This really shouldn’t be surprising news; after all, we boomers have been considered a cash cow since the day we were born. Marketers and sales folks take one look at our huge demographic and drool at the thought of creating and selling the next boomer must-have product or service.
The next “big thing” for boomers may already be upon us…it’s called Reinvention. Michael Winerip reports in today’s New York Times that “reinvention” was definitely the buzzword when he attended the Florida Boomer Lifestyle Conference in Clearwater:
The morning keynote speaker was Brent Green, the author of “Generation Reinvention.” The speaker at seminar 2B, “Reinventing Your Business, Reinventing Yourself,” was introduced as the “reinvention guru Karen Post.” The conference was opened by Colleen Chappell, a marketing executive who praised boomers for “truly reinventing everything,” including “redefining reinvention.
Wow – we’re even reinventing reinvention? We are special!
Now some of this reinventing isn’t by choice. Winerip quotes a market researcher who says 39% of boomer households in Florida alone had someone who’d lost a job in the last five years. And sadly, a lot of those jobs are not coming back. That makes for some desperate boomers – and it’s often easier to separate the desperate from their money.
Those attending the Florida conference shelled out $195 for a day of speeches and seminars. Nothing wrong with that, but if you’re going to go, make sure you get your money’s worth. The speakers should be qualified experts in their fields; not just someone trying to sell you something. Consider this speaker described in the Times article:
She explained that she had become a reinvention guru the hard way, by having two businesses fail, including a dot-com start-up that she’d raised $1 million for in 2001 and that went bust nine months later. “You feel like you want to die, but we baby boomers are so strong,” she said. She said that her current business, as an inspirational speaker and coach on rebranding and reinvention, is “all on the upswing.”
Why does it seem many folks who fail in business “reinvent” themselves as motivational speakers? They may indeed be experts on reinvention, but wouldn’t you rather get business advice from someone who has two successful businesses under their belt?
So, if you’re inclined to try one of these seminars cropping up around the country, remember this last quote from the article:
During questions, David Valladarez, an architect, asked, “This is all great, but how do you use it to get work?”
Excellent question, Mr. Valladarez.