A Second Chance in the Second Chapter of Life

by Felicia M. Lopes
Twitter:  @TheBusyGal
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/feliciamlopes/

There are times that your life changes suddenly.  At those time I feel like my stomach kisses my backbone and my hands start itching and aching like crazy!  I can still remember my life going into total upheaval mode when I was told unceremoniously by my boss 4 years almost to the day that I’d been hired at my job, “I’m sorry, but you’re fired!”  


A few days ago, those same feelings came rushing back at me like an avalanche as I sat in Starbucks drinking my favorite coffee, scrolling through my iPhone, when Jennifer Lopez’s new film, which is coming out this Holiday Season, came up on my news feed.  It looks hysterically funny (that’s code for I can’t wait to see it!), because as a women, now in hermid-50s, that moment in 2006 when I was 42, utterly changed my life!  I still wince from the financial aftermath — the sting of losing my job — remembering it so clearly as if it were yesterday, because it was the start of a Herculean uphill financial battle that lasted many years!

Check out the trailer below and see if it doesn’t resonate with you:

SECOND ACT Trailer (2018)

Getting back to my story.  Apparently the Executive Board had lost their contract, so, through no fault of my own, I was laid off!  As most people do after a job lay off, you start marketing yourself furiously so that you can get another job — any job to pay the bills, especially if you live in Forest Hills, Queens (NYC) where I lived at the time, and where my rent for my 2 Bedroom apartment was over $2800 a month! 

I’m a “glass is half full kind of gal”, so to tell you the truth, I was actually kind of excited and hopeful about the prospect of finding something new.  As I have a Masters from Columbia University which I’d earned only 7 years previous to that time period in my life, I figured that it would take me no more than 3-6 months to find another position.  

Sister… How wrong I was! 

To this date… I have NEVER been able to get another permanent full-time job with benefits!  I physically have documented that since 2006, I have sent out well over 2500 resumes to employers for positions for which I am absolutely qualified.  I was interviewed several times for high level positions in NYC and even called back for additional follow-up interviews at several companies – a few up to 5 times!  But every single time I was informed a few weeks later, that they’d hired someone else for the job via a letter like this…

Dear Felicia,
Thank you so much for sending us your resume and cover letter.  We enjoyed meeting you, but we regret to inform you that we are moving forward with another qualified candidate… yada, yada, yada, yada, ya ….  

You get the drift!

The ultimate humiliation came when I was told “off the record” by a well meaning head hunter, that my problem was that those hiring  want to hire people younger than me, because I reminded them of … wait for it… their “Mom” as I was now 46!  

Can you just image being told that!?!

It took me a long while, but I finally woke up and realized a truth.

The only way to guarantee income into my household, was to be in business for myself!

So after much prayer, reflection, research and re-education (I call it PrR&R), I bootstrapped my own business and I vowed to make three essential changes to my life. 

Change #1:  Develop A Positive Mental Attitude Reading Regimen

I began by putting myself on a reading regimen to “brainwash” or rather “brain flush” the negative that had permeated and manifested itself into my life up until that point.  I started reading classic positive mental attitude books like Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill, The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peal, and Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People.  I devoured books by successful female writers such as, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive, Fearless and Free, by Wendy Sachs, Answers Unleashed by Olympia LePoint, Womenomics, by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay, and Goddess on the Go by Leora Edut.  Ultimately, I set reading goals for myself so that I can finish at least one book every 2 weeks. 

Change #2:  Hang With and Listen to Successful Business Owners 

Additionally, as I build my business I know that the more I listen to successful people who’ve built fantastic businesses of their own, the better I become at my business.  I listen to podcasts like  The Big Shift, The Marie Forleo Podcast, Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations, and She Did It Her Way because I need the inspiration to keep on keeping on!  Additionally, I schedule into my calendar, local, regional and national meetings and conferences to go to, where I can meet  successful people and associate with them.  This way I can model their success habits into my own business. 

