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I recently heard an interview that challenged me, in fact, I would say it changed my life. It changed my attitude towards my work and how I go about doing it. What is my work you ask? I’m a Futurist, a Thought-leader, I help you understand a new business model that forces all of us to leave the Industrial Age way of doing work & business behind. I teach & preach the Open & Free Business Model, where the 90/10 rule is the new equation, you give away 90%, and charge for 10%, it in effect, turns business upside down. More importantly, my work is a freedom message, it’s a mindset, and mindset trumps skill set everytime.
It’s possible you haven’t heard about it, you probably don’t know what it means, and what it stands for, but that alone makes it interesting. How can it possibly help you, how can it generate revenues, and how do you implement the model. Each and everyone of us knows something isn’t working, we’re just to resistant to change it. We must change it, in fact we don’t have a choice anymore. The Open & Free Business Model is a new way to disrupt your industrial age thinking. What’s interesting is, the level of resistance to it, resistance to accepting the truth about business, resistance to admitting the industrial age way of organizing and delivering work is dead, it just doesn’t work anymore!
The Heart Of The Open & Free Business Model
– Do something
– Make something
– Give it away
– Do work that matters
– Connect with people
– Lead people
– Make a difference in the world
Answer the question, how many people are better off because you lived?
The list above doesn’t work by itself, you truly have to change the way you think, unlearn, and learn new ways of getting things done, to disrupt your default patterns. It takes work. The how to(s) are the easy part, changing the way you think is more difficult. The biggest hurdle, the fear of loss, this fear is at the very core of the open & free business model. It’s to become a minimalist to delivering products & services, to simply do something, and you will find your place in a community. These communities are made up of two camps, they decide whether it happens and if it’s useful.
2. Your Fans
You must learn to embrace and trust both camps.
For the first time in history, you get to decide, you get to do the work you’ve dreamed about, all we need is for you to do it, to do something. The cost of doing nothing, is far greater than the cost of failing, it’s a paradigm shift, only you can “Flick The Switch”!
Your Fans decide whether what you do is useful, whether it’s valuable, they will tell you who they are, and if they will be a true fan.
If any of this resonates with you, then you’ve been convicted, you can no longer ignore the voice inside of you, you have to do something about it. Flick The Switch!
This is the first in a series, to help you understand a new way of thinking, and the Open & Free Business Model, feel free to leave questions in the comments, and lets change the world together.
The past few weeks I have spent considerable time looking forward, what does the business of the future look like? I’ve repeatedly told you it’s primarily two things, Social & Mobile. That would be the description equal to a hundred years ago, if I said Social & Mobile are the bricks & mortar of the future business, the mechanics if you will. But what will be happening within these two massive worlds, it simple really, commerce.
I wrote a year ago (August 11th, 2011) that everyone will be an affiliate of something, imagine that, you an Internet Marketer! The term congers up all kinds of emotions deep from within, but try to get past it, the world of commerce is going there at a rapid pace.
I’ve shared with you time and time again that OB3 Networks is connecting the world by putting up dishes in space that will provide Internet access to the third world countries, it’s being rolled out as we speak. Now add every smartphone developer going into a frenzy trying to beat everyone to the new marketplace. Once this endeavor is done, the other 3 Billion people will have Internet access, and soon they will have a smartphone loaded with things to buy, will it be your products & services? Imagine, over 5 Billion people on the Internet buying goods & services on a hand-held device!
So now the term Internet Marketer has a different ring to it, a smartphone ring. But there is a lot to learn about who they are and how to reach them, it’s called market research. Internet Markers of yesterday like to withhold some of the secrets, oh sure you can get the secrets for a price, but they almost always hold something back. It’s the nature of the business. All the power to them, but soon, the secrets will change, and you will won’t have to pay for some of them, it will be integrated into the new commerce landscape.
