We think of the future a lot don’t we, it feels so far away and yet it’s right there, right now, right in front of you. When we were about to escape high school, we had great plans, we talked about all the fun things we were going to do, the great things we were going to accomplish. It was all so exciting and fresh, it was something new, it wasn’t school…..or was it. Some keep going to school, others stop learning, many of you just accepted what happened, we often call it the school of hard knocks. The later is also known as a dream squasher, it tests our strength, our willingness to persist, it reveals the depth of our desire, but most give up to soon.
I am a Baby Boomer, I grew up believing everything would turn out just fine, the industrial age system wouldn’t fail us, so I thought. For the most part everything has turned out fine in my little world, but yet, here I sit suffering in my sadness. My sadness comes from my own disappointments, that I haven’t done more, that I haven’t helped as many people as I thought I would, I feel that I haven’t made the world a better place. I have felt most of my life, judged, not included, and worse yet, I have always felt like an outsider. Sounds like I need counseling doesn’t it? I believe we all go through these emotional states at some point in our lives, we are all very much alike, we just execute differently.
It’s taken many years for me to see the world differently, in fact, it’s taken 55+ years of study, hard knocks, bad decisions, raising a family, holding high level positions, and learning to love the unlovable. I am the sum of all that I have experienced, all that the world has thrown at me, and yet, I still have hope, I still have much to do and to achieve. I was told by my Father, just as you probably were, the world is not a friendly place, it doesn’t care about you, so you have to be in control, take charge of your future. Some of us believed our Fathers, we took it to heart only to find out the world is different. My Fathers world is not my world, in fact, I don’t have control of the world, and never will have, but I do have control over how I respond to it. And that my friends is the secret to a great life, and a great future in business should you chose to.
You see, the future of business needs a world that doesn’t keep score on individuals, and that’s where the rules can be broken, because the world doesn’t care, we just think it does. You see, most think the world will come them, give them what they want, whenever they want it, or at least believe that’s how it should be. If it was, there would be no need for Lotteries, we all eventually would be rich beyond our wildest dreams. Somehow, we have built a world unwilling to wait, unwilling to work, the world now expects, it’s an entitlement theology. We have taken what we already have for granted.
We sell ourselves short far too often, we don’t believe in ourselves enough, we all say we don’t care what other people think, yet we wait to be picked. There it is, the problem becomes obvious. We attach our happiness on things, on whether or not people approve, and if we get picked. We all on some level are waiting to be picked, it’s what happens when you submit a resume, when you play sports, even when you pick your friends. The future of business doesn’t play by this rule, that’s the beauty of it, you get to decide how you will respond to this broken idea of being picked. As Seth Godin says, don’t wait to be picked, pick yourself.
You get to decide your preferred future, your preferred business of the future, chose to respond by picking you first, then your business has a far better chance of making a difference in the world. If you are in business or even have a Blog, we are waiting to be picked, waiting for someone to buy our products / services, waiting to like our blog posts, hoping someone will like what we have to say or offer. It’s a catch 22 isn’t it? How do we escape this seemingly inescapable, vicious circle? The secret is in how you respond to it, you still get to decide, you still get to pick you.
You now have the power to build your preferred future, your preferred business of the future. The question you really want to answer is, is your preferred future or business going to change the world, make it a better place. Forget about being famous or rich, focus on small random acts of kindness, provide service with caring behind it, do something that helps others first before yourself. It’s been said, if you help enough people get what they want, you’ll get what you want. It sounds corny, it sounds and feels uncomfortable, it’s called humility, and that’s always uncomfortable.
Humility is another key to success, it is the heart of small town rules in business, it’s why we build barns for our neighbors.
I’m a little long winded today, but it’s on my heart because so many are struggling. We give away our power to others, hoping we’ll get picked, take your power and us it for good, pick yourself, stop giving it away and create your preferred business of the future. Build a human business.