It’s true. To be competitive in modern business you must embrace technology. It’s a fundamental part of the process.

The great news is that technology has evened the playing field in business, enabling one-person operations to compete with bigger dogs. It’s also given people the opportunity to create any type of business they can dream of. Business ownership is open to everyone.

This also means competition is tougher than ever.

How do we stand out? How do we succeed?

In my opinion: By going Old-School.

You may not realize it, but if you’re 50 and beyond you have some seriously amazing skills that you developed during your life and these skills give you a massive advantage in business.

Doing It Right the First Time

Today’s technology makes everything expendable and easily changeable. You don’t have to put as much effort into creating many things because you can simply ‘change it up’ with the click of a button.

But, we didn’t always have technology at our fingertips. This is where the advantage comes in.

Remember typing that high school paper, trying your darnedest not to mess up and have to use the White Out?

We had to learn to plan, organize, edit and get it right the first time. We paid attention to details and connected the dots of the big picture before we committed anything to paper, or we were destined to re-typing the same page over and over.

We took our time. We focused on the task at hand. We got it right the first time.

Doing It Right the First Time Is A Huge Asset for Us Today!

While technology certainly makes it easy to change things quickly, it can also encourage ‘lazy thinking’. If it’s so easy to edit, why bother thinking it through in the first place?

‘Lazy thinking’ leads to what I call the modern Spaghetti Model: Just keep throwing ideas and half-baked projects against the wall and see what finally sticks.

No thank you, right? Talk about a waste of time not to mention putting a lot of mediocre work out into the world hoping something gets traction.

Not us! No, ma’am!

At 50 and beyond, detailed thinking, big picture perspectives and planning are second nature to us. Talk about a massive advantage. While others are peeling noodles off the wall, we’re marching ahead with quality well-thought-out- work right out of the gate.

Doing it right the first time.

Real People Skills

I love social media and smart phones as much as the next lady, but nothing beats an actual conversation. Yet, speaking directly to people seems to be a dying art. Our younger counterparts prefer to text or send messages via social media.

It’s anonymous.

Our old-school advantage? I think the world is coming full circle. Years of having smart phone and laptop screens between us have made people crave real human connection.

Well, we’ve got crazy good people skills. We grew up with, well, talking to people. Sure we had telephones, but they weren’t portable so most communication happened face-to-face.

Real communication.

We learned to talk to people from an early age, too. I remember my mom coaching me how to speak with people in a store or at the doctor’s office or with teacher. Learning to communicate with people was part of our life education. It’s simply part of who we are today.

In today’s ‘let’s-text-everything-world’ I believe this is a huge point of differentiation for us midlife business ladies. Catch them off guard. Talk to your customers. Make that real connection.

Critical Thinking

This is a biggie. We were raised on the Dewey Decimal System. Remember the old library card catalog system?

This is the equivalent of having to know how to spell a word in order to look it up in the dictionary. We had to think. Hard. About how to find the right information.

This forced us to learn to analyze, synthesize and identify the most important elements of a project or topic. We carry those skills with us today.

Talk about an asset. In our business we have this ability to critically think through projects and activities. We can narrow in on solutions quickly. We can more easily identify where to focus and how to proceed.

We know how to think outside of the box.

That is huge!

So, when technology has you a bit frustrated just keep in mind you know how to navigate an old-fashioned library card system and your old-school talents give you a huge edge in modern business.