Back to School in Your 50s and Beyond?

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Back to School in Your 50s and Beyond?

“Is it worth it to spend any money on learning if you are 50 or 60-something?”

The answer to that is most emphatically a resounding, “YES!”

Sometimes, one of the most difficult things for us to do once we have reached this age and gained a lot of life experience along the way is to simply humble ourselves. That’s right, humble ourselves and admit that, even if we have 5 college degrees in Marketing and 25 years of experience with a brick-and-mortar marketing firm, we don’t know much at all when it comes to the most critical fine points of marketing online. It truly is a whole different world and while your degrees, which didn’t keep you from being laid-off or your bonuses reduced, will help in some of the basic ways, the nuts and bolts of successfully marketing online will completely elude you if you don’t get the information you need.

Not only has it been proven time and again that exercising our minds can keep us sharper as the years increase, but we also need to keep up with the times. Without doubt, the internet has thrust us all into yet another way to learn. It is, in fact, the quickest way to search for subjects that interest us personally, we can be led from one topic to the other endlessly only to tell ourselves that maybe it’s time to stop for the day.

The internet has also expanded learning potential in other ways. There was a time when “going back to school” meant going to the local college, signing up for classes and sitting in a physical classroom with others eager to learn something new.

Those of us in our 50’s or 60’s right now are the generation that grew up without computers in our childhood. It’s true….believe it or not! The closest I ever came to a “computer” was the first calculators that were beyond basic. I often thought that my fingers were much quicker when doing math.

There was never anything to really prepare those of us in this age group for what was to come. For some of us, there were several years of adulthood before we even purchased a computer for our homes. My experience with anything remotely “computer-like” was learning how to use a word processor way back when. Even my two daughters, now that I think about it, managed to graduate from high school without having had internet access in our home. I was, in fact, still using my IBM Selectric for any typing I did.

In spite of my love of “things computer”, there are still days when I find myself wishing it would go away. I know, I know, it’s called “Turn it off!”. Then again, there’s always one more item of interest I can search for just for the heck of learning about it. The world of knowledge on the internet is limitless and I often kiddingly say, “Who woulda’ thunk, hey?” when I fall upon some interesting fact, picture, or story from a place I will never visit and see in my life. There it is and my horizon has expanded yet again.

There is no doubt that the internet has deeply affected where and how we learn. Yet, everything we learn is valuable and there are times when it is not only a good idea, but instead the better part of wisdom, to shell out some cash to help us focus on learning to achieve our goals.

As I made my way through my 10 years of being a widow, I learned how to drive a big truck at the age of 50 just because I wanted to. As I drove, I often commented that it was the one job I ever had where it didn’t matter if you were male or female, how old you were, or what you had been before. The truck, in other words, didn’t care. You either knew how to drive it or you didn’t.

The internet is the same as driving that truck. The computer has no idea who is asking for the information and it doesn’t care if you are younger, older, what gender you are, or whether you are sleepless in Sheboygan, WI. So, gaining the knowledge how to best make use of this wonderful aspect of our lives is the most intelligent decision anyone can make if there is any desire to expand our presence on the web.

In spite of what it may seem, yes, it is possible to stumble around and “learn along the way”. But, if you really want to achieve success – whether with an online business or simply generating interest in a personal or charity website – there comes a time when we need to go back to school.

This means working through the options available and finding the education that best focuses on the goal you want to achieve. It is also time to “put your money where your mouth is” because sooner or later you will find that trying to do everything for free just won’t cut it.

Save yourself both time and agony by committing to getting focused training from the get-go, or stop what you keep doing that obviously isn’t working and get into a solid and proven learning program.

The biggest reason why you should shell out some cash to learn? Because losing focus on the internet, wading through all those e-mails you get about learning how to make money while you sleep (for free, of course, which it never really is), or listening to every guru that comes along will get you exactly nowhere. The basics, the foundations of any success on the net requires the same learning you would need to get a job in marketing, for example, offline. It is simply a case of gaining topic-specific knowledge that will help you succeed in the world for which it was intended.

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