Blogging? Self-indulgent waffle or an advertising tool that creates personality? Will Croker looks at the merits of trying different stuff.
I was forty years old on Sunday. A milestone I was dreading. I mean really dreading. Like I had been dreading it since I turned 30!! Maybe it is because I have always played sport and the term veteran gets leveled at competitors of a similar age, prompting fears of coming towards the end of something like a career. Maybe it is just because I remember looking at my parents getting to it and thinking that it was bloody old. Either way I was not embracing this.
Why was that though? Life is evolving, we are all living longer and medical research and breakthroughs mean that 40 is no longer the beginning of the end. You see, I have spent some time recently with people who are in their forties and beyond and I have come to realise that it isn’t the age but the mentality that defines the individual.
Now, I know that this sounds like a cliché and I suppose the whole ‘age is just a number’ thing can be very easily rolled out by people who want to feel better about themselves. But this is different; this is a real understanding that things can be better as you get older. Not just getting on with it but flourishing, developing new skills and being excited about what comes next. These people have shown me an energy and confidence, as well as an ability to act assuredly without the need to be ostentatious or derogatory. I guess confidence plays a large part but more than ever I am seeing people move into their middle years with a willingness to be more open minded, to push boundaries and develop opportunities.
The general consensus is that it is the young that are the thrusters, the turbo charged dynamos that will tear down walls to get what they want and I am sure that this can be true in individuals. But it is the forty plusers I encounter who marry this same enthusiasm with an experienced edge and a pragmatic view. It is they who seek innovation and commercial progress where often the younger versions stick to a more formulaic approach.
I mention this because this, blogging, is entirely new to me. I used to think that blogging was for frustrated journalists, for people who had a need to be heard or for people who just wanted to waste some time. I didn’t understand the reach and how it could possibly make a difference. I just thought that my friends and clients would not be interested in my tittle tattle and if they wanted to hear my thoughts that they would just ask me.
What I have discovered is the power that interesting content and a ‘share’ can do for you and your business.
The public (and especially your friends on FB, twitter and the like) will very quickly get incredibly bored, if you just keep pushing your brand in a dripping tap style fashion. What blogging has allowed me to do is to try to connect with people, through sharing commonalities rather than metaphorically hitting them over the head with a hammer. People are creatures of comfort and it is usual for people to trust those they see as similar to themselves. By expressing my views in a blog I am hopefully garnering support through the people that read them. It may not manifest itself immediately but that connection will stay in the psyche so as and when I can help, it is likely to be me that gets the call.
This may sound utopian, and of course there will be people who read my mutterings and wholeheartedly disagree, but as Oscar Wilde said ‘there is only one thing in life worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about’. It is certainly preferable to people disengaging because of the repetitive nature of the message.
So as I enter my fifth decade, I am no longer worried about the ageing process; my views having been altered for the better by a group of people that have shown how embracing change is not just for the young. Welcoming new ideas means a break from the ‘do what you have always done, get what you always got’ principle. It is for this reason that I have wanted to start a blog, subsequently thoroughly enjoying the process of writing them. I have grabbed the bull by the horns because I have realised that content is king in today’s marketing, as opposed to brand tub-thumping that we know switches off the reader.
So embrace change and new ideas, you may just get a shock at the results you produce. An old dog can learn new tricks even one as old as me!