The truth is, someone has to drive the forklift, someone has to drive the truck, sell cars, and so on. There will always be a need for manual labor no matter how much technology invades our world. There will always be a need for human interaction. While 60% of sales may be online, we will still have big box stores and specialty shops, and someone has to work in them.
No matter how advanced we get, no matter how smart, no matter how close we get to the singularity, there will always be a need for people to look each other in the eye, and for humans to do manual labor. The question is, are you one of those people, or do you believe you were meant to do something different, something your parents never had the opportunity to do because they had to provide the basics of survival.
We all have been conditioned to believe that there is one way to organize work, to be creative, and to deliver goods and services. Today, we come to realize that’s not the case anymore, we have options. I didn’t have the same options as a young man, Microsoft started in 1975, the year I graduated in a small town in Northern BC. I had never heard of or seen a computer, just a handheld calculator, who knew we would be where we are today! We all have the same 24 hours, and we all have to provide the basics for our families. Once you have those things in perspective and under control, the choice is yours.
Do you continue to do manual labor, there is no shame in it, or journey into the world of an entrepreneur, where security has a different meaning. You have it in you do either one.
It’s easy to look back, to remember what it was like when you were a teenager, wishing somethings never changed. It’s easy to wish and wonder, but it’s much harder to look ahead and see what you must do to prepare, I know it’s harder, because most of us didn’t give the future a second thought when we were 17 – 20 years old. We might have thought, I wonder what I’ll be like when I’m 30, 40 or 50 years old, but that’s about it. I know, because I did it. The numbers are low for those who knew what they wanted to be when they grow up, and the numbers are even lower for those who aren’t in the profession they went to school to learn how to do. So it’s comfortable to look back, to reminisce about what might have been, or what you miss as a fully grown adult years removed from your youth.
One thing I’ve discovered about looking back, it has yet to move me forward, and it has yet to solve anything but bring about a sadness within. So why do we do it? It goes back to our collective human behavior, we love to be comfortable, where everything feels good, and is in its proper place. We say, I remember when…and it takes us back to a warm feeling, and puts a smile on our faces. I’m generalizing, but that’s most of us, some revert to unhappy places, but most of us want to remember happier times.
Looking ahead is much harder work, because we have trouble seeing the world in front of us, what it’s really like, and what it will be like 10, 20,30 years from now. Most of us can’t see next week let alone 30 years down the road. When looking ahead, it gets uncomfortable, and then it begins, the resistance, and the reason why we tend to get ready to get ready and never actually do anything. Because we are addicted to being comfortable, we can’t see, we can’t look ahead because what we fear is the unknown, and that makes us very uncomfortable.
You’ve heard of people being called change agents, they love change, they love making new things happen. The majority don’t like these people, because they set fear into their hearts of the comfortable, because they know something uncomfortable is coming. To embrace change agents, or the future, takes courage, and we all have courage, we tend use it when it’s safe to do so. When looking into the future, we tend to look with the wrong filter, we look for a preferred future over the one we don’t have control over. Control is the root issue. If we can’t control our future’s, we don’t want to think about it, we don’t want to open our eyes.
Building a business that will be a legacy, requires giving up control at some point on the journey. We have to see the world differently to design this business that last 30 years or more. Maybe you’re not building a lifetime long business, but if you are, you need to use the right filter, and see the world differently. The comfort zone we love holds us back, it prevents us from creating, differentiating, and delivering. Embrace the unknown future, and break the comfort zone pattern.
The comfort zone was built by the Industrial Age work and school system, it conditioned us into believing it feels like security, and we are seriously addicted to the feeling of being secure. That security is wrapped in money, which misleads us and takes us off course when our journey’s get difficult. That security immobilizes us, and it’s a dream stealer to.
Have you ever wondered what happens to things that find their way into the lost & found? What happens to great ideas when they fail to produce desired results? What do you do when what you’ve learned no longer works? Why don’t people start a business? Why do people wish, or hope something better will come along? Why don’t people know what they want? The real question is, what are you looking for, what are you hoping for, and most importantly, what are you waiting for?
There has never been a better time in history for anyone to make the world a better place, to start a business, to make something great happen, to truly see your purpose in life, and yet, we keep holding back. What is it, did you lose something, was it taken from you (most likely yes), or were you told you couldn’t? I’m going to tell you something. Those individuals in your life that tell you it’ll fail, it won’t work, and you can’t do it. They don’t have power over your desire to do something, today….you can just do it, you don’t need permission, you don’t need to ask anyone, you can just do it!
Somewhere along the way we lost sight of our future’s, our desire to do things. I can remember being in high school talking about all the great things I was gonna do after I got out, all the places I was going to go, and how I was going to life out the rest of my life. But somewhere on that journey, that confidence, that desire, that passion, and that drive, was driven out of me. Why? Because I allowed it, not because I didn’t have a choice. But today, that is all in the past, its history, today I can choose, I don’t have to conform to the powers that be, they actually have to keep an eye on me. The tables have turned, and now, you & I have the power to shape our future, to leverage each day, the choice is…more than ever, yours. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, I’m not very good, I did however, choose to start this blog a number of years ago, and I’m writing to you right now!
