What is your expiry date?
Seriously! Isn't that how society has planned it for us as women in our sixties and beyond, when we reach the “a certain age” stage, we are supposed to just go gently into that sweet night of obsolescence.
What is our purpose now? What will we do to feel valued, create value or receive value for what we offer?
Ready to change the paradigm? Join me and millions of baby boomers that are discovering this may be the best time of our lives!
About the Host:
Your Next Business Strategist and Transformation Catalyst
Dynamic, a self-made entrepreneur who overcame obstacles with an unrelenting positive nature, a farm girl work ethic, and a conscious choice to thrive rather than survive, Isabel Alexander Banerjee cultivated an award-winning, $10 million+ global chemical business and grew it from dining room table to international boardrooms.
Isabel’s strengths include the ability to initiate & nurture strategic relationships, a love of lifelong learning and talents for helping others maximize their potential. An inspiring speaker within both industry and community, she is a driving force behind those with the courage to follow her example of thriving against the odds.
With 50+ years of business experience across diverse industries, Isabel is respected as an advisor, a coach, a mentor, and a role model. She believes in sharing collective wisdom and empowering others to economic independence.
Founder of the Lift As You Climb Movement (www.facebook.com/groups/liftasyouclimbmovement)
Chief Encore Officer, The Encore Catalyst (www.theencorecatalyst.com) – an accelerator for feminine wisdom, influence, and impact.
Author & Speaker ‘Who Am I Now?: Feminine Wisdom - Unmasked Uncensored’(www.IsabelBanerjee.com)
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Isabel: What's your expiry date? Yeah, like seriously... Isn't that how society has planned it for us? That we're going to reach a certain age... A stage... Expiry date... Where... We're supposed to just go gently into that sweet night, of obsolescence. As a woman in your 60s, or 70s... A retirement... A family raised... Mortgage paid off... Career... The last hurrah... and... You're just supposed to expire, without an odour of course... Because... What value would we have?... At this age, in our life?
Well, that maybe sounds a little dramatic and harsh... But, it's kind of the stereotype, or the programming, that I was raised with... And didn't think much beyond that. And I confess... I was as guilty as the next person, judging me... That I judged older women. As I was growing up... As I was maturing... To be, unnecessary, unimpactful, sometimes inconvenient... Or sometimes just convenient... Because they were there... They were steady, and they were available for babysitting and asking quick questions.
I wrote an article sometime back... Just about that.. About... Is there a point of obsolescence?... Where... We as baby boomers... Cease to have any real value to society?... To business, to family and friends around us? Our children are adults, with very full lives of their own. For many of us, the grandchildren have already reached the age of independence... And they don't need dear sweet granny to read them a bedtime story.
In our relationships, sometimes we just aren't even needed anymore either. Everyone's gone off... To start their own quest in life.
Well, even though I grew up with that Freedom 55... Carrot in my brain... I grew up in Canada... and it was a London Life commercial that set me up... To go... Wow, I will have lived a terrifically successful life... If at the age of 55, I can retire from making any income, gainful employment... Live on the savings and the assets that I have accumulated over this wildly successful... Baby Boomer lifestyle that complied with... All of the... You know... Go to School... Get a job, Get married and Buy a House... Have some kids, pay off the mortgage... et cetera... Plan... Right to the edge of the cliff... When.. In your late 50s and early 60s, starting to fade from everybody else's radar screens...
Companies... Up until recently, and probably many, many, still... Were anxiously walking us to the door to get rid of us... Before we died in the traces... Or, that we cost too much money on the health care plan because of our deteriorating condition... At our ripe old age.
Let's turn off that show, and take a look at the reality of today. My circumstances as a serial entrepreneur, and a business owner... Led me to sell my company in 2009, and take a whole new journey in my life... I took a chance on love again... I sold my home and possessions in Canada. I moved to the United States, and tried the woman of leisure lifestyle. After all I earned it. I'd earned it the hard way. I'd had my own company for over 20 years. There was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in making payroll and dealing with economic disasters... Conditions outside of my control, and learning how to be a CEO on the job... On the job training for sure!
Well, I tried that... Okay. I deserve this.... And after all... That's what they said I was supposed to do. I was over 55... and it was time to slow down... Enjoy the fruits of my lifelong labor. After all, I've been working since I was 12 years old, and really just... Step back, and give someone else the opportunity to step forward, and rise in my place.