I challenge you to learn more about market research, in fact, start with your business, find out how the digital world sees your business, you will be shocked. What does Google think about you, have wondered what people use to search for your site, what keywords they use in that search. Do those keywords describe your business the way you want to be perceived? I thought this site would be one bring keywords like Futurist, foresight, building a better business and so on. I was wrong!
Try this quick exercise:
Open up Google in a browser, type Google keyword tool, click on the 1st or second link, the Adwords links.
Then, on the left hand side, uncheck Broad, and then check Exact.
In the second dialog box on the right, put your sites URL
Then hit SEARCH!
You will find below a list of keywords that people have been using to find your site, are they keywords that describe your site? You will be surprised that the keywords do not match how you feel about your site, or what you thought they should be. You will now be able to target your keywords better knowing what Google thinks about your site.
The Internet is a weird and yet predictable family member, your business will use the game changer on some level, you won’t be able to avoid it. You will find your business being drawn to the dark side called Affiliate Marketing, you will either sell your products through the many ad networks or you will sell someone’s products & services for a commission. There it is, we will all become commission sales people / businesses, from out office, from out patio, on our vacations, we will do business wherever we happen to be. This isn’t news, not NEW news, many have been doing this for years, we merely mocked them, looked down on them, we avoided them, we avoided the business model.
You can run but you can’t hide, this open & free business model will catchup to you, and you will find yourself trying to figure out how to adopt it. I truly believe this business model will be the most common one used in the future, once we get passed old ways of thinking, once we accept the truth…..the Industrial Age is DEAD!
I’m not advocating or putting down Internet Marketers, like most businesses, there are good people, and you will always here about the bad ones. It’s almost always people that are the problem, motive tends to speak louder than anything you can say. Affiliate Marketing is one major player in the business of the future, we won’t be able to rely on just revenue source here online, there’s too many people.
How do you feel about business going in this direction, how will your business leverage it? Eventually, you will be an Affiliate of something, it will become part of your DNA in every online business.
- The Future Of Business – “Everyone” Is Not Your Customer! (owengreaves.com)
- The Future Of Business – Flick The Switch! (owengreaves.com)
I have a confession to make, sometimes, I just don’t know how to help you. Why? It’s because you don’t know what I know, and you can’t see what I see. It’s not your fault, you have been conditioned, blinded, and even had the wool pulled over your eyes by the industrial age of business. But today, you don’t have anywhere to hide, you already know too much, and that’s why you are afraid.
I was asked why I do what I do, why do I work so hard to help business owners and entrepreneurs that don’t seem to want to be helped? My answer was a little confusing to this person, I said, it’s what I do, I don’t really have a choice. You see, I feel it’s a calling, a voice in my head, my conscience, my deep concern for the business community, and my heart for people. I can’t not do this blog, I can’t stop reaching out to my business community, and I have to continually share what I know and see. You see, it’s not about me, it’s about you.
In my workshops, I do an hour long presentation, a look at what’s happening, and then I share what I see happening, and then I try to teach what to do about what’s happening. I try to help you create new ideas or deliverables for your business, maybe help you find the business you want to start, or one of the many passions fighting like hell to be let out of yourself.
I’m turning 55 this November, not sure how I feel about it but, 5 years ago I found myself suddenly free, yep, freedom at 50! It wasn’t because I was financially independent, it was simply this, the industrial age had spit me out on the curb, it was a blessing, although at the time it didn’t feel like it. I had a choice, pay attention to what was happening and figure out how to adopt it, or…be comfortable in the industrial age cocoon and the lie it is, was, and had told me. The truth was talking to me, and I was fighting against it.
I knew that day was going to come, January 27th, 2007. The harder I ignored what I knew was happening, the direction business was headed, the work situation seemed to get worse and worse, until one day it came to an end. You see, it wasn’t working for them or for me, I just couldn’t tow their party line another day. There was a lot going on behind the scenes I didn’t know about, and that’s fine, on February 1st, 2007, the company I used to work for, was sold. It was a kick in the butt, and seat on the curb. I even felt used, taken advantage of, but that’s not what this story is about.