You might be all fired up and ready to go, but let’s not lose sight of what you already have, and what you must look after, more importantly, making sure you’re being a good citizen that pays their bills, and shows up for work, life doesn’t stop because you’re all excited, and want to focus on your dream. I share this with you because I found myself looking back, wondering what happened, wondering…..something fell off the wagon. What was it, today it’s clear, at the time I was left wondering what was wrong, what was missing.
Many people don’t know what they want to do, many don’t want to leave the comfort of their careers, their jobs, because they are overcome by fear. Fear is powerful, you can’t ignore it, but most of the time, you can over-come it, you might even master it. Fear prevents you from living the abundant life, you never really live until you can move beyond those fears that are strongholds in your life.
What was that something that fell off the wagon? It was my power to choose, I gave up my power to the Industrial Age way of life. I gave my power away so I could feel secure, so I could keep the peace with my family and friends, so I could fit in. That system, that way of life works for some, but it squashes the will of many. If it works for you, then do it well, if it doesn’t….you have a hope and a decision to make, but make smart calculated decisions. Today you have choices most of us didn’t have 20 years ago, today you can do things at much lower levels of risk than 30 years ago. It’s an exciting time to be alive, don’t let your power to choose become something you lost, don’t let it fall off the wagon.
The Future Of Business – Plumbers To Nano-Plumbers. Hard to believe I’m mentioning plumbers in a blog post, but I have a story to share. On Friday my wife noticed a wet spot in the ceiling down in our wet room area, you know, where we hang our coats and change our boots and such. It didn’t seem that bad but it was now showing itself, so I called a friend who recommended someone, I called them and they didn’t answer their phone. I tried a cell number and left a message. I felt better because I was dealing with the problem in a calm rational manner.
On Saturday we didn’t do much, a little gardening, house cleaning and I watched the Blue Jays Baseball Game, nice relaxing day in my books. My wife was fussing about this leak downstairs, so I went and look at it, it seemed to have stopped leaking as the ceiling was drying out. I called the number for the plumber again but no answer again, I left another message. We carried on with our day, we had a friend over for BBQ and sat back sipping some wine before calling it an evening. We didn’t even mention the plumbing problem to our company because we didn’t feel it was urgent I guess, we should of asked for a referral. It was a very nice evening, we merely took it easy and went to bed as if the world was all is we would have it.
Hee it is Monday morning, I slept in, I guess I was tired. I got up, had a shower, went to the kitchen, had a banana and went downstairs to my office. I have to walk right by the where the leak is so I took a quick peak. I ran for the phone and called my plumber friend again, only this time more frantically, NO ANSWER!!! So I grabbed the phone book and called the first one I saw. I have to say this, the girl on the phone could tell I was a little stressed, I mean it looks like the ceiling is going to crash to the floor because of the weight of the water. She talked to me as if I was calling 911, in a nice calm voice she asked me to describe the situation and then got the plumber on the phone. It turns out he is close by my home and said he would be there in 15 minutes, he arrived in ten minutes.
He walks in, assess the damage, and was able to find the problem I couldn’t find, that’s because it was well hidden and I really didn’t know what I was looking for (other than water) and where I should be looking for it. He knew where to go, and found the problem. It was actually two pipes that were leaking, and the water build up on the ceiling, he said it has been leaking probably for 6 months because the water was turning yellow.
He fixed the problem, now I have some drywalling and painting to do, but the problem has been solved. That’s what we pay people to do right, solve problems. But my point isn’t the leak being fixed, it has more to do with the plumber.
I talk about, you talk about it all the time. We talk about the future of business changing and how it will be done, but how will plumbing be different? How could this plumber fix my problem with his smart phone? How could he fix it remotely? He couldn’t, and I don’t expect that to change in my lifetime.
Some businesses will change very little, someone still has to be the plumber. I’m sure many types of businesses will be able to automate production lines and so on, but how would the plumber take his or business to that automated state? Today, they can’t.
Do you run a business like this? How will your business adopt the future of business? I suspect you will either use smart phones and the Internet on some level, but your work is very hands on.
I would recommend building a network of people, your current and old customers, get them to refer regularly, build a tribe online that is like-minded in the plumbing niche, and share your trade secrets on a blog, teach people how to fix simple plumbing problems. Steal the audience the TV audience by offering better information, even service. You will become the leader of your industry if you stick with it long enough, patience and persistence always prevail.
I’m grateful for traditional industrial age workers like plumbers, but how will that industry change in the new economy? The Future Of Business – Plumbers, how will they survive?
Let’s look ahead to the future where the plumber repair man may be extinct! Imagine this, you are building a house or an office building, it doesn’t matter. You have found a source for pipes or lines that have nanomaterial, so they are self-repairing. As soon as a weakness or the potential for a pin-hole leak to start, the nanotechnology instantly senses it, and repairs it. Or it sends a message to the installer for tracking purposes, that would be a fail safe for followup. The followup would be done remotely, because nanobots are wireless devices, they can be reprogrammed and or data can be downloaded from them.
