York Times medical columnist Perri Klass. Klass talks about how, once she had children of her own, she could no longer travel to her parents’ home for Thanksgiving. But she quickly found herself quickly replicating many of her mother’s Thanksgiving traditions, which ranged from singing the hymn “We Gather Together” before eating the meal to preparing the requisite Indian lasagne.

I could relate. Like Klass’s mom, my mother also hails from the so-called  traditionalist generation. On Christmas Eve, our family would light the advent wreath before dinner and recite the Roman Catholic hymn, “Drop Down Dew Ye Heavens From Above,” my mother intoning the refrain. After dinner, we would take turns reading aloud from the Christmas story in the bible. We didn’t read from the Good Book itself, but instead from a yellowed Life Magazine version of the story my mother must have obtained cerca 1947. Beneath each segment of the story, she had carefully inscribed a designated Christmas Carol that matched the text. So at the appropriate junctures, we would sing “Joy the World” or “Silent Night” in unison.

Afterwards, we hung our stockings and one of us read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas aloud to the rest of the family. As we got older and had our own children, the youngest available grandchild became the designated reader.

New Continents, New Traditions

I don’t do any of that with my own family here in London. For starters, my husband is Jewish, so we celebrate Hanukkah with our kids. The 24th is also my son’s birthday, so that has added a new element of tradition into the mix.  On Christmas Day, like all good Jews, we now go out for Chinese food and watch a movie. Plus, in England, you have the whole Boxing Day thing to contend with on the 26th. (Personally? I’ve had enough celebration by then, so I usually stay inside and read.)

I’ve managed to sneak in a few holiday rituals over the years. I’ve amassed a random assortment of dreidels and non-religious Christmas ornaments which I delicately array in a sort of Omnist collage on our dinner table every year throughout the month of December. (As a Jewish boy who attended a Christian high school, my husband is allergic to overly-Christian iconography.)

In keeping with my dual British citizenship, I also dutifully ensure that we have a sufficient supply of Christmas Crackers, so that we can all be a bit silly at the annual Christmas Eve/Hanukkah/Birthday celebration. I also try to attend at least one Carol service a year at a random church of choice. Last year, I went to the local Unitarian Church. The alter featured a chair made entirely of conch shells, while doll-sized toy Unicorns adorned the windows. It all felt oddly appropriate.

Renewal

I don’t think I’ll ever quite recreate the intense holiday traditions of my youth. It wouldn’t suit my family. And and at this point in my life, it probably doesn’t suit me either.

But the virtue of being part of an inter-faith, bi-national family is that you always have a chance to try something new. This year, for example, I’m hosting a “Christmas Drinks” cocktail party at my home for a bunch of friends from my old job. I never host large gatherings, but I’m really excited for this party. I think I’ll wear some reindeer antlers to mark the occasion.

I’m also making a huge batch of Christmas cookies with some Christmas Tree and Santa-shaped cookie cutters I inherited from the previous tenant in this house. He left them when he moved out, whether by choice or by accident, and I feel that I’m carrying on some of his traditions by employing them myself.

The holiday season will still be a patchwork of traditions. At the 11th hour, I’ll need to rush out and buy those special, slender candles you need to place in the Menorah. Hanukkah falls on the 23rd this year, so I’ve invited a friend’s son who enjoys cooking to prepare a special feast for my own son, who’s been away at college in America for four months.

There will always be a bit of sadness mixed in with the merriment. But as the Christmas carol of my youth, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, would have it, “Oh, tidings of comfort and joy…

Perhaps we’ll sing that too.

Image: Happy Holidays! By Michael Levine-Clark via Flickr

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The Real Reason Boris Resembles Trump

boris and trump

boris and trumpEver since Boris Johnson became leader of the Conservative party in the UK, much has been made of his purported similarities to the American President, Donald Trump. Both men are seen to be “disrupters” within their parties.  Both men have espoused a populist, anti-globalisation message to harness support among working class voters.  And both men have led unruly personal lives.

While one can debate how closely these two men align beneath the surface, there’s one, less visible area where they are almost 100% in sync:  their speaking styles. A voice analysis by the Vox Institute in Geneva of the two men’s inaugural addresses as leaders revealed a remarkable similarity on nearly all aspects of speech, including things like tone, frequency, loudness, and intonation.

Read the rest of this post over on Clearwater Advisers

Image: Johnson and Trump at the 47th G7 in Biarritz via Wikimedia Commons

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Tips for Adulthood: Five Unconventional Gift Ideas

gifts

giftsOn occasional Wednesdays, I offer tips for adulthood.

