Are you my peer?
Establishing a network in ageing
Launching a start-up in the ageing industry has been a lonely, winding journey. The tech kids playing ping-pong in their co-working spaces can’t believe my customers are over 40 years while the giants in the aged care industry want to talk care and medical support. Many times, I have wished upon a shining star for a network of peers as my guide… or at least to share a glass of pinot on a bad day. I’m sure I’ve made mistakes that have been made before, I’m sure I have some insights that you will want to know, I’m sure my peers are out there somewhere, is it you?
I didn’t look far for evidence that networks and communities are vital for healthy business ecosystems and healthy living. Jana Matthews’ article in The Conversation newsletter popped up in my emails this morning – ‘It takes a community to raise a start-up’. Top of the pile on my desk, George Vailant’s ‘Ageing Well’ insists social connections are top priority for wellbeing at every stage of life. Perched on my book shelf Matthew Liebermann’s book ‘Social’ argues that social networks are the foundational level on Maslow’s hierarchy - equal to food and water. And that was all in a 1-metre radius… need I go on?
I founded a social enterprise last year, Future Smith, which keeps people connected to social circles and engaged in purposeful activities as they transition in retirement. But what’s that saying about cultivating your own garden first?
Don’t you feel a little lonely out there on your own? I do. Let’s make this network come to life.
I’m keen to hear from you if you want to participate in networking events for businesses in the ageing industry. I’m looking at April for the first of the series.