What Do You Want To Optimize? - Owen GreavesWhat do you want to optimize, new ways to succeed, new ways to learn, you have to own this, it’s in your hands.

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?

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.

Five years ago, March 1st, 2010, I wrote about what Blogs might look like in 5 years, I also threw out some numbers that I predicted would happen. Let’s go back and see how close I was back then.

Here is my opening paragraph:

“I can’t help but wonder what blogging will look like in 5 years, blogs for the most part are static and becoming integrated with Social Media Tools. There’s only 1.7 Billion people on the net and over 235 Million Blogs out there. Projections clearly show that over the next 3 – 5 years 5 Billion people will be on the Internet. Will Blogging be the primary platform? I don’t think so, everything is going more and more mobile, on the go.”

At that time only 1.7 Billion people were using the Internet. There were ONLY 235 Million Blogs, and data also suggested that in the next 3 -5 years there would be 5 Billion people using the Internet.

Today, over 3 Billion people are using the Internet, that’s 2 Billion short of projections, but that’s mostly due to the speed in which Internet access could be provided. Google & 3BNetworks are making the Internet available to all the 3rd world countries, but not as quickly as they had hoped.

The number of blogs on the Internet today is, well….seemingly impossible to track, there is no accurate count that I’m aware of.

Let’s look at paragraph #2:

“Will there be a place for blogs? Will there be a need to for content to be new and fresh multiple times a day? The money won’t be the content, it will be in the filtering and curation of content produced. More products or systems will be invented to manage all this data, data will be connected to data, there will be a huge need for filtering.”

There was a time, recently…that blogging was considered dead. But ask the question, will there be a place for blogs? Obviously blogging is not dead, and there is still a place & need for blogging. The money in blogging is actually the content, original content…there is bigger money in the curation, and the delivering of that filtering and curating. It’s kind of like the retail market, the channel of distribution, more information, curated, and lower prices. Whoever has curated a large amount of data, and has figured out how to deliver it to the masses at a low price, and even free, is making large piles of money. Not much has changed here, the old way, or the old attitude still prevails here, in terms of how we think about business, and how it is being done. One thing still rings true, it’s impossible to read every blog on the Internet, so those who filter and curate have a leg up.

And the last paragraph:

“There is much to do, and it will be interesting to see how things scale as the rise in Internet users climbs to 5 Billion. How will it impact your business? How will it impact your blog? How will we rise above the noise we can’t rise above now? The answers are forth coming, but we haven’t figured them out yet. We better hurry, time is running short. Will this blog even show up on the radar screen, it barely does now! So many questions and so many unanswered. We spend hours a day working on our blogs thinking it will look and feel the same years down the road. But I can help but wonder, what will blogs look like in 5 years?”

All these questions are still valid today, why? It boils down to one thing….we still haven’t made the paradigm shift. We are still hanging on to the old ways of doing business, organizing business, and we are still trying force feed an Industrial Age to the masses. We just can’t seem to embrace the change required, it’s too hard I guess.

In some circles, change is happening just for the sake of change, and in others, it’s moving to fast to accept as a new way of life. No matter how difficult it might be to make this paradigm shift, the blog doesn’t appear to be going away, everything is just more mobile. Mobility is here to stay, and is also changing, technology is being embedded into everything these days, including our clothes.

So, was I wrong? Sure, but not because I should have been, I was wrong because most of what I saw, and see today, is just taking longer, but it’s still going to happen. Is blogging dead, not by a long shot…you’re reading it now : ) And yes, there is still much to be done. To be honest, I’m disappointed in where blogging is today, but that to is changing. I am concerned as well, technology is fooling us, we are allowing it to control our lives. Texting and driving is all the proof I need.

YellowBrickRoad-300x168Every year at this time we sit down and make goals, things we want to do, how much money we want to make and so on. Every year goes by and we find ourselves in the exact same position we were in one year ago, it gets frustrating doesn’t it? It’s like we can’t break through the old habits and patterns each of us has, the DNA of our thoughts keeps us from moving forward. Some figure it out, but most don’t, and the cycle starts all over again….we go back to step one and reset the goals only to discover another year has passed and we’re still in the same place we were after doing a reset.

The old saying, ” The definition of insanity is…doing the same things over and over again expecting different results.”

I’m not suggesting you don’t set goals, I am suggesting you set realistic attainable goals.

If you were to look back, go back only 5 years, and then look where you are today, has much changed? If not, your goals and your strategy is not what’s failing you, it’s how you think and how you see. The same thing applies to conferences and events, if you attend the same events every year, and you see the same people there every year, and your business isn’t growing or reaping a benefit from those events, I would suggest it’s time to evaluate those events. The same process should be applied to networking groups, if the same people are there, and business isn’t growing from those people, why go back, you should look at stepping up your networking. Yes, all those people are fun to be with, they’re really nice people, you still have check your indicators.

If you were to go back 10 years, you would see the pattern on a larger scale, you would notice the path you’ve been on. Is or was that path the right path to growing your business, increasing revenue’s, meeting people who move you forward? If yes, then this message is not for you, if No, it would seem you have a serious question to ask yourself. Do you want to change the outcome of the past 5 – 10 years? The best way to change the outcome, you need to change the circles of people you interact with. You need to surround yourself with people who will help you get to the next level.

In many ways, business hasn’t changed in a positive way. What I mean is, there is still far too much resistance to what’s really happening. Here is a challenge for you:

Have you noticed, over the past 5 – 10 years, how many things you used to pay for, are now free. I challenge you to make a list.

Then, review that list and see how many of those things you use in your business.

The list should tell you how much business has changed, you may have to spend some time considering what that change really is.

Every year at this time we have great expectations of how the new year will go, I high suggest you look at how you think about your business, and how business is done in the future. Use foresight as your guide, not your heart, your comfort zone, start looking beyond what you’ve done, and what you’ve had, the problem is usually the same as it has been for the past 5 -1 0 years….you. Take the time to notice the path you’re on.


For years I’ve shared with you about where business is going, and how it is changing, I’ve tried to plant idea’s into your noggin, with the hopes of giving you some insight, or….foresight of what’s to come, and what to do about it. Everything is changing so fast it’s hard to keep up, and yet, so many are doing what they’ve always done, and many don’t understand why business is still changing. We want things static, we want things in their place, we love our comfort zone, I think that’s how the theory of Pavlov’s dog came to be. With that in mind, a short story.

There was a man who owned a dog, the dog always sat on the porch, and it howled constantly. The neighbor complained about the constant howling and barking, the owner said, the dog howls because it’s laying on a nail. The neighbor says, “why doesn’t get off the nail, go lay down somewhere else?”. The dog owner says,”I guess it doesn’t hurt enough”.

Today the business owners are the dogs sitting on nails, they want to get off the nail, but they are afraid because they know they aren’t really in charge. They believe if they get of the nail (change) they’ll lose business, worse yet, they’ll have to close the business. This belief isn’t really true, but it’s a real emotion. So who’s in charge?

The answer to the question of, who’s in charge is simple, it should be obvious. It’s your customers.

The future of business, and the future of your business will always have the same boss, those who come to your business, visit your site, and buy your product or service. You, were never in charge, you merely ran the business, and provided what customers wanted. When you  change the way you think, stop worrying about how to use Social Media, and looking for short cuts, you can get to the heart of the matter. The questions you should be asking, if you don’t know is, not how to use Social Media, but why your customers are using it, and which one’s are they using. At the very least, start there, the rest will come out of the data you’ve collected, if the rest is still not coming, you’re still asking the wrong questions, and maybe in the wrong place.

If you want your business to survive in the future, ask yourself who’s really in charge.