Break Through Old Patterns – Yesterday I had the privilege of being interviewed by Baraa Safaa, Baraa attended one of my Open & Free Business Model Workshops, he was intent and very open to hearing my message. Today he is culling smart people and is designing a Podcast show for you, he is currently interviewing people who have a clear perspective on what’s really going on in the business world, more specifically, what’s happening in his back yard.
During our chat, we talked about the stumbling blocks, and what’s the first thing someone could do to break through old patterns, the way we’ve always done things. It’s simple to me of course, but I see the world differently, in fact, I had to learn how to see…all over again. Much of what you know, and much of what you see is not real, it’s perceived. So, what to do…to break through old patterns.
How To Break Old Patterns
The first step to breaking old patterns, is to admit you don’t know….it’s not a bad thing to say out loud, just say it…I Don’t Know! Suddenly, without notice, you will be able to see things differently when you admit, you really don’t know what the hell is going on. At that point, you can step back and look at your business with a different set of eyes, still your eyes, but you can see differently.
Recently I was called by an old colleague, they wanted my advice on what their 20-year-old son should do, he wants to be in the technology sector, what should he take at college, but wants to do something different from what you normally find in your communities. I’ve shared this with you before, but….I merely told him this, hop in your car, drive down the main street of your town, then drive back to where you started, go to a coffee shop with a pen & paper, and ask your self this one question: What’s Missing? What product or service is missing, then find out if there is a market for you’re idea, taken from this exercise. Talk to people, eyeball to eyeball, find out if there is a need, if yes, you may have something, if no….keep writing down what’s missing. Once you’ve narrowed it down, it becomes clearer on what educational development track you should consider.
There’s only one way to break old patterns, stop using them, open your mind to new ways of doing things, more importantly, be willing to do what customers are looking for, sometimes for free! No matter how much you give away, especially online, there will always be an opportunity to make money from practicing the art of free, giving something of value away at no charge. You want to break away from old patterns, try waking up everyday, and ask yourself what you can give away for free today, your mind will change, and you will see people differently. I’m not saying don’t get paid, I’m saying, figure out what you can give prospective customers free of charge to aid in building trust. Trust is the real issue isn’t it. Kevin Kelly once said, you only need 1,000 true fans to buy your product or service, at $100 per fan, that’s a $100,000 per year, but it’s not that easy, you will work hard for those fans.
Stop using your analog brain, and start using your visionary brain – there is a huge difference. Visionary doesn’t put limits on things, it keeps an open & free mind, for the purposes of solving problems, to make sure it’s a viable business that will be profitable. That’s where to start, to break free, to break through old patterns.
I hope you read this post to the end, I think you’ll be surprised at what you learn, and we may have something in common. When I get asked, what do you do, I have to decide which answer I’m going to give, because I do so many things. I shared a while back, but you probably didn’t know, I run and own multiple businesses, one is a webhosting company called Billyhost.com. You would assume I do many things related to that business, and you would be right, but what you probably didn’t know about Owen is, not only do I build websites, but not just any website, I specialize in WordPress and Headway Themes, I don’t do any others. To make matters worse, I actually don’t enjoy the details of building websites, but the truth is, I’m good at it, and you should know, I’m not cheap.
My tech career started back in 1981 when I was in Radio, I was 23 going on 24, I’m now 57, and much has changed. Back then I had to learn how to program automation systems for radio stations, I also was the first radio station manager to run a traditional radio station from a computer, hard drive and DAT tapes, and a microphone, that’s it. That was 1991/92.
The second thing you would learn about me, if you meet me in person, I like to talk…I was in radio, it’s what I do. So I love to do public speaking, mostly on what I share here on this Blog, the open & free business model and how it shapes the future of business, that’s my passion! What I’m not good at is….writing, you probably figured that out already : )
I have worked for many non-profit organizations, sit on a number of boards, and I also check business plans for entrepreneurs, just to name a few other things. I have a background in broadcasting, IT, and Management, and I’m a geek. But I’m a different kind of geek, I’m a highly relational geek that values people over task, I would make a great players coach from that perspective in sports me thinks.
I share this with you because, well…you should know I’m more than just a one-dimensional person, most of us are, but we never tell anyone. I do many things, I wear many hats, which means I’m versatile and bring a lot to the table. That’s the business side of me, academic side if you will. I’m a business man, a visionary type, I have a deep passion for helping people see the changes coming in business. I don’t see everything, but some things seem obvious to me, but not to business owners to close to their problems, therefore they can’t see the forest for the trees. Once I’m inside someone’s business, and I get enough background, I automatically soar to 50,000 feet and look at the business for broken bits, and patterns. This tech career and passion for business, lead me to becoming a Futurist and public speaking on the topic of the open & free business model, the future of business.
I’m jumping all over, but I get like that when I get inside my head : ) Anyway!
The real thing you don’t know about me is this, I’m very insecure, and, I have had a sad broken-heart most of my adult life. I think most creative, artistic people live a life of suffering. I have always felt sad inside, everyday, just heart-broken, because the world I live in is seriously broken. My family and friends would tell me to suck it up, it’s the way things are, deal with it. I should mention, those words have never helped me…or anyone else I think.
I have always had to fight tooth and nail for everything I have, unsuccessfully most of the time, which I’m certain most of you have as well. But I never, ever gave up. When I was younger, I had to be liked, validated by others, I had to be the center of attention, and that’s when the sadness began, way back in High School if memory serves me. Today, I don’t need to be validated, I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do, whether you like it or not. I know that sounds wrong, but it’s the truth. I don’t agree or go along with much of what the masses say and do, I know I’m different, even weird, I don’t really fit in. But know this, I care a great deal for people, I believe people are the product, without them you’ll never have success or be fulfilled in anything you do.
