Confession time. For the past few weeks I’ve been struggling with the feeling like I am “behind” or that my “time has passed” because of the climate on social media. When it comes to being an entrepreneur – and one whose platform is based on social media – the day-to-day can be daunting: the steady streams of content and social media feeds presents everyone as ‘killing it’ in terms of their successes, accolades, lifestyle, and fancy projects. Here’s the thing – from where I sit, most all of those influencers online that I compare myself to (I know, I know) are millennials.
They don’t have to worry about raising 3 kids and all that entails.
They may not even have to worry about having a healthy relationship with a partner.
They might not have to think about the responsibilities of a mortgage (or two), car payments, college funds and the like.
So I see them as being footloose and fancy-free whereas I am a 40-year old wife and mom FIRST and businesswoman SECOND.
Enter Cindy Gallop.
Cindy is is an English advertising consultant, founder and former chair of the US branch of advertising firm Bartle Bogle Hegarty, and founder of the IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn companies. Or, as she likes to describe herself: “I like to blow shit up. I am the Michael Bay of business.” You love her already, yes?
She recently was a speaker at the Teen Vogue Summit held in Los Angeles last month and spoke on the topic Nothing But A Number: Why You’re Never Too Young (Or Too Old) To Do Anything *Presented by #DisruptAging* and a group of influencers had the opportunity to speak with her about her perspective on aging. Her approach is OH SO refreshing; for example:
- She tells people how old she is (58) as often as she can
- She deliberately associates her age with whatever she is doing anything from entrepreneurship to dating
- She encourages older women, especially in the workplace, to actively articulate their own value
Her reasoning for being so revolutionary with the concept of age is because she is on a mission to disrupt stereotypes in the age and gender realm, especially as they relate to entrepreneurship. When I heard that, I felt like she was speaking directly to me!
By far the biggest takeaway that stuck with me is that I need to own my age and make the point that because of my age, I have this amazing value that I bring to the table. I mean, it makes so much sense, right? If I were to reframe my previous trepidations, I would say that because I am 40(fabulous), I have the leadership, people management skills, and nurturing spirit that only a mother of multiple children could have. I would say that because I am 40(fine), I understand the concepts of communication, compromise and partnership that only a woman who has been married to her husband of 15 years could have. I would say that because I am 40(fierce), I have the wherewithal to budget, manage assets and debts, and build wealth in a way that only a woman who owns more than one home, has tenants, and experience with investments could have.
How refreshing. And empowering.
And lest you believe that you are ‘too old’ to pursue a new career or project or fulfill a dream, Cindy is your champion, helping us to disrupt aging by telling us that our older years are the perfect opportunity to leverage all of our experience to do what we want to do. In her words: “Life is opening up! And at 40, “You are only halfway!” Even if you’re more than halfway, you are never too old to do anything.
STEP 1: Pick a subject that you *think* are struggling with because of your age.
STEP 2: Say your age.
STEP 3: Say “Because, I’m _[age]__, my perspective is____________.
STEP 4: Say: “Because of my _[age]__ years, my experience tells me ___________________.
Rinse and repeat.
The bottom line is that the older you get, the better life gets. And with that, your experience and value multiplies. Something I plan to keep in mind the next time I am scrolling through Instagram.
Disclosure: This post is made possible with support from AARP’s Disrupt Aging. All opinions are my own.