Angelique Miles Wants to Tell You How Old She Is

10 min read
Meet Angelique Miles, a former music industry executive who took charge of a new career after 50.
Meet Angelique Miles, a former music industry executive who took charge of a new career after 50.

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The greatest tool in a woman’s toolbox isn’t a cosmetic or a brush. It’s self-determination—the daily commitment you make to yourself and your future, and the hard work and rituals that create the foundation for that journey. Make Your Self is a series that spotlights the stories of women who fiercely embody this relentless pursuit.

"What do you want to do every day?"

During a period in Angelique Miles' life that felt wildly complicated, this radically simple question changed everything. In her mid-forties, she was negotiating the aftermath of a successful career in the music industry; she had spent years signing some of the most recognizable acts of the '90s and nonetheless found herself unceremoniously aged out. "One day it came to a crashing end," she recalls. "I had done it for so long that I wasn't sure what else I was going to do."

Which lead her to that question: "Well, what do you want to do every day?" She decided that, in the midst of so much uncertainty, working out and taking care of her health might at least help her feel good again. She began frequenting CrossFit; the workouts got tougher, and soon she was challenging her body in ways she never thought possible. It didn't take long for Miles to realize that she could leverage this daily ritual into an entirely new chapter of her career.

Now 53, Miles spends her days inspiring women to feel empowered by their bodies and emboldened by their age. She wants us to share and advocate for our successes more often; to feel less guilty for talking about the things we've accomplished. And while aiming for all of this at once might seem like a tall order, deciding on one thing you'd like to do for yourself every day is a pretty solid way to get started.


On negotiating the aftermath of her first career…

"I had done it for so long that I wasn't sure what else I was going to do. I was actually feeling really low because I just couldn't figure things out. So I started working out because it was the one thing I could control. Everything else was so out of control: my finances, people who I thought were friends weren't calling me back.

"I tried so many times to get back into the music industry. I kept knocking on doors. I had been so successful. I'm like, Why can't I get a job? I mean, I signed some really amazing acts and I'm still talented and I just couldn't figure out why it wasn't happening for me anymore. It was like I had the midas touch at one time and then everything started turning to dust. It was that dramatic for me.

"But I decided that even if I feel down-and-out, I'm not going to look down-and-out. That led me to the really tough workouts at Crossfit. And after those workouts, I would think: Somebody should know I did this. This is insane. So I started posting them on social media. 'I just ran two miles—I've never run before.' 'I did 50 kettlebell swings.' People started telling me how I inspired them and motivated them to get up and and do something themselves. So that's where it all started. And it just evolved."

"I'm done with one career and on to the next."

On turning one simple question into her next chapter…

"I was like, 'Okay, music is not it anymore. You have to figure out something else.' Since I was at rock bottom by this point, I decided to ask myself: 'What do you want to do every day?'

"The answer: 'I want to wake up everyday, work out and practice other forms of wellness and self care, and monetize it. I don't know how I'm going to do that, but that's what I want to do.'"

"I'm doing the things that I'm doing now because of my age, not in spite of it. I'm proud to say I'm 52. I'm proud of myself for looking the way I do."

On embracing the art of self-promotion…

"I got to the point where I knew I had to toot my own horn. No one else is gonna do it for you. I started even with the music stuff I had done—even though it was behind me, I had to start telling people what I'd done and make my voice heard because I've done a lot and I deserve to be recognized for it.

"Friends my age, especially Gen-X people were not with the Instagram thing when it first came out. They were like, 'Why are you taking so many? Are you okay? Why are you taking pictures like a teenager?' [laughs] Then that turned into, 'Well, I see what you're doing and it looks really interesting, but how do you monetize it?'

"I didn't know. I couldn't articulate how. But I just felt like I was headed in the right direction and knew it was going to happen."

"I wake up and say thank you. I work out. I try to read affirmations every day. It's just something to set the tone for the day."

On planning (and not planning) for the future…

"I look at what I'm doing now and few years ago this didn't exist, so I couldn't have planned this. I couldn't have planned my life right now. So I don't know what the future exactly holds. I think it may be something that doesn't exist yet, so I don't want to plan too far ahead. There might be certain things I want to do within a year, but beyond that I know that whatever I'm doing within that year will take me to the direction I want to go. I just don't know exactly what it is yet, but I'm comfortable not knowing."

1) ten Brinke, L. F., Bolandzadeh, N., Nagamatsu, L. S., Hsu, C. L., Davis, J. C., Miran-Khan, K., & Liu-Ambrose, T. (2015). Aerobic exercise increases hippocampal volume in older women with probable mild cognitive impairment: a 6-month randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Sports Medicine.
2) Orth, U., Erol, R. Y., & Luciano, E. C. (2018). Development of self-esteem from age 4 to 94 years: A meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Psychological Bulletin.


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