We’ve all heard the old saying ‘You can’t teach old dogs new trick’. I’m here to tell you that I call BS on that and here’s why.
Firstly this is often used by people either not wanting to change something themselves or trying to explain why they don’t upskill their team members. The common one I hear from people 40yo and above (and hey that’s my age bracket by the way), is they don’t understand or want to know about Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Linked in (insert any social media platform here).
What a load of garbage. You need to be where your clients/customers are. You need to be able to learn and I have to be honest, from a user perspective social media is not rocket science. Can you imagine the delivery companies who back in the day decided they weren’t going to use cars, trains and planes when they were invented? No way, not me. I will send my packages across the country via horse and cart thanks very much. You should have it in 3 months.
How long do you think they survived in business? A heart beat.
Change isn’t compulsory in business but then neither is survival.
If you’re someone that feels like you can’t change or can’t keep up or can’t chase a dream because you’re too busy ‘adulting’, you’re 45yo and there’s no time left, here’s a little secret for you: The average Australian lives until they’re 85 years old.
Now the negative mindset to this might be that you’re over half way through your life, you can’t take risks now and if success hasn’t happened for you or doesn’t look the way you wanted it to then it’s too late. How about this for a different thought:
Everything you’ve achieved so far was most likely achieved in the last 10 or maybe 15 years.
Challenging thought but hear me out.
Time-Line to what you’ve achieved:
1-5 years: Learning to eat, crawl, walk, talk, feed yourself, go to the toilet and basic human interactive, usually within the family unit.
6-10 years: Learning basic motor skills, education skills like simple math and language/writing skills, exploring relationships further, now with other humans outside of the family unit, learning your likes and dislikes for yourself and those you deal with or prefer to interact with. Music, books, interests are all developing.
10 – 15 years: Developing physically and emotionally. Schooling is ramping up and to add to that pressure you’re developing relationships on a deeper level, even a sexual level by the end of this phase (physical touch not necessarily the full thing). You’re confused by the world, by yourself and by what your beliefs should be based on your family and close influencers. You’re starting to consider employment and further study options. You’re having issues with your body image and struggling with hormones and development. You’re confused a lot in this phase.
15-20 years: More confusion. More trying to understand yourself, the World and where you fit into it or even if you want to fit into it. You start working, generally at something you hate and maybe transition to something you like a little bit more. You study with the goal of doing more of that thing you perceive to be better. A job of some description. You’re still trying to work out boys, girls, relationships. Your friends group have a strong influence and you socialise in a more adult manner now. You have big dreams, big ambitions and you will change the World one day.
20 – 25 years: Now you’re in a groove, you’ve decided on a career and commenced and finished Uni or Trade Training. This is just the start of your education. The real learning starts when you’re out doing what you’ve trained to do and getting that all important experience.
25 – 30 years: Relationships grow to marriage and kids within this phase for many. You’re buying property, strengthening your skills within your profession and by the end of this phase reaching a master skill level. You’re starting to teach others the way.
30 – 40 years: These can be the danger years. You get bogged down with mortgages and school fees. Providing family with the best life you can. Taking holidays and looking to pay one thing off to face the next thing. Maybe you’ve gone into your own business or perhaps you’ve moved up the chain into management and higher stress roles. You can start to lose your mojo here but you’re comfortable. There are things you don’t like but you know your surroundings and you know the results you get from the actions you take so you just cruise along there. You know deep down somewhere you had some dreams and ambitions once but now you’ve convinced yourself that you can’t do anything else and you certainly can’t take risks.
You’re earning well, have nice cars and a nice house. Life is pretty good but bills control your life to some extent so risk taking is out. Didn’t we already establish that? You can’t learn new things…. you know old dogs and all that.
6 mins for the next 60 years of your life! Why entrepreneurs over 40 years old have to act now!!
Posted by Gary Vaynerchuk on Tuesday, October 6, 2015
What does it all mean?
Here’s what I believe: Most of what you have learnt has happened in between 30 and 40 years of age. Before that you were just learning basic life skills and human interaction. If you can sit and appreciate what you’ve achieved and realise that most of it was done in the last 10 years, then how much could you seriously achieve in the next 40 years. That’s four times the distance of what you just achieved but the compound effect tells us that it will be more like double that because your knowledge and experience grow with each and every year and pushing your own boundaries. You’re more focused, you appreciate that time is a great commodity so you’re less wasteful of it.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to quit at life because I’ve hit a certain number. Screw that.
I want to get out and keep learning, keep challenging myself, keep trying to make today better than the day before, keep trying to empower and inspire others to do the same.
It’s called life, you’re ,meant to live it not just exist and sit around waiting for it to be over because the human construct of time tells you that you’ve reached a certain milestone where you no longer have the right to enjoy what you do or challenge yourself to do it better.
The world is full of old grumpy muppets. Don’t be one yourself. Be willing to learn new tricks, to challenge yourself and to chase a dream. You deserve that as much as anyone else. You just need the courage to do it.