You will see and hear a great deal about how to make 2016 your best year ever, how it’s gonna be so awesome, and you’re gonna be so great! Oh, dare I forget famous : )
I’ll assume you’re sensing my sarcasm. I do like new beginnings, I do find the beginning of a new year some what fascinating, I get a small charge internally. My welcoming 2016 has very little to do with me, having said that, I will accept anything positive and good that comes my way. But the truth is, some things will not be good, and some things will not go the way I wish or want them to. The same will most likely happen for you. So learn from the negative and teach your positives, and maybe even give it away.
We do tend to apply the new year thing to our personal desires, dreams, and sometimes goals. After all, we all want more, we all want many good things to happen, so we have this overwhelming amount of hope and the turn of each year, and we should! But not for personal reasons, I believe we have huge problems to solve, not just for me, but for all of us, we need to think terms of all, just you or me. If we focus on the great good, how all can benefit, the odds are many of the dreams and desires will come to us, because we took our eyes off us and put them on those around us.
Today we think of the future in terms of technology rather than in real-time, hands on things, helping those less fortunate than ourselves, sacrificial giving, putting others before yourself. I remember my parents telling me that when they were teaching me about sharing with others. When I speak of the future, or the future of business, the core value in my heart is about how we all benefit, we all gain a greater sense of worth from whatever is being built, designed, invented, and that we all have some sense of an ROI (Return On Investment). So let me begin….
This year, this new year called 2016 will be the year of Virtual Reality, many will be consumed by it. It will be a huge draw for sure, the amusing side of it will keep you coming back for more. The unknown, and the possibilities will be the bigger deal. Like most things, for every equal good, there is an equal bad. Much of that will reveal itself before the year’s end. There will some really interesting applications for VR, Real Estate comes to mind immediately, it will be the end of QR Codes.
I also plan to continue my studies on the future of business, what does it look like, what does it mean to you the business owner, and how can you truly apply and understand the Open & Free Business Model. I have said it many times, the Open & Free Business Model is not about working for free or giving away everything, it’s a much bigger way of thinking. The idea is about the future, your future clients and customers, and yes many have told me it will never work…..many are proving me right, and I have shared many stories here on this blog of how many are participating in the model without realizing that’s what they are doing.
There is so much to share, and so much to talk about, it will never ever be put to paper or a blog fast enough, or clear enough….you have to get involved, and learn how to change the way you think about business in 5 – 10 years, more importantly, in the next 3 – 5 years. You already know there is a shift taking place, and many of you are resisting it, fighting tooth and nail to keep doing what you’ve always done, and thinking the same way year in and year out. Enough of me lecturing, I encourage you to take baby steps, learn something new about the Open & Free Business Model everyday, I’ll help you wrap your brain around it. I’m planning webinars, workshops, public speaking events, and if all goes well a book you can sit down and work through.
So welcome 2016, but do it for everyone that is a customer of yours, a client, and friend, a neighbour, do it for others, not just for you. Use your influence and hope for others, that’s what it’s truly for, you’ll be just fine if you practice. Always ask yourself the question, How many people are better off because you lived? Imaging the great things you’ll invent, the great things you will do to make the world a better place. I challenge you to welcome 2016 with that mindset, with that heart.
Is loyalty important to you? Is loyalty necessary in business? Does loyalty make you feel safe? Is loyalty the definition of success in your business? What happened to loyalty?
Most business owners want customers to pick them, to only buy from them, to only talk about their business in a positive way to others, and then send those they tell, and those new customers have to do the same thing. It’s a pipe dream of course, but in a perfect world, your customers would stay yours, they would shop no where else but with you’re business. It’s also not realistic. Let’s be honest, you go where you get the best deal, not because you felt it was the right thing to do, like shopping locally instead of out of country. There’s some moral thing happening there, but people are people, they mostly think about themselves, what they want, not what the business owner wants, and eventually needs.
If we’re speaking truth, and nothing but the truth, business owners do one thing, some do it well, and most don’t, they gear everything to getting as much of your money as possible on that visit. Why? Because they know you’re not loyal, you probably won’t be back! You, the frugal shopper you are, are looking for the best deal, not a relationship. But what if you built a relationship with that business owner, and you kept coming back, what do you think would happen? The problem isn’t the relationship, it’s the time you would have to invest to bring it to a place where you felt like you were getting more than you paid for.
As I look out 5 years from now, what does loyalty look like, will it exist? There is such abundance today, a plethora of places to get what you’re looking to buy, I would be hard pressed to say loyalty will be in the equation. Having said that, something old is going to happen, we will go back to our old habits, we tend to get lazy eventually don’t we. We tend to go back to the places we bought from before, places we think we trust, and we never have to leave the house! That’s what it used to be like for bricks & mortar business, you had to go to them, there was no online choice. Today, just a click of the mouse gets the result you’re looking for, without the physical effort.
So, will there be loyalty for the future of business? Sure. But it will be because we dealt with that business online before, not because we looked long and hard for another better deal. Digital does two things, it gives you a false sense of security, and you don’t have to deal with a particular business if you don’t want to. The security only comes from a positive experience with an online business, nothing went wrong, so you place your trust there be it right or wrong, that’s what we tend to do. And as far as looking, searching for a better deal, you might…but we are lazy, and we’ll default to where we dealt with before.
