Terri Hanson Mead
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Terri Hanson Mead

Finding My Purpose as a Creator and Midlife Influencer

Sometime in the last year I got lost.

I lost my purpose.

Covid might have had something to do with it. Or being 50 and perimenopausal.

Whatever the reason, yesterday I refound my purpose, at least when it comes to my content and social media, thanks to my friend Werner.

Context

As many of you know, in 2019 I wrote a book called Piloting Your Life. I wrote it as a love letter to GenX women, hoping to inspire them to take the controls and be the pilots in their own lives. (I fly helicopters for fun so a lot of my branding is around aviation)

I want to inspire women over the age of 40 to design and live a life of their own creation.

I researched extensively and interviewed over 35 diverse women from around the world to create a well researched, inspiring beach read (or so it’s been labeled).

While my book was really well received by the women (and men) who read and listened to it, just as I was getting on tour to promote the book, Covid hit and all events were canceled.

That didn’t really stop me from creating and sharing content for (mostly) women in my target audience. In fact, I was even more inspired to do so.

I share the real truth about what I experience as a midlife woman, as a mom, as a wife, as a business owner, as an investor, as an author, etc., and what we experience as a family (especially during Covid), to help others feel less isolated and alone.

Based on the feedback and comments I’ve received, the stories and messages are resonating and helping. Keep ’em coming…it can be lonely as a creator.

Platforms and Channels as a Midlife Influencer

Weekly, I write the PYL In-Flight Entertainment newsletter (sign up here) which also gets shared on Medium.

I write about what I’ve learned and what I am experiencing in hopes of providing some information and inspiration for those who read it.

In January 2020, I put my PYL podcast on hold and launched my YouTube channel (Subscribe here).

I share my stories to remind women that we don’t need to be tied to old societal expectations. I want to embolden women to create meaningful lives for themselves based on what they want, not what is expected. It was, and continues to be, an experiment.

On Instagram (follow me here), I share random things about my life and last year, put out daily challenges with a monthly theme to encourage my followers to take action as they claim their lives for themselves.

I take most of the pictures and do very little (if any) editing believing that the combination of text and image are necessary for the greatest impact. You won’t find me adding filters to make my life prettier and less real.

My latest social platform of choice is TikTok (follow me here). No, I haven’t done any of the dances or drinking challenges and I don’t intend to. I’ve limited myself to the 15 second clips largely because I don’t really know how to use the app yet.

My latest experiment is to share 51 of my favorite things in honor of my 51st birthday which I celebrated in April. (BTW, using the word sex in a hashtag or saying the word fuck as I complain about parenting a college student, both seem to be pretty popular with folks on TikTok. Imagine that.)

What’s My Purpose?

But why I am doing any of this? And what does Werner have to do with it?

I live a full life. I take chances and do things even if I am afraid. I live boldly. I am not afraid to admit when I am wrong nor am I afraid to fail (most of the time).

I am willing to share my experiences and my learnings with others.

I always ask the questions others are afraid to ask.

And I hate being told what to do.

So I try to inspire through stories and images, hopefully creatively, with some humor, and lots of vulnerability. I tend to be pretty intense and take myself way too seriously so sometimes it’s a stretch but I do try. Honest.

My reach has been limited which made me question my impact and why I am doing what I do.

It’s time to take a chance and bravely level up.

This is where Werner comes in. He is a design thinking expert and we’ve been looking for a way to collaborate. We decided to apply his design thinking tools and methodologies to my leveling up project, beginning with finding my purpose using the Zenith Purpose Anatomy cards.

The results were not surprising and really helped me solidify my purpose as a content creator and midlife influencer.

The purpose behind all of my content on some of my channels (YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Medium, and with my weekly PYL In-Flight newsletter) is to inspire my audience to find freedom.

— Freedom to be true to themselves.

— Freedom to live a meaningful life.

— Freedom to be courageous and bold and decisive.

— Freedom to explore and be playful and creative.

This is what I want in my life, too.

What’s Next?

Next up we are going to work through preparing a design brief including objectives and personas. Since this is an experiment for both of us (me and Werner), I’ll be sharing the adventure with all of you.

Until then, you will start to see me include more ideas to inspire action. That seems to be where there’s a gap in my content.

Thanks for joining me on this adventure. I hope that you enjoy the journey and the content as I continue to make my way through this crazy time called midlife.

It truly is madness.

Terri

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Terri Mead

Terri Mead

IT consultant, expert witness, YouTuber, helicopter pilot. Making the world a better place, especially for women. Award winning author of Piloting Your Life.