Old Dogs…New Tricks…7 Lessons Learned
I’ve been in Arizona just over six months now.
About 200 days. At some point I’ll no longer be a stranger in this strange land. Moving alone to an all-new city (where I knew no one) has been an interesting adventure indeed.
I’m chronicling my “new kid” experiences to motivate those of you who may be stuck in your own work and/or lives — whether you’re an old dog or a young pup.
The past week was a strange and exhilarating mix. I’ll work backwards from yesterday:
- Went on a 5-mile hike in 100 degree weather. I’ve never really hiked before, unless you count trekking to the Upper West Side from midtown. I could never even make it up the rope in gym class. Learning: Anything is physically possible if you simply train for it, have the right equipment and guide, and pace yourself.
- Appeared on CNN as an expert on office kanoodling. It came totally out of the blue and, although it wasn’t the first time I’ve ever appeared on TV, I had less notice than ever before and even had to do my own hair and make-up. The horrors! Learning: Writing a book can make you an expert. (The book only has one small section on hook-ups, but the title seems to be a big draw.) Do your homework before appearing on-air. I was studying-up until I was miked-up.
- Attended the grand opening of Carvana’s car vending machine. You put a coin in the machine and your car is delivered to you. Learning: Any industry — including the auto sales business — is ripe for disruption and reinvention.
- Schmoozed at two networking events and one meet-up group and went out for smoothies and cocktails with some awesome women. Socializing in the real world is critical for building a business and a life. Learning: Attend at least ONE event every week, even when you don’t feel like smiling or talking to strangers. The best connections sometimes come from random meetings.
- Continued to find my voice and speak out. After much rumination and engaging the right PR pro, I was able to land a regular column in Thrive Global. The first installment of the Silver Hair Playbook™ (thanks for the title, Jim!) was published this week. Learning: Be patient…be persistent…be focused. Don’t throw a fit if an editor censors your work. (Some of my more extreme language was removed prior to publication.) Hire experts to help you get where you need to go in business.
- Started using a great new cloud-based tool. It’s called Monday.com and it’s a super-intuitive and reasonably-priced way to manage projects. I’ve used Slack and Trello, and although they have their purposes and sending GIFs to co-workers is a great time-killer, I sometimes feel like the developers over-engineered the simple idea of getting stuff done on time. Learning: Use technology that solves a basic problem. (P.S. My team loves it too.) And social media ads really CAN work. (That’s how I learned about Monday.)
- Survived an entire week of 100+ temperatures. Yes…it’s hot. If one more person tells me about the hot summers, I’m going to scream. . Get over it. Make lemonade from lemons. Work and park inside and only drink at cocktail bars that have misters (the adult equivalent of sprinklers). Buy weather-appropriate clothes and good deodorant. And stop kvetching. It just makes me sweat. Learning: People will always find something to complain about. Avoid those people. You’ll live a longer and happier life.
I also wrote an article about plastic straws. Even if you don’t do anything else next week, you should probably start weaning yourself off them. Doesn’t qualify as a major learning moment, but it was fun to write.
I also saw “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” which restored my faith in human kindness!
A great exercise each week is to chronicle your own highlights and learnings. If you’re not getting wiser, you’ll just getting older and duller.
And please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need your switch turned on this week. Although I’m focused mainly on writing, I still am doing some consulting for start-ups and businesses that need a jolt.
Watch this stream for an exciting announcement on
Wednesday, June 27th!
A little photo album for your viewing pleasure: