About Joe

In this market, some people think people like me are supposed to have life figured out--some kind of rags-to-riches story where I discovered a "secret" to success and fulfillment.

That's the typical guru story pattern but I'd be lying to you if I tried to take you down that road.

I'm just an average guy who decided not to go down the path many people travel as they enter midlife. I don't pretend to be anymore than that.

Let me share a little of my story so you know exactly what led to me to founding this website.

Like many people, I started off with the idea that being successful meant making a lot of money.

I fell into the trap of chasing the green for several years--you probably know the drill...working long hours, neglecting my health, always being in a rush, not to mention the anxiety from wondering if everything I was doing was really worth it, the list goes on. Eventually I realized I didn't want to end up successful at the cost of my personal relationships and health. If this was a midlife crisis or something different altogether remains a mystery.

But let me start near the beginning of my story.

Fresh out of high school in 1992, I attended the Art Institute of Dallas, becoming an entertainment lighting professional in my early 20s with clients such as Disney, HBO, and the International Olympic Committee.

Following that, I decided to try my hand at Information Technology. I earned several technical certifications, eventually taking a job with an IT consulting firm.

During that time, I married my beautiful wife, Deborah. About a year after getting married, I began the most challenging role of my life--I decided to be a stay-at-home-dad. When my daughter was old enough for preschool, I started a successful marketing business which I ran for over a decade.

By this point, I had moved several times, living in exciting cities like Dallas, TX and Seattle, WA. By all accounts, I should've been satisfied and happy, but...

...something was still missing in my life.

I wasn't fulfilled with my work--I wasn't really making a positive difference in the world and that's what I wanted to do. I could've kept working in my business, start looking for a regular 9-to-5 job, or I could do something BIG about that uneasiness I felt.

That was my turning point, my fork in the road. It was then that I made the life-changing decision to attend college, starting as a freshman at age 40--and yeah, it was as intimidating as it sounds.

My goal was to do something that I could be really be proud of, something that would make a positive difference in the lives of others. My studies took me towards something I was becoming more and more interested in as I got older--how individuals and society view the natural aging process.

As I discovered, negative ideas about midlife and beyond don't just come from others--it can come from the way we talk to ourselves and from believing the negative stereotypes that we're all exposed to while growing up.

After learning in-depth how negatively aging is viewed in our society and how it affects individuals on several levels, I decided I wanted to do something about it.

So I decided to concentrate my work on internalized ageism. If that term isn't familiar to you, it's when you apply your own negative ideas and beliefs about aging to yourself.

I even found myself doing this right before I enrolled in college.

"Am I too old to do this?"

My answer to myself at the time?

"Maybe, but I'm going to do it anyway."

I'm glad I did because I graduated at the top of my class (Summa Cum Laude) at age 45 with a 4.1 GPA.

I didn't tell you any of my life story just to list off my achievements.

It's to show you how many times I've pivoted and made major, successful changes in my life, both personal and professional. Along with those changes came obstacles and setbacks that I had to work my way through in order to reach my goals. But no matter what, I tried my best and kept going.

Mine is a simple story of tenacity--one of making goals and taking the consistent action needed to get things done.

Age into Action and Today

The foundation for Age into Action came about while in my senior year in college.

My goal was to create an online community specifically for helping middle-aged (roughly 40-65) people to continue to strive for success and happiness. There's a lot of personal development material out there and I wanted to do something different that was tied closely with my interests. I decided to approach the topic of personal development from a sustainability angle. 

In simple terms, a society isn't very sustainable if a large portion of its population feels they are no longer valued, that they have little to contribute, and are expected to step aside and slow down as they get older (even if they're not ready.) 

In addition to the larger socioeconomic issues of marginalizing an entire segment of the population, the ramifications of doing so extend to the individual and the negative effects manifest themselves in undesirable ways such as depression, anxiety, and general dissatisfaction with life.

And why wouldn't people feel that way? We've all seen the 'funny' birthday cards about turning 40/50/60, the commercials for 'age-defying' creams and make-up--the signs are everywhere if we look closely and the message being sent is clear--aging is bad. 

One of the biggest problems is that many of the stereotypes about getting older are generalizations. For example, one of the biggest stereotypes is that people's health starts to decline as they get older. While this is true due to the simple fact of biological aging, it doesn't happen to everyone at the same rate.

On one hand you can have a 64-year-old person who can barely walk due to bad health and on the other hand, you have an identically-aged Diana Nyad, who in 2013 swam non-stop from Cuba to Florida (on her fifth attempt!) Now imagine being completely capable of doing something as big as Diana but you're being discouraged not only by other people's negative beliefs about your age, but from your own inner limiting beliefs.

Think about another goal you might already have or want to set for your 40s/50s/60s. How are you supposed to achieve success if there's all this negativity coming at you about your age from your own beliefs and inner dialogue?

So I got to work.

After months of research, my plan was completed and I presented Age into Action to my Sustainability Studies professors at the University of New Mexico. 

I won the Academic Excellence Award from the department along with a healthy dose of encouragement from the faculty to make my project a reality.

But could I do it? Absolutely!

My skills lie in communicating and teaching--two areas I've built up plenty, both as a business owner and former technical trainer.

I'm good at putting things into plain English, cutting out all of the fluff, and making clear plans to get things done. 

As a certified Goal Success Coach, I'm excited to make my 25 years of experience in goal-setting and habit formation available to you. The information and techniques we publish here on our website and in our upcoming programs are based on coaching best practices which I have personally used over the course of my life--from planning and working towards life-changing bigger goals to creating small habits that can help reach those goals and improve day-to-day life.

In a nutshell, I've made it my personal mission to help people like you figure out what you really want out of the second half of life and help you to go after it.


Three Random Facts About Me

  1. 1
    For my high school senior trip in 1992, my class went to the Sandia Mountain ski area near Albuquerque, NM.  I fell in love with the southwest and I promised myself I would move here one day. In 2011, my family and I moved from Seattle, WA to a town just outside Albuquerque. How's THAT for creating and reaching a long-term goal? :)
  2. 2
    I'm kind of a Star Trek nerd. I loved it ever since high school and re-watch an episode or two every week. Deep Space 9 is my favorite, btw.
  3. 3
    I have a cat named Maggie and a dog named Poppy. It's always nice to be greeted by both after a long day.

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