In the July issue of The Costco Connection magazine, Wally Amos writes about age and operating a business. His article, “Age is just a number”, sets forth the theory that one should not stop what you want to do just because you have reached a certain age. Wally happens to be 80 years young as of July 1, and started a new cookie company, The Cookie Kahuna. I contacted Wally some time ago after one of his articles, and he is a vibrant, enthusiastic person.
I have a friend who frequently asks me why I don’t retire. Like Wally, I love what I do, I love the people that I meet and with whom I interface, and I love the fact that I seem to bring some joy and fun into the lives of others. Since there is no law yet that says that I cannot continue to work at something that brings joy to my life, I guess that I will retire when I die.
Operating a business involves lots of responsibility and requires a lot of time. Does anyone want to devote their effort to those requirements and do so at the absence from other aspects of life that might bring us satisfaction and joy? Does the “responsible” adult want to fiddle their life away operating a business so that they can deal with these problems and headaches? What about spending time with family and friends? What about spending time doing what makes us happy?
We must find an endeavor that makes us happy. I personally could never be happy by myself in my garage making birdhouses. I need the interface with other people and the challenge of solving problems, either mine or those of others. I get great satisfaction from making something operate better or being more productive. I look at everything with an eye to making it better, easier, and more enjoyable.
My definition of making me happy includes having fun. If we are not having fun, each and every day, then we should stop and do something else. There is no sense in continuing to work at anything that makes us miserable. We will develop a dislike for everyone involved and for our family, coworkers, and customers. If we can find something that allows us to also spend time with family and friends, then we have discovered the ideal endeavor.
Look at people who have continued to work into their later years. They can obtain satisfaction from doing what they love, and their efforts make them happy. Failure is when we quit. Success is when we strive to do what we are passionate about. Getting up each day and knowing that you will make a different in someone else’s day, that you will have fun that day, and that, at the end of the day, you will be proud of what you did is the success that I love.
Wally quotes Satchel Paige, who played professional baseball when he was 50, “How old would you be if you did not know how old you were?” Think about it and see if age makes us who we are or who we want to be. Can we improve our Gratitude Marketing through our wisdom, experience, and talent that our age has brought us?