Last week I attended an entrepreneurial event like non-other. Over the past 1 ½ years I’ve spoken about this event with many people. Of the people I’ve invited, 10 have attended. Each person who’s attended thought it equally fantastic.
That’s not the reason I’m writing about the event, but more to explain about it before I delve into the specifics of my reasoning.
The 50+ attendees were at varying levels of entrepreneurial experience. More importantly, their ages spanned at least 6 decades. A striking fact about these events is that the producer has created an intergenerational environment that represents the best of our communities, our families, and ultimately, should be our work force. People learning from each other, young from elders, elders from youngest. new ideas, new approaches, elder wisdom, the voice of experience, etc. All respectfully working and learning from each other.
I entered the 7th decade of life while there. However, as I’m embarking on a new entrepreneurial direction, I am considered somewhat of a newbie to this business world, one far away from the healthcare environment where I spent the past 45 years of my professional life.
But whether a newbie or seasoned entrepreneur with decades of experience, name recognition, and zeros behind the dollar sign, everyone is eager to meet and interact, learn and share. I call it an entrepreneurial experience like none other. Business entities have called it the best event you cannot attend, unless of course you’re invited.
Flashback: Several years ago, when I began my Caregiving Training workshops at corporate entities, Employee Assistance Programs and Major Insurance Providers, I would begin with this series of questions:
Who here has an older parent or loved one?
Who here is caring or has cared for an older parent or loved one?
Who here thinks there older parent or loved one may be in need of care in the near future?
Who here has an older parent or loved one that lives a distance away who is concerned they are in need of care?
Who here knows someone who has cared for or is caring for an older parent or loved one?
Who here has, or knows someone amongst their family or friends who has dementia?
Who here has cared for someone with dementia or knows someone who has?
How would you answer those questions?
At the conclusion, regardless of age, ethnic background, country or language of origin, religion, educational or socioeconomic level, neighborhood, everyone’s hand was raised.
I would always say it was the great equalizer and in a way connects us all. After all, it is part of the human condition, we are all humans, and we all have had or have parents.
Why am I going back to the series of questions from Caregiving workshops?
Throughout the numerous conversations I had over the 2-day event, there were many times the person I was speaking with, when learning of my background, revealed that they had lost someone in their family or was was dealing with someone in their family related to the above questions.
I’ve always said if you took a poll of people in any environment and asked the above questions, at least 75-90% would have raised their hands. People don’t often talk about their struggles and challenges, especially in this area.
I encourage you to keep this in mind, especially when meeting someone for the first time or having discussion or interaction where there is disagreement. Our common life experiences bind us together more than separate us, they are part of the human experience. I don’t intend to sound for it to sound pollyannish, but bearing that in mind when situations become difficult can appeal to our more temperate angels.
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