Many people between the age of 52 to 72 still want to remain engaged in business and in their community. Baby Boomers still consider themselves young and passionate to learn things. The question is, do companies still encourage them to keep working? Or is life really over when we reach 60?
Our Boomsday Prepping panelists, being in the business themselves, gather to talk about this important subject matter in this new episode. They share their own experiences and knowledge in terms of the role they all play in managing, supporting, and changing our society.
Wayne Bucklar: It’s time for the Baby Boomer show, you’re listening to Booms Day Prepping, our regular panel podcast where we have a look at what’s happening for Baby Boomers and the next stage of life for Baby Boomers and how do you get prepared for it, what’s going to happen? And to help us with that, we have our regular panel – Amanda Lambros, Brian Hinselwood and Bron Williams are joining us this week, with have with us Glenn Capelli, and as always, our resident gerontologist, an expert in all matters aging, Dr. Drew Dwyer. Drew, welcome to the show.
Dr. Drew Dwyer: Hello everybody, welcome.
Glenn Capelli: Magic to be here again with the team, Glenn Capelli.
Wayne: Now Drew, this week we’re having a chat about business and the Baby Boomer, do you want to lead us into that?
Dr. Drew: Well, this subject matter I think is important for a lot of people in the Boomer cohort so of course, always we read a rate, Boomers of 52 to 72 and I think why it’s important is because of that factor that people in this age bracket are considering and looking down that barrel or that hallway of retirement, semi-retirement, full retirement that’s if they’re over 65 to 70 and perhaps, many of them who are still see themselves as young and physically active and want to stay entrepreneurial or will have a need to still make an income, at some sort of income or stability will want to remain engaged and do want to remain engaged in their community, and business, in their workforces. So there are two factors to consider here with Baby Boomers. One, they’re already bringing with them a mountain of knowledge, expertise and skill that they have from their history of their work, their education where they’ve been, perhaps they’ve been entrepreneurial base and building a brand, building a business or perhaps, they’re looking down the barrel of building a brand and a business and doing something different. So when we look at the epidemiology of the numbers of Boomers which is extraordinary no matter what country we look at, I think there’s a perfect storm being built where boomers in particular are perfectly positioned to become the next range of freelancers and yet, it seems to be an emerging market for the Millennial. So there is a competition on per se. If you do follow like I do a lot of the social media stuff that sits around the Millennial market and some of the people that lead at this motivational space, for the younger cohort, it’s all about the freelancing, the small business, a YouTube, internet, selling yourself, write a book, market yourself and all this stuff. This is also a great space for Boomers who wish to freelance and I think boomers have one step ahead of the Millennial market in this workforce and that is because they’ve probably got a few more business savvy smarts about them, they’ve probably been in many more situations of business negotiation management and other things and they probably bring with them would dare I say some of the scars of war and battle. So anyone in business, or anyone in work and anyone in their life will tell you that you don’t just arrive at being expert, or senior management or middle management and for a lot of cases, it has been a battle, and a work and a progress. But Boomers are very dare I say lucky that they have this knowledge now as a bank behind them and they have the ability to either sell off their businesses what they have to the entrepreneurs behind them. They have the ability to probably build the millennial entrepreneurs underneath them and sit at the top of them or perhaps, cut themselves away from what they used to know and step into a new position and rebranding. And I’m sure someone like Bron will have something to say about this. So my interest for the panel is now as Boomers and what you see this Boomers, do you think the Boomers have a position when it comes to business making money in the boomers sector as Boomers or do you think it is a retirement factor? They should just retire and move on and get out of it.
Bron Williams: Well, given that you mentioned me how about I start? From my own perspective, that’s exactly what I’ve done. Two years ago, I decided just have had a full-time employment because what I was doing was not going to set me up sufficiently for me to retire at retirement age of 67. And I was going to find myself at 67 in the same position that I was at 60 but with 7 years having elapsed and nothing had been changed. So I figured now was the time while exactly as you said Drew, I had energy, I had passion, I still had some good ideas, still young enough to learn things and what I have learned in the last two years particularly about operating in the social media face and across a number of social media platforms is absolutely huge. And I often use the “#YouCanTeachAnOldDogNewTricks” because I have learned so much this in the last two years quite unbelievably and really happy being able to forge my own path. It’s tough, being an entrepreneur at any age is tough – cash flow, ebbs and flows and often trickles. But for me, it’s worth doing because it’s something I’m aligned with, it’s something that I value and I’m too old to muck around doing something that I don’t like.
Dr. Drew: Bron, let me ask you, are you succeeding as a Baby Boomer in this industry because you’re over 60 and you’ve given this in the last couple of years? Do you feel all ready in two years it’s time to get ahead way or do you feel still feel a barrier?
Bron: No look, I actually don’t think I have any more barriers in my early 60s, 25 was in my 20s or 30s. I think we’re confronting, regardless of age, we confront the same barriers, educating our market, having people understand who we are and why they should trust us, marketing and really I don’t think it’s got anything to do with age what Baby Boomers do bring is what you’ve said Drew and that is experience, and wisdom, tenacity and perseverance.
