This New Rules video from Bill Maher was not only funny, but it was also very wise.
Ageism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice in America
I’ll give you the link after you read this:
Why this rang such a bell with me is that most of my clients are over 50. And a whole lot of them are pushing past 70.
And at 70 you’re over the hill, right? Well, no, wrong!
Look if you are ready to retire, no problem. But right now, I’m going through one of the most creative and productive periods of my business life. Retirement is the last thing on my mind.
I could easily retire now, but I don’t want to. I’m having too much fun.
Bill says, “When you’re young you’re beautiful; when you’re old, you’re wise. Only we don’t get this. Our culture is shallow because we don’t respect the elderly. We venerate the young and let them rule everything.”
The truth is, however, in our later years, we know more, have experienced more, and have made all the mistakes the young have yet to make.
Do you want to hire a consultant who’s owned several companies, and knows what works to increase productivity and profitability or someone who’s wet behind the ears fresh out of business school?
Older consultants, coaches, and trainers have a LOT more going for them than their younger counterparts. They have the experience, the smarts, and the wisdom to make a bigger difference.
But in some areas, older self-employed people have some real disadvantages. They got successful, based their business on referrals from happy clients, and then forgot to renew their business networks and/or their thinking.
I can’t tell you how many times clients have told me, “My clients have retired and there’s nobody to take their place.” And when that happens, you do feel old; you don’t feel relevant anymore.
The question is, can you get back on track no matter your age? Well, definitely, if your health is good and your mind is sharp.
And, most importantly, if you still have some fire in your belly and want to make a difference, there’s no reason you can’t!
Here are a few tips.
Stop talking about your age. If you’re self-conscious about it, or worse, make apologies for it, you’re not helping yourself. And if you have aches and pains (who doesn’t?) nobody cares. Sorry.
Keep current. One of my past clients and current colleagues is in his 70’s and reads more in a year than I’ve read in 10 years! He gave me three recommendations last time we spoke. He has a mind that is both wise and young.
Stay in the present. Reliving past glories is a waste of time and life energy. The question is, “What can I contribute right now, based on my business and life experience?” And the answer is A LOT!
Think outside your box. I had a wonderful conversation with another past client and current colleague who is retiring from her old business and initiating a new project that got me so excited I spent hours thinking and writing about it over the weekend.
Have conversations. Lots and lots of conversations. New ideas and inspiration come more from the lively exchange of ideas than from scrolling through social media. I had three wonderful conversations in the past week.
Write. Just as, if not more important than conversations. And the two go hand-in-hand. I write this newsletter weekly, but I write something almost every day. When a new idea pops into my head I open up a new Word document and start developing that idea into the next thing in my business.
Listen to jazz! Jazz has been found through its syncopated nature to bring out theta brain waves, the brain circuits used for creativity. Jazz has also been found to lessen depression symptoms. Jazz tends to enhance all aspects of brain activity, but after listening, it can tend to copy the improvisational patterns as heard in the music. (taken from an article online.)
This is why I write off all the jazz I buy as a business expense. I always have jazz playing in the background in my office.
OK, you didn’t expect that one, right? :–)
So, as a “senior statesman” of consulting, coaching, or training, what’s next for you?
What is your next creation and contribution?
Where can you make the biggest difference?
What worlds can you move a few inches/miles?
What success and fulfillment can you facilitate?
What fun can you have that spreads joy and results?
Now listen to: Ageism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice in America