We Baby Boomers have an edge. We have lived through both trends, emerging and declining, and fads. Therefore, we have a gut sense of what business is worth pursuing, how many resources to pump into that and when to pull the plug.
However, those instincts often need fine-tuning in this volatile era. How do we improve them so that we can truly take advantage of our perspective about what's happening, what could happen and what will happen a whole lot less?
Here are some tips:
Slow down and listen. Daily conversation among Everyman and Everywoman provides diverse data about the world at this moment. Cock your ear for the tone, word frequency and facial gestures/body language.
Ask questions. The trick is to frame them so that those you ask can give a simple short answer. The genius is in the framing. For example, ask "Will it be more than a half percentage point that interest rates will go up? The jobs report and GDP growth weren't bad." Don't ask, "Where are interest rates going?"
Publish, even if it's on Twitter or a blog. Organizing your thoughts to communicate them to an audience forces you to think deeply and creatively about a subject.
Admit you're wrong, to yourself. That helps you let go of assumptions and move on to more promising areas. I had to throw in the towel on my strategy to do communications for large law firms. It took that to then investigate public relations agencies as the alternate target market.
Get enough sleep. One function of sleep is for the brain to connect the dots on all the data which have come in that day.