Glenn: A good topic this one in terms of Boomers and business or anyone in business in today’s world and particularly, tomorrow’s world. The world shifted and changing so quickly when it comes to business. But some things I think always remain the same. I’d like to talk initially about a business person by the name of Branson and not so Richard although I have had the joy of interviewing Sir Richard on stage and amazing insights into life and business. But this Branson is an unrelated Branson, unrelated to Sir Richard and his name is Ben. And Ben Branson founded the company called, “Seedlip.” And I think Seedlip and Ben’s stories got messages for all Boomers. Now, Ben is a younger bloke but he comes from our family background of 300 years in farming and then he went into sort of public relations and good creative brain. But he was doing a lot of work with young folk with startups and startup companies and he would always ask them to solve a problem you know, “What’s the problem you’ve got in your life and now solve it.” Interestingly enough, I did something with Sir Richard Branson in terms of what’s an irritation that you’ve gotten, you’ve got to celebrate whatever irritates you because if you can’t turn what irritates you into a solution and then you can put that solution out as a process for people then it’s a money earner. So Ben Branson was asking these startup youngsters, “What’s the problem and how would you go around solving that problem and can you then turn that problem-solving into a business?” And he thought to himself, “Well, this is great advice, I should apply to it myself.” And his life was pretty sparkling and really nifty. The only problem he really had at the time was that he was teetotal and all of his friends were drinkers and every time he went out to a bar is very limited in what he could order and, “My mocktail is sweet but is not very special.” So he started to think about of what kind of non-alcoholic drinks could be produced and at the same time, he then did some research. So if you’re going to start a business, do some research, put your analytical hat on as well as your creative hat on. And he found an old book. a 17th century. 18th century book on distilleries and being our to brew things and make things and distill things and he started to experiment and eventually, his experimenting came up with Seedlip. And Seedlip is kind of like a non-alcoholic gin, there’s two varieties of it at the moment but it’s not only not alcoholic, it’s got no sugar and it’s got no calories. Now, it sells for around about the same price as a bottle of gin, a good bottle of gin and it’s got a wonderful taste of it, a refreshing taste to it. So I don’t drink a lot, so I’m a big fan of the Seedlip. I buy some for myself and every time I serve it to friends, they go out and buy some. So what the process is to discover a problem that you can solve and then how can you get it go about solving that problem for other human beings. And I would like to extend that a bit and so for Boomers, it’s not just about solving a problem in somebody’s life but can you give an experience to somebody’s life? Can the experiences that you’ve had in life now become an experience and a learning for other human beings?
Dr. Drew: When you do and look at some of the great literature, when I say “great literature” listeners, I’m talking about not necessarily researched, it’s not researched all it is, but it’s not published and peer-reviewed, it’s news articles, journalists’ articles, books, great literature – newspaper stuff, magazine stuff. But I see a very specific trend in the words “Retiring Baby Boomer Crisis” – crisis, crisis, Baby Boomer crisis and I think why do they see it this way is a negative ages impact. But most of this sits around what they’re saying is particularly in the U.S, and Australia and the UK is it that many organizations are being faced at recognizing the retirement of the Baby Boomer means there’s going to be a forced knowledge gap or a vacuum of knowledge taken. And I don’t believe this is true, I think it’s true in the case of if you let that knowledge go but Baby Boomers are sitting I think in a real power seat and we’ve got to get Baby Boomers to see it and that is, is it a knowledge gap? Is it of crisis or is it an ability for Boomers to turn around to their employers and their management and really entrepreneurially set themselves up for transition to give back the knowledge or hold the gap but in a different way for the Boomer so the Boomer gets more out of it, is more comfortable, more flexible and makes more money. Amanda, I’m interested in your point on that.
Amanda Lambros: Okay, I’m so excited that you asked me that because I worked with a woman who had been in this role for 30 years. My view is she knew more than the CEO, she knew more than the heads of companies because she’s the only one who had like a constant consistent stable job in the environment. Then, some of the job requirement adjusted and the company basically said, “I’m sorry, you can no longer have this role.” So the rest of us who worked with her went, “Do you realize what you’re doing like this woman is a wealth of knowledge. If you get rid of her, pretty much the rest of us are gonna struggle.” And they went, “Nope, this is the requirement, she doesn’t meet these requirements. We are now cleaning decks.” So they got rid of her to our dismay. And then within 6 months, they begged for her back which I thought was brilliant because she said, “Oh no, thank you. I’ve got other things on.” So what she did was she submitted like a consultancy application to them and they now employ her through a consultancy which is double the price.
Dr. Drew: And she’s probably making twice the money and more flexible around the hours that she applies.
Amanda: Exactly and I thought that was brilliant because I’d have conversations with her and I’m like, “I don’t know what we’re gonna do without you, your knowledge was outstanding” like she would be the go-to person that you would talk to around the topic of what we were doing and I was just amazed that they got rid of her. But then, I was even more excited that she turned around and said, “Well, if you guys want me back, this is what it’s gonna cost and it’s on my terms,” and they did.
