Is Age the Villain in Your Story?
They say there are only 7 storylines that have ever been written. Every movie, book, or play can be summed up in one of the seven. What they don’t mention is the one thing all 7 have in common: a villain.
If truth be told, villains play the most crucial role in any story because they point to the real struggle of the main character. In the movies, villains are easy to spot. You know the look: dressed in all black, beady eyes, an overall sketchiness about them for the most part. But in real life, the villains in our own life stories are a little more subtle. Typically, there’s no one lingering in our bushes waiting to pounce. Instead, the villains in our life stories sneak into our thought life and speak to our deepest fears.
A couple of years ago, at the age of 50, I squashed the villain’s voice (or maybe just ignored it long enough for a brief spurt of bravery) and tried something I’d wanted to do my entire life. Tired of jobs that were no longer challenging to me, tired of thinking I was too old for what I really wanted to do in life, tired of the nagging that told me I would regret not trying one day . . . I just went for it.
I started my own line of products, with artwork that was mine (instead of the projects I’d worked on for others for decades). I put it out to others and asked for feedback. I created things and put them out to sell wholesale and retail. I posted my face on social media (eek!). I gave the world a glimpse into my deepest desire (to have my own brand of products that sold to the world!), and then shut my eyes so I couldn’t see their reactions, lol.
The result? I’m a couple of years in and have 30 stores carrying my products. I’m exploring art in a way I never thought I was “good enough” to try. I’m living my most creative life, and that’s after being in a creative field for nearly thirty years.
I ripped off the Band-Aid, friends, and punched the villain in the face.
Are you over the age of 40 and have convinced yourself (like I once did) that you’re too old to pursue your lifelong dream? That you’ve missed your opportunity? That you simply aren’t as connected to what’s trending and selling anymore? That no one wants to hear your story because of your age?
Don’t let your age play the villain in your story.
The truth is this: Your age is a gift, and you need to leverage it.
At your age, you:
o Have invaluable years of insight
o You’ve learned the value of patience and calculated planning
o You’ve experienced success
o You’ve experienced failure
o You understand the value in each of the above two statements
o You no longer get pulled into shallowness or pettiness and know how to rise above it
o You’re comfortable in your own skin and don’t need approval in order to move forward
Most importantly, and this is a big one, your value may be underestimated—which can become your superpower.
This week, the program that changed my creative trajectory is opening for enrollment. It’s robust. It’s challenging. And packed so full of exactly what you need to start a new career, it seriously rivals college level tracks. I believe in it so much that I’ve become a partner this year and when you sign up through me, I'm giving away a one-hour session to use as a Q&A about the industry, next steps, advice, or a portfolio review--whatever you feel you need the most.
So, take the chance, friend. Punch the villain in the face. And join me.
*As a partner in this course, I have the opportunity to be compensated. Because this class was so pivotal in my own career, I stand behind it and am proud to tell others about it. This is the only program I’ve chosen to support in this way.