Tag Archives: second life

Hooray for this ‘A Lot of Life Left’ MBA

I got this question today on my ask-me page on my timberry.com website:old graduate

I am currently in an MBA program at a local college. I have recently completed my third course. I have about five years management experience. I am 58 years-old. My wife is going back to college this summer for the graphic design program at the local college. I figure between my MBA degree and her Graphic Design degree we could start a business in advertising. Am I wasting my time completing this MBA considering my age? This may not mean anything but my parents are in their mid eighties. I still have a lot of life left.

My answer: Go for it. You are an inspiration. I love your last sentence:

I still have a lot of life left.

Take that, Gen Y.

I’ve seen research showing that people between 55 and 65 have hormone changes that encourage learning. I say education is good and the second-best activity humans do is learning about something they’re interested in. When I was your age I seriously considered adding a PhD to my MA and MBA degrees. I didn’t, but that’s another story.

There is, however, a possible catch: if the MBA is a drag, hard to do, and no fun at all, then don’t do it. If it’s a sacrifice, don’t do it. If you expect it to pay off in actual dollars, don’t do it. Few if any advertising clients will decide on you vs. others because you have an MBA degree. And, sad but true, to many potential clients your age is a drawback.

Do it because you want to, or not at all.

I’ve posted a lot on when and why to get an MBA degree, and some on why not, too. Click here for the category.

(Image: bigstockphoto.com)

What You Don’t Know About Second Life Can Hurt You

Recently I heard this called “the second life.” You might have heard the phrase “midlife crisis.” And you’re probably aware of baby boomers turning 60, and boomer entrepreneurship. Retirement? Golden years? Hooey.

Amazing fact: Humans have existed for a few million years, but it’s only in the last century or so that we have this second life. In 1900 the average life expectancy was 47 years, and only 1 in 25 people reached 60.

Think about it: most of us spend our first adulthood marking a living, pairing up, building careers, raising children, and having not a spare moment to think about anything but work, kids, problems, and getting by. We hope we’re developing and growing, but we don’t have a lot of time to reflect.

Then, in what seems afterwards to have been in a blink of an eye, you’re 50 something, and wondering what’s next. Maybe you buy into retirement, and the lure of the golden years, and maybe not. But when you reach 60 you still have a life expectancy of another 25 years or so. And that’s a lifetime. A second lifetime.

I don’t buy the golden years idea, sitting around, beaches and rocking chairs … normal people need something to do. And it has to be something they believe matters.

A couple of Saturdays ago I attended a seminar given by James Hollis, author and psychologist, during which he brought up his version of the second life. It was an interesting day. Hollis has done a lot of writing, analysis, speaking, and teaching about how we deal with the second life. This seminar was built around his latest book, what matters most.

I think I’ve been lucky. What I do now — this blog, twitter, several books, speaking, and teaching — seems as important to me as what I used to do. And I really like it. I posted earlier here Why I’ll Never Retire, and I’m sticking to it.

But what about you? What are you going to do with your second life?