Opening a Window of Opportunity

You think you are young at 40 years old, right? But what if your intended life-long job was terminated and you’re not ready to retire? What do you do when a door closes on you like that?

All good questions that I had to ask myself back in 1993, when my position with a small company was terminated due to the downward spiral of Hawai‘i’s real estate market. I interviewed with five companies, but it didn’t take long to realize I couldn’t see myself spending the rest of my life working for any of them. Instead, I serviced them as an independent contractor.

Working with my CPA, I followed his tax requirements to start my own company and also became an LLC (Limited Liability Company). I was quite excited at the prospect of being my own boss.

I soon had the opportunity to purchase outright the real estate referral company I co-founded that was connected to the franchise company that closed the door on me in 1993. My agents and I have connected clients to realtors throughout Hawai‘i, as well as on the mainland. Because I have held a real estate license since 1985, I am proud to consider this company as my legacy.

My grandchildren Tanner and Alexis, give me joy in my life.
My grandchildren Tanner and Alexis, give me joy in my life.

However, could I “be more” and do something meaningful? Using my business background, I am currently the executive director of three nonprofit associations. I also do the marketing for a small shopping center just outside of Waikiki, and service small companies who rely on me to consistently produce their newsletters, postcards, calendars or other marketing pieces. I love being helpful.

And this year, I am also very happy to be back with Generations Magazine, where I worked from 2010 to 2020.

The best part of being your own boss is that you can schedule your own work time, family time and fun time. When I started consulting, my daughters were in preschool and high school and my son was in elementary. I remember when I drove my son to school, he would ask “Mommy, what are you going to do today?” Wow! When I think back, he was the one person who made me account for my day!

For the past 30 years, I’ve gone all out to mix quality work time with quantity family and fun time. Because of my daughters’ love of tennis, I volunteered as an assistant coach at their school. They, too, became coaches, as well as my husband, making it a real family affair. Nowadays, I have two active grandchildren to have fun with!

Many people have tough decisions to make when it comes to work. My advice for when a door closes, is to see it as an invitation to open a window of opportunity into a fulfilling life you create on your own terms.


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