Old brain, young brain, pointy stick

When our founder Lena (I call her ‘Boss-lady’ for laughs) set up FTSQ, she decided to take a fresh, new approach with her new business. To let her ‘old brain’ be challenged by a ‘young brain’ (that’s me). It’s this approach that’s allowed us to offer an interesting take on providing practical support and guidance to non-conformist business owners.

While I haven’t been around long enough to have developed a ‘set’ state of mind or prejudices towards most things in business, the sweet perks of this ‘old brain, young brain’ thinking is to celebrate each other’s strengths and challenge each other’s point of view. Building a team across multiple generations gives the business insight from both ends of the spectrum, and keeps the spirits high (I’m not just talking about a relative increase in employee booze consumption).

But, how does this idealistic stance actually translate into real life? In my eyes the everyday reality of this constant ‘Work in Progress’ and ‘old brain’/’young brain’ fusion can be seen in each conversation between Lena and I. We never cease to challenge each other on both the itty-bitty and the gritty, and hey, let’s be frank, it takes balls to own a business and yet seriously consider the opinion of a 19-year-old. It also takes a keen understanding of each of your strengths and weaknesses and the power of vulnerability. But, challenging thinking isn’t enough, new technologies are being developed every day that challenge the ‘old brain’ to do things differently in our day-to-day working lives.

I’ll hand it to Lena, she’s pretty good with technology, but, I believe, only those under 30 can be termed a ‘digital native’ (Lena often challenges me on what she calls “this ‘digital native’ s***”). A core trait of a ‘digital native’ is a comfortable mindset and fast uptake of new technology and software. As a result, lots of our conversations revolve around what’s the most efficient way to get a job done, we find that for ourselves and our non-conformist audience it’s hardly ever the status quo when it comes to technology. In fact, we’re always looking for ways to improve and streamline businesses through the understanding and implementation of new software’s, technology and methodologies.

Change is what keeps us ahead, and make no mistake, if you rest on your laurels, you’re f****d. This is the free market, an economic war zone. Stagnate too long and it will be like rushing into no-man’s land equipped with nothing more than a pointy-a*** stick. Which, in my opinion, doesn’t sound very fun.

 We strive to be in a constant state of ‘Work in Progress’ and the ‘Boss-lady’ has been around long enough, and seen enough to know things change, constantly. Either you keep up, or you’ll be drowned by the flood of ‘innovative’ start-ups and agile businesses out there.

To wrap it all up, you should consider a balanced, cross-generational team. Don’t be afraid to hire the young. They’re not expensive to employ. They are filled with enthusiasm and usually have an abundance of energy. And They can quickly adapt to new technology and software. Although every silver lining has its cloud. You may get asked some pretty dumb questions in their hunger to learn, but, if you can resist giggling long enough to give us an answer, you might just get that warm fuzzy feeling inside that only a true mentor gets for helping someone grow.

 This is the first blog post I’ve ever written so have mercy on my virgin soul.