Glenn: I’d like to throw a little idea a friend of mine and let’s call her company “Goat” anyway because that’s what she came up with. My friend is Sandra Seasons, “Smad.” Now, Smad is a Baby Boomer, she’s in her 60s and she started a company called “Girls Own Adventure Travel or GOAT.” Look it up on Facebook, the GOAT, “Girls Own Adventure Travel. And pretty well, it’s because Smad in her life has always been a walker, loved to do walks, physical walks, loved the Bibbulmun Track in Western Australia, that spiritual walk that they go on in Spain, she’s done all of that. And she gained so much from that experience that she thought it would be a wonderful thing to provide for other human beings and particularly for other women because she realized there was a difficulty sometimes that some women wouldn’t do it because they wouldn’t want to go alone. And sometimes, the tool is were very sort of male dominant. So she started this wonderful walking company girl’s own adventure travel and not only a walking but a travel company but it suits that personality, it suits her spirit. it’s what she’s really into herself and she’s delighted to be able to provide that experience for other women. And I think they’re the great qualities if you’re going to be starting that business – creative, analytical, practical and emotional and if you’ve got the human being skills and your love providing an experience for human beings and you can put a dollar value to that and turn it into a business.
Dr. Drew: And I think this is that entrepreneurial skill or the Baby Boomer needs to understand. I think Baby Boomers in business where it’s for themselves or they got a transition out, you can make a new business for yourself in anything you want. But Brian as an older Boomer than most of us in the room, do you experience this now because you’re still actively working and do you feel that you’ve diversified and you’re being used as an older person with more experience in the thespian space or is it just a matter of traveling on as a Boomer?
Brian Hinselwood: From an acting point of view, one of the lovely things about acting is you never ever retire. You’re merely between jobs. Between jobs could be 5 or 6 years but …
Dr. Drew: Actors face that from the beginning, do they?
Brian Hinselwood: Yes, if only you’ve got paid for it. So you never actually retire. So from an acting point of view, it’s totally different from what the rest of you are talking about. During my acting career, I’ve been forced to become an ordinary person and did a job occasionally. And I’m always amazed at how to backup what Amanda is saying, how they somehow manage to get rid of production pastors, older workers who have all the knowledge on being at the company or whatever it is for conceivably a considerable length of time. And then they expected just to go on as normal and it never does. And I am amazed that more companies aren’t actively employing all the people who have whatever knowledge they need.
Dr. Drew: I totally agree Brian. The future workforce is probably the biggest issue globally when you look at Baby Boomers. And as I said before, they’re all calling it a crisis. I don’t actually see it as a crisis I see it as a failure for futurists, or creative thinkers or thought leaders to actually look at their workforce and go, “Hang on a moment, how can we reuse or reconstitute and give value to these older people because if we let them go, they’re about to take a majority of our thinking space with them.”
Brian: I think one of the counterbalances to that Drew is the fact that a lot of Baby Boomers who are just about retiring or just haven’t died and actually, don’t want to be in the workforce and they think, “I worked for 14, 15 or whatever number of years it is.” And they can all gone and play with themselves because I’m just going to go off and drive around Australia. And I think part of that problem is again, the employers are at fault because they don’t encourage people to keep working, they should go, “Well Brian, you’re 65 or whatever the age is and there’s your last play and a little bit of holiday pay we owe you and off you go.” They don’t encourage people to stay out.
Dr. Drew: I must admit and I was guilty of it as a young person but if I worked around my older leaders, particularly in the military we used to call the, “The Crusty Old” – crusty old sergeant, the crusty old warrant officer and you had quite an ageist opinion of them more or less because we were young vibrant, fit, hard-working, we had all the talent. But as I’ve progressed through my life, I’ve still kept this little lens on this and I see even now in the workforce I work in that when I see older workers trying to reconstitute over, I hear the language in the back end and said, “God, she should have retired years ago or he’s well past his due date.” And I think, “Hmm, now that I’m a bit older and I’m working closer to these people,” they actually not past their due date and they’re not ready to retire, we’re just not utilizing their skills. And on the other side of me, I see them and go, “They’re not identifying their skills and their ability to do this.” So what’s your thought on that. Me, it’s that like table tennis to watch for me, it’s very interesting stuff. No crisis for me, I think it’s about knowledge and growth and skilling boomers with entrepreneurial abilities.
Bron: I think sometimes when you talk about what Boomers don’t realize that they have for themselves is that we don’t recognize how transferable our skills are. And I think that really is the key because we haven’t grown up in a workforce where that’s being able to transfer your skills was something that you could. When I left high school, I wanted to be a teacher, I was going to be a teacher and that was it. And that was sort of still the expected part that you would choose a profession and you would stay with that for life whether it was full-time, part-time or casual. Now as I’ve grown older, I’ve used my teaching ability which I had long before I got trained to be a teacher in a variety of different ways and I’ve been able to see how my skills are transferable. But it took some intentional looking on my part of connecting the dots.
