What are you doing starting a business at the age of 58? I keep asking myself that question. I am now 60 years old and am the CEO, owner, Chairman of the Board, Chief Financial Officer, Accountant, Marketing Director, (I love the sound of all those important titles) for my own company. Who would have thunk it!

Aren\’t I supposed to be sitting in a rocking chair knitting a baby blanket or something? Years ago that is what we baby boomers thought would happen by age 60. I don\’t feel like 60 (most days). I still listen to soft rock of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. I can still do a mean jitter-bug! I just went to a recorded concert of Jimmy Buffet and Bruce Springsteen!

The Baby Boomers have always redefined every aspect of their generation. I am proud to be a part of that. I did not come from a family who embraced new and adventurous ideas. My parents were the “Silent Generation” or products of the Great Depression. They were frugal, conservative, and did everything by the book!

I was the first and only one of my immediate family to attend college. I did it on a shoestring budget, getting tuition free for signing a pledge to teach for two years after college. I worked on weekends to pay for books and incidentals. My family did buy a car for me to use to commute back and forth. That was a great sacrifice for them!

I followed the conservative route as well at first, becoming an elementary school teacher. I stayed many more years than I expected (25 in all). It was a good career for a woman, and especially for a divorced one at that. I took early retirement planning on entering a second career as a writer. The last five years of teaching I earned a masters degree in professional writing. I had hoped to do technical writing of some sort, having written school curriculum while teaching. I had some consulting jobs, but found it difficult to enter into a new field for a full-time position. For a while, I veered away from writing and had some “fun” jobs. Although they were fun, they were not very challenging!

I remember having lunch with a friend a few years ago and we discussed my job future. I was working part-time in a retail store. I said that I wanted to do something that I was passionate about. We discussed helping people to organize because that was a skill that came naturally to me and for which I received many accolades. Somehow organizing things was a skill that just popped to the surface no matter what job I was doing. I loved doing it!

I went home after the lunch discussion and looked on the internet for the word “organizing”. I found that there was a national association of people who did this. There were no chapters in Maryland so I went to the Yellow Pages and looked up “organizing.” There were several names of companies listed. I cold called every one. Most were sole proprietors and weren\’t hiring. However, I located one that was. The owner was a former teacher. Go figure! We worked together for about three months. I found the industry fascinating!

At the end of three months, I decided to start my own business. I had to set it up from scratch. I already had a home office with a computer and printer. I started to organize for family and friends. Pretty soon I had customers. The first year was so exciting. I loved learning new things. I read books, attended seminars, went to organizing conferences, networked with business owners. I was not only learning about the organizing industry, but about how to be a business owner!

I am now almost finished the second year of business. What an experience! It has been the most fun, rewarding, and challenging job I have ever had. I love the freedom I have to set my own schedule, make my own decisions, and be accountable to myself and my clients. I feel rejuvenated from years of stagnation. I am finally using my potential!

I am glad that I didn\’t give in to that urge to sit in the rocker and knit. (I have taken knitting lessons and do love to create new things). Maybe I will take a rest when I am 70, no, maybe 80. Who knows what 90 will be like for the Boomer Generation. It\’s never too late to find your passion.

Barbara Boone, with a BA in elementary education and an MS from Morgan State College, took early retirement in 1995 from teaching 25 years and completed a master\’s degree in professional writing. She published a book on writing for teachers, presented seminars to teachers throughout the state of Maryland, and worked for The Maryland Writing Project at Towson University as Director of Publications. Her volunteer efforts led her to the Baltimore County Department of Aging where she was a writer and researcher for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. She started Busy Bee Organizing Services in Nov 2005.
Becoming a business owner has brought together her teaching, writing, and organizing skills and combined them into a satisfying business where she can help others learn what she has been gifted to do.