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SecondActWomen Blog
Your source for reality checks on living life and working at 40 and 50+, including career hacks, self-care tips, starting up checklists, relationship advice, and more.
Finding a new purpose after loss
Lisa Alecci, Insider Member, Almost 62

Writing this article is difficult for me. I am a private person, but in the midst of today’s shock, fear, and uncertainty, it’s time to tell my story. I’m hopeful it will offer some sort of light while we fight through our fears, whatever they may be.

I am almost (next month!) 62 years old. I married my husband Steve at the age of 23, when getting married young was not unusual. At the time, I wasn’t a woman who craved being a mom; honestly, it was just the next step in life’s process as I saw it. We purposely waited seven years to start a family and, to my dismay, when I became pregnant, we found out we were having twins (no twins anywhere in either family, no fertility, just a spontaneous set of twins!). Jill and Lauren, our daughters, became the loves of our lives. And even as they wore us out, we adored them. 

It seemed our life was “perfect.” We had jobs we loved, and two delightful, mischievous daughters. I was in an artificial bubble of invincibility that often comes with youth: bad things happen to other people, not to us.

Five words to write out of your vocabulary
Guadalupe Hirt, 47 | Co-Founder & CCO of SecondAct|Women

Do you remember being in elementary school and chanting this little ditty when another kid launched a snotty comment at you or one of your friends? “Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will never hurt me.” 

In the moment, it felt like the proper response, and while we pretended that their words didn’t hurt, they did, we just never admitted it out loud. So, if this approach didn’t work then, what makes us believe that because we’re now sitting at a more wiser and more mature 40 & 50+, it's okay to launch snotty comments at ourselves at speeds that would leave a welt or seriously injure us if they were actual stones? 

Why do we still believe that “words will never hurt me?” Truth be told, words do hurt. Sometimes, even more than stones. 

Live Life at 360
Barbara Brooks, 53.11 | Founder & CEO of SecondActWomen

In case you didn't know, I'm a bit of a nerd and love lists, and one of my favorites is the ol’ Bucket List or as I like to call it, a Live Life List. Hello! Why would anyone want to call a list of exciting things to do a bucket list! 

2020. What a year. Said, everyone. But it can be saved!

Let’s face it, 2020 has not been the year we had on our vision boards. That said, we can still close out the year with (you complete the sentence)

For me, I decided it was time I revisit one thing that could catapult me into closing out the year in the best way I know how – creating my Live Life Lists. 

I admit I don’t take good care of myself, and 2020 has made it even more challenging to take care of me and the one and only body I have. Like most business owners, I work 70-80 hours a week at a job I love and when I have free time, it's spent eating Dominoes, Chipotle, ramen noodles, or something homemade, but certainly not entirely healthy, and watching the news and reality TV (it’s my mind candy damnit). I lack a “Be good to your mind and body routine” filled with good eating habits, exercise, and life’s adventures. I’m tired y’all. Tired of living a quarter of my potential versus life at 360 degrees.

Get the picture? 

Over the past few weeks, thanks to Guadalupe, yoga coach Nikki Aiello, and physicians, my eyes are opening and.... more.

Fighting burnout with a little hooky
Guadalupe Hirt, 47 | Co-Founder & CCO of SecondAct|Women

When’s the last time you played hooky? 

Some would say that every day is an opportunity to get out and play because we’re all working from home, but is it really? Ever since we were quarantined to our homes, many of us have self-imposed a sun rise to sun set work standard that makes us feel guilty if we’re not accessible or busy doing something productive every single waking hour. 

Ever since the COVID sentencing, I feel like I’m working more than ever before. I’m working through what used to be my “commute time” into work. I’m working through lunchtime. I’m working early in the morning. Late at night. On the weekends. And sometimes, it’s not even all work. I wake up at 5am to go to the gym every morning. I help my son with school work. I also drive him to the gym to offset the exercise he would have got during P.E. I research outdoor patio restaurants for date night with my husband. Schedule virtual hangouts with my family in California. And the never-ending list goes on, and on, and on. 

