Episode #123:
Reignite Your Entrepreneurial Life after 60 with Nan McKay

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This week, Caterina is joined by multimillion-dollar business owner, Nan McKay, who shares her guiding principles for women over 60 who want to start their own entrepreneurial journey. In this inspiring episode, Nan and Caterina discuss taking that first leap of faith, letting your creativity and curiosity flow, and overcoming society’s expectations of age to create a business you’re passionate about. Listen to this episode to learn how to bliss in your 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond!


Nan McKay, who founded six businesses, is currently the President of the Board of the company she established in 1980. This company now has more than 2,000 employees. Nan also sold her computer software business for a profit. Nowadays, Nan focuses her efforts on her latest business venture, Nan McKay Connects. Through this company, Nan empowers women by providing resources for business success through quizzes, podcasts, YouTube channels, books, and courses. Her current passion involves developing a system to save small business owners time and effort by building customized quizzes, webinars, and email sequencing targeted to specific client markets. Nan’s accomplishments have not gone unnoticed, as she was named the 2019 California Woman Business Owner of the Year. In addition, two buildings in Minnesota have been named after her.

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Expand Your Fempire Podcast #123 Transcript


Reignite Your Entrepreneurial Life after 60 with Nan McKay

Welcome to Expand your Fempire with Caterina Rando, the podcast for women in business on a mission. Sharing ideas to support you to grow and thrive. Now here’s your host, Caterina Rando.

[00:00:23] Caterina Rando: Welcome back to another episode of the Expand Your Fempire Podcast. I am your host, Caterina Rando. I am blissing to be with you today. One of the many reasons is because we have a very special guest, Nan McKay. Nan is a woman on a mission who you are going to want to get to know. Welcome, Nan.

[00:00:54] Nan McKay: Thanks Caterina for having me. I appreciate being on your program.

[00:00:58] Caterina Rando: It’s my pleasure. Nan is a podcaster. She has built many multimillion-dollar businesses. She has a special focus these days helping women over 60 start businesses. I could talk about her many achievements all day. Nan, I’m gonna start with this. Tell us a little bit about your entrepreneurial journey.

[00:01:27] Nan McKay: Thanks, Caterina. In 1980, after working in government for about 17 years, I started Nan McKay and Associates in the basement of my house when women couldn’t even get a credit card in their own name. Now, this business is still running today. It has over 2000 staff and employees.

[00:01:50] And while I was doing that, to diversify, I created McKay Computer Services, which provided software to housing authorities, which I sold for a profit in the 1990s.

[00:02:02] Caterina Rando: Okay, let’s pause right there. So you built a business from your basement. Now there’s over 2000 employees. You’re not involved in that organization anymore. I understand your son runs it, is that right?

[00:02:18] Nan McKay: Actually, I’m president of the board of directors for that.

[00:02:21] Caterina Rando: You’re still president of Board of Directors. Oh my gosh. Okay. You’re still president of the board of directors, but you are not so involved in that because you have some other focuses, which we’re gonna get to, but in the meantime, you built a computer software company. Is that right?

[00:02:35] Nan McKay: While I was in the middle of the big business, it’s still going. That’s correct. Because it was the same people that we sold to, but they were having so much trouble back in the nineties figuring, doing all their little forms by hand. And I thought, you know, we could make this a lot easier. So, I hired a programmer and we developed a program to help the housing authorities. And eventually, I sold out to a very large software company.

[00:03:06] Caterina Rando: That’s very exciting. Nan, you, you make me bliss hearing about your massive monetization. Now, Nan, these days though, you have a different focus and because even though you look like you’re 50 years old, and I know we’re on the, we’re on the audio today. People may not know you’re 80 years old.

[00:03:29] Nan McKay: Oh yeah.

[00:03:29] Caterina Rando: And nobody would know. Nobody would know that if you didn’t say, and of, of course, today is not about the, what are your anti-aging secrets? Have to save that for another podcast. You are thriving in a new business now. What is the focus of your new business?

[00:03:46] Nan McKay: Well, after transferring to the president of the board of that company with my son as CEO, I just decided to spend more time towards making a difference.

[00:03:59] Caterina Rando: Great.

[00:03:59] Nan McKay: So I established Nam McKay Connects LLC, which is really my full-time business today.

[00:04:07] Caterina Rando: And, and what is the focus of this business? What do you do these days? How do you wanna make a difference?

[00:04:14] Nan McKay: I help women business owners simplify their business through technology. And in 2019, I created Trailblazer’s Impact, which is a podcast that aims to empower women by showcasing role models who had faced and conquered adversity.

[00:04:39] Caterina Rando: Wonderful. That’s beautiful. And I know I’ve had the privilege of being a guest on your podcast, Nan. Now, Nan, the reason why I mentioned your age and the reason why I am so inspired by you is because I believe that when we have our entrepreneurial business, we get to be ourself. We get to do our thing, we get to serve our people who were called to serve.

