Category: baby boomers

Memorial Day Post of Thanks

When many think of Memorial Day their minds automatically wander to thoughts of backyard BBQs, the opening  weekend of the local swimming pool or sales in department stores.  I think of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC that is often adorned with mementos from those who have served and their families.

Every year Washington D.C . welcomes tourists who visit the dozens of famous memorials that are sprinkled though-out this majestic city. The Vietnam Memorial, created by Maya Lin in 1982, is solemn, yet so architecturally fascinating.  “The Wall” was veiled in controversy from the start. In fact, much of what was associated with the Vietnam War was controversial. This memorial, in particular,  stands as a testimony to the bravery and sacrifice of the thousands who were drafted and served in this war. Many who did not return home to their loved ones or came back to less than a “hero’s welcome”.  It was not the “best of times” in United States history.

Read about the history of the making of the Vietnam Memorial

What really intrigues me about Memorial Day are the thousands, and I mean THOUSANDS, of motorcyclists who come to Washington D.C. to pay their respects. The Rolling Thunder have a long history of motorcycling in to the nation’s capitol in order to show their support for veteran’s, especially their peers, the many “baby boomers” who served so valiantly.  It gives a person pause to witness the huge presence of the Rolling Thunder as they bike down I-95 and literally roll through the District of Columbia . I am glad I have observed it – more than once.

So, this Memorial Day – please remember to enjoy your BBQ and family time. But, also remember that there are families who have sacrificed beyond measure so that we may live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

~Louise

If you could give advice to start-up entrepreneurs…

I recently attended a bridal shower and this question was posed… “What would be the one piece of advice to give to a new couple?” Lots of great pearls of wisdom were generated by the shower attendees. A lot of what was said really resonated with me.

During the drive home I realized that I could extend this question to “wanna be entrepreneurs”.  What would have been the “gems of information” I wish I had known before I journeyed in to becoming a “solo-entrepreneur” aka solopreneur?

Before I arrived home I actually had amassed quite the list! So, here in no certain order are the things I learned in the past 10+ years! Feel free to use the comment section to add your sage words, as well! And, if you are looking for some great biz information check out the start-up #entreps column in the Huffington Post by my 411 Voices colleague, Sandy Abrams.

  1.  Seek advice from experts in starting a business. Some people find the Small Business Association in their area a huge resource. I owe a debt of gratitude for the help I received in launching SIGNING FAMILIES to Karen Geary, my first mentor, who I met at a special program for start-up entrepreneurs via the Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland. Mentors can help you learn how to protect your intellectual property, trademark your business name, obtain a business license and set up bank accounts. There is a “ton of stuff” you probably will need to learn including perhaps about research and design, writing a business plans, etc!  So… to reiterate… seek advice of EXPERTS!
  2. If you don’t “do numbers” – get an accountant! Know where your money is going and be mindful of your expenses.  Remember that there are strict rules for tax purposes regarding what is a business and what is deemed a “hobby”.
  3. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money! What I mean by a saying I have said more than once in front of audiences is that you need to have a marketing / advertising budget. It pains me to see creative people start a company only to have it fall flat as there were no plans for advertising. Sigh.                                                                   By the way – have an AMAZING website and a strong social media presence.
  4. Be kind as nothing good has come out of being a mean entrepreneur.  Competition will happen. Others will have different or even better ideas than yours.  Look inside yourself on how to be successful and don’t blame “the other guy” for ruining your business.
  5. Hire competent people.  An intern can be a valuable asset to your company or a disaster. Remember they are learning and you are offering them an opportunity. Interns, as a rule, shouldn’t be running your company.  Hire people who are able to do the job because they are experts at the job.
  6. Pay fair wages. Period.
  7. Stay educated and give back to your local area. Nearly every profession changes – stay on top of the “learning curve”.   There is value to seeking help from those who have walked a similar path.  Be proactive and attend networking meetings and join your local chamber of commerce.
  8. Not all good ideas become successful businesses.  Not all people can be successful entrepreneurs, even if they have good ideas.  Why? EGO!  Some people believe that all they need is a great concept and charm to succeed. Sorry – charm isn’t usually associated with ROI.
  9. Give back to your community by supporting local charitable organizations. 
Electric bulb idea concept design

Having a great idea doesn’t always guarantee a successful business!

 

Now your turn to add to the list in the comment section below. 

Am I too old for social media? Survey for those who dare to answer

Am I too old for social media? I am getting the sense that my “mature” demographic is not necessarily the one desired by brands, unless it is for medical equipment or pharmaceuticals.  Maybe I am just having a bit of “post- birthday blues”.  But, in all seriousness, lately, I have had more than one overt signal that I am too old to be a viable media specialist.  I won’t lie – that stings a wee bit.

But, here is the real grit to this blog… I have some secrets that perhaps some brands who have rejected me (and my fellow “mature friends”) may be surprised to discover!

 First, my friends have influence and affluence.  They aren’t starting out millennials – they are people who have actually sweated day and night for every dollar in their bank account and stock in their portfolio. And, they have a heap of both!

They bring with them a rich history of the decades which translates to creativity.  They don’t need to invent what they “think is retro” – they only need to pull some photos from their drawers or record albums from their attics.  They lived  the generations now reflected in the Goldbergs or Mad Men.  They are boomers and proud of it!

My colleagues, family and friends are well- educated, have a thirst for continued learning, travel, sports and entertainment and a plethora of other interests.  In other words – they like to earn and spend money to make their lives more interesting and enriched.

My inner-circle are smart, clever, creative and have wisdom that could fill Wikipedia.  Most of all, many of them have raised children to be decent, hard working and self-sufficient citizens.  This avalanche of smarts and buying power should be attractive to companies – right?

“But you are not a millennial, Louise!”  

Brands want millennials – they are the future-

Ouch! I know that I am not a millennial.  Thank goodness! I don’t have college debt, worries about healthcare nor building my future on hopes and dreams of becoming the next Youtube sensation.  And, in all fairness – not every millennial is what I just described. In fact, my own kids and most of their friends are amazing humans who are working very hard to create their own paths and ensure for the security of their own futures. They are passionate and fabulous.  They also have buying power – thanks to their parents putting them through expensive college educations that allowed them these opportunities.

What am I looking for?

I would love to learn if I am too old for social media?   I know I have skills and influence.  There are plenty of metric companies that tell me so!  But, the real question is why do I feel that there are missed opportunities for people like me – simply based on age?!

And, doesn’t integrity and a desire to make a difference in this world count for something?

I don’t associate with nor care about those who put their own interests before those of the greater good.  In other words, I believe that #SocialGood should be the theme song that runs throughout the social media world vs. #WhatHaveYouDoneforMElately?

social media bubble.jpeg

So, here comes the survey… (answer in the comment section)

Do baby-boomers, like me, have a place in social media campaigns?

 1) YES

                 2) NO

                         3) OTHER… here is why__________

For those who wish  (or dare I say have the courage) to engage with mature social media specialists, please connect with me via this blog or 411 voices, a consortium of people of many demographics dedicated to social good and helping brands.. Thanks!

 

 

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