As we enter the holiday season, a lot of us experience gift fatigue. Particularly for those people we buy presents for year in and year out, we are utterly stymied and in want of fresh ideas. More to the point, many of us are broke and/or beginning to sour on the idea of gifts altogether.

So this holiday season, I’ve come up with five unconventional gift ideas:

Read the rest of this post over on Better After 50

Image: Christmas-Xmas-Gifts-Presents via Flickr

Tips for Adulthood: Five ‘Free Range’ Tips for Growing Your Business

free range chickens

free range chickensOn occasional Wednesdays, I offer tips for adulthood.

I’ve been meaning to read Marianne Cantwell’s Be a Free Range Human ever since a colleague recommended it to me right before I left my last job. There’s something undeniably seductive about the subtitle of this book – Escape the 9-5, Create a Life You Love, and Still Pay the Bills. And given that at the time, I was still working for the BBC – which, for all its many delights – is still a ginormous corporation, the title really spoke to me.

Fast forward two years and I’m in a very different place. As I sped through the first 3/4 of Cantwell’s book, I realized I’d already put into place most of her excellent advice for how to figure out what you really want to do with your life. So I focused mainly on the last part of her book, which is all about launching your own business and making a decent living from it.

I’m so glad that I did. Although I’ve learned a lot from my own foray into entrepreneurship over the past year and a half, there is always more to learn. Continuing to educate yourself, as Cantwell reminds us towards the end of the book, is the single best investment you can make in your career. So here are five takeaways for those who’d like to deepen your “free range” career:

a. Ditch the Business Plan. Once you’ve figured out what you’d like to do with your life, you may be tempted to spend loads of time crafting a business plan. Don’t. One of Cantwell’s counter-intuitive pieces of advice is that you will benefit far more from just getting out there and doing whatever it is you want to try, rather than endlessly fine-tuning your idea. I learned this the hard way. Once I’d decided to launch my communications consultancy, I went and took a one-day course on “How to Craft a Business Plan” at a local university. I then spent at least a month editing it feverishly and shopping it around to various friends. It’s not that there wasn’t any value in doing that, but the best advice I got during that period was from a friend who read my concept note and suggested I put it down and go deliver a few workshops. He was right. Less than a year later, I’d considerably broadened my repertoire of workshops and had a much clearer sense of what I could – and could not – offer. Moral of this story: don’t get trapped in paralysis of analysis.

b. Ditch the fancy website. Another early mistake I made was thinking I needed to have a fancy website *before* I went public with my business idea. How would I ever demonstrate my value as a communicator if my website wasn’t pitch perfect? Thank goodness I didn’t have enough money to do that a year ago, because it turns out I didn’t need it. As Cantwell notes, a lot of people get so caught up in having the big, shiny things that they forget to just get out there and invest in getting clients. Right now, most of my work comes from repeat business and referrals from people I’ve worked with who liked what they saw and tell their friends and colleagues. Turns out, they don’t seem to care what my website looks like. They care if I’m actually any good at what I do. The website can wait. Building my reputation – and income stream – can’t. Ditto branding. Right now, my consulting business doesn’t have a name. Nor did Cantwell’s when she started. Free Range Humans came later. Someday I would like to have a kick-ass website, one that unites my blog with my professional website, all under the RealDelia brand. But that’s not my priority right now.

c. Figure out your free-range style. Another piece of advice that really hit home was Cantwell’s suggestion to figure out your “free range” style before designing your business development strategy. Given the number of personality tests I’ve taken over the years, I didn’t think I needed another typology. Again, I was wrong. Cantwell lays out three different free-range styles: the attractor, the connector and the trusted person. Attractors bring in clients and income through their brand or name. They are all about making their story, products or ideas visible. I’m a connector. This means that I typically win business through personal connections. I tap into those relationships to go out and create new ones. Trusted advisors, in contrast, tend to be more introverted in their style and win clients through expertise, qualifications and quiet interactions. All three styles work. The trick is to figure out which is the most natural fit for you.

d. Figure out what makes you stand out. Cantwell calls this your 1% difference. The best way to differentiate yourself from competitors isn’t by scanning the field and figuring out how you can tweak their offer. Instead, you need to start with yourself and determine what makes you distinct. For Cantwell, it’s her smile. Time and again, clients tell her that they are drawn to her smile. For me, it’s my energy.  I also have a PhD, which gives me a huge advantage over others competing for work in the higher education sector. So figure out what makes you special and how you can capitalize on it to win over clients.

e. Change your mindset for sales. Sales is a vital part of any business. Most of us hate doing it because it makes us feel sleazy. Cantwell has great advice for those of us who think of “sales” as a four-letter word. Her advice is that instead of “selling your soul,” that you “sell from your soul.” If you love what you do (which is a pre-requisite for a free range career) and can’t wait to get started, try selling that enthusiasm, rather  than trying to convince someone to buy something. She encourages you to consider how you’d describe your product or service if it were someone else’s product and you knew a friend would really benefit from it. When you believe in and love what you do, it doesn’t feel like selling. It begins to feel more authentic.

