How to succeed after 50

At one of my favorite chicago Shopping destinations, Ikram on E. Huron St. 

At one of my favorite chicago Shopping destinations, Ikram on E. Huron St. 

How I built a life that never ceases to amaze me... dare to dare!

By Susan "Honey" Good

My life is always interesting because I dare myself to dare.  I meet my life experiences with excitement and dare myself to take chances. My philosophy is: if I don’t try, I will never know and If I try and don’t succeed, at the very least I know I tried. I preach this over and over to my Grands.

My rule of thumb: I dive in when I feel enthusiastic. I never let fear of the unknown stand in my way. When I do reach new heights, well, darlings, there are no words to describe my delight!

Today’s unbelievable story is how I became a national life style columnist for the Sun Times Network (STN).

I wasn’t sure about writing this story so I called my publicist, Susan Berman Hammer. I wanted her input. Our conversation went something like this...

“Hi Susan! I was thinking of writing a story of how and why I was hired by the Sun Times Network,” I said. 

She replied, “I think that is a great idea because you are a National Columnist and write a national column for them that appears on line in seventy cities.”

I responded, “OMG, I never think of myself as a national columnist!”   

She went on, “Well,  you should because you also write a national weekly column for the Huffington Post.” 

I have to tell you, darlings, when she spoke those words I was overcome with two emotions: utter joy and utter shock as I shook my head and said to myself, “I just cannot believe this happened to me.” And darlings, I really can’t.

how to succeed after 50

And my story begins with a little help from a friend because it was Susan, my publicist and dear friend of too many years to count, who called me one day and offered me an interview with the CEO of the Sun Times Network.

My response to Susan was immediate. My dare to dare optimistic attitude came into play, darlings!

"OMG, of course I will meet with STN,” I exclaimed excitedly.

After hanging up the phone, I recall my reactions were all over the map! I was over the top excited; I was apprehensive about the upcoming interview and I was totally thunderstruck that this opportunity was being presented to me!

Of course I then changed direction to the obvious… what would I wear?  I decided to wear, what else darlings, but high heels, red lipstick and a great feminine outfit…not a suit!

The day arrived! Of course, I walked into a very large boardroom in my high heels and red lipstick! Seated at the head of the long table was the CEO at the parent company of STN and next to him sat a lovely young woman, his Executive Editor.  Introductions were made and right off the bat he said, “Tell me about yourself.”

I started with describing my upbringing in Kankakee by the Sea; my exciting move and life in the Hawaiian Islands, raising my family in an Island like setting, widowhood and a second marriage, blended families and the trials and tribulations of my life. I ended with how I pursued my passion for writing in my late sixties. They listened intently and then the CEO said, “Have you ever done videos?"

An OMG went through my mind as I answered, “No I have never done videos... but I will!” Dare to dare, darlings!

“I want you to do videos to accompany your blogs. I want the audience of readers to read you, hear you and see you,” he told me.

He went on to explain that STN had a younger readership. They were looking for an older woman (I know the high heels and the red lipstick did it!) to write a weekly Friday column to attract an older audience of women.  I was hired on the spot. 

My first assignment was huge and I was overwhelmed but knew I would meet my deadline. I had about three weeks to complete 18 blogs! A date was set for a crew of three to come to my apartment and do live videos! The CEO also wanted me to immediately set up an Instagram account. I did. I left the Chicago Sun Times building razzled and beyond dazzled, darlings!

how to succeed after 50

Oh did I work! Between writing for STN, HoneyGood.com, GRAND magazine, ThreadMB, The Huffington Post and taking care of my husband and my family, spending time with my girlfriends a few days of the week, and keeping up a busy social life with my husband each evening, I was like a whirling dervish! I would wake up between 3:00 am and 4:00 am and start writing, in bed in the dark, on my trusty Apple laptop, as Orchid and Shelly slept next to me.

I accomplished my mission. I sent in all of my blogs and waited for the next new experience… doing videos!

The day arrived. Three young people arrived from STN. I had no idea what to expect.

They set up an iPad to film and explained to me how they would proceed. They had written out questions to ask me about each of my several blogs. They wanted me to ad lib my answers. They wanted me to be natural, not programmed. This was the OMG scene, darlings, again... daring myself to dare!

They asked a question. I had to count to three before I answered.  I had to get my thoughts across to the audience in less than three minutes.  When I was finished I had to count to three again.  They filmed six or so videos. I did not ask to look at any of them!

We got along famously and began our bonding as a team on a beautiful sunny day last September 2. To make matters really perfect…we continue to enjoy our time together, a Grandmother who wears red lipstick and high heels who became a writer in her late sixties and two young businesswomen skilled in the art of technology and the written word.

What if I had not dared myself to dare? I would have missed so many wonderful learning experiences. I would have missed knowing these great gals. You realize, darlings, that daring to dare can fill your cup with opportunities beyond your wildest dreams.

I walked into my favorite gift shop this week, Cards 4 You, in Rancho Mirage. I am friendly with the manager, a woman my age. “I started tap dancing again,” she told me. She is daring herself to dare.

Go for it, darlings! Dare to dare because if you do, success, at any age will dare to follow. 

Is there some dream -- big or small -- you've been hoping to make a reality? Do tell! You can comment below or connect with me on FacebookTwitter and even Instagram. LET'S TALK!

 

Photography by Hallie Duesenberg

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