“I hope I die before I get old.” Oh Roger, Mr. Daltrey. I seriously doubt you are singing these iconic generational words with the same sort of conviction these days. No, with an estimated net worth topping $80 million, I suppose all that angst and anger of your misspent youth has subsided considerably.
Some fifty or so years on, tragically, those words have taken on an altogether new meaning for that same generation. After all, it’s always about the money, ain’t it? And for a lot of post-Woodstock baby boomers out there, well, that’s the glaring reality staring at us back in the face. “I hope I don’t run outta money before I die,” is more the ardent anthem now.
Let’s just cut to the chase shall we and not be so presumptuous as to point the fickle finger of fate at anything or anyone in particular. TRUTH. The majority of baby boomers, yes that’s you Roger, are in a severe pickle when it comes to that fickle. They, we, are not at all financially prepared as we enter further into our supposed golden years. I’ll spare you the gory details and just let the graphic do the talking for me. Suffice to say, it’s not a pretty picture.
Personally, I realized the “planning enough money for retirement” ship sailed from my rocky shores long ago. I can’t even see it on the distant horizon anymore. I was just too busy having fun to get serious about my life. I spent money frivolously and stupidly with careless disregard for my future.
So, switch to plan B. Don’t retire. Just keep on working. Well, apparently I am not alone in this sorta thinking. There are plenty of us “too broke to retire” crew still punching the clock at Walmarts, grocery stores and fast food chains. But even plan B has its limitations. I mean seriously, how long can one reasonably expect to pull off these gigs?
That’s why I started this whole Doyen Digital Nomads thing. It’s always been more of a dream than a current reality. For now at least. I figured, being that I’ve sold computers, cellphones, and the like for quite some time now, I at least possessed enough cursory awareness to give this digital nomad thing a shot.
I wasn’t even sure how to piece this loosely grounded and overly ambitious fanciful idea together. But, being quasi-Taoist, I felt it best to heed Lao Tzu words, and just go ahead and take the first step. So after a little due diligence, I decided that creating a brand for myself was as good a place to start as any.
According to a myriad of “experts,” Doyen Digital Nomads wasn’t the most prudent of name choices. Realistically, how on Earth were all those itsy bitsy Googley spiders crawling incessantly over the interweeb ever gonna find little ole me? Doyen ain’t exactly high on anyone’s keyword entry list.
But I chose “Doyen” for a reason and thus, after some cerebral ping pong, I committed to it. Google arachnids be damned. I kind of adopted the name Doyen. It holds meaning to an old dude like me. Merriam-Webster, whoever the hell they were, defines Doyen as:
b: a person considered to be knowledgeable or uniquely skilled as a result of long experience in some field of endeavor.
1a: the senior member of a body or group
Sounds downright flattering, doesn’t it?
I then Youtubed these young punk digital nomads just to see how it was they were snubbing the dreary status quo. Well, as it turns out, these millennial hippies were in fact quite entrepreneurial. Adept, versatile and highly educated, be it formal or self-taught, they quickly gained my respect and admiration.
Oh sure, there were those hyping hipsters selling you on the idea of the dream lifestyle with little or no work, but other bloggers were sincere enough to give it to you straight. And straight up, it’s downright difficult being a Digital Nomad.
There are no free rides out there on the dark, lonely information highway. You have to work diligently at it and be willing to put in some very long hours with little or no pay. It’s a tough business, saddling you with selling the most intangible of commodities. Yourself.
Next, I needed to ascertain better just what precisely these wanderlust drifters were pulling out of their backpacks to support their gypsy lifestyles.
To be honest, most of it seemed a bit out of my expertize not to mention primary interests. So writing it became. I would methodically gain a following then monetize my blog with Google adverts and Shareasale. Simple enough. I just never counted on some old bad habits getting in my way and slowing down my productivity for a few months. We all have ’em, so you surely know of what I speak. Ugh.
My long to term goal was to give back to my roots. Simple. I would save my own baby boomer financial soul and then evangelize others. Not very altruistic of me to put my own success ahead of theirs, to be sure. But hey, I rationalized that the ox had to go ahead of the cart if we wanna move anywhere at all. I could appease myself with that.
Onward and upward. Again, the “experts,” told me I should join related Facebook groups and other social media communities. Easy enough. That’s’ when a schism began to take shape.
Perhaps, it’s just the inclination of the boomers who join these types of groups or maybe the hungry ones, my desired demographic, just hover in the background. More than likely they are already out there, too busy living life to bother with social media.
Whatever the reason, these baby boomer communities soon left me disillusioned and disappointed. If these Facebook groups were any indication of my target market, I was in for a long uphill battle. They linger and lounge in yesteryear, afflicted with the mentally crippling “Golden age Syndrome.” A thought process that I personally detest. NOW is the best time of my life, not 40 years ago.
I am sure there are plenty of vivacious and outgoing boomers out there living it up. But who am I kidding? They don’t need my example, they are their own.
And so, it is with a compassionate heart that I bid these old groups farewell. For as Gibran wrote, “Life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.”
I have no time for reminiscing about the “good ole days” of Beatlemania, bell bottoms and banana seats. I’m already up to my ears in content creation, DJI product reviews and troubleshooting glitchy plugins that crash my site.
And so Gen X, get ready. You’re up next.