Change #3:  Focus on the Spiritual 

Lastly I started focusing more on the spiritual needs of my life by becoming more grateful and thankful.  I remember when this epiphany occurred.  I was sitting in my basement apartment in Santa Monica.  I had just moved there, I had no money in the bank, and I had no job.  Real inspirational success story there, right?!  What’s crazy is that I woke up and I heard God, speak to my heart and I realized that though I had nothing in the bank, I had a roof over my head, food in my belly (not one day did I go hungry) and clothes on my back – and stylish clothing at that!  Though I had no job lined up, I had hope and good prospects that some how or some way soon, He would provide for me.  I started saying to friends – tongue in cheek, “God is letting me ‘suffer’ in style while living in Santa Monica” – which is one of the most expensive areas of the country to call home! 

As I continue to build my business – now in my hometown of Dallas, Texas (that’s a whole other story for another time!) – I have come to realize that I am not alone as a middle aged female business owner.  According to New York Times writer Kerry Hannon’s 10/3/2017 Article, which is absolutely worth a read, check it out HERE, “in 2016, there were an estimated 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States — a 45 percent increase since 2007, according to the 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report from American Express.”  The article goes on to state,…

“Female entrepreneurs, particularly those over age 50, are igniting intergenerational entrepreneurship partnerships and collaborations among women of all ages,” said Elizabeth Isele, founder and chief executive of the Global Institute for Experienced Entrepreneurship. “Intergenerational partnerships between women dispel age-related stereotypes and build strong bonds across age, race and ethnicity in our increasingly diverse workplaces,” Ms. Isele said.”

If you fit into this demographic – being a a women who wants to start your own business and you’re in your 2nd or even 3rd chapter of life being in your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s or even 70’s – take a minute to ask yourself and answer these 3 questions: 

  • When you were a young girl, lying in your backyard looking up at the stars in the sky, did you imaging living the way you are living now? 
  • Is your Income Circle as large as your Dream Circle? 
  • Can you honestly state that you are happy and financially secure with where you are in life at this stage of life? 

I believe that all Women Over 40, 50, 60 or even 70 need a second chance because 9 times out of 10, most of us did not “get it right” in our 20s and 30s and we aren’t necessarily where we dreamed we’d be at this age.

If all your answers are YES to the questions above…  then “Hooray for you!!!!  You got it right in your 20s and 30s!!”  But I bet, 90% of you have answered, NO.  

So please for your sake and for your sanity, consider starting your own business and push hard for your own dreams!  I know I did it, and though it is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, it is also the BEST thing I’d ever done because…

My business became my second chance in my second chapter of life and it can also be that for you!

Felicia Lopes trains and empowers Women Over 40 who want to start businesses and become entrepreneurs nationwide through her robust online learning management system which features 3 Curriculum, 8 Core Courses, and over 70 individual classes (or modules).  Join her this coming 12/20/2018 for her webinar — Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Mindset where she will walk you through the minefields and  mental hurdles most Adults Over 40 face when launching a new business.  Register here to attend this information packed webinar.

SHATTER THE SILENCE | The Honor Diaries

Muslim women are being deprived of their humanity!

Honor Diaries is the first film to break the silence on ‘honor violence’ against women and girls. Honor Diaries is more than a movie, it is a movement to save women and girls from gender inequality, forced marriages and human rights abuses.

Divorcing Fear and Remarrying Freedom is the Pivotal Ingredient to Change!

Back in March I featured OLYMPIA LEPOINT as the BusyGal of the Month, so proud of my friend who lives the values of a BusyGal to the fullest.

Often called “The New Einstein,” Olympia LePoint is best known for her role as an award-winning rocket scientist, science entertainer and educator driving to help people overcome fear. As an internationally recognized science leader, LePoint helped launch NASA’s Endeavour, Discovery, Columbia, and Atlantis Space Shuttles. She successfully helped launch 28 Space Shuttle Missions into Space. She won The 2004 Boeing Company Professional Excellence Award, and The 2003 Engineer of the Year “Modern Day Technology Leader” Award. Mathaphobia: How You Can Overcome Your Math Fears and Become a Rocket Scientist is her debut self-help, educational book designed to empower adults and help students ace STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education.

