Betty Ford

Octogenarian Sales Dynamo
TurningPoint: A divorce forces the young mother back to work and into a fulfilling life.

imgThey call her “Dynamo Betty”. 

As she moves into her eighth decade of life, Betty Ford is still working and is showing no signs of slowing down.

“I don’t even understand the concept of age or retiring. I think life is an adventure and you should go with it.”

Betty is a long time Albertan and has made Edmonton her home since 1957. At an age when the children of today are busy with school, activities and their ipods, Ford was sent out to earn some money. She admits her early years were lessons from the school of hard knocks.

“I’ve been working since I was 13 and went out on my own when I was 15. I got married and had children but I divorced when I was 34.  I was a wreck. I worked for Sears who was so supportive in those days. I only had a Grade 9 education.”

At one point Betty was working four jobs at once to make ends meet for her young family. She worked full time in the Personnel office at Sears and then did part time accounting jobs at night.

“Being on my own I didn’t have any skills so I took a Dale Carnegie course and ended up working for him for 10 years. I had to get out there and build my confidence so I could give my children a good life and move on with it.”

After a successful career at Sears, a restaurant and catering business, condo sales and teaching Dale Carnegie courses, Ford was sixty-nine when a former sales manager gave her a call.

“Ford you’re dying on the vine.” Betty recalls him saying.  “I want you come and sell RV’s with me.” Now after ten successful years at her job at ArrKann RV and Trailer Betty is facing another turning point in life. She promised ArrKann she’d stay with them until she turned eighty. Now she has plans to move to Courtney, B.C. to be closer to her family.  Does that mean she’s now going to retire? No way.

“There are two things I’ve never thought of.  That’s age and retirement. I don’t even understand the concept of age or retiring. I think life is an adventure and you should go with it. I still do Yoga and golf. I think it’s key to staying strong.  I also have an iphone4 and ipad.”
 
Ford beams with pride when she talks about her biggest accomplishment – her children and granddaughter.

“I’m so blessed because I have such a wonderful family.”

Now she’s off to B.C. to spend more time with them but what’s next on the horizon if she’s not retiring?

“I already have four job offers,” Betty tells me with a chuckle.  “I’m going to miss all my friends but there’s a whole new adventure out there and I’m going to find it.”

Go get ‘em, Dynamo Betty.

 

An Octogenarian’s View on Life and Work

I don’t even understand the concept of age or retiring. I think life is an adventure and you should go with it.
Find something you want to do and make sure you like it.
Have confidence in yourself and be honest with others.
Don’t worry about life so much. It’ll sort itself out.