Out of the Shadows: On Staying Relevant

Relevance is defined as “the quality or state of being closely connected or appropriate.”

 

In today’s world, relevance is often thought to portray something that matters or useful in relation to what is happening in the world. Importance, purpose, and value are other words closely associated with relevance.

 

So, cards on the table. I just turned 52. I’m in a new field not as an entrepreneur as I have had my own consulting practice since 2000 besides my “regular” work, but am in a new field that is a new ball game for me, e-commerce (i.e., online sales…my dad is rolling in his grave, I am sure of it) being one of them.

 

I have gotten knee-deep into social media. I am reading about content relevance, application, target audience, and connections, just for starters. As part of the learning and connecting process, I am immersed in various groups that delve into topics related to what everyone is doing in their niche. I am learning what makes people tick and how they respond to ads, posts, and lingo in your ad copy. I am learning about blogs and figuring out my niche in that whole arena.

 

Holy crap! At 52, how does one stay relevant, exciting, interesting, meaningful, or convincing? Did you ever have even that small inkling that maybe things are passing you by or that you’re “missing out?”

 

Well, here’s my take on this, as one of those people who have not embraced social media as much as I “should have” until I delved into the depths of e-com marketing, branding, and just plain continuing to be impactful in my career and my work adventures.

 

First of all, no fear.

 

At this age, you’ve gleaned a lifetime of experiences that no 25-year old can match. You’ve had the jobs, the interactions, the connections, the failures, the successes, the wins, and the accomplishments that have lead you here today. You have the wisdom to know that you can get through pretty much anything, and nothing you did five years ago that you thought was so important is “relevant” today other than having given you some lessons for the road. Take solace that you have something that someone needs. Your strengths, your experiences, and your achievements merit applause, so don’t think that you are starting from scratch.

 

Second, no sweat.

 

Whatever you are into, someone needs you. Someone needs your know-how. Someone needs just the style of education, counseling, coaching, or product to improve his or her life. Someone is looking up to you and trusting you with the information that you dish out and applying it to their life. Can you believe that? You’re the expert. We may feel the imposter syndrome when we’re beginners, but you are more than prepared to rise to the occasion.

 

Third, no dismay.

 

If you’ve been out of the job market, stay in tune with industry trends, the latest lingo, and apps which will help you succeed. Honestly, I think that staying in touch with people NOT in your age group gives you insight into so much more than you’ve bargained for. I used to only connect with people older than me, but have found that, from a business standpoint and life view standpoint, the younger generations have approaches, opinions, and a different sense of awareness about things you may deem to be important or vital in your self-growth. Give it a chance. You DO have to make the time commitment and just put yourself out there to absorb it and to consume it. You may not agree all the time, but it’s certainly a learning opportunity.

 

Just a few more opinions about relevance…despite the fact that “fitting in” is not always what you want or need in business (you want to be unique and present an uncommon benefit or selling proposition for your audience), I think demonstrating a life that “works” or that others can emulate or at least see as an example for leveling up is crucial.

 

  • Stay healthy in all ways–mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially.
  • Don’t be afraid to take someone under your wings…for free.
  • Don’t be afraid to be mentored by someone with more experience…and pay for it.
  • Stop being fearful. Fear only stops you from going beyond your boundaries.
  • Stop telling yourself you’re too old, too fat, too broke, too this….too that. You’re one-of-a-kind – allow yourself to thrive in
  • Live your life as a student – be humble and continue to learn.

 

One final comment about relevance and leaving a legacy: Create something that matters. Create something that makes a difference. Create something that you value and can share that will change someone’s life.

 

That is how you will always stay relevant.

 

___________

Post #4 of 30. Please comment if you’re so inclined. How are you staying relevant and how are you creating something that matters?

 

Photo: Some military work in American Samoa for the National Guard. One of the most meaningful things I have done in my nurse practitioner career. Pictured with one of the support staff.

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