I’m exhausted just writing this list. Can you relate?

The one thing you may be missing
Mary Smith, 50 | OSTEGO [and SecondActWomen Insider]

Did you know your skeleton is an organ and that it's constantly changing? As you get older, this process becomes more unbalanced and can possibly result in osteoporosis.

We spend a lot of time on some of the systems of our bodies - we eat right for energy and cardiovascular health and we use sunscreen to make sure our skin is protected but have you ever considered what’s happening to your skeleton? Seriously. Have you? Bone health is critically important to women in their 40s and 50s as estrogen significantly affects the rate of bone loss. That's the reason osteoporosis is most common in postmenopausal women. Estrogen helps regulate our bone remodeling process but as women go through menopause, our levels decline and this impacts the balance of bone-removing cells and bone-building cells.

I started OSTEGO after seeing my parents suffer from osteoporosis disease and learned the true opportunity to begin fighting it begins much earlier - in our 40s and 50s - and must be combined with a mindset of self advocacy and overall awareness. And so the opportunity to be proactive instead of reactive starts today, ladies. Afterall, good bone health is the one thing we're missing in our self-care routines. Keep reading.

You're too old. Not.
Barbara Brooks, 53 | Founder of SecondActWomen

If you're in your 40s, 50s or even 60s, you may think it’s too late to startup. Wrong. A recent study of 2.7 million startups conducted by the Census Bureau and two MIT professors found that the most successful entrepreneurs are between 40-60 years of age. Wait, what? A matter of fact, the ideal age of a successful startup founder is in the middle of life and a large percentage of them are us – women.

The Lie

On a weekly if not daily basis, we are being told we’re too old to do something and oftentimes, we believe the messenger – even if the messenger is us. We are too old to have kids, wear skinny jeans and two-piece swimsuits. We are too old to get hired or shift careers mid-life, and certainly too old to start a business. Hmmm. Seems society says we are just too old ‘to do' life. Lies!

The Truth

The truth is that today we are entering our second act boldly with unwavering confidence, paving the way and disrupting ageism at every turn. It's the dawn of a new era for women over 40 and we refuse to be put on the shelf midway through our lives.

More truths.

5 Tips to take a compliment and self-applaud
Guadalupe Hirt, 47 | Co-Founder & CCO of SecondAct|Women

Does this scenario sound familiar? 

Sam: “Great job on your presentation today, Alice.”

You: “You think? I don’t think I did a good job. I stumbled over my words and at times I don’t think I even made sense. I could’ve done a better job.” 

Why do women struggle to take a freakin’ compliment AND self-applaud their hard work and everything that did go right? Believe me, I’m not throwing the first stone because I used to be a repeat offender on this front, but ever since I started my spiritual journey at 45, something inside me awoke. And while, I can’t put my finger on what exactly changed, this quote by Maya Angelou perfectly summarizes my “active training protocol” to scenarios like these:

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."

Keep reading.

Swiveling since the get go
Guadalupe Hirt, 47 | Co-Founder & CCO of SecondAct|Women

Before launching SecondActWomen, Barbara and I were friends, turned partners, back to friends, back to partners. Apparently, we couldn’t stay away from each other. 

Not sure how many of you know about the swiveling we had to do with our first BizCon, now known as BizLifeCon. As we near the event, we thought it would make for some fun, behind-the-scenes reading. 

It was February 2019, t-minus one month from our inaugural BizCon and we were working like mad to put together a conference unlike anything else out there. We leveraged connections and secured awesome speakers that had created sessions tailored to the woman over 40 & 50+ and we had teed up experiential components that would make this conference unlike any other industry conference. Think donut wall, comedy hour, one-on-one coaching sessions, mimosas and more. We had attracted sponsors like Microsoft, EZRegister, Citywide Banks, the Women’s College of the University of Denver, KOSI 101.1FM, ColoradoBiz Magazine and others. We were both stoked and ready to #crushit.