[00:05:04] And a lot of times later in life, women start to feel. They’re done or they don’t have a contribution to make. And you also help women get started with their thing, figure out their technology, figure out their operations, their marketing. What are some super tips that you would like to share for our listeners today?

[00:05:30] Nan McKay: Well, some of my super tips are, take that first leap of faith and really jump into the unknown. Let your curiosity and creativity, I think those are two really important words, and let them soar.

[00:05:49] As you just go to unlock the power of what I call a growth mindset, which is your can do mindset. You need to push your boundaries sometimes and just challenge yourself to think bigger and further than ever before.

[00:06:08] And I think you’ll be amazed at the possibilities that open up when you stretch yourself and you tap into the potential of a growth mindset. So I would encourage people just take that first step and see where it leads you.

[00:06:28] One of the things that we’ve talked about is a business, and I truly think that no matter what your age is, business is an option for anybody who wants to explore the possibilities.

[00:06:42] Now, when I think about it, I know starting a business may bring new challenges… also rewards. Rewards, like satisfaction from achieving something and even extra income. So what could be better than that? So don’t be afraid to take a chance and venture into entrepreneurship because you never know where it might lead.

[00:07:08] Caterina Rando: Okay, so I’m gonna back up a little bit. So Nan, okay, some people are, they’ve had a career like yourself. You took an entrepreneurial route, but a lot of the people that you’ve worked with over the years worked in government. They never had a business. They never had to sell anything. So I wanna ask you this cuz I think you’re very good at sales. A lot of people though, they’re like, okay, well I would like to do this, but I don’t wanna have a business because I can’t sell anything and they don’t wanna be pushy salespeople.

[00:07:43] What do you say to the person who is afraid to start a business?

[00:07:50] Nan McKay: Well, Caterina, you have certainly helped me overcome the challenges of sales because there’s a methodology for it, and if you can take that methodology and turn it into a factual program for yourself on how to sell and then realize that selling is just having conversations with people, but in a very structured way.

[00:08:18] Caterina Rando: Okay, so you know, I believe that anybody can learn sales and they can learn authentic sales and they can even fall in love with sales because selling is service.

[00:08:29] What about all the other things about business that people that are ready for retirement, maybe they have a hobby, like they like to garden, or you know me, I’m an image enthusiast. Maybe they wanna help older women look fabulous.

[00:08:45] How do they overcome the fear? See, you’re a very action-oriented person. I’m very action-oriented. But what about the gal who is kind of afraid to do something on her own after 40 years of having a career working for somebody else?

[00:09:04] Nan McKay: I think it’s important to explore options. We all have passions. We all want to make a difference in some way. Whether that might be just going to work and volunteering and maybe at a, uh, shelter for pets, or whether it’s start a business or whatever it is that that person wants to do. The point that I think is really important is that you can’t give up and just think you’re old, because if you think you’re old, you are. If you think you can’t do it, you can’t.

[00:09:44] And that’s why we have to open up our minds and say, wait a minute, I’m not old. Look at somebody like me. I mean, you’ve. Probably 20 years younger than me. So if I can do it, you can do it. It just takes encouragement. It takes not worrying about the imposter syndrome. You are worthy and there is nothing that can stop you once you decide what you want to do.

[00:10:16] Caterina Rando: Nan, I love that. And you mentioned encouragement. And one of the things that I feel is so important for women is to have a community where they get encouragement. What are your thoughts about the older individual as it relates to community?

[00:10:40] Nan McKay: Well, that was a learning process for me to tell you the truth, Caterina, because I am so driven and task-oriented, that when you talked about networking with women and getting involved with women, showing your personal side and, and don’t jump directly to what you want them to buy, all these things. I had to step back and go, “oh man, that’s just totally different from how I feel. Can I do this?”

[00:11:10] And I have learned so much through you to say that yes, that is what you do. You need to establish your own identity and their trust in you, because they’re not gonna buy from you when they don’t know you. And when you have yourself out there and you’re clear that you’re interested in them and solving their problem, not just you tooting your own horn, it makes a vast difference in what you can accomplish.

[00:11:49] Caterina Rando: Absolutely. Nan, one of the many things you’ve done is you wrote this really thick book called Gold in the Golden Years, and say a little bit about what’s something in that book, which I, of course, encourage everyone to pick up. What’s something in that book you’d like to share with our listeners?

[00:12:11] Nan McKay: Well, it really has two parts. One is, is entrepreneurship right for you? It isn’t right for everybody. And therefore I’ve put together a workbook. And it’s an action plan that’s part of the book that will help you work through that question. And then the second part of that question is, if I do wanna go into entrepreneurship, how do I choose what business I really want to own?