Dr. Drew: They get good language Brian because I mean as you know, my book “Aging in the New Age,” I do receive a feedback from people who’ve read it properly Boomers who say to me, “Thanks for this, this I know but the benefits.” Some of them were write to me and say the benefit they got was the bit and the pieces the chapter I wrote about skills transfer. They themselves have never actually sat, mapped out what it is they know, what talents and skills they have and not only do they not see it, “This is a feedback I receive for, what can I offer back the workplace?” They’re actually not identifying how can I make this work better for me and being comfortable with that because their minds it seems to be, “I owe it back to the company or I should be given it to the company.” For me, that’s great, that’s one consideration but the majority consideration is, if I’m going to give that back to the company as a Boomer, I still need to be stable and on my journey to retirement and retiring happy. And looking after me as an older older worker so I’m not stressing and I’m not because that skills transfer space once you sit and map it properly you realize, “I’ve got a lot to offer a company, a business but I’ve also owe myself a lot for all the work I’ve done to get here.”
Amanda: I would have to agree with that Drew because that’s what I find especially when I have conversations with friends of mine or Boomers. And like what you were saying Bron, they don’t see the transferability of their skills. So it’s like, “I went to school to become a geologist and I’m going to be a geologist for my life and if there’s a mining downturn or I retire, then I can’t do anything else.” And I just see it as like such a wealth of knowledge it’s like, “Wow, you have those skills, you could do this, and this, and this, and this and this.” So sometimes, I feel that Baby Boomers almost need somebody with a different perspective on to say, “Do you understand what skills you actually have because they’re pretty amazing?”
Dr. Drew: Facilitate, lead, and mentor them. Brian?
Brian: I agree with what you saying. I just find it incredible. I think more so nowadays where everything is based around technology that both employers and older employees think, “Oh, I can’t keep up with the young people. I’m not so good on technical stuff.” But once the technical stuff breaks down which it does, so we just had a huge outrage here with a couple of the banks when they were offline for like 8, or 9 hours or something businesses kind of had to close down because of it. And you think, “Well if you’ve had some people that can actually add up how much people owe rather than pressing buttons, maybe you could go to cafe or whatever it is open. So I think there’s this whole charisma thing about technology and everything runs on technology, everything doesn’t, everything runs on technology as long as the people putting in the information into the technology of working.
Dr. Drew: Business these days I see more and more, yes it’s becoming technological but I see more and more business being a blend these days, I see more people trying to want to get a balance between still connecting with humans and using business in the backend. I’m still a bit adverse to computers and technology will take over all the business because for me, business still requires people and people need to be work together. And again, I think Baby Boomers in business we bring a lot of skill to this connection of a collective of people face-to-face, conflict management, negotiations, I think these things are still very much needed and I think Baby Boomers are probably going to lead this over the next few years as the Millennials sort of get into a space where only my opinion, Millennials don’t seem to want to engage face-to-face as much as what a Boomer would because they don’t have that experience in it and they’ve allowed technology to move their communication style into another space. What do you think of that Wayne because you’re very technologically driven?
Wayne: I’m always interested in the way technology has changed the communication patterns and the most obvious change for me was the behavior of young people courting in nightclubs. As a young man, we were forced often by hormones and teachers to walk the daunting distance across the ballroom floor and actually speak to a young lady and ask you to dance. And now, if you go to spaces where young people dance A, you can’t speak because of the noise levels and B, you no longer actually go near. I remember the opposite sex to speak to them, you go near them to either gyrate with them or you text them if they’re friends. And so I think the greatest thing that kills relationships is texts and communicating in short bursts is difficult as someone once said, “I would have written you a short a letter but I didn’t have time.” So not being face-to-face is very convenient for people, it saves all that embarrassment and small talk and those things but it absolutely buggers up communication. And I’m taken by a TEDx speaker I saw recently who was bemoaning the loss of the seconds in the kitchen waiting for the microwave to go off where with your colleagues at work, you foster’s, you wait for the jug to boil can to make a cup of tea, you’re forced to say, “Good day.” And the next day you might say, “Good day, how are you?” And the next day you might say, “Good day, how are you, how’s work going?” And before you know it you have a conversation, and then a friend, and then a colleague and then a relationship. But it starts in those microseconds of, “Hi, hi, good day, good day.” And if you take those away by automating the whole process through text, then you lose that early easy step of starting a relationship and I do think that’s a big difference between us old codgers who are prone to stop to have a yarn. We have nothing to say but we understand that relationships form from people sharing silence and then speaking and you don’t do that if you’re texting.
Dr. Drew: There’s a couple of good articles in Forbes and small business global and so forth that mention this and that is that Baby Boomers at the moment sit in a very niche opportunity of bringing personalized space or face to technology driven businesses. When you read about some of this stuff Wayne, you see that very clear thing. What they’ve worked out is technology is great, some of them will move away not my thing it’s for the younger people blah, blah, blah. Some of the Boomers are realizing, “Hang on a minute, what this technology stuff is doing” is removing the personalized connection to business. And so they’re starting smaller businesses using or partnering with the tech kids, this they call them “startups” and utilizing their skill and ability as people persons communicating, talking, and having conversations and making relationships work by enhancing the ability of the technology. So I think when Forbes and when global business talks about this, it’s really about the small business successes that’s growing across the globe. Everyone wants to get into small business and I think creating a small business for a Baby Boomer is an attitude they need to capitalize on. I think Baby Boomers need this to have a look at and they have the skill to do this, have sit gone before them but specialize in providing a service that can be niched and teamed up with this massive wave of technology because at the end of the day, it’s still that the younger generations, the Millennials will take this the technology full on. But they do not have and I’ll say quite proudly, I don’t think they have the expertise and the personal professionalism and the ability to maintain that personal aspect that still in business and in life. People still want to hold some sector to like business people like business people like to see your face, they like to see body language, they like to communicate, they like to know who they’re doing business with.