So why am I sharing my story, its simple, I know many of you have similar stories, and you’re afraid just like I was, but I knew I was going to be OK, I didn’t know why, but I did. I know you will be too. Like you, the call in me was strong, that force was very strong, my passion was screaming at me to let it out, to take a chance and learn how to live with ambiguity. There I said it, ambiguity. That’s what most of us fear, we have this deep need to know what’s going to happen next, where the next meal is going to come from, and worse yet, when is the next payday going to happen. And it needs to happen religiously every two weeks!
The problem wasn’t doing it, the problem was, how do I do it? When you step outside the industrial age system, pay days are a reward for your faith walk, for your commitment to the call you feel inside, there is nothing the industrial age can offer that matches the reward of heeding your call, and the feeling of freedom you possess.
Freedom at 50 is hard when it doesn’t come on your terms, and most of us will have to work at something well past the age of 65 and even 70, what will you do, and what will it be. Will it be what the world and the industrial age tells you it should be, or will you learn to live another way, learn a new business model. Whichever you choose, you will have to work, it’s part of the curse of having the life you want to live.
I am writing this to you because my heart is aching, it’s even breaking, because you are struggling just as I did 5 years ago. You should know, I still struggle, but I am not controlled by it, my call and my passion make the struggle fade away.
So if you find yourself sitting on the side-lines (curb), or you know you have to make a change, don’t let fear control to call inside you, it could be the call is telling what to do and you’re simply ignoring it. If you do anything do this, always seek counsel from someone you trust, someone with perspective, from someone who can teach you how to live in the new age of business, from someone who is doing it, from someone who can show you how to become the passion inside you.
For years I fought against my passions, my desires, and simply did what the education system industrial age told me to do, I was wrong to listen. I teach an open & free business model because it works, it takes commitment, it takes patience, and it takes work….but it works. I’m selling ideas, I’m selling you the truth about what’s happening, and I’m selling a message of freedom. Freedom at 50 wasn’t my choice, but I’m grateful that it happened, it’s like Morpheus pulled me out of the Matrix. Which pill will you take, the industrial age lie, or the open & free business model
I hope sharing bits of my story helps you, will you have freedom at 50? If so, what are you doing, what do you want to do, and do you plan to do it?
- The Future Of Business – If I Were A Carpenter (owengreaves.com)
- The industrial age has finally run out of gas (Don Tapscott) (mediafuturist.com)
- The forever recession (and the coming revolution) (sethgodin.typepad.com)
This topic has been beaten to death, but news sites just don’t get it. Without naming which news site I’m referring to, well all of them actually, a paywall is just another nail in the coffin. I’m not saying these news site’s should earn revenue, what should do is, pull their heads out of their butts! The older generations who don’t have the patience to look for the news will pay now, but for how long, that has yet to be determined. We are now at a place on the Internet where you can’t really hide anything, it will be accessed. Why, because everything will generate a stream everywhere. Content will surface eventually, it’s like having a leak in your roof, you can see the water, but you can’t find the source, where it’s coming from.
Mainstream news sites are now asking social networks to shutdown accounts connected to news sources because it is in violation of trademark laws, not sure how, but I’m not a lawyer. If that’s true, we are in for a world of hurt in other situations similar to this case. The world is getting more and more uncomfortable with an open economy, the push back is amazing. Like it or not, an open & free economy will happen, corps / big business need to find a way to participate without trying to control the economy. The challenge is, they don’t know how, or maybe they do and it scares them.
There is the argument that journalists are the trusted reporters, anyone who is not credentialed as such can’t be trusted or does not have the means to verify facts in the same way they can. Most facts can be verified, the truth is, most facts can be found and verified, no one has locked the market on confirming stories.
