Every year at this time, there’s an upsurge in holiday commercials for “getting fit in the New Year.” The funny thing is, they really don’t show people who look like they “need” to get fit. In scene after scene, we see young, fit, active people in dance classes, on treadmills, doing yoga and generally looking happy and healthy already.
Just once, I’d like to see a commercial showing an average work-at-home woman, teleconferencing on the treadmill, power-networking in Pilates class, trying to get through a workout between a client meeting and her next deliverable.
In the small business world, I’ve noticed a similar theme; awards and lists for “Young Entrepreneurs” or “Young Rich.” The message these lists and awards seem to communicate is that it’s not enough to be a successful entrepreneur or small business owner – you’ve got to be fresh out of college (or still in it) to be worthy of any kind of real notice or recognition.
I beg to differ; it’s not your chronological age that determines your success, but how well you use what you’ve got at your disposal.
With that in mind, here are five traits that will help you stay fit for success at any age, whether it’s age 35, 55, or beyond.
1) Stay current
Make it a part of your daily routine to scan business blogs, technology journals, and the major news and events outlets; it’s a great way to stay aware of trends and opportunities that could benefit your small business, or even help out someone else in your network.
2) Expand your circle
Keeping a diverse set of friends, mentors, and acquaintances will help keep your mind sharp, and improve your awareness of potential opportunities to expand your business. Associating with people younger and older, as well as your own age group, will allow you to broaden your perspective, and lead you to insights and inspirations you might otherwise miss.
3) Keep an open mind
It’s no secret that as small business/self-employed work-at-home women, we frequently find ourselves with a narrower focus; that focus is a part of what propels us to success. However, that narrow focus can also lead us to become less willing to consider other thoughts, ideas, or concepts. Don’t reject new ideas or concepts out of hand; give them careful consideration, and be willing to find new ways of doing things.
4) Always try new things
We live in an age that constantly presents new products, ideas, and opportunities – what an exciting time to be alive! Take advantage of new technologies and concepts, and explore how doing so can benefit your business and career.
5) Know your strengths, and respect them
It’s easy enough to get caught up in other people’s ideas and expectations, but at the end of the day, you need to remember what your core strengths are, and how best to leverage them. If you’re continually trying to fit yourself into someone else’s idea of what constitutes success, you will never be able to find what truly suits you.
Here’s to being fit for success for the coming year!
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Carole Bennett is the founder and primary voice of IndigoTea. As a professional IT consultant, Carole has provided solutions for companies as diverse as Verizon, Frito-Lay, Capital One Auto Finance, and Zales Jewelers, parlaying a unique talent for acting as a translator between the worlds of business challenges and technology solutions.