Getting old is like using toilet paper: the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.
And as of late I have been keenly aware of an odd paradox involving aging, learning, and knowledge.
It's this: the older I get, the fewer things I know about -- both in general and in my own field of marketing.
The reason is simple: information is exploding, with the sum of all human knowledge expanding at nearly light-speed -- doubling every 12 months.
Every week, there are more things created to know which I will never know, because I have limited time and capacity to learn and absorb it.
So with each passing year, I know proportionally less of the total sum of what there is to know.
In the good old days, for instance, when there were maybe half a dozen or so marketing channels, I was conversant in almost all of them.
Today, I am conversant in an increasingly smaller percentage of the total marketing channels growing like weeds in a field.
I know nothing, for instance, about Blab, Meerkat, and Periscope.
But, paradoxically, the older I get, the MORE I know about the small handful of things that I do know.
For instance, my specialty is direct response, and even after 36 years in the business, I spend the bulk of each day practicing and studying it.
Therefore, today I know more about direct response, and am a better copywriter and direct marketer, than I was only a few months ago -- because I learn something new almost every day.
I think that's the only way to survive, thrive, and continue your career as you get up there in years, as I am:
Your focus narrows onto the one or two things you do best -- in my case, copywriting and direct marketing.
As for the rest, you make a valiant effort to at least maintain a working knowledge of them ... but you realize you will never master any of them to the same degree you have mastered your core competency.
And you sustain your competitive edge by putting your nose to the grindstone and continuing to hone your skills and knowledge in your one or two key specialties -- again, in my case copywriting and direct marketing.
You can take comfort in the fact that while the youngsters speak more of the new media lingo and are more comfortable with technology, it will be many years before they come close to achieving the same expertise in their field as you have in yours.
Copywriter / Consultant
31 Cheyenne Dr.
Montville, NJ 07045