Bucket Lists, Monday Mornings Re-Imagined, Business and Pleasure!
03:45 – Creativity after menopause
05:30 – How Sarah decided to buy a toy company
07:05 – Courage vs. cowardice
09:05 – The youth of old age
11:55 – Make sure your work is pleasurable
Hi again, and here I am with one of our sisters, Sarah Baldwin, who lives in Maine, and she’s the one that master minded the event we did last night, which was really successful and really fun. I hardly talked about Boom at all. I was yacking away for an hour, and finally someone said, could you tell us about your products. That was fun. So we are in Sarah’s beautiful home in Maine, and we are about to go sailing. We know how to mix business with pleasure. Sarah is also the owner of a young business she has had for three years now called…
Sarah: Bella Luna Toys.
Cindy: Hand made wooden toys which I haven’t seen yet. We’re going to go over to your office later today, looking forward to that. We thought it would be fun to say hello together, and we started talking about business and pleasure and challenging ourselves at 50 and 60. Starting a new cycle of life, empty nesters and challenging ourselves with new businesses and we thought we’d like to talk about it.
But first, I want to ask you, did you figure out what that little Saturday at Saturday hiney- ho and [inaudible] is from? Nobody said anything in the comments. However I loved all of your comments and I’m going to get to a lot of those questions next Saturday. But it came from, “The Little Rascals”. So one of the characters woke up and he didn’t want to go to school. He’s like, mom, I’m sick, and he touched his thermometer to the light and she was like, oh, you’re going to have to stay in bed, it’s too bad because it’s Saturday, you don’t have to go to school today. And he jumped out of bed and danced around, and he said, “It’s Saturday, it’s Saturday, hiney-ho and [inaudible]”. So that’s what that was all about. Just a fun corny thing to do.
Sarah was just telling me about a workshop she did with Kristy Northrup, and I would love you to talk about it.
Sarah: Sure, I was telling Cindy, a couple of years ago I went to a workshop Christian Northrup. She founded Women to Women here in Maine, which is a wonderful women’s health care practice. She’s the author of the book, “Women’s Body, Women’s Wisdom.” She also has a book on women’s menopause, and at the time I went to the workshop, she had just written her newest book called, “The Secret Pleasure of Menopause”.
Cindy: I love that title.
Sarah: It was a wonderful weekend. We experienced a lot of pleasure and learned the importance of experiencing pleasure.
Cindy: I know her as kind of the hormone doctor. Any women that are having any troubles, pre-menopause, post menopausal with hormones. So you might recognize her name from that.
Sarah: I was just about about turning 50 I think at the time I was going to this workshop, I’m 54 now. What Dr. Northrup talked about was, she explained that up until menopause a woman has a tremendous amount of energy, creative energy that is geared toward creation. Creating babies, and taking care of others, nurturing others, and around the time of menopause all that energy is freed up and at that time of life a women may experience urges to do something creative, to do something new she hasn’t done before. I really related to that at the time, because I had been teaching for a long time. I loved teaching. I taught in a Waldorf school. I loved Waldorf education.
Cindy: There goes my phone, it’s not a real cricket. I’m going to let it go.
Sarah: I was feeling that urge to do something new. I didn’t know yet what it was, but it was the next year I decided to take a big leap of faith and I resigned from my teaching job. Not knowing what would come next. It was scary.
Cindy: Yeah, that’s a big leap.
Sarah: Yeah, I didn’t know how I would replace my income, and here in Maine there’s not a lot of industry or jobs. I just felt it was something I had to do. I made the decision, told my school I wouldn’t be back the following year, and almost as soon as I made that decision I got a newsletter saying that this company. Bella Luna Toys, was for sale. It was started by a young mother in California. It was a website, selling the kinds of toys that I used in my classroom over about 15 years that I had given to my own children. A lot of them we had here at home. I love these toys, I’m passionate about them. My mind kept telling me, you can’t do that, you have no experience in business. You have no retail experience. You’ve never done this before. You don’t know the first thing about running a business. I’d never dreamed about having a business.
Cindy: That’s exactly what I experienced as well. I love this idea of all that energy inside of us that isn’t being used anymore for other things. That we just let it loose and mix it with our intuition, our women’s intuition. I finally started trusting it at about 45, and it’s amazing what can happen. So listen to the story, it’s incredible.
Sarah: As I was saying, I kept talking myself out of doing this. I had been talking to the founder, the original owner and I told her. I’m not going to do it. The economy is terrible, these toys are not cheap toys. Who’s buying expensive wooden toys. I have no experience, but it was the summertime and I just couldn’t let go of this vision of how I would redesign the website. All the new toys I would want to introduce. How I didn’t want it just to be a website about selling stuff. I wanted to use my background as a mother, as an educator to help young new mothers. Introduce them to natural ways of parenting and talk about the importance of play and child development.
Cindy: So you were fired up.
Sarah: Yeah, I just couldn’t let go of it. I kept talking to my husband. We were walking on the beach one night at dusk, and he said, “It’s only money”. We invest the money, take a chance, try it.
Cindy: And to have a man back your goals like that, how wonderful.
Sarah: It was, it was. So I did it and this week was my anniversary. It’s been three years since I bought the company. The company has grown, doubled every year in sales. I started a blog, redesigned the whole website. Learning so much. I learned so much about business, about web marketing, all these things.
Cindy: She’s teaching me a few things these last few days. I’m curious, if all of it just ended tomorrow, and you could go back, would you do it again?
Sarah: Yes. Yeah, I don’t regret it, and I think if my fear had stopped me, I would regret more not having tried it, then even if it failed.
Cindy: There’s a great quote about fear, I think it’s, “When you face fear, the direction you run is the difference between courage and cowardiss”. We all experience fear if we’re going for something new. If it’s throwing your silver hair out as we talked about last week, or starting a new business. You start doubting yourself, and oh, can I do it, is the economy good.
Then somehow your passion for it, your dream, your vision takes over and this courage starts building and you go for it. I think a really important point, and the reason we’re talking about this, is what are the 50’s and what are the 60’s in your life. You become an empty nester. You may have had a little money freed up, maybe not. But life is shifting and changing. We know our hormones have shifted and changed, and I heard once that the 40’s are the old age of youth.
So you’ve kind of hit a point where you have a wisdom. You have an understanding about life. You’re not going in the dark, bumbling around in your 20’s, and doing the ambitious things of your 30’s. You hit your 40’s and you kind of have a handle on that. Then you hit your 50’s and it’s like brand new territory. And they call it the youth of old age. Isn’t that interesting. So you have to learn a new way to be.
There is a workshop that I have actually been invited to talk at that you know about. The Women at Woodstock, which is dealing with exactly that. It’s happening in October, I think they still have some openings. It’s going to be a very exciting weekend, so plug, plug, plug on that one. It’s dealing with the youth of old age. Like what’s the next cycle you want to start. Are you done with your career and you want to start on a new one? Maybe you’ve learned a lot and now you want to pass it on, you want to give back. Maybe you’re looking at the possibility of doing charity. Maybe you want to grapple some health issue and really get stronger and healthier.
Sarah: Learn to play a new instrument.
Cindy: I love that one. She’s got a cello upstairs her son plays, and that’s always been a dream of mine.
Sarah: About the time I turned 50, I started. I’ve always loved fiddle music, and I always thought, oh, I’m too old to learn an instrument. I was telling you about Maine Fiddle Camp that happens here every summer.
Cindy: That sounds so fun.
Sarah: They have people of all ages. I went, bringing my children and I saw women, 60, 70, learning to play instruments, or playing fiddle really well, and I thought, I’m not dead yet. I’m going to learn.
Cindy: Exactly. Bob Dylan said, “If you’re not busy living, you’re busy dying”. So what’s on your bucket list. That’s what it is. That term came around not that long ago. I’d never heard it before, but I’ve always kept a list, and I’ve been scratching off. I’ve always wanted to skydive. I started skydiving at 48, low and behold, I just found out. It’s one of the exercises you do for longevity, who knew. Ballroom dancing was number 1, swimming, long distance running, and skydiving, because they’re all exercises and activities you can only do if you’re relaxed. So being relaxed is really important. My thinking is the excitement that we now have more time to go after all those things we’re passionate about on our bucket list. You don’t have to start a new business. That takes up a lot of attention, but we’re finding some time to play.
Sarah and her husband have a sail boat. So they have invited us to go out on the boat today, and we’re going to do a little overnight in the harbors of Maine. Then we’re going to go to a little island and check out this great restaurant and B&B, and come back tomorrow. So we’ve manged to handle all of our customer service emails and do this little Saturday with Cindy, and also mix in the pleasure. Make sure your work is pleasurable. She’s excited working night and day, because she’s learning everyday. You’ve got a new manager. You’re taking on new employees.
Sarah: I can’t remember if I was telling you, but I love Monday mornings now. My whole life, all my jobs I ever had, I was like, oh Monday, back to work. Now it’s like, yay, I get to go back to work.
Cindy: That’s beautiful. Yay for Monday mornings.
Sarah: I don’t know if my employees feel the same way.
Cindy: That’s great.
Sarah: I love going back to work.
Cindy: And this was a first time, first time Saturday with Cindy and Sarah. So maybe you’ll be seeing Sarah another Saturday though we live quite far apart. And maybe I’ll bring on some new people in the future Saturdays. So it’s been a blast and I didn’t show you my cup of coffee, but we’ve been siting here doing our coffee thing with our girlfriends. So it’s great seeing you, it’s been a blast having you. Do you have anything to say to the ladies?
Sarah: Thank you Cindy for letting me be here and sharing with all of you. Thanks so much.
Cindy: Great. OK, ladies, see you next Saturday, bye.