But then came the reality check.

Keep reading.

The gift of unarmored conversations
Guadalupe Hirt, 47 | Co-Founder & CCO of SecondAct|Women

This past week I got together with two girlfriends from the gym at a local wine bar. I didn’t realize how much I missed hanging out with friends (at a real restaurant) until this past weekend! 

A little context. I’m good friends with one of the gals. She’s the type of girl that I don’t necessarily talk to or text every day. We’ll casually reconnect on social or hug if we randomly bump into each other, but it’s not like it’s a hyper close friendship. But yet, when we do connect, it’s like we haven’t missed a step. Do you have girlfriends you can just pick up where you left off with? She’s one of those low-maintenance priceless friends. 

I'm interested. 

Feel the feels...to heal.
Guadalupe Hirt, 46 | Co-Founder & CCO of SecondAct|Women

The past few months, my heart and mind have been extra heavy with feelings. Some I am familiar with and others are new. For a few years now, I’ve been working on ‘feeling my feelings,’ working through them, taking from them what I need, and then moving on. To some this may sound a smidgen process-like, and at its core, I suppose it is, but this approach has helped me get unstuck from experiences, ideas, and emotions that have held me back in the past. 

What’s peculiar about feelings is that they can be both a gift and curse. Sometimes the last thing you want to do is feel because feelings can really hurt. They are the reason I have sobbed uncontrollably over thoughts of divorce, ached with real pain when my dad passed three days before I was to visit, raged when I saw George Floyd’s video and went through a mental, physical and emotional breakdown this weekend when I was blind-sighted by some family news I was not ready to receive nor share at this time.

More to the story. 

Coming to terms. We all are confidently a WIP.
Guadalupe Hirt, 46 | Co-Founder & CCO of SecondAct|Women

Through our work with SecondAct|Women, we’ve heard a lot of different words used to explain where some of you are in your second act. We’ve heard words like beautiful, badass, strong, and powerful. We’ve also heard words like scared, lost, lonely, and unconfident – and in many cases, from the same women. News flash: We all are Works In Progress (WIP).

For starters, let’s agree that both sets of these words are normal and okay to feel. There is not one person alive today that does not have their own internal bouts with self-doubt and lack of confidence. “A year before her book Lean In was published, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg shared, ‘There are still days I wake up feeling like a fraud, not sure I should be where I am.’

More to the story. 

Living life according to who?
Guadalupe Hirt | Co-Founder & CCO of SecondAct|Women

Living life according to someone else’s rules can be a real mind f**k, especially when you didn’t even realize you were doing it. From a young age, we are given rules, beliefs, and expectations. As women 40 & 50+, we are still given rules, beliefs, and expectations. Depending on how you accept or reject these ideologies, you are either praised or chastised.

Now, I realize it’s not this black and white, there are many shades of gray and some rules are designed to keep us safe or free from harm. But have you ever stopped to think how much of who you are today is inherited versus inherent? Is the life you are living right now, in this moment, based on those handed down beliefs and expectations by family, society, ethnic culture, peers or are they your own? Do all the rules you abide by; beliefs you subscribe to or praise you seek serve the true essence of the woman that looks back at you in the mirror?

Unequivocally, I can say no. You?

Keep on reading.

Take your mind off pause. Push start.
Barbara Brooks, Founder of SecondAct|Women

Life, it’s a crazy thing, especially in these uncertain times. Our lives have been put on pause quite literally and for some, their livelihood. The ability or willingness to see what’s next and adapt to the new normal can be unsettling. Or so it may seem.

Been there. Done that. In round two. 

Round one began when I launched Bloom+Co Presents, the parent company to SecondAct|Women in 2018 at 51. My world was caving in on me and I felt the need to end the marketing and PR company I had with Lupe (she also felt the same) and instead, land a steady job back in Corporate America. I, my friend, feared what my future held in middlescence and it turns out, I had every right to be worried. Corporate did not want me as I sat at level 51. My life was on pause, but not for long.