That’s if we’re being truly honest with ourselves, you know, speaking truth. Loyalty in the future won’t be as earned like it used to be, and that relationship will be shallow, it will based on whether something went wrong or not. It will become about availability, on a moments notice, when you need or want a specific thing, not because you won’t buy somewhere else because you have a loyalty to a person or business.
Business owners who preach and truly believe that extreme, over the top customer service is the way to a customers loyalty button. This I know is true, I have customers, clients….no, friends, that have been with me over 7 years. They stay because they know, I’m going to be there, I’m looking after them….everything just works. So it’s possible, it takes tons and tons of work, are you ready for that kind of investment business owners? Just saying.
Long standing traditions is what gets us into trouble, we default to our comfort zone’s, because it feels good I guess, or we’ve always been told that’s the way it’s always been. I always get in trouble when I say these kinds of things, personally don’t care for traditions or anything traditional, especially when it comes to life and business, which pretty much covers everything. But some things just wouldn’t work if we didn’t keep some traditions from our past, although I’m not sure what those should be : )
I’ve spoken many times to business owners about the future of business, what they should consider, what they should prepare for, but the truth is, we only care about today. No matter how proactive one might be, we can’t seem to look ahead, we are bad at planning for the future.
We are a funny lot, people I mean. If our business was a family member, and they suddenly died of cancer, we then stop and contemplate our own lives, it’s a nature human behavior. Suddenly, looking ahead, starring in the distance, peering down the road becomes important, we start to think, we should prepare for, or be ready for, what would happen if, and yet, our actions show that we only care about today.
The Future of Business is more than just caring for today, if you only look at your to do list, or a week in front of you, you are missing the bigger picture. Bigger things are coming, bigger things will happen, if you look ahead 3 – 5 years, you’ll see patterns you can’t see worrying about today, or the next week in front of you.
Most business owners are putting out fires everyday, preventing them from doing what’s really important, doing work that matters. The fires, the urgent, distract you from what’s truly important, it takes you away from working in the important quadrant. If you were to put a value, or prioritize those fires you feel you must put out, there’s probably a good chance you can delegate them to someone else, so you can work on what’s important. But you probably feel those fires are too important to hand off to some else, so you continue spinning your wheels, I get it, the business just can’t run unless you handle everything.
The problem with looking ahead 3 – 5 years, we might miss something happening sooner. So the battle is between two heads, the desire for gain & the fear of loss. So it’s easier if we only care about today. Today fools you into believing there’s a tomorrow, it fools into hoping there’s a future. Only caring about today is the same as instant gratification, you’re not willing to wait, and you’re not willing delay that gratification.
The downward spiral starts when we only care about today. The future of your business is not in what fire you put out today, it’s preventing the fires from happening in the first place, by looking ahead, putting preventive measures in place to make sure there is indeed a future for your business. Proactive over reactive, which camp are you in?
What is the new work force, it’s technology, it’s automation. There is a major shift in how work is and will be done in the next 5 – 10 years, and it will be done by machines. This releases people from jobs, tasks that a machine can do. Once people are free, they will have another problem, multiple problems actually. What to do with this new-found free time, and what to do to generate income to live on.
Before the Industrial Age, people help one another, before there was regular pay cheque we traded food, furs, we gave each other food, all kinds of things, we exchanged services between neighboring communities, helped build homes for families new to the area. It was a harder life than we know, but it was also a simpler time.
This freedom will create a nervous breakdown for many, the Industrial Age, the factory work, manual labour, gave us structure, we had a set of rules and duties that had to be completed, we were told what to do, and we did it well. In the near future, this structure will now tell technology what and how to do the tasks of the day.
There are many reasons for this automation to take over, the big one, profit, and there is this thinking that people are like software, and are a problem that needs to be improved upon, upgraded if you will. There are some Futurists, Jeremy Rifkin & Andrew McAfee, who believe we are heading towards a world where people no longer need to work. Which begs the question, what replaces work? How do people make a living? Personally, work may not set us free, but it brings meaning to our days, and without it we’d be lost.
Should this come to pass, there’s good news…60% of the best jobs in the next 20 years haven’t even been invented yet, that brings great opportunity and innovation to all. I’m already thinking about what some of these new jobs might be or look like, I’ll write about it of course : )
The new work force, coming sooner than you think.
Every time we make a new technology, a new tool, we make a new way of seeing. Learning to see is paramount, foresight is your friend, it can scare you, it can lead you, but it rarely shows you all the steps, and it never reveals the vision.
There are so many things to optimize, we’re distracted, busy schedules, work, family, technology, we believe collecting Likes & Followers is optimizing, it’s not, it’s another distraction from doing real work. The beautiful thing about technology, it allows us to do so much, more importantly, it allows you to define your own success.
Learning what to optimize requires balance, in work and in your personal life. Optimizing also needs clarity, understanding the why and learning to see make optimizing easier. Some learn quickly, while other’s take more time to find the balance, and how to see. The greatest commodity is time, we fight to use our time wisely; we have yet to master the problem of time, we’re all running out of it.
Most of us just want to live a healthy life, we think happiness can be bought, but it’s merely a decision you make, circumstances are the results of our thoughts and actions. If they are good, we did a better job of optimizing, if they’re not what we would prefer, we tend to deflect and blame it on others or something else. The answer is in it’s simplicity, stop, look, and listen comes to mind….our Mother’s taught us that age old lesson. If we could exercise that lesson more often, we would most likely be in a better place.
So take a different view of your business, maybe your personal life, from 50,000ft, what do you see, then make a list, what do you want to optimize?