Paywalls aren’t going to disappear, they will however become somewhat hidden, seamless, and hopefully, invisible. The problem isn’t really the paywall, the problem is how value is measured by the people formerly known as consumers. If value is found in the content, someone will pay for it, if not, they keep moving. It’s not about mechanics, what’s changed is how we value.
The news sites and or newspapers that force payment they will in the long run lose out. We now live in a world where everything is moving to free, or an access first model, and then maybe, people will pay. The commerce model is reversing, things that can’t be copied are the only real value, because they are scarce.
The other reality these news sites and or all news mediums have to come to grips with, they are too slow to break the news now, Twitter is the channel of choice for most when it comes to sharing major events and stories. The problem for these corps is, they can’t staff enough people to be everywhere all the time 24/7.
The Industrial Age of control is dead, wall street and major corporations are running around with their heads cut off trying to stop you and I from doing what we want to do. Net Neutrality, metered bandwidth and paywalls are all they know and all they know how to do, it’s about control and grabbing as much money as they can.
The Future of Business is the opposite of what they know, executives refuse to deal with the paradigm shift of an open & free business model. Having said that, I know some great people they should hire to help them maintain revenue levels they are used to, but they won’t, they don’t trust anyone.
The rest of the world hasn’t even come online yet, and when they do, they will push the paywalls down.
Will you pay for news you can get for free?
I recently had a couple of close friends tell me they didn’t get my blog, they felt it was dribble and wasn’t useful to business people. I was kind of taken by surprise, and yet I wasn’t all that shocked either, mostly because people don’t get me at the best of times. I even felt a little sad and I think I felt sorry for them. Once I picked myself up off the floor and got past the sting, they got me to thinking.
When I started blogging, I spent most of my time talking about nanotechnology, shortly there after I started thinking about the bigger picture of how technology is and will impact society 5, 10, 15, 30 years down the road. How will business look in the next 3 – 5 years, helping business and individuals to create ideas to adopt the future of business. Showing you some trends and the paradigm shift that is taking place, after all, the industrial age is dead right.
I tried to explain to my friends what my blog was about, and they said, “OK, fine but it doesn’t give me answers for today”. I said, ” I’m not giving you answers, my goal and job is to make you think for yourself, to think of your own answers”. I merely want people to think for themselves, but it appears my friends want the answer handed to them on a silver platter. Which means, they are not paying attention to the bigger picture, they are only putting out fires rather than looking ahead. Is that you?
If you don’t pay attention to what’s coming, how and why are you in business? Every business is built on the very fact that there is and will be a future, if that’s true, why are you building a business? As I told my friends, my blog is trying to give you a glimpse of what’s to come, and hopefully, it helps get the creative juices flowing so you will be ready. If you are paying attention. If not, I see dead businesses.
There is much to be learned here on this blog, if you are paying attention. Are you starting to get my message yet?
I have to tell you, after a couple of hours sharing what it is my blog & I do, I wondered how difficult it was for you and others to understand what I’ve been sharing for the past number of years. I’m going to make it simple for you.
START PAYING ATTENTION TO THE BIGGER PICTURE!
Lift your head up and look down the road, start asking questions, start educating yourself because no one is going to do it for you. If I seem a little testy, it’s because I care, I want good things for you, but you have to play your role in this game called life & business.
If you were reading my blog and paying attention, you would know that there are another 3 billion people coming online in the next 2 -3 years, that 60% of all commerce will be done online, and that the industrial age is dead, no really it’s dead. You would also know, that there is an ROI in social media, that the world has gone crazy with being social and mobile, what does all this mean to you and your business? I have only mentioned a few things that should concern you, you should be worried about how this activity will impact your business, and for that matter your day-to-day life.
There, I feel better now. I hope you find at least one thing you can take away from this blog that helps, if not, ask me a question and lets talk about it. Afterall, I’m here to help, I want to help you figure out how to address the changes we are going through right now. It’s painful for some of you, it’s painful for me too.
Happy Blogging and pay attention to what’s going on around you, the world is watching, and the world needs you to be ready.