He is a reminder to hang in there, and to never give up on things you are passionate about.
That you can find success doing something you know and love.
There are lots of stories about good ol' Colonel Sanders, and some of them are more true than others. When I first heard the details about his road to southern fried business success, I was in my early fifties. I read that he was broke at the age of 65 and went around selling his chicken fryers to restaurants and finally hit the big time. As a woman who had entered the work force full time just three years before I hit the big five-oh, and then restarted life at ground zero as a suddenly-single woman three years later, this gave me mad hope that I too could figure out a successful financial game plan for my golden years. (I have told more than one of my gal pals that if Colonel Sanders could find wild success by the age of 65, so could I.)
Well, it turned out this story about the Colonel was not quite accurate, but awe-inspiring to me all the same.
The real story (as best I found through my many, many google searches.) is that by age 65, Colonel Sanders was the successful owner of a combo service station, motel, and cafe in Corbin, Kentucky, but the business started tanking when the nearby interstate highway was rerouted, so Sanders was forced to sell it off at a loss. Luckily though, he had already perfected his signature fried chicken recipe (with its “blend of 11 herbs and spices”) before age 65, and had already started licensing it, on a very small scale, to other restaurateurs.
The epiphany that caused his life to turn around at the age of 65 or 66 was the realization that the recipe itself might be a gold mine. And it very quickly turned out to be just that. Col. Sanders began selling franchises for the fried chicken that brought him fame and fortune. By 1960, he had 400 outlets. Four years later there were 900 Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets in the United States, Canada, England and Japan. (And grew, and grew, and grew, from there.)
The point of all this (and the reason I find inspiration and hope when I look at his smiling face) is that you...me...we... are never to old to start over, to hang in there with a thing we are passionate about, and find success. Every day is a new chance to get it right, just like Oprah says.
This latest wild-ride-of-an-adventure in exploring options for a new career move as I rapidly approach birthday number sixty-one is both terrifying and exhilarating. Terrifying because I need both a game plan, and a means of earning a steady income. Exhilarating because I have been able to focus on my creative business, and, as such, I am seeing results from the work I am putting in there. (which does not feel like work at all. It is true what they say; do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.)
But, what in this finger-lickin-good-world does any of this have to do with Colonel Sanders, you ask?
Sometimes (Far more often than I would like) I get a wildly creative idea for a paper craft project that could go in my etsy shop, or my antique booth, and I jump on my computer, with my now ancient-and-cheesy little print program. I excitedly begin to jerry-rig my way to creating that something, printing copy after copy, tweaking colors, and fonts, and what have you, until I get it the way I can see if in my mind, and then...sometimes, out of seemingly nowhere, right in the middle of all of this, I will abruptly pause. I will stop, and look around. I'll see the half a ream of copy paper in my recycle bin, and scraps of paper everywhere, and I will quite literally break out in a cold sweat and suddenly experience rapid fire thoughts, that go something like this: "What am I doing? This wasn't a good idea. You have wasted time you can never get back, and maybe it's just dumb, or silly, and no one will like it, or they just won't "get it". I'm an idiot. Maybe I just need to look harder at corporate America jobs, even if they don't match my interests or pay qualifications. Otherwise I just may find myself in a soup line at some point."
Do you ever experience moments like this? Those random thoughts in your head that trigger alarm and hysteria; thoughts that creep in when you're knee deep in a project, or a plan? (Or is this just me that gets these flashes of pure panic and immeasurable fear?)
No matter if it is just me.
I know what it is.
It's self doubt.
It's the fear of not being good enough.
Of not being smart enough.
Of not having enough years left to allow for any future financial mistakes, or wrong turns.
Of simply not being enough period.
In those moments, I can look at Harland over there, and I can remind myself that he stuck with it, and in the end, he found success with something he was passionate about.
And he wasn't any spring chicken, of you'll pardon the poultry analogy.
#Colonelsandersgotitright #worktolivedontlivetowork #dowhatyoulove