If you want your AEC firm to stay fresh and relevant, YOU – as the owners and managers of the enterprise – HAVE to stay fresh and relevant yourselves. That gets more and more difficult the older you get. I speak from experience!
This is important stuff! Here are my thoughts:
- Keep reading. While I am admittedly not a fan of the many “pop management” books out there, I do think we all need to keep reading. It stimulates the brain. And who knows what knowledge or inspiration we could get from it?
- Follow the news and pop culture enough that you can talk about it. If you aren’t keeping yourself informed about these things you won’t be fresh. The opposite of fresh is stale!
- Associate with younger people. They have a different energy from us older people. They can work their butts off. They also know new ways of doing things and new technologies.
- Work out/exercise. It’s been proved that if you don’t stay active physically it affects your mental state. Keep moving! Then maybe your brain won’t atrophy! My mom who is 98 is a great example. She still lives on her own, doing everything everyone else does. And she hasn’t suffered any mental deterioration.
- Travel the globe. You’ll gain new perspective from your travels and that will help you keep the ideas flowing. There’s no substitute for international travel and experiencing different cultures.
- Take a class. Keep learning! There are so many great classes you can take through your local (or not local) colleges and universities. Here at the University of Arkansas we have everything from welding to yoga – and most of them are free. Isn’t that better than staying in and binge watching Better call Saul or some other such thing?
- Embrace your hobbies. The right hobbies can help you meet other people, learn new stuff, and see the world differently. That’s good! It will keep you fresh.
Make it happen. We either grow or die. That applies to firms and the people in them. I don’t know about you, but I plan to keep on growing – and to stay fresh!
Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.