[00:12:40] And I take you through that. Then the third piece to it is that, and that’s probably three-quarters of the book, is how do I actually start and grow my business? Now, when we look at technology today and online businesses today, it’s very different from how it used to be with the old storefront that you opened up a business and you went down to your store every day and you sold things to people and you went home at night, very different.

[00:13:16] So one of the big challenges is, How do I go about this whole thing? And that’s why I wrote Gold in the Golden Years because once you are finished with your career, and I’m not saying retire because I don’t think people that are finished with their career, Most of ’em don’t want to retire, right? They wanna start a new challenge, right?

[00:13:42] They, they wanna have a new lifestyle for themselves. So I just decided to make a blueprint for people. This is how you do it. A, B, C, D. And here’s your action plan to work through it. And then I added one more thing. Would you like to hear about that?

[00:14:02] Caterina Rando: Of course, my friend, you know.

[00:14:04] Nan McKay: The one more thing was all these women had some very important advice to give on one topic or another, and I thought, well, why do this by myself? I’m gonna call on my network of people who have been through this and give their advice throughout the book. So this is not a book just from me. This is a book from a plethora of women who have come together to give you this blueprint.

[00:14:43] Caterina Rando: That’s wonderful, Nan. I love that. I love having a blueprint for the people. Now, Nan, I’ve gotta ask you something. I believe that one of the things that makes entrepreneurs successful, Is having the personal vitality to take action, pick up the phone, take risks. I gotta ask you, I’m looking forward, my friend, I’m, I wanna, I wanna be like you when I grow up. Okay? How do you stay so vital and so passionate?

[00:15:20] Nan McKay: Well, it’s interesting because I wanna be like you when I grow up. So it works both ways. Well, what do you do when you no longer have that career and you have lost your identity in a way?

[00:15:35] Because how do you introduce yourself anymore? You’re not Molly’s mom, you’re not vice president of such and such. So you go through that “who am I?” And I discovered that “who am I?” Is a person who loves to help other people create their what’s next.

[00:15:57] So I get so energized by thinking about this on all the ways that I could help people do that and go to that next step, whatever that might, next step might be, but especially if it is entrepreneurship and put out a helping hand through a book or a course or by technology things, I can do all these things that help you be successful. I just wanna be the wind beneath the wings of people who want to fly.

[00:16:32] Caterina Rando: Nan, it sounds like what you’re saying without using the word, is that you are very passionate about what you’re doing.

[00:16:42] Nan McKay: Yes, that’s true.

[00:16:43] Caterina Rando: Yeah and that gives you the vitality and the drive and your genuine desire to be of service. Nan, this is beautiful. You inspire me in so many ways.

[00:16:58] Nan McKay: Well, I would like to help other people write this minute by offering something that I have not offered before… a free pdf of my book Gold in the Golden Years.

[00:17:12] Caterina Rando: Wow, that is exciting.

[00:17:14] Nan McKay: It’s an international best seller on Amazon, so if you go to Amazon, you’re gonna have to pay for it. And that’s fine if you wanna do that. But the link to the free PDF is this https://nanmckayconnects.com/goldpdf

[00:17:41] Caterina Rando: great. I’m gonna go get mine right away, Nan. This is very exciting. We will also put this listeners in the show notes so that you can go back to it later. If you’re driving, it will be on the show notes. Go ahead, Nan.

[00:17:57] Nan McKay: I would just like to say if you want to change your life, if you want a new, exciting thing that makes you jump out of bed every morning, even if it’s five o’clock in the morning because you’ve been thinking about all this stuff you wanna do, if you wanna live longer then do something about it. And whatever that is, that floats your boat, that is your passion. Don’t waste a single minute. We don’t know how long our life will last, that’s for sure. And, but every day is precious and a unique opportunity to gain our knowledge, skills, and abilities. So why would we waste a single moment?

[00:18:49] Caterina Rando: I have no idea, Nan, especially when people can be as passionate as you by being themself, finding their thing, being of service.

[00:18:59] Nan McKay, as I said, you inspire me. You are such a great example of a woman on a mission building a Fempire. I am hoping that I will be going, going, going like you when I’m an octogenarian. Also, my mom is 90, my dad is 91. They are still going strong. And Nan, you are amazing.

[00:19:29] Everyone don’t just listen. Take these ideas from Nan. Get in action so that you can be having more gold in the golden years.

[00:19:40] Nan McKay: Just contact me at nan@nanmckayconnects.com. And my website is nanmckayconnects.com and let’s see what we can do together.

[00:19:52] Caterina Rando: Okay, great. Thank you my friend. And we will catch you again on another episode of the Expand Your Fempire Podcast.

[00:20:00] Bing, bing, bing.

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