Keep on reading for a few tips to push start.

Doodling My Way to Loving Mind Maps
Guadalupe Hirt, Co-Founder of SecondAct|Women

Regardless of where I am, be it in a meeting, on the phone, or on a Zoom call, I can assure you I’m listening but odds are I’m also randomly drawing funky shapes, patterns or abstract sketches on my paper. Not sure when this all started, but I am a busy hands doodler.

I’m the one who sat side-saddled at her desk tapping a pencil, the one who turned in homework assignments with bonus sketches strewn about the page, the girl who loved art class but wasn’t the best at it, and is constantly playing with her face. Um yes…that last one has been sheer torture over the past several weeks! But I digress.

Keep reading.

Spring Clean Your Marketing Strategy
Barbara Brooks, Founder of SecondAct|Women

We are now 4 months into 2020 and a new day has arrived at our doorstep. Time to reevaluate and examine your marketing strategy because what worked in the olden days - 60 days ago, may not work today. What worked a few years back may need tweaking to get results if your audience has entered a new generation or life change. It's time to begin.

Digital Content
Short-lived content was all the rage back in the day. SnapChat was first to introduce the concept then came Instagram Stories followed by Facebook Stories. But today, evergreen content reigns supreme. Interesting and relevant content that remains fresh for readers over time. Evergreen content is key to be found online by search engines too.

Keep reading.

#Winning
Michelle Fox, Blogger & SecondAct|Women Team 

When I was in second grade, I beat a boy to become the fastest person in my class.  His name was Mike Schmidt.  Mike and I would often compete during recess for fun.  Sometimes he would win and sometimes I would.  It was usually playful.  When he would win he would shrug as if to say, “Of course I won, I’m a boy.”  When I won our friends would tease that he just got beat by a girl.  It was always fun, until it wasn’t.

Keep reading.

Barbara Brooks, Founder, SecondAct|Women

We want to help you get hired and collected some of the top recommendations from various recruiters and hiring managers. Turning them into action steps, we're hopeful these tips will land you your next big gig.

Keep reading.

To Goal or Not to Goal?
Guadalupe Hirt, Co-founder, SecondAct|Women

If you were to ask me if I have goals, I would unequivocally answer “of course!” But unlike my work wife, I’m not a plan girl. I’m not the type to sit and hash out my goals, meaning, I don’t create methodical plans or vision boards to get me from point A to B. I went from mid-woman on the totem pole at public relations agencies to entrepreneur and so I never really had to create goal plans. As an entrepreneur for the past 25 years, I simply just did what I needed to do to get me to my goal or to complete the project. Surprise or not surprise, this approach worked for me.

Keep reading.

Sister, we are on fire

No other time in history, have we been this important to the bottom line.

Women over 40...

  • Earn $100K ave. income
  • Hold 70-80% of purchasing power 
  • Open 1,821 businesses  each day
  • Boast 60% share of personal wealth in U.S.
  • Own the future
You can go it alone, but why would you?
Behind every great woman, is a sisterhood of equally great women.

We know you're awesome, but even the most fab female can continue to learn, grow and thrive, and we've found it's even more fun alongside other amazing women! So what are you waiting for?!

Join the InsidersClub as a founding member for only $139 for your first year, a savings of $41. Experience the difference of having a tribe at your back and gain access to the latest news, announcements, worksheets, bonus member perks, calls for speakers, blog contributions, and more.


Very uplifting and empowering to have been part of this wonderful gathering of amazing women!
Lisa Striegl, Microsoft

SecondAct|Women is a subsidiary of Bloom+Co Presents, a minority- and female-owned company based at WorkAbility Co-working space (also femaled-owned). 1576 Sherman Street, Denver, Colorado 80203 hello@secondactwomen.com

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