Brian: Some years ago, I read an article which I’ve remembered quite vividly. I was saying that nothing in life happens without a salesperson at the forefront. So everything you use somewhere as a salesperson connected to you. I won’t went for a job many, many years ago where they wanted a whole pile of technical schools that I didn’t have. And I said, I didn’t get the job needless to say but I did say to the guy, “Don’t you want somebody to come talk to your potential clients or do you want somebody they can type faster than I can.” I mean it doesn’t make sense, if you haven’t got people skilled, if you can’t talk to people. All sales are based on you, will only buy from me if two things what if my price is so much better and the quality of the product I’m selling is up as the opposition or if you like me.
Dr. Drew: Brian I’ve got a friend who recently retired or semi-retired and what she did was she come and sat with me, we had many talks. I loved what she did here, 60 years of age, she went did a course in travel agent. She became a travel agent and what she does now is she consults, she’s got a number of contracts going and she actually is the face person for travel agency in them maintaining a niche business in older travelers for Boomer travellers, older people. And what she does is she specializes now in her own market. She is selling herself as a Boomer who’s a travel agent who specializes in setting up, and planning and communicating with Boomers over what they want in their travel. And the travel agency she’s working with making stacks are like massive new market because and she says it very clearly, “The younger ones are just don’t get it, they just don’t connect the dots for the older travelers,” and as a travel agent who specializes in their needs, their personal needs there, she says to me, “We’re all strange as individual,” she says. But as a group of individuals I understand this market and what they need she says that, “And that market likes to deal with me not with somebody else.” Bron?
Bron: I just it’s interesting that we’re talking about relationship and technology at the same time.and business. But what I’m saying is I do a lot of work on LinkedIn and I’ve been doing some training through a training group about how to use LinkedIn for my coaching business. And the overriding advice which then leads to shapes the activity that you do, it’s all about relationships, it’s not just about throwing stuff out there onto the platform and saying, “This is me, this is what you need da-da-da-da-da, this is what I’ve got to sell.” It’s about going and engaging with other people’s posts, it’s about having conversations with people on and offline, about just being involved in a community albeit an online community. And what I have noticed is that that’s funny enough, that’s actually what people like to do. They like it when you make a comment on their post, they like it when you say, “Oh look, I really resonate with that” and then they seek to engage with you as well. So technology is just a tool that allows people to connect with one another and I think if we see it that way, then we don’t actually need to be afraid of it. Sure, you’ve got to learn some skills maybe around it but it’s just a tool.
Glenn: Now, I’d mentioned you need to have an analytical brain to do some exploring and research and also the need for a creative brain so sit down and brainstorm all kinds of possibilities and don’t get stumped, “Well I know, that’s a bad idea or I couldn’t do that or there’s too many other people to do.” Just let it flow, let it flow, let it flow and then you need to have your practical hat too. So be analytical and creative or creative and analytical and if we add a P we get a cap, CAP and I just happen to be called “Cap” but anyway. So your creative hat, your analytical cap and and then your practical cap, so how would this work? If we were turning this, if I was turning this into a business, how would it work? And I’d like you to extend that model of intelligence from a cap to a cape and out a knee and that’s the emotional intelligence. So you might come up with an idea that’s really creative, analytical and practical and there might be to have a B&B or to have an Air B&B; or turn one of your owns into a B&B. But the emotional intelligence needs to come into it. If you’re gonna do that, are you good with human beings? Do you like having human beings around? Would you give service to human beings? There’s an old Chinese proverb that says something like, “If you don’t like smiling, don’t buy a shop and if you do like smiling, then maybe buy a shop.” So it’s the ability to have that personality that goes with it and don’t underestimate your personality and the power of your smile, and the power of your human being skills because in today’s world, they might be some of the things that are lacking. And if you can help use those things to solve a problem for somebody or provide an experience for somebody, a wonderful stay at your B&B or a wonderful time listening to you read stories, then you can put a value to that. And part of that practical analytical intelligence would be to also then and it’s a key for me is if you are starting a business and particularly if you’re starting a business in your 50s and your 60s, doing a Bronwyn, then how much money do you have to make before you earn a dollar? How much money do you have to make before you earn a dollar? if you’re putting out a big expense there and you gotta earn a thousand bucks a week before you make a dollar, well know that that’s the case.If you can come up with an idea where you’re really you already working from home, you can do it online, you can get a Facebook page and do it pretty well for free, then you don’t have to earn very many dollars before you start making the dollar. And in certainly when I started my business 31 years ago, I put in systems that rewarded everyone else rather than Lindy and myself, the owners of the business, the ideas person of the business. And gradually over time, I learned to be able to create processes that don’t cost a lot but are able to give good service to people and good learning to people, so how much money do you need to make to turn a dollar?
