The more things change, the more they stay the same. We’ve all heard it before, and we’ve all said it, and yet we expect different results. That’s the definition of insanity right? Doing the same things over & over again expecting different results. We know it’s true, we tell people this all the time, and yet we don’t change our habits, worse yet, we don’t change our thinking.

If technology is changing the world, and changing the way we move products & services, why do we practice the same connecting exercises? Why do we still hold on to old ways of thinking? We hold networking events, we hand out business cards, we shake hands, eat lunch and then never really stay connected. Many attend networking events because they truly believe this is the way to build a business. For small tiny businesses and MLM’s, this will be the normal way of building business, the rest of us have to start paying attention to the way business really is, and how it’s changing.

The problem is business, it’s you. Most of us claim we like change, but when the metal meets the meat, we’re not totally honest with ourselves and those around us. It’s easy to spot, you say it, and then 5 years later, nothing changed. You might be thinking, Owen sure is being hard on me, you’d be right. This blog and my work is about you, to help you see business differently, to make you think, and most of all, help you change how you view business, how you think about your business. Clearly, I’m failing on a massive scale, I apologize for that, I’ll keep trying harder to find ways to reach the very depths of your hearts and brains.

If the problem wasn’t you, things would be different, right? The innovators would never innovate the same thing twice, you would never practice the same bad business practices twice, it would all be different. You’ll notice I didn’t say better.

I challenge you to sift through this blog, read much of the content, and then….make notes on how you see your business, I’ll bet it’s different. I’ll bet you find yourself a little uncomfortable, and wanting to stay in the comfort zone you’re in, that would be a mistake in my humble opinion. You should embrace the change, you should be excited about the future of business and how it will be different than the way you were taught. The problem will always be you, you can never point the finger at someone else.

If you keep using old networking practices, you will continue to reap the same results, and you will notice, you will be shaking the same hands at every networking event. Change your scene, move up a level, start networking with people you don’t know….better yet, start networking with people that have money. If you have to network, doesn’t it make sense to be with people with money, people with influence, people who don’t think or do the same thing twice. This alone will scare the daylights out of most of you, but I challenge you to try it, just once. You might feel energized by it.

You don’t have to be the problem, it’s better if you get out of the way, your business will thrive if you step out of it’s path.

The good news is, you have the power, you can get out of your businesses way, you can meet new people, people with money, people who see opportunity. The very people that fired you, are the very people you can make money from. It’s a matter of perspective, it’s changing the way you see and do business. Sounds uncomfortable doesn’t it, it’s not personal, it just feels that way, it’s business, get out of the way and build a business that makes the world a better place. You have the power, you just have to decide to do it.

The more you analyze your fear, the more you discover you are the problem….shed the fear, and stop being the problem.

By the way, I’m no different than you, I have to do the same things, I’m not so special that I don’t have to constantly change, at 55 it get’s harder and harder, but I must change, or my work and business will be forgotten : )

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The Future Of Business – It Will Get Harder & Harder To Get Attention & Trust. I chat with many who say it’s hard to get attention online for their business. There are many ways to skin the cat, you could spend lots of money trying to do online what you’ve always done offline, but that seldom works. The online world is a unique beast, people don’t want to be sold, they don’t want to be yelled at in Social Networks, but they do want things on their own terms. And that is one of the many challenges business owners are facing everyday, but why don’t business owners understand, because it’s still confusing.

The two biggest reasons it will get harder to get attention & trust, it’s sheer numbers really. The first issue is the noise, I mean the volume of it, and you’re in there somewhere trying to be heard. Let’s look at the noise problem, there are currently 2.2 Billion people on the Internet, almost a Billion on FaceBook, and factor in all the other Social Networks. Each network has an approach on how monetize or generate revenue, and some have models for business owners, you know, FaceBook Pages, Google Plus Pages for business and so on. But 2.2 Billion people are producing a crap load of content (noise), and it’s a tidal wave of information, a giant global wall of noise, it’s already hard to be heard right? The second issue is….Well, there’s still another 3 Billion people coming online, and our tools have not progressed at the rate they need to, so we can all filter the noise effectively.

It is perceived, the larger the following you have online, the easier it is to be heard, and supposedly you are trusted at a higher rate. If we used the Industrial Age way of thinking, that would be true, but it’s not!

Consumers online are much more in control of you and your business than in any other time in history of doing commerce. It takes nanosecond for them to find out how ethical you and your business is, and if it isn’t ethical, you will probably never get heard again. Bad service, bad communication, and bad treatment of customers, are all on hypersensitive mode today.

It is perceived, that if you were an early adopter of any technology, you will be heard and seen as a leader, that too is not true. You may be for a short period of time, but eventually your output of content will be your voice, and if the masses don’t like your voice, you will be ignored. If your product or service does not deliver what it supposed to do, you will be ignored.

What does all this mean? It’s going to get harder and harder to get attention and build trust. The world is getting fussier, more sensitive, and has what some would call hyper sensitive BS protectors on. And that filter will work at a high rate.

So what’s the answer, probably far too many for you to adopt I suspect. Products & Services from this day forward have to be compelling, solve problems, deliver what it claims, and do so at an almost perfect rate. I can’t imagine what that means to be completely honest, a perfect delivery rate, a product or service that never fails, it gives me a headache thinking about it. Oh and BTW, I have the same problem you have, are you hearing me? I didn’t think so, too many people out there disrupting my disruption.

