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by Sue Henderson

Color me bemused.

I’ve been noticing lately references to the “gig” economy.  Kinda makes me smile. 

Everywhere I look people are creating their own jobs.  Many, of a certain age, have retired at least once and gotten bored so decided to ‘hang out my shingle’ and work as consultants.   Others have opted to reinvent themselves (the kids call it rebranding) and create a whole new life using their skills from decades of work to follow a passion.

Fourth of July concert singing with the
University of Mary Washington Philharmonic Orchestra

I took a more squiggly line approach.  I’m not joking when I tell people “Yep, we’re a 35-year overnight success.”   This gig economy is deep in the American soul.   The forty-niners didn’t all become rich on gold mines after investing their very last pennies into the journey and equipment.   They became shop keepers or blacksmiths or farmers or even ladies of the night.   They didn’t give up – they reinvented their dream.

At the Great Pyramids with
this recalcitrant camel.

Shoot, the first settlers half a millennium ago to these shores were reinventing themselves out of necessity.   And soldiers returning from WWII and Vietnam, no longer the boys they were when they left, created a whole new country, in different ways, upon their return.   Off to school or dropping out, it was the lines they chose to follow.

Technology has made the scope of possibility even wider than a girl who was told “you can do anything” could have ever imagined.    Toss in a nomadic life with the military and you have the makings of a gig economy veteran.   You see, somewhere around age 40 I decided to hang out my own shingle, literally put on the tap shoes and venture out to just be creative.    

If you’re older, don’t run away from the “new” economy.   And if you’re younger, don’t assume your grandparents haven’t already been “gigging” since their hippie days.   Just embrace it.  

Go be YOU.  There’s lots of help out there.    And we’re right here willing to offer assistance if you need it.   Drop us a note at sue@focusbyhenderson.com or on FB at “Focus on Travel with Sue Henderson”