Attention is a funny thing, kids are masters of getting as much as they need, but how do businesses master that same art without becoming annoying? Sometimes annoying works well for advertising campaigns, but do they win friends and influence people? Do they get your attention, or just your anger?

Some people, like me, can’t walk into a room quietly, we naturally draw attention to ourselves, probably because we are insecure or some other mental issue. I don’t know why it is, but it is. I love people, and I love helping them when I can, but that doesn’t get attention the way I would like it to. It might have something to do with my opening : )

I’m going to use me as the scape goat in this post, as an example of what some of us are dealing with. I hope it stirs some emothions in you and makes you think.

People and business are not the same, they have two different personalities and yet some of the same needs. When a person fills the role of business owner, they look at the world completely differently than when they are at home. OK maybe, but usually. The business owner, if they are doing well, tend to have healthy happy relationships with staff, and the staff reflect that out to those who are dealing with them. In a perfect world that’s probably very true, but not always the norm.

Every business has the same need, they want your attention, and those who figure out what gets your attention tend to survive longer. I’m generalizing, but you get the idea. So how does a business of one get your attention the same way a business / Brand or many people do? It still comes down to need doesn’t it. There has to be a need for me to look your way, and more importantly, a compelling need for me to find out more about what you are offering. Not all businesses need my services, they do, but don’t realize they do, why? Urgency. I may show you a tidal wave, but it’s not going to get here till 2014, I’ll wait and see mentality sets in, and well, you know what happens. So how do I get your attention?

I’m not a kid any longer, so I can’t get your attention the way kids do, and I can only cry wolf so many times before you take my work seriously, so what will it take? Why do most small business have a tougher time over bigger businesses? Probably because big businesses have more resources and can buy attention at a level small businesses or individuals can’t. It’s not a level playing field by those terms is it?

If it’s that hard now, what will it be like when another 3 – 4 billion people come online? If you haven’t noticed, we are moving away from the Bricks & Mortar style of consuming, we are buying more and more through our smart phones than ever before. That is going to increase, and it’s not going away as if it was a fad like Bell Bottom Blue Jeans.

My tag line should be, I SEE DEAD BUSINESSES! Why? Because most small businesses know the tidal wave is coming, if they don’t, they aren’t listening. It’s as if they are looking the other way, hoping it won’t actually happen. Fear is an immobilizing thing most of the time, but that doesn’t mean what I’m sharing isn’t real or going to happen.

You should be doing three things in your business right now, no matter what size it is, become social, become very mobile, and be prepared to serve a portion of the 4 billion people yet to come. So I ask you, how do I get your attention? The better question might be, forget about me, how do you get the the attention of 4 billion yet to come? Attention is the currency of our future, learn how to get it.

About Owen Greaves

I'm a Futurist, I write, speak, and teach the open & free business model, the future of business. Create. Differentiate. Deliver.