Welcome to the Gen Plus Blog

It's a backstage pass to info on jobs and life at 50+. Gen Plus, headed by Janet Wendy Spiegel, is dedicated to baby boomers and the plus generation of age 50 and older. Read up and speak out on issues affecting your future: jobs, income, life and respect.

About Me

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Northridge, California, United States
Successful businesswoman, consultant, entrepreneur. I operate two businesses -- social media consulting, AND premium pet care services in the West San Fernando Valley. Love what I do, love life.

Gen Plus has relocated to www.GenPlusUSA.com

Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Happiest Place on Earth

For anyone who needs a lesson in branding, a trip to Disneyland is a must. My day at Disney was...well... a blast. The attention to detail is astounding - from the lights at the train stations, to the benches in Frontier Town, to Mickey and Minnie's houses in Toon Town. All of it perfect.

Branding 101 Posted by Hello

The last time I was at Disney, about a year ago, I thought it was looking a little run-down and not quite up to standard, but with the 50th anniversary celebration now here, Disneyland has been primped, painted, and polished and the heydey of Disney is back.

Now, are they a few cracks in the veneer? Surely. Some of the vendors are decidely disgruntled with what they perceive as low pay and long hours. Some restaurant lines are long due to staffing challenges. But take away those small issues, and the magic of Disney remains intact. Not only do you have a great time, but the food is pretty delish -- even th fast fare (the portions are huge), and the goods for sale (T-shirts, princess costumes, baseball hats) are decent quality, even though overpriced.

But I had a blast. And got caught up in the magic. And, yes...upgraded to the annual pass, because the next time I see a business challenge, I'll remind myself of how attention to the smallest details can make or break the brand.

Friday, April 29, 2005

A Lesson in Branding

Off to Disneyland for a refresher course in Branding 101. Nothing like learning from the best.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Lifecycle in Business

I've been driving the 405 S and N each day, using up a good 2 - 2/12 hours of my life each day, for the past 6 years. I've actually used some of that time to figure out how many days that comes out to. 1 full month...day and night, per year. Over 6 years, that means 6 months -- 1/2 a year has been spent on the 405. I know every curve, pothole, lane change there is on that highway. I also know how to get off at any exit and navigate surface streets to get home...as I did every day for 2 months after this year's rains and subsequent landslides.

So, in order to make the most of my time, I think. I think as I drive. The thinking is what allowed me to free up my mind enough to come up with the concept of Gen Plus. I've tried books on tape, CDs, use my cell phone enough to pay for the state debt of Nebraska, eat and try to stay awake.

Currently, all I think about is my new company and about ways to improve it, relaunch it, market, advertise...basically all things entrepreneurs obsess over...I'm doing it. Right now, I'm listening to the incredible wisdom of Dr. Ichak Adizes. His entire management theory centers around the lifecycle of a business and the parallels to the human lifecycle. He explains the entrepreneurial spirit and the conflict that ensues as a business grows through adolescence and hopefully onto prime.

Currently, according to his definition of lifecycle stages, I've passed courtship and am now in infancy. Goo! Just working toward crawling!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Finding love at 50 plus

Today, as I was sitting in LA traffic, thinking about the lifecycle of the person and the correlation to the lifecycle of business (more on that for a later post), my thoughts wandered off to internet dating, especially interesting for me as I market my sister site targeting 50 plus, GenPlusSingles.com (direct access and linked through Genplususa.com.)

First of all, I have a very long commute -- over an hour and change each way on a good day -- so I have an unusually long time to ponder many different topics. Politics, employment challenges looming on the horizon, the US consumer economy, love. So, today, my thoughts centered on internet dating. There is no dispute that the internet has changed the way information flows, is gathered, is questionned, is believed. However, for the younger demographics, internet is what Encyclopedia Brittanica was to my generation growing up.

For the Gen X and Gen Y'ers, the internet and the concept of internet chatting and dating is a given. But for the 50 - 75 age demographic, internet dating is...well, just darn intimidating.

Sidebar: I only learned WordPerfect 4.0 in 1990. I learned how to use a computer by becoming a "Kelly Girl." Signing up as a temp with Kelly, meant that you could take a tutorial on WordPerfect. Needless to say, I passed with flying colors. Needless to say, they didn't teach me how to turn on the computer, pull up or save a file, or basic formatting! Needless to say, my first job as a temp ended abruptly after it took me a full day to type a document and then turn off the computer without saving the file.

Visit any current internet dating site -- from Match.com, to JDate.com...even to my own Gen Plus Singles. Leaping from demographic to demographic, the 20-somethings looking for online love number in the multi-millions, the 30-somethings follow close behind. Pickings get slimmer...significantly slimmer for 40-somethings, and for 50-somethings...well, it becomes challenging.

Even as the older demographic is USING the internet far more, it is not their preferred resource for meeting a love match. They are wary of posting pictures online, unsure as to internet protocol, and the toughest part is that they lack the self-confidence of youth. If you are visiting this blog, it is either because you are 50 plus or because you have a parent who is. In any event, I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on the challenges facing 50 plus daters...your stories, your laughs, your successes.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Welcome to Gen Plus

Hello and welcome to the Gen Plus Blog. Gen Plus is an infant company, specializing in services for 50 plus...and most particularly ages 50 - 65. Our services range from a relevant Job Talent Bank, Online Dating, Education, to Products developed by those who are 50 Plus.

We offer help for current and troubling issues. The biggest crisis looming on the horizon the impact on the job market due to millions and millions of Baby Boomers heading into or already in retirement. Add to that the tail-end of Post World War II babies who are sitting in an unsettling retirement.

I'd love to have your comments and reactions to our site www.genplususa.com and to the issues that affect 50 plus...I like to call them Generation Plus...or Gen Plus. During this early period in our own lifecycle, we will be populating a rather unique database, which will launch in a new format in June. We are actively gathering resumes, so if you are over 50 and looking to re-establish yourself in the job market, please visit the site and forward your resume. For the next several months, there will be no charge to post a resume. Within a few weeks we'll have free job postings to browse, too. Right now, we want to get your resumes out to Hiring Professionals! Once our revamped site launches, we'll simply contact you and have you fill out the new profile.

Also, in the coming weeks, keep your eyes posted for some very interesting contributors -- you'll be hearing from a professor, a UCLA visiting scholar of mathematics and physics with a unique perspective on aging that mirrors our concerns at Gen Plus. (His published paper will be available online at that time.)

As well, a top geriatric specialist will be discussing depression -- the most common affliction of those forced into an unwelcome retirment. If you have any specific questions or concerns on this topic, please send a post and if it fits into the discussion, we'll certainly respond.

And lots of other experts will join us -- from Human Resource professionals to an award-winning writer who will offer tips on memoir writing, to a well-known LA Interior Designer who understands the challenges of downsizing.

We are currently searching for innovative products to add to our catalogue, so if you are over 50 and are in need of distribution for your book, jewellery, environmentally friendly solar-powered lawn mower, we want to hear from you. Contact us at info@elderwork.com and we'll forward our guidelines for getting your products into cyberspace, so that you can cushion your own nest egg.

At Gen Plus, we are determined to change the shape of 50 plus life. As its founder, I'm only a few years away myself. So, thanks for joining us on this journey. I'll keep you posted on how we grow at Gen Plus!