Wayne: I wonder if I can take us down a little separate path here for those in it. Well those in our audience who are not cognitive workers, I can hear my brother’s voice resonating in my ear, he’s a miner, a fly-in fly-out miner in each late 60s and he drives bulldozers, and trucks and shovels dirt, not too much shoveling but a lot of bulldozing. And he would say to all of us but particularly to me, “Oh you sit at the bloody desk and type on a computer, you have another days working, your bloody life and you’re telling me I should be getting in the business at my age?” My knees don’t work, my back doesn’t work, nothing works anymore and so those people who are plumbers, and carpenters, and truck drivers and miners are Baby Boomers, those people who physically work for a living. Is business an option for them?
Dr. Drew: I think it is Wayne. Forbes is put out, I read a fair bit of Forbes, smart people at Forbes and as futurist thinkers. But they’ve actually got a lot of stuff written about this and that is a lot of these people you’re talking about are either ready to retire and they can afford it or they’ve realized, “I need to change my working life and I don’t have enough to retire.” So there, there’s two things for them, if you’re a FIFO, I’m sure you’re making enough. But anyway, what they’re saying is they’re seeing a lot of of these type of people who maybe have a small businesses, more concrete business or they have their own business and their own building business, they’re lining up with Millennials and they’re doing business with Millennials, Millennial entrepreneurs saying, “You want to have your own local account business, or a concrete business or building business, how about we partner together? I want to transition out you want to transition in. Let’s work together and I’ll give you my business and you keep me here and look after me that I’ll guide you, mentor, lead you and do everything I have to do and this is a cut I want.” So again, I think we’re sitting in that space of, “I don’t believe it matters who you are. I’m a plumber, do you have a business? Yes, I do but I died or whatever it is.” It’s how do you use your brain to team up so that you can make any transition and I think as I said before, I think these people are missing a lot of opportunities since around them. If you’re a local CPA, or a local builder or local carpenter and you’ve got a nice little niche business but you’ve been running it, I mean a lot of builders or laborers that have a business they hire subbies, subcontractors but now they’re tired, they saw their knees, they’re back there. And I say to them at the rugby or when I met him, “Why don’t you look at getting younger builder who’s looking for a break in the industry and team up together and do business together?” What do you think of that? Amanda?
Amanda: I think that’s a great idea and you know, there’s this kind of buddy up mentality of here’s someone who’s nice established, experienced, understands the role and can transition out but still teach the next generation coming in, 30, 40 plus years of experience and knowledge is priceless, you can get that down at a university or on work site experience, you legitimately have somebody’s else’s wealth of knowledge and I think being able to capitalize on that is what every company should be striving to do.
Dr. Drew: I mean for me, I look at it and go different for someone like Brian of course who works in his own but an aspect of you could adapt that I believe with what Wayne said to, any person’s work life, how much do you bring with you and how much have you got to offer and I’d know for myself I would love a young what we called an “Intern or Protege” that was really keen and entrepreneurial and wants to crack into the space where I’ve been for 20 years or 15 years and I’m thinking, “Well, I’d like to get out over the next 5 years.” Working with these people is probably a better way to do it and go, “Let me teach and guide you by the end of the process as you pick up the slack and the heavy load, I’ll move in transition out but I still get to make an income out of you.” Bron?
Bron: I was just thinking too with what Wayne said about people who’ve had a physical career and their needs don’t work in their back. Actually, transitioning or seeing their transferable skills is actually so important because like our bodies unfortunately,
Dr. Drew: Pack it in.
Bron: They do, like that’s the reality. I’ve often say, “Time and gravity have their way.” There’s not a lot we can do about them and particularly those who have had a very physical work life, they put their bodies under a lot more stress than those of us who had not.
Dr. Drew: Well I mean, there’s a beautiful ad in Australia if you haven’t seen it about that retirement working until 70 if you haven’t seen this and I do love it a union ad. But there’s an old man, he must be Greek, or Italian or something background. He’s a concreter, or brick laborer and they quickly pan to him, you can see him he’s a weathered beaten hard-working old fella. And he says very clearly to the camera, “I don’t understand what the government says. Look at my body is broken, how am I going to worker until 70? I’m only 55 and already broken.” And you do, you think about these people think, “Well, where are they?” Of hard laboring work because they weren’t academic or because they didn’t have that opportunity or find a chance. But I’m with Wayne in some sense, they must be looking at it but are they being narrow minded by looking at it from that glass half-empty perspective? Perhaps, I need to be encouraged and motivated as Boomers to go, “Well, in 30 or 40 years of doing that hard job, you must have learnt a lot of skills that you share across to somebody,” and not even physical skill but thinking and decision making and life skills that he could teach to another junior laborer, or worker, or bricky or somebody coming in.
