I can’t really remember a time when
I felt like I really fit in.
I had a very grown up childhood.
I was doing adult work and learning at a very young age. This was good and maybe not so good. I grew up in the family restaurant business. I grew up knowing what to do, knowing what each of the adults knew to do. By mid-teens I was doing things an experienced adult restaurant manager maybe knew how to do.
So, by the time I emerged from my teens I knew stuff that people graduating from college were about to learn hands-on.
This is a lot of valuable experience that changed my mindset about who was interesting to be around and what I found to be mentally stimulating and challenging. I was used to being in charge, not being the low-end employee. I found it frustrating that when I was promoted to replace a male worker in the banking industry I was not paid the same although I put out the same or more work.
Over the years I found myself like many wives and mothers in the suburb involved in volunteer work and activities that revolved around my children’s ages and schools. I was immersed in my gardening (2500 square feet,) my seed propagation green house, a side-business here and there, and always writing in my journal as an outlet for creativity, stress relief and a way to express my views on life in general.
In 1998 I got a bee in my bonnet that I could do whatever it took to
start a business creating websites for small local businesses.
The first client I took on was a big challenge. It was a major US corporation and the entire source of my income for at least a year or two. This forced me to learn as much as I could about that new thing called the World Wide Web, www. Little did I know then where all this would take me. I did know the future for literally everything would be on the internet and in online communities. In 2000 I started a local web community that became my career for the next 15 + years.
Interesting though, I found myself hanging out with a younger age group, like 20 or more years my junior! It was comfortable because our interests and business focus were our common denominators.
The down-side of this was that women in my age group
had nothing in common with me.
Their focus was totally on when and if their children would furnish them grandbabies and the mundane topics of their travels, shopping and anything else they were focused on.
These women were nice but just not at all interested in someone who was not the exact image of themselves or their life. Most of the people in my age group were aware of the internet, not at all savvy about it or business or how to start a business. They were totally unlike the younger generations where I could have meaningful conversations, learn from them and even teach them a thing or two.
Why am I telling you all this?
I want to share a very important concept I learned from my lifetime of business networking. I learned very young that everyone you meet has something that is a common denominator with you. But, it’s up to you to talk with people and find out what makes them tick, what they have experienced in life, what they teach others or learn from others, how they got into their career or life-long work. You do this until you find that common denominator. It likely is something very specific.
The person you are getting to know may not have a clear image of themselves. Most people don’t! Ask questions and you will prove this. Questions like who are you? What is the most important thing I should know about you?
You’ll find answers like “I am the spouse of Mr. or Mrs. X,” I am a grandparent, I am a retired person, I am a student, I am just your neighbor, I work at the bakery, I am a stay-at-home parent, I work for the city… You get it. They see themselves a s a very general image of fluff, nothing specific about their accomplishments or what they believe or do that matters to anyone.
Back to those common denominators.
I have two grown children I could not be prouder of. They have accomplished so much in their lives. I have a most exceptional granddaughter who sees the world through unbiased, loving, Christ-like eyes and love. In this way I am not unlike others in my age group.
The part of me that I feel is unlike others is that I am in a constant learning mode. I write about so many things that are important to me. I write for my business and blogs. I write my opinions, my rants, my feelings, my ideas to help others, and about 564 other reasons – really!
Because of the internet, my blogs and my business I have met so many wonderful people who share several common denominators with me. The only big regret I have is that they are all over the US and the world. Our conversations are virtual. We can’t pop into a local coffee shop to enjoy a cuppa and a chat face to face. And this is what led me to name one of my websites Coffee Hour Business.
So, the message I want to leave you with is that everyone has value.
Everyone is different.
And, everyone has a need to share their feelings, joys, triumphs and sometimes sorrows.
There will be some folks you choose not to hang with and that’s okay. But, when you’re all in a group setting like club, church, class, community service together, be kind. Keep your special private invitations just that – private.
I would love to have your thoughts on what you have read.
How do you fit into life?
How would you describe yourself?
Pop over to the Facebook group to share your thoughts. Jit the join button and I will approve you. Joining keeps the trolls and spammers out.
Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/207397169682290/
Thanks for reading. If you are considering a retirement business, remember I am your go-to person.