Everyone has a story, I personally find the stories of boomers most interesting because you never know what you’re going to get. The days are gone when a person would work thirty plus years at the same menial job, reach age 65 and promptly check themselves into a senior’s residence to say goodnight. A great many boomers today are now seeing 65 as the beginning of a new life entirely! Exciting new career paths, traveling to far off places, experiencing new people, places and cultures are just some of the activities that boomers are getting involved with. I attended the Northeast Avalon Regional Economic Development Board Silver Summit this past week, and got the chance to meet with boomer entrepreneurs and hear about their stories – helping to analyze their past and look ahead towards their future. I was quite surprised to hear what a lot of them had to say.
Jerry Byrne, the former president and CEO of the DFB Group, built a strong presence in the oil and gas, marine and industrial marketplace by helping to grow his company from a dozen employees to 450, from a million dollars in annual revenue to $80 million a year. At age 62, he decided to finally retire. Jerry spent much of his work-free months traveling through Thailand, Canada and the United States, spending time catching up with his friends and family. Not entirely ready to take up a full life of golf and leisure activities, Jerry made the decision to pick up where his late brother, the former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister Jack Byrne, had left off. Jerry Byrne ran for the Conservatives in the riding of St. John’s East in the 2011 federal election, only to get beat out by Jack Harris. But he didn’t stop there.
“I worked like a dog, and took the beating of a lifetime,” Jerry says . But despite the loss, the fuel in the fire only re-energized him. After his election campaign, he looked around for a new passion to commit his time to, that passion was found again in Heart’s Delight, where he bought Ocean Delight Cottages and got back into the business world.
“After that last year, I’d caught all the breath I needed to catch,” Jerry says. He adds that his short retirement was “fantastic,” but he realized it wasn’t going to be long-term just yet.
To visit Jerry’s website, go to OceanDelightCottages.com
Barbara Jaworski is Canada’s leading expert on boomers, chief KAA-Boomer of the Workplace Institute and author of Rebel Retirement – A KAA-Boomer’s Guide to Creating and Living an Explosive Second Act. You can find out more at http://www.KAA-Boom.com