Here is a common scenario. I see some version of it nearly every day. A baby boomer comes to the realization that the plan they have been on all their life hasnâ€™t worked quite as well as hoped. Maybe a divorce. Maybe a medical situation. Maybe a lost job. The cause isnâ€™t nearly as important as the situation.
At the same time many boomers find their peak years behind them, they also find that their future isnâ€™t so bright. In many cases, itâ€™s downright scary.
So, what do they do? Start an online business, of course. It looks easy, but they soon find out itâ€™s not. Here are three of the most common reasons for that.
1. The Honesty Factor â€” Most of us were raised when a handshake meant something. If you agreed on something and shook hands on it, it was done. No one sniveled out of it from either side, and lawyers werenâ€™t needed to sort it out.
On the Internet, anonymity allows people to tell you something (â€Iâ€™m making thousands a week,â€ â€œIâ€™ll be a great upline,â€ â€œNo recruiting necessary,â€ etc.) that isnâ€™t true and still get away with it.
Baby boomers still hold onto the hope that things work with â€œhandshakesâ€ on the Internet, but as a rule, they donâ€™t. When you find someone who also has the honesty factor, stick with them. You donâ€™t even have to be in the same business. Gradually, you will be surrounded by people you can trust, and things will get easier.
2. The Shame Factor â€” Most boomers were raised when â€œShame on youâ€ meant something. It actually was one of the worst things that could be said to you or about you. Nobody wanted shame on them.
Sadly, most of the Internet seems to work on hype over truth. The bigger the claims, the more people will fall for it. Boomers expect things to be true, and are mostly surprised to find out when they arenâ€™t.
It would be easier if there was a Shame Factor, but there isnâ€™t.
3. The Technology Factor â€” We were amazed when the Apollo spacecrafts made it to the moon, and they did it with a computer that had 4k of memory. Now, I can hold a computer in my hand that has 2 million times that.
We may not have even seen a computer up close until we were in our thirties or forties. We had to have help turning it on.
Meanwhile, the people dominating the Internet knew more by the time they were ten than weâ€™ll ever know. Itâ€™s not exactly a level playing field. Weâ€™d be better off if we played by the rules of Hopscotch or Mumblypeg, but we donâ€™t.
For boomers, itâ€™s not how much we know, but exactly what we know. We can learn enough, but need to know what that should be, and the â€œgurusâ€ arenâ€™t going to tell us that.
If you are a boomer, and you are struggling with making some money on the Internet, considering the three factors working against you as you evaluate opportunities and the people who offer them can save you bundles of time, money, and frustration.