Age is no excuse to stop setting goals and reaching for new opportunities. I’ve been starting and operating businesses for myself all my life. The largest venture was a nursing home company which I developed over a period of 15 years from a single, family-owned nursing home facility in suburban Philadelphia to a chain of 18 facilities in five states. I then moved on to some less successful ventures and finally landed in residential real estate, which I have been doing since 1998, first in Tampa, Florida and now in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
Last year at age 71, I decided to see if I could become an author and write a book. Over the years, people would tell me I told good stories and should write them down or they would be forgotten. For some years, I’ve had it in my mind to write about my early years growing up as the only Jewish family in a small southern town in the mountains of NC.
With the support of my wife, family, rabbi, and the coaching of Personal Historian Sam Uhl, I set a goal of nine of months to write You Can't Coach Height: Growing Up Tall, Jewish, and Free in the Mountains of NC. Prior to this journey, my writing experience involved mainly business communication. I had never written anything serious in my life, but I reached my goal. The feeling of holding that book in my hand a few days ago is awesome—phenomenal!
Between working on my memoir, my business experience, and my interest in the profession of personal history, Sam invited me to become her business partner in The Cheerful Word, LLC and we set a goal to open a Life Stories Studio in Hendersonville, NC. We met this goal on April 1, 2015 as our studio received great reviews with a Chamber sponsored ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration. We expanded to improve how we meet the needs of our clients as they record and preserve their life stories in a variety of ways i.e. writing or narrating books, scanning old photos, slides, and VHS tapes; recording two-person, guided life stories in our Story Booth and more. I set a goal to begin a new career and together we are reaching it.
Age isn't an issue; or to use an old cliché, “Age is a state of mind.” At age 70 I was starting to feel old, now I'm feeling energized once again. At a time in life when most of my friends are retired or retiring and spending their days playing golf (which I admit I like to do) or playing bridge (which I once did) or traveling the world (which I’ve done my fair share of), I’m helping to create a new business which is giving me a renewed sense of purpose in life, and giving something to others who want to find a way of preserving their history and pass on who they are to the generations that are following them.