We had the good fortune of connecting with Patricia Cavanaugh and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Patricia, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I was looking for something that really didn’t exist. I was looking for someone to help me sort through my hopes and dreams for my years post 65, not a financial plan but a life plan. Back in 2006 I knew I wanted to leave a job I had held for close to twenty years. I was working as a psychotherapist in a drug treatment clinic. I knew I was burned out but I wanted and needed to keep working. I finally found a career counselor who helped me begin to think about what I came to call my third act. I realized after polling my friends and colleagues that many people were facing the same dilemma: They didn’t have a plan for what they were going to do with themselves and who were they going to be if they didn’t hold on to their regular job title. Like me, they were looking for a “retirement” life different from that of their parents or grandparents. There just wasn’t much help out there and very few role models. That’s when I knew that I could be that help. I decided to become a coach and combine it with my 30 years of psychotherapy experience. I could guide people through this challenging stage. And so I began The 3rd Act.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business is called The 3rd Act. I started it in 2007 when very few people were talking about retirement nor could they find any non-financial guidance to deal with their struggles. Most people didn’t realize that they were on the brink of a whole new adult developmental stage. I am proud to be one of the early thought leaders in this field who sought to draw attention to this growing movement fueled by the Baby Boomer generation.

Starting my business was challenging given that the Great Recession began shortly after I launched The 3rd Act. The last thing people wanted to do was talk about and focus on retirement. My business didn’t fit any of the Google searches either. I had to use the word “retirement” to get any SEO traction at all even though my business was not about conventional retirement. My focus was how to spend the next 20-30 bonus years in the best way possible, in a way that would bring meaning, purpose and joy to life.

I buckled down and kept planning for the day when people would feel safe again and begin to think about a new future for themselves. I just had to persevere. I knew my pioneering ideas and my straightforward methodology for helping people in this phase was important to me, to others, and to the planet. There were so many talented, energetic and committed people just looking for a way to focus themselves. They needed help facing their fears of the unknown, and with my unique combination of being a psychotherapist and coach I was in the perfect position to do just that.

The lessons I learned along the way were to not give up and to trust my inner voice. I planned, researched and prepared for my target client. I learned to reach out and get help, as business was not my strong suit but helping people was and is. So I hired a business coach. That’s where Brand Builders came in. I also learned the importance of delegating. I couldn’t and shouldn’t do everything myself. I needed to do what I was best at and delegate the rest. A much better use of my time and talent.

I want people to know that life doesn’t end at 65, the traditional year targeted for retirement. Life can just be beginning. It is truly a time to take off and a time to soar. The third act is a time of freedom without the constraints of building a career or raising a family. It may be a time to do what you have always imagined or even a time to just begin to think there is something more. We are pioneers in this new adult stage of life. Let’s make the rest of our lives the best of our lives.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I have had wonderful times in Atlanta. I traveled there for my business and held a very successful 3rd Act seminar for Ameriprise in the cool East Atlanta Village section of town. I also traveled with my family and visited the fantastic Georgia Aquarium and was simply stunned by the scope of the sea life on display. I took my grandchildren to the Center for Puppetry Arts and was thrilled to see the original creations for the Dark Crystal movie. My kids loved the live puppet play, too. And of course there is nothing like walking through the beautiful Atlanta Botanical garden. Be sure to visit the impressive gift shop. For food, oh my goodness do not miss the Atlanta Breakfast Club with great wait staff and fantastic waffles. We also had a great time at The Works for yummy food and fun shopping.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a big Shoutout to The Brand Builders Group and, in particular, my strategist Kristen Hartnagel.

Website: www.the3rdact.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/the3rdact_

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/patriciacavanaugh

Facebook: www.facebook.com/the3rdact

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFl4pqElmCzGQN_Gwq0PPsQ

Image Credits
David Gill

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