In the end, do the best work you can, deliver the best solutions you can, and be the best person you can…treat you customers the best you can, and above all, support them better than anyone else can. At least then you might have a chance to be heard, and your might be able to build trust through your efforts. You won’t be able to take a day off from these problems, they will be in your face everyday.

Deliver solid customer service and create a buzz, build a tribe, and your tribe will help you rise above the noise, and then maybe, you will have built trust.

The Future Of Business? It will get harder & harder to get attention & trust. Do think it’s getting easier, or harder?

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This morning started early, 4:30AM, nothing unusual or earth shattering happens here at this time of day, not until 8AM when school starts to create traffic. Today however, something did happen, and I was lucky to be here, you see….a young high school boy crashed into the neighbours car, flew over the hood and took a nasty tumble.

The young man was able to make his way to my door, I never knew it happened, he was bleeding pretty good from his head, just over the left eye. He had a helmet on so he seemed OK, but lots of scrapes and cuts, he’ll bruise up before long, but definitely shook up. He tried not to cry, but would break into a fit and then pull himself together, he was scared mostly.

His bike actually survived, handle bars need some work, probably should give the bike a good going over to make sure all is healthy. I sat him down on the stairs, got him a glass of water and then I got the nice warm clothes to wipe the blood and such. He was worried about being late for school, I said, you already are so don’t sweat it. He eventually calmed down, until Dad arrived, he got worked up again…I’m thinking he is the drama queen in the house : )

Dad arrived, I put the bike around back so they could pick it up later, off to the hospital to get the young mans head checked. You are probably wondering why I’m sharing this, I think I have a point.

Do you try to help people when they come knocking, when they call you up and say hey can I pick your brain? I have to say I do, often, and many times, for nothing in return. You see, doing the right thing is hard, it’s never convenient, and it always takes effort on your part. We talk about community, we talk about followers and fans, but do we serve them without attaching some kind of reward to serving them? Yes we have to make money at some point, but where is your paywall, is it up front, or is it a number of levels deeper and can’t be seen on first glance. Mine is both, some things have a price up front, but most don’t, I practice the 90 / 10 rule. I give away 90% and charge for 10%.

Now, some people / businesses say they want help but are reluctant to pay for the help. Some always try to take what they can from you for free, and some have integrity, and always try to pay before receiving anything, even advice. There will always be takers, and there many givers, if you look hard enough, they are the ones that volunteer and show up to causes they are passionate about.

I think we all have a responsibility to help each other regardless of reward, I have found that giving away more than I charge for has many rewards, not only financially, but personally. Which one are you, are you a taker or a giver, and which one brings the greatest rewards?

When someone is crashing, or struggling, and failing, where do you stand? I have a passion for the business community, but I care even more about people, without them, you have nothing but loneliness, and absolutely no business. I challenge you to help people and business without expecting something in return, you will grow from it,and you will be or become a human business. Be strategic about where you put your paywalls, and serve…simple isn’t it? Not really, because we are all wired to be in control, and to make sure we get paid first, I’m suggesting anew model, an Open & Free Business Model.

So which are you, a taker or a Giver?


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I recently held a workshop and some of the smartest people in my community were there, great things happen when smart people meet, all you have to do is get out of the way. The workshop was on the topic of how to give your content away and generate revenue, the open & free business model, or free content business model. We discussed what was happening out there on the interweb, and we talked about what it meant to each one of them. The reality is, many of us are still trying to find our way, and most of us don’t know someone with arms length that has figured it out. Maybe it’s not important, maybe it’s more important to participate, build your plan, and then work your plan.

One of my goals in 2010 is to help 100 businesses with the new (old) business model, to show them which direction the tidal wave is coming from, and then help them ride it rather than get wiped out because they were looking the other way, Denial to foresight. When talking to business owners, the Internet is still just an add-on to their existing business. The concept of a social business or an open business is so foreign to them, a glazed look comes over their eyes after a few moments, which tells you they don’t understand. I suspect, many of these business owners don’t want to look stupid, or be viewed like they don’t know, so they act like they do. But when a business owners says ya I need to learn this stuff can you help me, I get pretty passionate about sharing and helping them.

I can tell you this, if you find business owners with an open mind, with a little humility, a desire to improve, feel they aren’t using the Internet effectively just yet, be gentle, then share the future with them before the details of what to do next. The future is actually easy to see if you’re looking at the world of business with the right perspective. Being out of the box means you are willing to adopt new ideas, it doesn’t mean you make poor decisions. Some things are right under your nose, like cell phones, everything is going mobile. In the future this mobility will be embedded into everything, your prescription glasses, contact lenses, even our blood stream once Nanotechnology matures. Our automobiles will be driven by computers not us, they will have sharper senses than we do. It’s already happening, just look around, the challenge is that this technology is not in the mainstream. It’s over most of our heads, so we tend to stay in and work with things we understand. Why, we are wired to be in control, being out of control feels like CHAOS, so we are very uncomfortable in it. The open & free business model promotes that chaos, we don’t know how to embrace it and more importantly trust it.

The best way to learn this new way of doing business is collaborate, to connect with those who are working on it, understand it, and show you how to get comfortable with the chaos. Is to create an environment where people can succeed, it’s as simple as putting a team of smart people together in a room and asking some key questions, then sit back and listen. Just get out of the way and take notes. When smart people meet, great things happen.

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 reflect 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.

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 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?