When creating onCOREventures, we decided to follow the teachings of Eric Reis describes in “The Lean Start-up”. Our understanding of that teaching is to build the minimum viable product, test it in the market, and based on that test, decide to either pivot or preserver.
We work with people in the second half of life to define their on core venture. We thought this meant helping those people to build a business. After all, there are 12 million so-called encore entrepreneurs out there according to a Met Life study from last fall. In working with our target market however, we have found that the second half of life it is really all about wellness. People over fifty are succumbing to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes in record numbers. While life expectancy is increasing and focusing on the potential of living to 100 is something to consider, we firmly believe in the importance of the quality of the lives we live, regardless of how long that life might last.
My own training is through iPEC and I am very happy with the core energy coaching training that I have received. I have now decided to enroll in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition program as an added educational component. Though much of the IIN techniques overlap my existing skills, I believe in the principals and goals of the organization. Joshua Rosenthal, IIN founder, teaches the concept of “Primary Foods,” comprised of Career, Relationships, Spirituality and Exercise. We have already embraced these as core components in our methods of Discovery and Launch of onCOREventures regardless of individual focus or goal. We have always talked about ventures as a way to describe whatever it is that we do in the second half of life, but somehow I always felt that most of these would be some sort of “business” launch.
It turns out now, having walked that walk, not so much.
I am not the same person that I was in the first half of life…and I thank God for that. I am no longer driven by the same motivators. Family and Spirituality are not “options” for me now. They are present and relevant every day, as my body reminds me how fragile life can be. So too, concepts of wellness, food, and exercise are suddenly infinitely more important. Career, while still somewhat interesting, has become a distant fourth place. In this, I suspect that I am not alone. My current clients seem to be telling me the same thing, we are still the people were in some ways, yet with new priorities, we do things differently now.
There seems to be an almost childlike appreciation for the possibility of doing things differently. More clients seem to start out saying “I never am able to…..” and then stop to correct themselves, finishing with “I have not been able to ….yet.” As a coach, to see this transition on a global scale is nothing short of fascinating.
So, our focus is still on helping our clients to launch the life that they were born to live, but that is probably not going to involve the steps to “go to market” with a business. We see ourselves helping clients to understand and change the way that they show up, how are they are living in relationships, what are they eating, how are they exercising, how they are centering ourselves, and finally how are they are approaching their “career”. In the second half of life, that career might be watching grandchildren so that adult children’s lives are better, or creating a writers group for other old new writers, or helping to bring farm products to the table of local homes, or teaching people to cook foods that do not come out of the freezer or boxes or cans. These are the new non-traditional, yet so very traditional from a larger perspective, ways of being for older generations that have the wisdom, the patience, and the interest to spend their time giving back to and helping others as their way of contributing to society and caring for themselves.
What does that mean to what we offer to our clients? Nothing really. I had coffee the other day with a colleague in the Pittsburgh Coaches Association, David Goldman, who is a leadership coach. He described coaching as like the Olympic sport curling, coaches prepare the path for our clients to follow. David helped me to realize that he and I are in two different but related spaces. He helps businesses that are started, some of my clients might create business that he can then help. I met him thinking that we were friendly competitors, each in the same supportive professional association, yet left realizing that we were also referral partners in two different spaces.
I help people figure out their path for the second half of life. In a way, this is what I have always done uniquely well, helping to define the undefined. In the first half of my life, I did this through the creation of technology, then in the creation of photography, and now I do this through helping my clients to create the life they were born to live. AT LAST!