Image: [Semi] Free Range Chickens by woodleywonderworks via Flickr

Tips for Adulthood: Five Ideas for a Fast-Changing World

running long distance

running long distanceLast Thursday, I had the privilege of attending the second annual meeting of The Longevity Forum, a relatively new player on the UK’s ageing scene.

As I noted last year when I attended the inaugural event, The Longevity Forum takes a two-pronged approach to the demographic realities of a globally ageing population. It is, on the one hand, interested in the potential for current scientific research to extend the lifespan. But the organisation is also focused on the social and economic implications of this so-called longevity dividend.

As the conference was invitation-only, this blog shares five ideas I took away:

Read the rest of this blog over at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing blog

Image: Runner running long distance via Pixabay

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My Love-Hate Relationship with Being Busy

vive la vie

vive la vieI was trying to plan an outing with a friend I’d not seen in a while. But when I looked at my calendar, I realized that my next window wasn’t for another month. “I’m really sorry,” I said. “October is insane. I’m afraid that’s the reality of being a freelancer.”

“No it isn’t,” she quipped. “That’s the reality of being Delia.”

Work First, Life Second

Although the comment stung, I knew she was right. Much in the way that other people are addicted to their phones or other, more nefarious substances, I’m addicted to busyness.

And the primary way that I make myself busy is through work. I frequently work on weekends. I tell myself that this is down to the “plight of the freelancer”  – and there is some truth to that – but I know that a lot of it is my own inability to stop working.

I was really proud of myself recently for carving out a three-hour window to see friends every Friday evening between now and Christmas. I finish teaching at 4 o’clock on Fridays and I’m usually totally beat. So I thought, “Yes! That’s when I’ll chill!”

I told another friend how excited I was about finding this window for my social life.

“You and your windows!” she said, shaking her head. (Are you seeing a pattern here with my friends?)

My friend organizes her life around seeing her friends, and slots her work in around that. I do the reverse.

Fear of Death

I’d love to tell you that my endless busyness is driven by the fact that I’m a high-energy person. I am. And particularly now that I love my job, I don’t mind working extra hours when I need to. Work is fun.

But it runs much deeper than that. There is a fear of the abyss – of how to deal with the thoughts and fears that crop up when I don’t have 10,000 things to tick off my to-do list. I worry that if I slow down, I won’t re-start.  It is, at the end of the day, akin to a fear of death. In my mind, to stop moving is to stop being. And who am I without constant movement?

This fear is particularly acute on Sundays, when I always feel like I’m right on the edge of a tidal wave of despair. But if I swim fast enough, I can just escape being swallowed up. Over the course of the day, what might have been depression morphs into a prickly disquietude. And I ward it off through work.

Paying it Forward 

When I was growing up, my mother used to say “I’m cold; put a sweater on.” It was her way of projecting onto me her own needs.

I hate to say that I now do this with my own daughter. Except that instead of telling her to put a sweater on, I tell her to stop being so busy.  My daughter does a gazillion after-school activities. (Apple, meet tree.) Her motto, which is emblazoned on a neon sign in her room –  is “Vive la Vie!”

Unlike me, however, my daughter isn’t busy because she’s fleeing something. For her, living life to the fullest means never saying no. If someone invites you to the theater or to a bubble tea or to a political protest at the last minute, you say “yes,” even if you’ve got a mound of homework to get through. She doesn’t want to miss out on life’s experiences.

I admire this in her. Just like I admire my friend who organizes her social life first and her work life second.

And yet, I am constantly admonishing my daughter to do less. “You’re too busy!” I tell her. “Slow down a bit!”

Who am I *really* talking to?

Vive la Vie

Not for the first time, I find myself taking life lessons from my teenage children. I think it’s time to put my money where her mouth is and vive my own vie.

Which is to say, it’s time for me to let go of the fear and be OK with slowing down.

I  won’t be able to do this  overnight. But I can start with Friday afternoons. Are you free for a coffee?

Image: Sentir la Vida via Flickr

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Why I Hate Pets

pets

petsA friend of mine just returned from a four-day international conference in Wales. It wasn’t a gathering of journalism professors (her profession). Nor was it an extended family reunion.

It was a global gathering of owners and supporters of – wait for it – Welsh Terriers.

Yes, that’s right. One of my closest friends in the U.K. just went to a dog conference. One that was replete with guest speakers on Welsh terriers, a special break-out session on how to groom your dog, and even a fancy dress party (for the dogs).