She is an inspiration and understands overcoming fear and moving towards success!  Enjoy.

 

Thank You Jane Elliott for A Class Divided!

Are you a Brown Eyed or Blue Eyed Person?

Man without vision shall perish!
Jane Elliott
This woman, Jane Elliott had vision!  I had the tremendous opportunity to speak personally with her today and she is still cracking the whip against racism and intolerance!  She is an internationally known teacher, lecturer, diversity trainer, and recipient of the National Mental Health Association Award for Excellence in Education, exposes prejudice and bigotry for what it is, an irrational class system based upon purely arbitrary factors.

She started this class over 40 years ago – the day after Dr. Martin Luther King was killed –  and with HER vision, she started instilling the seeds of change that still need to be sewn throughout America.  I was compelled to post this.  I love her gumption, her tenacity and her moxy!

Ms. Elliott has successfully delivered THE ANATOMY OF PREJUDICE presentation and the POWER, PERCEPTION AND PREJUDICE seminar to a wide variety of audiences throughout the world and is available to present these moving lectures before groups or organizations. For additional information please visit her website www.JaneElliott.com.

Felicia M. Lopes
 The Original BusyGal


 

Jane Elliott divided her class by eye color — those with blue eyes and those with brown. On the first day, the blue-eyed children were told they were smarter, nicer, neater, and better than those with brown eyes.

Throughout the day, Elliott praised them and allowed them privileges such as a taking a longer recess and being first in the lunch line. In contrast, the brown-eyed children had to wear collars around their necks and their behavior and performance were criticized and ridiculed by Elliott.

On the second day, the roles were reversed and the blue-eyed children were made to feel inferior while the brown eyes were designated the dominant group. What happened over the course of the unique two-day exercise astonished both students and teacher.

On both days, children who were designated as inferior took on the look and behavior of genuinely inferior students, performing poorly on tests and other work.

As relevant today as it was 40 years ago, even more so due to the subtleness of racism and the advent of the TEA PARTY which just happened to evolve at the same time that this country elected its first African American President, Barack Obama.  This is a lesson that still needs to be taught in every school in America!  Here is Ms. Elliott in a modern day classroom setting.  The lessons are still the same!

 

 

 

 

His Daughter

The simplicity of this story will hit your heart powerfully!  We BusyGals need to understand that we have help in all the circumstances of our lives – we just need to call on His name because we are all His Daughters!

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble!

Psalms 46:1

Winning the Hand You’re Dealt!

This video, puts it all into perspective!  Be inspired and know that we are all wonderfully and fearfully made!  This is FAITH IN ACTION!

We are Unlimited!

Here’s a Shout Out across the pond to the UK’s Women Unlimited!  Thank you for producing such a powerful and inspirational video!

Women Unlimited http://www.women-unlimited.co.uk, put together this compilation of inspirational women to celebrate 100 years of International Women’s Day.

We hope it gives you hope and inspiration to follow your dreams and be the change you want to see.

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Live your Calling

I found this today and just had to share it!  Jeetly.com post it and I thank them!  I hope you enjoy it!

Just Because…

Is it me or do you just love these Little Minions and Pharrell Williams‘ amazing song!  I tend to play this song several times a day, just to keep the air and the space right in my head, in my heart, and all around me – especially when the negative tries to hold me down!!!  That’s how you get positive and good stuff done!

I’m happy… how ’bout you!

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BusyGal of the Month | OLYMPIA LEPOINT

Because I am so proud of one of my best friends, OLYMPIA LEPOINT, I am featuring her as my first BusyGal of the Month!
Kudos to you BusyGal Olympia!
She is a Former NASA Rocket Scientist.  Watch her inspirational video as she gave her stellar  TED TALK-X on Reprogramming Your Brain to Overcome Fears.  She is everything that a BusyGal should be – She Makes it Happen!!!
Kudos to you, Olympia…  keep on keeping on!!!

Continue reading “BusyGal of the Month | OLYMPIA LEPOINT”