Amanda: Absolutely, or even teaching and like TAFE system like or a college system where you’re giving back because there’s people in there who learn let’s say brick lane. So you learn brick lane but after having done brick lane for 30 years, you kind of get a sense of, “There’s some better ways to do it or here’s another way that maybe they didn’t think of or whatever.” I’m giving that knowledge back is I think worthwhile having a discussion with some people.
Wayne: I just picked up on a couple of points, lots of the people who work physically chose to work physically and it’s not like they got a second-class ticket, it’s what they love and the idea of going to university or sitting at a desk is their idea of hell.
Dr. Drew: My son Wayne even at 15, he’s made it very clear, “Dad, I want to be a mechanic.”
Wayne: Yep and work with their hands, and do things and create things. And the other part of it is of course that we haven’t set up our our skills transfer systems very well. As you say Amanda, “Go and work in TAFE.” Well, that requires 30 years experience as a bricklayer and 16 weeks doing at TAFE Certificate Level 4 and teaching because without that, you can’t show anyone how to lay bricks. So we have kind of like your friend Amanda that you’re saying earlier got fired after so many years of experience because you didn’t have the current qualifications. Often, I think we’re excluding a lot of this experience and into our detriment, we’re putting artificial boundaries in place.
Brian: And just to follow on from that Wayne, we use the same sort of illogical logic if I can actually say that about a lot of my rooms that come in. So when these migrants come in with exquisite skills either doctors, engineers and they can’t work because they haven’t got it written in English or whatever. Then, I mean surely there should be a shortcut way to sort of say, “Right, do this one exam. Let’s see if you can operate, let’s see if you can dispense pillars.” I mean we’re losing so much not just from migrant but from so many people because they don’t have a piece of paper that says, “They can do this.”
Dr. Drew: Well I mean in adding to that too, I mean focusing in our cohort of our listeners and the Boomers, I want to try and push the positive message to them from all of us. I mean we always diversify a conversation when we get together. But in the days, I am hugely convinced and motivated to the point that Baby Boomers globally are going to play a significant role in changing, or managing and supporting society as it transitions in the next 30 years. The next 30 years are going to be crucial. Many Baby Boomers are going to have the ability to be very active in it and I believe like I’d love to see a great university or I mean like as a thought bubble, a great university or a specific education mentoring leadership centers around states where these Baby Boomers get together and they build a knowledge base that is usable by other companies to come to that great university and say, “Teachers this, who’ve you got that can help us with that?” And this is a big space for Boomers I think and I want to be one of the people that electrifies that the energy to say, “You know, get smart Boomers because business is about to change in many ways.” I feel commerce industry leaders understand this, they just got no idea how to make the transformation happen.
Bron: And I think it comes back to being intentional again you know like, we can all look at our lives and goal was cheap. A lot of things didn’t work out how I felt that we’re going to and we find ourselves in this later stage of our life going, “Well actually, this is a little bit different to what I thought it would be.” But we get the choice every single day as to, “What am I going to do about it? If I don’t like it, what am I going to do about it?” There’s stuff in my life now that I don’t like. So I just keep trying new things, I try something here, yes that works, I’ll follow that. I found a way that it’s not going to work. I think we’ve got to, I’m so with you Drew about the positive stuff like, my mum is 93, I’ve got every chance of living to that late it means I’ve got at least another 31 years to do something.
Glenn: If we were to look at the songs that might sum this up for me, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, one of their big hits is “What the world needs now” is figure out what the world needs now and how you can provide some of that. And if you’re doing that, then you’re taking a Bachman Turner Overdrive and yes, taken care of business, a wonderful old song. But I’d like to finish with a different Bachman Turner Overdrive, they’re only big number one hit. They had a lot of big songs but number one hit was the “Bbbbbbaby, bbbbbbbaby, you ain’t seen nothing yet.” Now if you’re old enough and Boomer enough, you’d remember that because you couldn’t turn on the radio without getting the “bbbbbbaby and you ain’t seen nothing yet,” a song with a starter. But the learning we do from this song is that what they did, they were recording the song, “Baby you ain’t seen nothing yet” and their manager actually had a start. And of course, he was a very dear friend of theirs not only their manager, he’s very close to them and they felt they had a sense of humor. So as well as recording the song how they thought it needed to be recorded, “Baby you ain’t seen nothing yet,” they recorded the stutter version, “Bbbbbaby, you ain’t seen nothing yet| and they faded to their manager just as a gag, as a joke, I’m thinking that would be funny and then thinking that it would get thrown in the trash. And the manager heard that song and he laughed, he said, “Ohh, this is great guys, thank you very much.” And he said, “We’re going to record this one. This is the one we’re going with. “So sometimes out of a little bit of sense, and creativity, and a little bit of mischief and a little bit of playfulness, an idea kicks in that can be your number one idea. So in your creative analytical, practical, emotional ability to be a Boomer with the business. then maybe be a little bit of innovative too, add a little bit of Seedlip, add a little bit of sideways thinking, add a little bit of “Bbbbbbbaby” into your brew and that might work for you.
Dr. Drew: Smarter not harder and skills not pills.
