Take II – My Midlife Awakening

“Midlife is typically the period, not of achievement, but of realization, and it should be the period of fulfillment.” ”“ from A Joseph Campbell Companion

Well, I’m going to be 40 next year so I guess I am coming into what people refer to as mid-life.  I don’t have a new, unquenchable desire for a sports car (that’s been with me since I was 16) but I do have a new vision of what life is supposed to be about.

Take I ”“ The Pursuit of Achievement

The last 24 years of my life I have been interested in only one thing, making money.  I didn’t really care how I did it as long as it was legal.  I would come up with a new idea every other week to make money.

A couple of years ago I realized that although I was making a lot of money I wasn’t truly happy.  I enjoy my job because I make lots of money not because I love what I do.

Take II ”“ The Pursuit of Happiness

One day, while I was working on yet another money-making idea of mine, my wife asked me a rather simple question.  “If you had all the time and all the money in the world, what would you want to do each day?”  The answer came without much thought which is how I know it’s the right one. “I love marketing, especially using internet tools like web sites, newsletters and blogs and I would love to work with small business owners to improve their marketing.”

At that point I began to re-engineer my life.

At the time we were working on a project to create a national health plan for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.  That turned into a mission to help providers of Complementary and Alternative Medicine promote themselves and their practice.

I am also now working with several small businesses in our area to improve their marketing.  Now I really love what I’m doing!  I am having fun. I am actually excited about getting out of bed in the morning.

The best part is that the companies I have worked with so far are getting outstanding results.  Their web sites traffic is up.  Their Google page ranking is up.  Their Alexa rankings are improving each week and they are enjoying what they do because they are getting results.  They’re not beating their heads against the wall trying to figure it all out.

What have I learned through all of this?

Doing what you love pays off.  Find what you truly enjoy and do it as much as possible.

You’ve heard the phrase “Do what you love and the money will follow.”  Joseph Campbell, who said “Follow your bliss,” has some practical advice for making this work.  While you are following your bliss you may need to support yourself in the beginning.  Do as little as you can to support yourself while you follow your bliss and your bliss will soon support you.  This is exactly what I have done.  I am still working full-time for a software development company and spending every other available minute following my bliss.

“If you follow your bliss, you will always have your bliss, money or not.  If you follow money, you may lose it, and you will have nothing.” ”“ Joseph Campbell

Focus and persistence pays off.  When I focus on the one or two things I really enjoy and stick with it, they begin to bear fruit.

Helping others pays off.  When the light goes on in someone’s eyes because they really get what I am saying and it begins to manifest great things in their lives, there is no better feeling than knowing I have helped turn that light on.

Continuous learning pays off.  As long as I am open to new ideas and new ways to market and promote, I can be of service to my clients.  If I stop learning they will turn to someone else to take them on down the road.

Never stop learning.  This world is full of interesting and amazing things.  I can tell right now that the rest of my life is going to be a blast!

You are the writer, producer and director of your own life and your story.  Create it the way you want beginning right now.

Yours in lifelong learning,
Ken Partain

Related Post: Open Your Mind

Ken Partain is a small business marketing specialist, Duct Tape Marketing Authorized Coach and founder of the Infinite Prosperity Group.  His mission is to help small business owners and independent professionals market themselves effectively.


  1. says

    Thanks, Ken. Here at the Dodge Poetry Festival, or “Wordstock” as someone put it, I am amongst folks who love words and above all love trying to say just the right thing in just the right way. Believe it or not, there is a lot of “poetry” in what you just wrote. Keep on keepin’on!

  2. says

    Money can be seductive Ken, and it is so great that you were able to stop, listen to what Ann was asking, and reassess what was most important to you.
    I also congratulate you for your early focus and diligence, for I think you were very fortunate to achieve some financial success early on, so that you could more easily have a “been there, done that, now what really counts?” attitude in your growth, and move on. There is no question that financial freedom liberates us, and money is so much a real part of our world we DO have to come to terms with it. We learn it’s not everything, however we also learn it’s not evil, and can be thought of as an enabler in good ways.
    Thank you for sharing your learning with us. I am so excited for you, and for this new chapter you are living!

  3. says

    Steve – thanks for your kind words. I hadn’t really considered my words as poetry but I appreciate it.
    Rosa – I think Ann is my greatest gift. As you know she is a wonderful soul, full of life and joy and curiosity. I learn more from her than any other source because she is always asking questions. She is never quite satisfied with the status quo and she is always seeking.
    Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this learning forum.