A lot has changed over the past thirty years.
Technology has exploded. Science has grown by leaps and bounds.
And I’ve loved it all. Yes, I’m a geek at heart, jumping on the computer and Internet revolution as soon as they materialized.
Yep, I had a PC in my home long before it became fashionable to have one. And we were one of the very first users of AOL Internet access shortly after we were married.
Website? Yep, we had one of those too. That’s how our first business, our wedding photography business, grew into an international success.
I’ve always been at the front of the pack, leading the way in trying out and implementing new technologies. And I especially believe it’s important for women to push the limits – I fully support initiatives like Girls Who Code.
STEM has become a standardized way of living. If you have a child, you know what I mean. You can’t go anywhere without hearing about the importance of science, technology, engineering and math related topics. They’ve become the cornerstone of our modern society. And it’s not just for kids. If you aren’t up on the latest trends yourself, your career and promotional options are limited at best.
So if you’re ready to reinvent yourself here in midlife, you better grasp the changes in STEM topics and use them to upgrade your own skills, to make you more marketable in whatever direction you choose to go. Right?
I’m going to go against the grain here a bit and say maybe not.
Yes, keeping up with the latest technology is important. Having a basic understanding of how everything works is important. Don’t know how to code? Take a class. Don’t understand WordPress or Facebook or mobile technology? Grab on with both hands and learn as much as you can.
But even school systems are starting to learn the error in their ways. STEAM is the new STEM, integrating the Arts back into curricula. And I’m all for it.
Because as much as it takes a scientific, technological, mind to move forward, the nuts and bolts can be learned by anyone. It’s easy to teach a person rules that will always apply, that “one plus one equals two” mentality because it will always be. What’s more difficult is adding creativity into the process, thinking beyond what’s accepted in order to find something that has never been before.
As a business owner, I know I need a WordPress site to thrive in the online world. But I don’t have to be a great coder to create an amazing presentation. I can hire someone to do that for me. And that skill can be found in many ways, from many different people, at many different prices, all around the world. It’s a fact, and one that isn’t going to change anytime soon. As a small business owner, my budget is only so big. I’m always looking for ways to cut where I can, giving more to invest in what’s truly important to my success.
And that’s where creativity comes into play. In this case, it’s not how the presentation is created – the technology side of things is a taught skill. It’s the creativity that matters most – the concepts that are put out to the rest of the world.
Because I’m the only one with my thought process, that has put together all of the pieces that I have in place today. Every life experience I’ve ever had has made me the person I am today. So while there are oodles of fiction and nonfiction writers out there creating books and programs to reach out to an exclusive audience, it’s just me that puts it together in my specific way.
My creativity comes from my life experiences. It’s every single occurrence I’ve had and lived through, my approach to every single day, all that I’ve learned and discovered that’s given me this unique perspective. And today, my creativity shines through in the way I approach each new task. It shows up in unique ways because I am a:
- Business owner
And it stretches beyond. It’s morphed by the jobs I’ve held, the businesses I’ve created, the books I’ve read, the places I’ve lived, the food I’ve eaten. It’s changed every time I see a new movie, meet a new friend, here another TED presentation.
It all adds up to a unique way of thinking that allows me to share it in a unique approach.
Do some people hate my ideas? Yep, I have many hate letters to prove it. But if you’re reading this, you resonate with every word I write. That’s energy. That’s creativity. I have it. And you do too.
Whatever makes you unique, whatever you’ve experienced, however you’ve approached each new day makes you creative. Buy into the concept that only STEM matters and you’ll leave the creative world behind.
But that’s not you, right?
It’s time to share your creative gifts with the world. Because it’s time.