August 28, 2013

In the recent past, I have written on the subject of candor as it relates to being true to yourself, acknowledging your strengths and challenges, being honest about what you want and why you want it, and doing what you are truly passionate about. Today, I’m touching on this again, but with more focus on a particular stage in life – Baby Boomers heading into the final third of their lives.

I am observing an interesting dynamic unfold as so many friends, colleagues and clients navigate their early 60s. For most, this is an age where Americans traditionally consider their upcoming retirement years. Many are completing successful careers and some are considering transitioning their businesses to employees, family members or potential buyers.

30 Years of Golf?

Here are the elements of a typical retirement-anticipation conversation today:

  • – If all goes well with me from a health perspective, I could live another 30 years
  • – That is too long to “just golf,” “visit grandchildren,” or “volunteer at the hospital”
  • – I believe I have something to offer my community, but I’m not sure what
  • – I don’t know what would be valuable to others that I would also enjoy
  • – Money is not the main objective, but it would be nice

Candor First

We must be candid with ourselves in uncovering what we truly want to do or, frankly, exactly what it is we really don’t want to do. We must be intentionally honest with ourselves and not be swayed by less-than-relevant influencers and lifelong assumptions such as:

  • – What others expect us to do
  • – What we’ve been doing until now
  • – What we’ve always assumed we’d do
  • – What we believe we are best at


This question of “what’s next” is so prevalent among Baby Boomers that a group has formed here in Richmond called Encorepreneur. It’s a monthly gathering among post 50-somethings for networking opportunities and speaker presentations. It is regularly attended by more than 70 people. The whole point is exploration of the possibilities for “what’s next.”

As a 30 year-old Millennial quipped, “I want to be an Encorepreneur – to be in the stage of exploring what I am passionate about, to be able to put aside almost all constraints of the financial implications and of what others think I am good at, and to really define the next phase of my life – what a gift!”

Find what you truly have passion for and be intentional about pursuing it. If not now, when?