I tried that for a while... Rather than feeling the joy... And experiencing that beautiful life... That the television commercials from Freedom 55 had portrayed... You know... The lovely couple with the silver hair, with the Polo sweaters over their shoulders... Walking hand in hand, on the beach... Or... Riding together in a golf cart.
I found that all of that was possible, and available to me... But it wasn't enough... It wasn't enough to make me feel great about who I was... And what my purpose and value was. Now, at this different stage of my life, for a long time... I fought my true feelings because... I had convinced myself, that that was, the role I was supposed to play.
And if I didn't have to work... Then obviously... What kind of an idiot was I to say... Hey, let me try something new... Let me take on a challenge. Let me take on risk. Let me face the fear of personal growth, and learning new skills and, deciding how... I wanted to make an influence now... How I would be able to have positive impact.
All of that remained unanswered for me, for a couple of years... Until I realized that my search to find those answers... Wouldn't be satisfied until I answered one other, much more critical question first. And that was... Who Am I Now?
Rather than trying to conduct my life and planning... Based on who I was attached to... The identity who I was attached to... That I was quite comfortable with for many years. And I knew exactly what my place was in the world, and my role. Well, it was really easy... I had a business card that told me... Exactly... Who I was.
I had to really stop and look in the mirror... Look deeply into my own eyes, and ask that question... *Who Am I Now?*
It was a very emotional process. And you all know already that I have an affinity for words that start with the letter E... And so... Expiry, and Emotional, and Evolutionary... We're all part of this conversation... In how do we... Make that transition... From who we were... To who we will become... And... How do we traverse that unknown area in between?
I certainly was not prepared for that experience in my life. I didn't give a single moments thought to... What will I do?... When I am not who I was?
What will matter to me?
What will I have to Learn? Decide? Choose?... What skills do I have?... That transition into... What I want to do next?
How important is it to me to... Slow down? Or speed up?
Because now... Really, if I give myself permission... I have the freedom to do anything I want to.
Another huge part of that assessment or evaluation was...
Who do I need to have on my cast and crew?...
To help me fulfill the script that I can write for myself?... To produce what I call an Encore performance in my life.
I feel absolutely no regrets for the life that I had and the things that I've experienced and accomplished... Or failed forward... Very quickly or slowly. But here I am now, at this point... Going all right... How do I figure out... What needs to happen? What's the system? What's the process? And how do I execute that?
I wrote a book called, Who Am I Now?: Feminine Wisdom - Unmasked and Uncensored. And it really talks about... That lifetime journey of getting to be... Me... At that point, age 65.
But the sequel... to that... The unwritten sequel to that... Is this journey I am on now... To really appreciate everything that I am, and have been leading my life in preparation to be... Today... And what I choose to do with that going forward. Part of the conversation I'd like to continue with you... And with guests on my show.
Over the past 10 years, I've talked to other women... And I found out... That there was absolutely no reason for me to be hiding in shame, and suffering from this identity crisis that I was having... Because I was not alone... At any time. Hell no... Not alone because there are millions of baby boomers that are at this juncture.... That are going... Okay... What now??? Because we certainly didn't think that much farther ahead. There was just this... False belief that we're just going to go off the cliff... When we reach a certain point.
There's far too much life to be lived yet. I'm now 66... I expect that I will live at least another 25, 35, 45 more years... What will I do to fill that time?
What will I do to make sure that I have enough money to live the way that I want to live, and to be able to do the things I want to do?
These are the conversations that I would like to have with you.
And with the women that I have come to know... That are out there... Busting up those stereotypes and paradigms... They are transforming themselves... Starring in their lives... Doing something that maybe they never ever thought they would do that would happen because... For a lot of our lives, I don't know about you... But certainly for me and many of my friends... We kind of fell into our careers, or we were directed, and suggested and pushed or obligated... Or it just got too hard to leave that predictable income.
On the day that you are set free... From that sense of obligation and sense of being parked there?... Maybe... typecast?... In your role?... To where you can freely say... Hmmm... I get to decide... How I want to show up in the world now. What my character is truly like. Authentically... Who am I now... Based on this evolutionary journey of... 5, 6, 7 decades, that we have lived on this planet.
So please, I'd like to hear from you. What are you thinking about... Your Encore?... What you want to do next in life... How are you getting through that process of deciding... What that's going to be like... How you will produce and direct that successful Encore?
I am delighted to be on this journey with you. I will be even happier to give you a standing ovation... For figuring out your Encore, and starring in it!