You’ve likely heard of 30 under 30 and 40 under 40 lists. But have you heard of the Forbes 50 over 50?
It’s a special category of recognition for women in business who have had major accomplishments in the second part of their professional lives.
Capital Campaign Pro Advisor Xan Blake and I nominated Andrea. Sadly, Andrea doesn’t really qualify because our business doesn’t earn over $20 Million in revenue. However we decided to throw her name in the ring regardless.
Andrea Kihlstedt: Candidate for Forbes 50 Over 50
Andrea did get asked to complete a second-round of information. Here’s some of what she wrote:
50 marks the beginning of the third and most remarkable quarter of a woman’s life. With menopause comes a newfound freedom. A deepening of mind. A clarity of purpose and the courage to step up that is often tempered while managing the complex tasks of raising a family. Being over 50 is a wonderful advantage. Being over 70 is even better.
At 50 I was just getting going. But at 70 I finally had the confidence and courage to create a new consulting model for capital campaign fundraising. And now, eight years later, with a wonderful business partner, Amy Eisenstein, and a team of 18 people, our business has empowered nonprofit organizations to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to fuel their organizations’ growth.
I started in the capital campaign consulting business when I was 34 and established a name for myself by writing a 400-page book on the subject. That book, Capital Campaigns: Strategies that Work, established me as one of the foremost experts in the field and gave me my professional voice. The 4th edition was published in 2017 and it’s still going strong.
It wasn’t until I turned 70 that I found the courage to upend traditional consulting practices and create a more affordable and more effective approach to consulting based on shared wisdom and collective learning.
I never imagined that I would build and run a multi-million-dollar business. Now that I am doing that at 70+, I would love to inspire other women through my experience. I’ve learned so much in the past decade and I continue to grow and have fun. Thinking of 50 as a milestone seems silly to me now.
Many women at 50 are just getting started, like I was. Women should know that even after menopause, they have the time to build whatever they wish and that building a million-dollar business from scratch may be within their reach.
This week, Andrea turns 78 years young and shows no signs of slowing down. She has more clarity, wisdom, and experience than anyone I know.
Inspiring Words for the Prime of Life
If you’re in the prime of life and thinking about your second or third act, I hope you’ll see yourself in — and be inspired by — Andrea’s story.
Forbes is seeking women over 50 generating $20 Million or more in their businesses. Andrea is doing just that as Co-Founder of Capital Campaign Pro, but the funds do not go to the bottom line of the business. Instead, she is helping hundreds of nonprofit organizations raise hundreds of millions of dollars for their own important missions. If that isn’t a cause for celebration and recognition, I don’t know what is.
If you are so moved, join me in wishing Andrea the happiest of birthdays below in the comments.