Today we are checking in with Nada Jones, Founder, CEO and podcast host of Liberty Road . In the labyrinth of life, Liberty Road emerges as a beacon for those navigating the intricate terrain of midlife. Defined by the philosophy that there's freedom in earned experience, Liberty Road invites midlife women like ourselves, to pause and reflect, and ask the pivotal question: "Now that you know who you are, what are you going to do about it?"
This platform, encompassing a podcast, website, and Masterclass series called Afterschool, embarks on a mission to redefine the narrative of midlife. Departing from the patterns of the past and future decades, Liberty Road recognizes this phase as the distinctive middle third—a time for introspection, reinvention, and the pursuit of new possibilities. We are all in!
What we love about all things Liberty Road is the invitation to traverse this transformative path, redefine midlife and envision a world where the wisdom, experience, and self-awareness of this phase become catalysts for renewed purpose and fulfillment. Nada has created a thriving, juicy community that we could not be more aligned with - one that beckons to expand our imagination about the possibilities that lie ahead. The midlife conversations Nada has with her guests seek to challenge conventional perceptions of midlife, emphasize its uniqueness and potential and advocate that these years are not a mere continuation of the first 30 or a precursor to the last 30 but represent a distinct phase marked by growth and evolution. Can we get a hell yes!
How do you Micropause
In midlife, establishing daily wellness rituals can contribute significantly to well-being. Can you share a personal daily ritual or self-care practice that has had a positive impact on your overall wellness during perimenopause or menopause? There are two things I am focusing on this year. I have noticed that when I take daily walks alone and without a podcast or audiobook in my ears, I begin my day feeling grounded. Walking provides me the space to breathe, meditate, zone out (which is rare for my ever-racing brain), and move my body. Additionally, every year I choose a word to focus on. My word this year is "slow". It's a funny word to choose when you're in the middle of launching and growing a new venture. It felt necessary to extract myself from the hustle mentality of a start-up and to move into a slow and steady pace that is both sustainable and gives me space to be intentional about my decisions rather than reactionary. It also forces me to be deliberate about my yeses and nos.
Midlife often brings significant changes. How have you embraced and navigated the transformations that came with perimenopause and menopause, and what valuable lessons have you learned along the way? For the most part, I am comfortable with change, but this last year challenged my easy-peasy nature. Two of my three children are in college and launching a new business. So much feels different. My roles are shifting, and my daily demands are morphing. While the timing has accommodated the commitment of time and resources necessary to launch a new business, I have felt an internal shift that the life I have built over the last 20 years has changed--permanently. There are no more endless soccer games and school activities. No more getting to know a new set of parents based on my child's school or grade. No more regular weeknight dinners for five--the shopping, the cooking, and most importantly, the dinner table conversations. No more (well, almost) making weekday breakfasts and lunches--my youngest prefers school lunches, and my husband makes his famous egg sandwiches for the drive to school, so I'm off the hook. But here's the deal. All these "no mores" and all this mourning of what was is creating space for other things that have not been a priority--like me. I have started to pay more attention to what fuels me mentally, physically, and spiritually. I am interested in what makes me whole outside the roles I've resided in for many years. Life is shifting, and I don't hate it. I am grateful for what was and what is, and I am looking forward to what will be. I am embracing change for myself and building a business around helping others do the same.