Brian: There is that, Drew. just to pick up on something you were saying about a great university. There is the University of the Third Age, which kind of does that. I mean it has older people trying to teach to a large degree of older people but of course, anybody can go on there and benefit from their experience.
Wayne: And there are a number of Asian countries who have literally schools for retirees and and retirees are assisted and funded and in some cases, transported to go to school for a day a week or two days a week to pick up new skill sets. But when I say school, this is put on your school uniform and go to the building and line up on parade at school in a very physical literal sense because a lot of the benefits they say are accrued by older, participants in this are accrued from the going and the talking to people rather than the online experience at home.
Bron: The sharing of knowledge.
Wayne: And being in the same space and having to say, “Pass the salt please” because sometimes they are the skills that we lack that lead to depression and isolation.
Brian: In the Western world, you’ve got a major problem with governments in general about funding and any sort of education system, the chances and funding something like that in South Australia or the UK would be negligible.
Wayne: I think Brian the point that Drew keeps making about the size of the Baby Boomer cohort is very important, we’re old and we vote.
Dr. Drew: Absolutely and we are still going to do that Wayne for a lot of years yet.
Brian: Everybody are getting together.
Dr. Drew: And I think with Wayne making that statement to, it’s very important Boomers understand something it’s like peering through the venetian blinds so to speak. I believe the government and some of these future leaders, these innovators and people like that, they’re missing that point Wayne, they are missing that point and they are very much focused on albeit, they’ll just move on the elderly, they don’t care. And I think they’re very wrong, I think there’s a massive wave and there should be even a push more for this that it’s the Baby Boomers that need to hold on to that one thing, “Hang on a moment, I haven’t finished voting yet” and my power still sits in a large cohort of voters.
Brian: Good luck with the crying worst people because I think if you could, you’re quite right, you’ve got a massive group of people who could literally change the government obviously and they could change anything, they could change the way people do things. But it’s getting them all to want to do that and move as a block rather than individual wanting a thousand different things.
Wayne: And ladies and gentlemen, time is marching on on us. We should think about some last thoughts. Amanda, do you have any last thoughts to share with us?
Amanda: I would say, don’t underestimate yourself. You have more years and experience then people can shake a stick at. Do don’t underestimate yourself and bounce it off with somebody else if you can’t see your skills because you definitely have skills there that are transferable.
Wayne: Thank you very much. And Bron?
Bron: I think it’s by being intentional about what you do with your life. Just because you reach 60, it doesn’t mean your life is over.
Wayne: And I do take your point earlier about an expectation of maybe another 30 years of life left to you now and by way of contrast, I like to go backwards with that and say, “Well 30 years ago, you were just kind of beginning your adult life and so you’ve got a whole new life still waiting to be lived.” It’s an exciting prospect. And Brian?
Brian: Look, I agree with both Amanda and Bron have said, I think if you believe in yourself almost anything is possible. Don’t get put off if the first thing you try it doesn’t formed into a multi-million dollar business. Just keep trying and as long you’re enjoying it, I think for me, that’s the most important thing. Don’t do something that you don’t enjoy, it won’t work.
Wayne: Thank you Brian. And Dr. Drew, do you have a closing word for us?
Dr. Drew: Well I think at the end of the day, it’s Baby Boomers they’re going to continue to fuel and support the concept of business much of the idea of big brand marketing and big brand ideas came from the Baby Boomers, Baby Boomers created it. So simply, don’t give up, don’t look backwards, always look forward and if you’re a Baby Boomer thinking about where you all kind of transition, never give away the concept of business because all you have to do is think in a different box.
Glenn: And don’t underestimate the crayon, the talents that you have inside yourself. Sometimes, we don’t sense our own talents as well as what other people sense them. Sir Richard Branson in that interview said that he felt his talent as a leader was to be able to sense talent inside of others and to grow it. So for example if that was your talent, something the Bronwyn is very good at, being able to work with people, discover their talents inside of them and help them grow it. And something that we help people to do and is to then use talents for either from stage or to be able to turn those talents into a business. It’s a pleasure team, goodbye. Until next time, catch you.
Wayne: And thank you to our panelists and to my co-host. Today, the Baby Boomer podcast, Booms Day Prepping ,our panel has been Amanda Lambros, Bron Williams, Brian Hinselwood, Glenn Capelli is not be in the room with us today but he joins us from the magic of remote recording, thank You Glenn for your contribution. Today, we’ve been talking on the podcast about business and Baby Boomers and we’ve discussed the option for Baby Boomers to be entrepreneurial, to move into business, to explore business options, to take their skills, do a little audit and transition those skills that they’ve had in employment perhaps for many years into a different form of employment at being business people. This is the Baby Boomers’ podcast, my name is Wayne Bucklar, you’re listening to Booms Day Prepping. And if you are listening on social media, down the bottom of the window, there are some buttons I’d like you to click, you can like us, you can hate us, you can share us, you can subscribe to us. But we have egos too and we need to know you’re listening so please click all the buttons and if you have a question, ask it in any of the social media channels and we’ll either refer it on to one of our expert panelists or we’ll get back to ourselves. This is Booms Day Prepping. my name is Wayne Bucklar.