AARP Foundation Blog
Posted on 05/12/2017

My Journey to Self-Employment: Find Your Focus

Michele Higgs Dec 2016

Michele Higgs attending a Work for Yourself@50+ workshop, held at the DCRA Small Business Resource Center in Washington, DC.

Finding My Focus

The theme of this section of the Work for Yourself@50+ Toolkit is “Find Your Focus.”

We’re getting down to work now. . . . This is almost like asking yourself, “Who am I?” It is real and it is serious. The toolkit takes us through a series of exercises here to help us sift through our likes, dislikes, what we’re good at, what we need to shore up; to determine the opportunities we can explore to develop our businesses.

Money in words?

Now, I have multiple loves. I have always loved to write. That was almost worked out of me during my education, but I preserved my joy in it. Any number of my friends have encouraged me in this pursuit, bringing me on as a consultant to assist with proposals and other writing projects. Those opportunities help me to make money from time to time and could be expanded into a more consistent endeavor. I also write for pleasure, journaling often and turning those entries into stories that others might enjoy. I have also considered writing a book or two.

A flair for thrift.

Then there is my tendency to peruse thrift stores. Oh, such treasures can be found there! I started doing it when I was donating clothing, furniture, housing items and just wandered in. . . . I found little things first — an unusual table, a fashionable jacket, some glasses to complete a broken set. And then I went back. . . . My favorite story is about the time I interviewed with a woman for a position in high-end retail for seasonal employment wearing a scarf that cost more than the entire outfit I had assembled. When the interviewer lavishly complimented me on my outfit, I almost laughed out loud! Every piece, except the scarf, came from a thrift store. I got skills! So, I have thought about selling clothing and more, either as an online presence or in bricks and mortar.

“The Voice!”

Finally, last, of the possible opportunities I considered is working as a voice talent. This is covered in the Toolkit, on page 21 in the description of “Jeff.” I have often been complimented for the resonance of my speaking voice. I have read for the blind as a volunteer for many years and hosted a series of monthly webinars that were broadcast nationally. It got to the point that when I attended conferences and meetings, I would be instantly recognized as “The Voice”. Having participated in Toastmasters, I also learned how to stress my point and mold my message using my voice.

Looking deeper into what option most excites me, is most ”doable” in terms of cost and my current lifestyle, I chose voiceovers. When I was laid off, I used my severance to sign up for training to help me with my delivery, get professional demos and some of the equipment. This is my BIG IDEA, my focus. Game on!

Call 1-888-339-5617 to request a copy of the Work for Yourself@50+ 5 Simple Steps to Get You Started toolkit or complete this short form to download your copy now.

See related blog posts: My Journey to Self-Employment

Michele Higgs

Michele Higgs

Blogger Profile: Michele Higgs is on a journey to self-employment with the help of “Work for Yourself@50+,” from AARP Foundation. In this blog series, Michele will describe her experience with the program and will walk through the Five Steps to Self-Employment which provides guidance and advice on self-employment. This is the fourth of a series of blogs she is writing about her experiences with the program.


*Updated 06/08/2017

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5 Responses to “My Journey to Self-Employment: Find Your Focus”

June 08, 2017 at 5:25 pm, Derrell J.Chandler said:

While still gainfully employed I am bored, unchallenged and just going through the motions. I think that wisdom both from life experiences and formal learning along with knowing yourself are what makes the difference at this age. This is one of the few countries in the world that does not revere age as wisdom. Thank God that AARP members are about changing that or at least proving the nay sayers wrong.


July 17, 2017 at 11:54 pm, Michele Higgs said:

> Start thinking now about your next chapter, now, Derrell. There can be one, you know. You can create your own challenges while you’re still in the driver’s seat; quietly bored and gainfully employed. Find your passion.


June 18, 2017 at 2:58 am, said:

Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post!
It is the little changes that make the largest changes.
Thanks a lot for sharing!


June 20, 2017 at 12:16 am, Debra Mcgriff said:

I get it ! I train at the AARP (scsep) office in Phx,Az under the directiin and project manager Elexia Torres whom has bent over backwards to help and try to train me.I am curently an Employment Specialist there and I just would like to say I have learned so much under the guiedance of our project director Elexia Torres,as seniors we sometime have health issiues and when trying to keep a job it can be challenging but I was lucky and blessed enough to be trained by Mrs. Torres who has a heart in this program,I so appreciate the SCSEP program and my project director Elexia Torres…Phoenix.AZ AARP. Scsep


June 21, 2017 at 4:40 pm, adult toy review said:

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