I find myself in pretty much the same position. Just over 40 years experience and it's a handy little fact to toss out - and I find myself tossing it out quite frequently because it seems to impress clients into believing I know what I'm talking about.
I suppose I do know of what I speak for the most part, having spent many years in production. I now sit home, check customer files, create some, source the press work to trade shops (I've paid my dues).
The reality is, I'm behind the curve these days where technology is concerned. Sure I know the basics but I wouldn't stand a chance of operating today's equipment (presses), nor could I any longer function in a shops pre-press environment. At least not one that was up to date.
Still, I get the job done in my own way and I suppose that's what counts. Shops seem happy with my files and customers are pleased with results.
Couple similar analogies. People view you with more respect somehow when you represent yourself as the 'business owner'. It comes with a perception of knowledge & success. Crap! Guys on the shop floor have way more knowledge but to most, they're just the know little working stiffs. Why?
Along the same vein, I used to live lakeside. Here's a tip if you want to impress someone. Tell them you live on the lake. People's impression of you immediately escalates . . .oh, he must be wealthy! Well it was a nice property but we were far from wealthy. Hell, I was a printer! Just found the right property at the right time and bought it. I would slide that I lived on the lake into conversations with shallow people just to watch their persona change. It was kind of fun, kind of sad.
Side note unrelated. What is it with Ad Agencies? I've dealt with many, not by choice. Have spent the past couple weeks dealing with one. Zero knowledge but tons of attitude and ongoing harassment & anxiety. So far I've done 2 jobs for them. Both screwed up. Their fault, but has ended up costing me.
My 2 cents completed.
Oh how I love the perception that people have about you. But some people just don't get it in life sometimes. My wife and I have been to africa twice in the last year. Were 28 and she has a good job and I am part owner of our family's printing business. But we don't make any stupid money. The only debt we have is our house. Dont have credit cards, don't borrow money on cars, etc. A friend was over the other day and we got to talking about finances. He basically said we were lucky and its not possible for most people to do what we do. We just shook our head and asked him how much their car payments were a month. 2 cars, almost $1100/month. We said you do know if you sold them and bought used vehicles that you could save so much money and do what we do. Nope, they're upside down on the vehicles so thats not possible. Also paying on the student loans. And I believe he already filed bankruptcy a few years ago. Mind you these are middle class people, not struggling people and are my age. So I LOVE perception. Remember this, it all depends on your situation as to how successful/wealthy you are. I do not consider myself wealthy, but to others we are rich. But I have friends that by any standards are rich, and they don't feel like they are. Perception is a fickle creature.