I grew up in a time where you didn’t speak up against your parents, other adults, your teachers, or anyone in a position of authority. Hence, I was always in trouble, I always questioned the status quo, mostly because things didn’t make sense. I’ve always gone to the school of hard knocks, I learned more there than through traditional school formats. I always try to find new ways to fail, not on purpose, it just worked out that way. What doesn’t kill makes you stronger right?
I’m not sure if you’ll get anything out of this confession, but I hope you do, I can’t control the outcome of you reading this, that’s your job. My wish, deep down inside, is to change the world. I urge you to dig deep within, find what truly energizes you, the answer to the question of, “If time & money were no object, what would you do?”. I’m almost 60 years old now, I feel I haven’t done that which I was meant to do on this earth, but I journey on. As an encouragement, I don’t believe I have found that thing I was meant to do yet, which means, you’re never to old to find out, or to go out and do it, so don’t stop searching. Listen to your life and you’ll find some clues. Remember, you don’t build a life, you live one.
I’ve cracked myself open just a little so you could peer inside, I’ve shared weaknesses in me, you may think it’s silly, you probably don’t care, but you might glean something from this writing, something that may help you to keep going. The weaknesses in me are many, and now you know a few, but I have a wonderful business life, personal life, and family, and I love to help….I have conquered a few weaknesses in me, what’s your story, what are you hiding, what’s preventing you from being who you are meant to be, and more importantly, how are you changing the world, to make it a better place.
Steve Jobs once said,
“The people who are crazy enough to think they
can change the world, are the ones who do.”
The question, What’s the next big thing, is probably the question I’m asked the most, #2 is, how can I make money with an Open & Free Business Model. I’m only going to talk about the 1st question, what’s the next big thing?
For the most part the Internet has been a play thing, a really fun distraction right? Wrong, you’ve heard it before, the Internet is a game changer. So, what’s the next big thing? It’s called, ” Internet Of Things “. What that means is this, everything on the planet will be connected to the Internet and to you! The meshing of humans and the Internet, where everything will communicate to everything. In 15 years each person will be surrounded by 3 – 5 thousand connected everyday things.
IPv6 makes this all possible, IPv6 can give more IP addresses than there are atoms on the earth, which means, everything will have a unique identity. Which means, there will be a chip or sensor on everything, probably so small the naked eye won’t see it. Imagine a chair that has a sensor, it now has a unique identity, when you sit on it, it will know someone is sitting on it, and it will connect to your wireless / sensor device and it will know who is sitting on it. Because the Internet is connected to everything, this charge will collect everything about you, and it will then connect to almost everything in that room. The heat will automatically be adjusted to the way you like it, music will start playing based on the mood you’re in, and so on. This is an amazing thing, and yet….a nerving thing.
The Internet Of Things is all the data of everything on earth, BIG DATA, and it is what Google, FaceBook, Twitter, and all the other Social Networks are fighting for, and control of your data. We will see broadband speeds open up unlike we’ve ever seen, so the Internet of Things doesn’t experience choke points. The Internet will become three critical things, it will be the foundation of IOT (Internet Of Things):
1.) Communication Internet – we already do this on a low-level – it will be improved
2.) Energy Internet – distributed renewable energy
3.) Mobility / Logistics Internet – the delivery system
I’m not even scratching the surface, there is far too much for a single blog post. So if you’re wondering what the next big thing is, this is it, The Internet Of Things.
Let’s first ask the question, ” What Is A Brand?”.
It’s not a Logo , it’s not a Name….a brand is a series of expectations that people have of your product or service, based on the promises you’ve made.
Using that as the definition of a brand, answering the question of what happened to Target’s Brand in Canada, it was broken from the moment they opened their doors. They didn’t keep their promises, lower prices, more selection, and so on.
They broke their promises, and now they are closing 133 stores in Canada….why? Because you didn’t trust them when they said they would make good on their promises. You had a bad experience with Target Canada.
So what’s your businesses Brand? Have you gone the traditional Industrial Age way of thinking, where your brand is a logo or a name, and don’t really care, or have you decided to give your market positive experiences, based on the promises you kept, reflecting how much you do care. The later is the new connected business model, it’s open & it’s free….The Open & Free Business Model.
Dare I be so bold to say it, Social Media is not a business model.
I struggle with the resistance of business owners still today, hanging onto old ways of doing things, trying be in control, running around in circles trying to keep up, business has changed / is changing to where you must deliver your product or service to your customers, if you don’t, they’ll click and be gone. It wasn’t long ago when you had to go to the store, we used film for pictures, we no longer need a land-line, and kept current reading newspapers, now we just have to make a few clicks on a mobile device!
Customers are taking away the business owners power, they are choosing how and when, and how much they’ll pay. This has very little to do with Social Media, it does have everything to do with how business really is, and eventually you will either embrace it, or continue to resist it…either way, you’ll have to change how think about your customers, and how you run your business. Sure there will always be certain types of business that need manual labour, but many of those jobs, as much as you don’t want to believe it, will be lost to automation, this technological change will be devastating to the families relying on those jobs.
This has very little to do with Social Media, it does however, have everything to do with The Open & Free Business Model!
Social Media is NOT a business model, you don’t plug your business into Social Media, you plug Social Media INTO your business.