And I have a blog post itching to get out.
I’d love to give you 44 things I’ve learnt in the last 44 years but I have Friday night comedy, some Miss Tilly’s fudge, and a bottle of Du Pape (not Chasse) with my name on them.
So the top four things over the last four years is gonna have to do.
I used to work for a PR company. When I was starting out. It was brilliant. A great boss and colleagues. But the website…well, suffice to say, our main strapline was “don’t hide your light under a bushel”. Which might have worked well in Shakespearian times but not in the late 90s. Anyway, harnessing the power of communities is a great way to bring your light from behind a bushel and out into the open. Since turning 40 I’ve become involved in three communities: the Glasgow running one; the Netherlee (tiny suburb of Glasgow where I live) one; and the UK/US digital PR/marketing/SEO one. All have had a positive effect on my life and spurred me on to greater things.
There is no substitute for hard, consistent, well-directed effort, day after day after day. Good thoughts lead to good habits lead to good outcomes. I’ve seen the effect of this personally in my business life, attitude to life, and running. For example, since starting running aged 40 (I write another blog called Running Begins at 40) I’ve surpassed what I thought was my potential. Actually, surpassed would not be the right word. Smashed. I had no interest in athletics at school and came towards the back of the 100 metres. I started running aged 39 and three-quarters to get fit. Then realised I liked it. Then that I was ok at it. I worked harder. I read books. Joined a running club. Watched films about it. Watched what I was putting into my body. Began training for a marathon. For two years I went from strength to strength and in 2014 was the first (adopted) Scot home at the Berlin marathon in 2 hours 43 minutes. That showed me what you can (I could) achieve if you put your mind to it. And I’ve applied that learning to every aspect of my life since.
It’s never too late to learn new skills. I’ve learnt more in the past four years (professionally) than the rest of my career. Gone from analogue to digital. I won’t bang on about this again: I’ve talked about it in other posts. If you’re interested in how I did it, with lots of handy hints and tips, read these posts:
The effect on my life has been transformational. I highly recommend rediscovering that commitment and thirst for learning you had when you were a kid. I’m never looking back.
There’s a not-so-secret formula that few people pay much attention to. It goes something like this: what goes around comes around. Karma. It’s usually used in a negative sense (and that applies too:O). But I’ve seen it work time and time again to my and business acquaintances’ benefit. If you be nice to people. If you share what you know, good things will happen. For example, a couple of months ago I held some free digital marketing sessions at my prison cell office in Glasgow. Seven hour-long sessions. I usually charge £100+ for these. But this time I was literally giving it away for free. In return, I got, as a direct result: 40 new people signing up to my newsletter; a heightened awareness of my digital mentoring sessions service; new business worth a tidy five-figure sum; 100 postcards with my logo on the front; a subscription to a running magazine; great feedback from those who took part in the training; and a warm fuzzy feeling that I’d helped seven people see the digital wood from the trees. There is no way I could have predicted that.
Right, that’s all folks. HIGNFY waiteth for no man. And if any fellow forty-somethings want to chip in with their four top things they’ve learnt in their fifth decade of life, my comment section is all ears. And if you’d like to sign up to my newsletter to keep in touch with my weekly musings, click here.