The world we live in is always changing, as much as we try, it keeps on changing and shifting whether we like it or not. The truth is we can’t control change, we hang on to it with all our strength but still the change takes place. The world of commerce and how we interact changed years ago but we keep trying to hold it back, keep trying to stay in our comfort zones, it feels better that way. I am change agent for the most part, but if someone moves the forks in my silverware tray I get this disturbed feeling like I was just violated. That shows just how easy it is to get stuck in a rut, there is a saying, the difference between a rut and a grave is the dirt on your face. Are you stuck? Do you like change or does it make uneasy?

I talk frequently about the future and the change we have yet to experience, technology is growing at an exponential rate that we can’t prevent or control. If you look close enough and you are being completely honest with yourself, we are in for a very painful shift in the next 3 – 5 years. How we do business, how we interact with each other, how connected everything is and will be, is going to turn our comfort zones upside down.

Change is hard, change to an Open Business is even harder. Open is scary because it will feel like we are all out of control, it means KAOS! The part that scares most business owners is, the customer is taking some of the control away from them, the customer is now making decisions differently and that makes the world of commerce a very different environment. People are re-grouping on the fly, they are swarming into Tribes, they are reshaping what it means to be a trusted brand, and business is struggling with this shift.

Being open means you as a business owner have to talk to your customers, you must give them more access than you are currently comfortable with today. The world is coming, no the world is not here yet, but when they do arrive they will force you to do business in a very uncomfortable way.

The world is broken up into many many incubators that communicate and act in a way that is acceptable for each incubator. These incubators eventually will all be connected and will reshape how they act and communicate, bringing about change and innovation. This can’t be stopped or prevented, because you can’t stop a connected audience, they move to quickly and resist control, especially on the Internet.

The Internet is THE Platform that has changed the way we think, the way we communicate, and it is allowing for the reshaping of commerce, not too mention bring new meaning to Copyright and Sharing. Social Media is a bad name for the future we are entering, today we think having an account on Twitter makes us an authority on Social Media. The fact is, Media goes much deeper than using these Social Networks, they are tools, they allow us to connect and share, but that’s primarily it. The Media part is what we need to pay attention to, how we get paid for what we do through being in media, is a shift that is still unclear.

We are all becoming the Media, we are going more and more mobile, getting paid will be based on getting Attention, bringing value, and making your value feel like free, that is the secret. How you view the world matters in this new paradigm shift called Open & Free, where you put the toll booth will be even more important. Pay attention to what’s happening to the world of business, what technology is allowing us to do, and pay special attention to who is connecting with you and your business.

Change is hard, the change or shift to an open & free marketplace is coming, and not changing will be much harder in the future.