Do you have the just the right support network in place for you?

Look around you now. Do you have people in your life on a daily basis who support your dreams, your goals and your daily activities? Do these people make you laugh, make you smile and help you feel better about yourself? Are these people able to truly listen to your needs, especially it when it comes to your work?

Why is this critical?

Many of us start to question our work after we turn 40, and it can seem threatening to those around us. After all, think about all the years you left early in the morning for work, and came home late at night. You made a good income and never seemed to complain much. Why the sudden need to change NOW, at your age? Well, this is exactly the time when change is needed most. While most jobs and organizations are only concerned about productivity and being effective, those over 40 want more freedom, meaning and clarity in their work. They want to know WHY they are doing the work, and what difference it is making for themselves, and in the greater world.
With the right support network at this point in your life, new ideas can flourish, new dreams can become real, and new energy for life becomes available.

What happens without the right support network?

People go under. They bury their dreams for “someday” (which never comes). They convince themselves to continue doing the same old routine work, and hope that, by some magic, a good fairy will show up with a wand and make things better. If you are honest with yourself, you know this won’t happen.

Do you fire those around you?

You might have to. Does your support network help you move forward towards what you want, or does it hold you back? If the people in your life are holding you back, you will need a new team. Eliminating those in your life who are holding you back is just as important. If the people holding you back happen to be your immediate family, then an urgent meeting is necessary. In this meeting, as in any business meeting, you must tell them you are in a crisis.

Through much reflection, you have discovered that your work no longer fits you. It is time for a new direction. You ask for support and understanding. You explain that, with or without that support, you must go forward with your new ideas and plans. Let them know that if you don’t, you are sure you will die sooner then you planned. Explain that you will do your best to minimize the impact, but you expect that changes will be required. In the short term, there will be a need to downscale the financial requirements of life to accommodate this next journey. If you find you do not have the support you need, you will have to deal with it sooner or later. I suggest that you should set a date within twelve months to do this.

Take the first steps now to build the right network for you.

Make a list of new people you could meet, and or network with, who are interested in the same things you are interested in (your passions) This should be a short list, perhaps six people. Make sure you stay in touch with them weekly. You can meet these people in your neighborhood, in on-line discussion groups, and or at networking events. Make a second list of people who are both interested and supportive in what you want to do. These people will bring you ideas as you start your journey. You’ll need about three of these people. You might have to hire someone — it all depends. You want three people who are not only doing what you want to do and but who are also willing to give you ideas and resources to help on your journey. You can take a class; buy a product, sign up for a newsletter — there are many activities that will help you obtain these ideas. The third step is to find someone who believes in you and your work. This is a person who you might have to pay initially, but who does what you love to do, has great ideas and or products you could use, and — most importantly — sends you business. This is a person who becomes your mentor, your friend, your coach — someone who is interested in your welfare and your success.

What about those you fired?

You won’t have time to worry about the OLD team. You will be too busy building your NEW team. At this stage you won’t be looking back. You will have begun to build your new life and your new work.

What’s at stake?

If you don’t take action after 40 to discover and do the work you love, your life will become routine, dull and lacking in passion. This is the sure path to retirement, followed by a quick death. If you do take action, suddenly you will have new passion and new purpose for your life, and those in it. You will cherish each day and totally use each one. The best way to get started and to build momentum is with the efforts of a new team, a new support network.

Examine your team now.
Fire those members who will not be useful for the next stage of your journey, and build a new team that will be just perfect for you — right now.

As always, I’ll be cheering you on as you go

Craig Nathanson