So – if you read last weeks blog on how to live longer, you might think I am losing the plot talking about staying younger, but I’m really not. I’m also not talking about miracle face creams, Botox or lying about your age (as if!! Lol).
No – what I am talking about here is the same thing that will keep your business afloat whilst others come and go.
Here’s what’s interesting – I don’t know if you have noticed but society has expectations of ‘old people’, as it does of ‘youth’, ‘middle age’, ‘teenagers’ and anything else with a label on it. These have changed over recent years. For example, when I began life as a lowly recruitment consultant at Computer Futures in 1996, anyone over the age of 50 better have a lot of patience and ingenuity if they were trying to find a new job, and anyone who moved jobs more than once every 5 – 7 years was a job hopper.
Nowadays, if you get a CV of someone with good skills who has stayed anywhere 2 years – that is considered good, and if they are still in the same job they were in 7 years ago – well that’s a bit of a worry….Perhaps they won’t be flexible, they sure don’t look ‘ambitious’, and whilst there is a bit more acceptance of “older” people making a job move, there is still a lot of intolerance.
I just say – remember all you 20 somethings – you WILL be “old” one day.
So – why do I put “…” around the word old? Well, for a start – no-one really knows what old is anymore. When I was a kid 40 was old, when I working it had probably moved to 50 and nowadays – well who knows? It depends who you are talking to or about. People like Joan Collins and Jane Fonda moved perceptions so that 50 is the new 30 – and now 70 is the new 50!
It’s all about perspective and attitude.
And that’s the same in business.
I believe that the businesses and the business people who allow themselves to ‘grow old’ are the ones who become complacent, who become afraid to take risks and who are not quick enough to adapt and adopt new ideas/technologies/beliefs.
Fortunately for me I am a person who easily adapts to change and that’s because I love it. I have a short attention span for boring things. I get it – I really do – there’s a big comfort in what you know. It is like coming home after being away – it feels great, it feels warm and cosy, it’s easy. But, for me at least, it wouldn’t feel quite as great if I was there all the time. In fact, I would be bored.
It’s the same with my businesses. I love my social media business because it changes ALL the time. Yesterday Twitter rolled out it’s 280 characters to everyone, tomorrow who knows? Because it changes and there is always new stuff to learn, and to teach – it holds my attention.
My coaching business does that same, because every person I coach has a different business, a different life experience and that makes it fascinating.
It probably goes back to my Yellow Pages days when I would see 20- 30 clients a week and ALL of them different.
Successful business are successful for a few reasons. Everyone will tell you that you need to be passionate about your business. As a small business owner that, I know, is true. However, it’s not enough.
You also have to love change and not only be ready to take the risks that change brings but actually you need to CREATE the change. You can’t play catch up.
In my social media business everyone works from home. And for more than half that means – not even in the UK. Next summer I am working from France (or Spain) for July and August. Why? Because I can. (Thanks Clive for that challenge). And I like the sun – something we don’t see enough of in Manchester. Am I unique ? Probably not, but I don’t see many businesses with the entire team working from home.
I figured if I want a work life balance than I’m pretty sure most other people do. Most of my team are working Mum’s – or Dad’s – who don’t want to waste their life commuting and not seeing their kids before they go to bed. Having said that we also have single early 20’s and one retired editor. So, we span the decades and the generations.
This week I am in the Philippines training some of my team and checking out where I am holding my next retreat for busy business women. And there’s my point. If a year ago I had been scared to take a risk, and change our business model, if I hadn’t taken on the Mum of 2 (now 3), who had just had her second baby and wanted to work from home, then I wouldn’t now have a team of 8 over here, who are all hard working, genuine and committed individuals who love to make a difference for their clients. And they’re a lot of fun too – result!
So, if you want to stay young, and you want your business to stay young – step out of your comfort zone, take more risks and remember how much fun change can be!
PS – hello and welcome to the Blog to all the lovely peeps I met speaking at last week’s Santander client event in Didsbury. Hope to see you again soon.