Societal expectations around midlife, particularly for women, can be limiting. How have you broken free from stereotypes and societal norms, embracing your authentic self in the process? As a consultant to female-founded businesses, I started to hear more and more clients and friends say, "it's too late to start something new." Whether it was a limiting belief or real-life feedback from a society that thinks we need to throw in the towel around 50, women were struggling. The sentiment I heard was, "maybe it's time to stop dreaming about what could be, that ship has sailed." But as they were saying these words, I also heard them speak of a nagging feeling that there was something more--that they were finished or were just getting started. Many felt that they were ready to identify their new purpose. They felt like they were leaving something on the table. Something undiscovered. In addition to this trend, I saw women in their middle third of life having more to offer than ever before. Why would you consider calling it a day when you have more connections than you have ever had, when, for many of us, we finally have a bit of financial security, and when we know ourselves like never before? Why were we embracing the patterns of our mother's midlife to guide us into ours when we are living longer and have more options than our mothers? We also have access to technology like never before. This access allows us to create and grow an idea, a project, or a venture from our fingertips. Many of us are finally beginning to know what we want out of life or are recalibrating from what was to what can be. Midlife seems to be an ideal stage of life to say yes to re-discovering our purpose and starting something new. I believed this so much that I left consulting behind and launched an event, editorial content, podcast, and membership platform around the idea. I wanted to create a space where women could consider their possibilities and be inspired and equipped to move into their future with intention.
Legacy and Impact
As we progress through midlife, thoughts about legacy and the impact we want to leave become more pronounced. How have your aspirations and priorities shifted during this stage, and what mark do you hope to leave on the world?I have been thinking about the impact for most of my career. It's been a source of tension. I have always wrestled with the idea that work was separate from doing good or having a meaningful impact. I believed that whatever I poured my time and energy into could provide a financially sustainable career and impact and serve others. Now, at 55, I am thinking more and more about legacy. What am I building? What am I leaving behind? What example am I setting and communicating with my actions to my children about making a difference? As I considered what Liberty Road could be and the impact of this venture, it became necessary to build something bigger than myself. I wanted to take advantage of what I knew and had learned, what I felt passionate about and enjoyed doing, and who I wanted to serve. Launching a midlife media platform ticked all the boxes while stretching me to learn and grow beyond my comfort zone. Entrepreneurship is a beast, but it's been the most profound teacher. It has allowed me to be creative, effect change, and build (and hopefully leave) a legacy that aligns with my values and vision for change and my particular gifts and talents.
Here's some backstory about the fabulous Nada Jones:
I spent over 20 years rolling up my sleeves alongside female founders. From starting an online co-op of emerging designers, and co-authoring a book to creating conferences, workshops, and consulting small businesses, my north star has been to inspire and equip women to actualize their purpose. Too many of us step away from pursuing anything new during a time in life when experience, wisdom, and self-awareness finally come into focus. What if more women stepped into midlife ready to create, innovate, lead, unite, support, and heal? I have learned that purpose can be defined over a lifetime or in an instant. And we’re always capable of expressing purpose through a canvas of our choosing.
I know that I am not finished, but I do not always know what’s next. I have more to learn, more to offer, and more to become, and my guess is you do too.
In 2008, I had the great pleasure of writing a “how-to” book with my close friend and former business partner of nine years. “Sixteen Weeks to Your Dream Business: A Weekly Planner for Entrepreneurial Women” was published by McGraw Hill and was an Amazon top-selling business book thanks to its unique day-to-day format.
The research for the book came from my experience as co-founder of nedandshell.com, a retail and wholesale co-op for emerging female designers. From 2000 to 2009 we connected shoppers with unknown brands and took great joy in seeing our co-op and its designers featured in swanky mags like InStyle, Lucky, Newsweek, WWD, Elle, Teen Vogue, the New York Post, Daily Candy, and the Washington Post.
Before living the entrepreneurial dream, I launched my career in communications working for big brands like Estee Lauder, Bloomingdales, Nike, and Patagonia. I started as a public relations assistant for a small firm in Boulder, Colorado, and ended my corporate stint as the Director of Marketing for the nation’s leading arbitration and mediation company, JAMS. My experience, both in corporate America and as an entrepreneur, has given me invaluable insight into the essentials of launching and growing a successful business.
By far, the number one perk has been meeting and working with the most amazing women to realize their potential, as well as partnering with amazing game-changing social impact organizations and big brands including the Tory Burch Foundation, JoinFITE, Miss Representation, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, HP, Nestle, and Ikea. I have also enjoyed speaking and teaching seminars for TOMS Shoes, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, FarFetch, and The Yellow Conference to name a few.