Dealing with Change for 40+ Women
By Denise Michaels, Author, “Testosterone-free Marketing”
If you’re old enough to remember rocking out to the Beatles when they were live and not a video on YouTube, chances are the pace at which change is occurring is disconcerting. It’s all about rolling with it – especially in your business.
Maybe you can’t embrace techno-pop or rap, but it’s still smart to stay in the game and stay relevant. Success is about more than just marketing and selling. It helps to know what’s going on in the world around you. Instead of thinking you’ve got it right and Gen X or Gen Y is full of beans – pay attention. The assumed power of the Baby Boomers moving through the demographic pipeline is a thing of the past. The younger generations of adults now have larger numbers and more influence in our changing society.
So, what does it mean to stay relevant?
It’s not about trying to act like a teenager but keeping up with technology (somewhat anyway), keeping your appearance in the current decade rather than in a time warp and stop thinking, “When I was in my first management job we did it the right way – not THAT way.”
I don’t like feeling like a dinosaur either, but our notion of “the right way” means nothing to these young adults.
Remember, perception is reality. If you come across as superior and as if you know more than “those kids” they’ll turn away and won’t listen. Remember when you were in your early 20s and you thought you knew everything and had the world by the tail? It’s no different today.
Most young adults in the 18-30 year old category have had a computer in their home since they were a toddler. They probably don’t know what a cassette tape is. Since they could vote or drink a beer we’ve been at war with Afghanistan and Iraq. And, since they’ve been a tween, Casual Friday has morphed into Casual Everything.
I was talking with a marketing mentoring client yesterday. I don’t want to say her age, but let’s just say she’s had her AARP card a few years now. She exclaimed to me, “Oh, those kids don’t know anything!”
Unfortunately that attitude will keep you on the sidelines when it comes to selling to 20 and 30-somethings. Those younger folks have money to spend and they’ll buy if you don’t come across as superior or hopelessly old-fashioned.
On the flip side, I have another marketing mentoring client who’s 29. She’s sees me as having wisdom and acumen based on decades of experience she hasn’t even lived. I don’t preach or tell her how the world used to be. I’m not judgmental about her lifestyle choices. I had to be careful not to wince when she got her tongue pierced.
The world has changed and you know what? Some of those young folks that look easy to diss in their skinny jeans and platform heels are smart, hard-working, confident and have a lot on the ball. That client of mine with the pierced tongue is becoming very successful since she launched her business last spring.