I could barely mask my dismay.

Boxers vs. Briefs

On many of the world’s pressing issues, most people sort neatly into one of two camps: Coke vs. Pepsi. Boxers vs. Briefs. Yankees vs. Mets. At the risk of alienating 90% of my friends and family, I’d like to add another category to this list: pet vs. anti-pet. I don’t think I have to tell you where I fall.

I was reminded of this recently at a neighborhood get-together. We were sitting on someone’s patio, enjoying some cocktails, when a friend pulled up a photo on her phone.

“Guys,” she said, breathlessly. “I can’t wait any longer…”

And sure enough, it wasn’t a picture of her daughter, or her newly remodeled kitchen, or even (God forbid) her husband. It was a picture of the Chocolate Labrador she’d just adopted. In a matter of seconds, everyone followed suit, nodding and cooing over the veritable museum of pooch snapshots emanating from their own iphones.

Everyone, that is, except me.

Read the rest of this post over on Better After 50

Image: Sweet Pets by Sweet Spots via Flickr

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Why Running Your Own Business is Empowering

strong woman

strong womanI had lunch with a friend the other day. Like me, she launched a new business in her 50’s. Now, she’s launching another one (after taking a year out to recover from cancer.) When I asked her how she was feeling about all of this change in her life, she smiled.

“I feel great,” she answered. “I feel empowered.”

Her comment got me thinking about the word “empowerment.” Much like “leaning in,” empowerment is one of those buzzwords we all throw around  without really defining what we mean by it.

Saying No…and Saying Yes

One of the most important lessons you learn as you age is how – and when – to say “No.” Just as there are good reasons to accept work that doesn’t pay as well as you’d like when you need the money, there are equally good reasons to turn down work even if you have time.

Lately, however, I’ve also been enjoying the freedom of saying “Yes.” It’s not that I’m taking on work that I don’t really need or want. It’s that when a random opportunity crops up that’s slightly outside my comfort zone, I’m not instinctively saying “No” before I fully consider it.

I was offered two potential pieces of work this week that are both slight reaches for me. One is fairly far outside of my knowledge base and the other is for an audience I’m not familiar with.

I’m not sure I’m going to end up doing either of them. But the simple act of being open to an unexpected opportunity felt empowering because I was expanding my set of choices.

Setting Boundaries

My old boss once told me that I was exceptionally good at “ordering chaos.”

He was right. And while he meant it as a compliment, it can also be a curse. Whether it’s a paper, a project, or a meeting, if I encounter something that isn’t well-organized, I can’t help myself:  I fix it.

The problem is, sometimes that’s not my job. I was in a meeting the other day where the potential client was very much in brainstorming mode. I love that sort of thing. But at a certain point I could barely suppress the urge to leap up out of my seat, grab a marker and commandeer the white board to help structure the thinking.

That was problematic on two fronts. First, no one asked me to stand up; I simply felt compelled. Second, I sensed that if I did take ownership of that white board, I might very quickly end up running that project for them. And I knew I didn’t want that.

So instead of trying to order that particular piece of chaos, I walked away from it. I told those assembled exactly where I thought I could make a contribution, asked them to reach out to me when they were ready, and then exited the room.

My old work self would *never* have done that. She’d have taken notes and started project managing. But newly empowered Delia simply said, “Call me when you need me.”

Asserting Your Worth

Taking a page from Kayleigh and Paul on the Creative Class podcast, I raised my freelance rates this year. I didn’t do anything drastic, and I stayed within my market. I also waited until I had a solid track record of success – with the testimonials to prove it – so that I could justify the increase, should anyone challenge me. (They didn’t.)

With one of my clients, I also went back and asked for more money when the scope of the initial work expanded – in time and volume – beyond what we’d originally agreed.

A year ago – and certainly 5 years ago  – I never would have done either of those things. My M.O. would simply have been to keep absorbing more work, even if it felt unfair or over-burdening. Indeed, I would have felt guilty had I asked for more pay.

This time, in contrast, I felt like I was simply asking for my payment to reflect my true value and effort.

Empowerment as Liberation

Most people think of self-employed people as liberating themselves from offices. But I never had a problem with offices.

What I needed liberation from was myself:  my inability to say no to things I didn’t want to do, my reluctance to embrace things I might want to do, and my tendency to wildly over-compensate for other people’s shortcomings.

So I do feel empowered. But not in the sense of finally being CEO in my company of one. Rather, what running my own business has taught me is that I am free to make choices that make me happier. And Lordy, does that feel good.

Image: Strong Woman (Unsplash) via Wikimedia Commons

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