Nanotechnology could serve in this way, it would revolutionize the plumbing industry, but who will adopt it? Today this type of product and service would be expensive, but in the next decade, it could be reasonably priced and accessible to everyone. Even older homes could be retro-fitted with the newer technology. From Nanosilver Coatings to Nanobots, there are many different types being worked on today, it’s a matter of time before this technology is in the hands of developers. The cost savings over time will out weight the high cost up front. The same arguement can be had with solar panels for your home, but that’s another story for another time.
How does this Nano-Plumbing idea make you feel?
We all have this in common, we all are searching for something but we don’t know what it is. We all are seeking something, and we don’t know what that is either. And in the end, we all want to belong to something. Does this sound like you?
We are never really clear on what it is we are searching for, we give it a name though, we call it happiness. Some of us will go for days, months, years, and even a lifetime searching for this unknown feeling we have. This feeling is like a call to nowhere, we hear a howling wind calling us, so we follow the howling wind only to find ourselves right where we were when we heard it. We go in circles.
Some of us think this search is about our jobs, our homes, our cars, our friends, and even our spouses. The truth is, when you make those changes, you are usually exchanging one set of problems for another. But that’s the way life is right? We have this emptiness inside each one of us, you describe it differently each time, but it’s the same void we keep trying to fill with things that make us feel good. That’s one of the gravities of human behaviour, we like to feel good all the time, so we search for that which gives us that emotion.
We are searching for the wrong thing, we all are spiritual beings, we are searching to fill a spiritual void! There is nothing you and I can buy that will fill that void, I know, I’ve tried. We do the same thing with our businesses, we think we can buy, trick and cheat our way into making huge sums of money just to be called a success. That’s not going to fill the void you feel every waking minute of your life.
Seeking is not much different than searching, except it’s deeply personal. Here you feel your searching has failed you, and now you are seeking because you are hurting at a much deeper level. The void feels even more empty, and bigger, to the point at times, you feel actual depression. This seeking takes on many looks, it shows up when you unexpectedly lose your job, your spouse, a child, and even your home or business, it runs deep.
We continue to live like we can buy our way out of it, you can’t, you have to work your way through it. You truly have to look in the mirror and admit you are out of control, you really don’t have a clue, a clue of the big picture, why you are here, and what your purpose is for living. You do have a purpose, you do have a role to play, you do matter, and your voice needs to be heard. But more importantly, you have to listen, and that’s where we as people get it wrong.
There is a spiritual voice calling to you, talking to you, but you can’t hear it, because you don’t know how to listen for it. You see, each one of us was created and designed for a purpose, a plan was designed for us, but the only way to understand what those are, you have to listen and admit your destiny is not in your hands. We all ask the same question to, what am I supposed to do with my life? I can’t tell you what that is, but this I can tell you, when you do what you were created and designed to do, you make the world a better place. You don’t make the world a better place because you made money from it, you make money because you helped other people. if you help enough people get what they want, you’ll probably be OK.
Your business has the same problem, who decides if your business is successful financially? You? If your product or service truly solves a problem, your customers will decide for you, after all, they are the ones with the money. You can follow a system like a franchise, but in the end, the product or service has to useful, it has to solve a problem, or that system fails. Your business has to help people, not always sell people something.
We all seek to be liked, loved, and important. We tend to seek it from other people, therefore, we need to be validated, given permission, or wait to be picked. That system is why we hurt more often than we don’t. What we seek doesn’t come from people, we just think it does.
Another gravity of human behaviour, we crave to be accepted, to belong. I don’t have to say much here because we all like to be a part of something larger than our selves, to be in a tribe if you will. We want to be where people are, do what they do, and feel useful within that environment. We sometimes think we will find what we are searching and seeking for in these groups or tribes. You might find something, but you won’t fill the void here either, unless you all understand that you are seeking something spiritually, and not physically, something way bigger than you & I.
If you need more evidence that we need to belong to something, just look at the industrial age system, why do we have a Chamber Of Commerce, or hundreds of thousands of non-profit organisations. They all have something in common, they all try to build tribes, pull like-minded people together for a cause. So admit that you are in these groups, but not for them, for you! You need it, those organisations will and can survive without you. I’m not saying you shouldn’t belong to any of these groups, I’m saying, admit the truth as to why you are involved. The truth shall set you free, it always has.
Searching, seeking and belonging feels different for each one of us, but yet it’s the same for all of us. We all want the same things, we just go about it differently. I’m no different than you, I have to admit the truth, the truth about my motives, how I feel, and why I do what I do, even if I don’t make money from it. Money is not the answer, it’s a tool, we all need it, but our purpose, our role, and our happiness does not come from having lots of it. If money is your motivation, you will eventually tell an untruth, you will eventually stop caring about people, you will only end up caring about yourself.
So, amongst all the searching, the seeking, and the belonging, listen to your spiritual voice, it will tell you what to do, and where to go. I challenge you to join me on this journey together, one where we together make the world a better place, we will go on a faith walk to figure out what we were meant to do with our lives. The future of business, no, the future of your business is at stake, are you up for it?
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- Freedom At 50! (owengreaves.com)