My encouragement to you….I think we (all of us) at some point forget, only we can do something about our circumstances. We have the power to change the way we think, no other creature on earth has that ability. Let that sink in for a bit, you are very powerful.

I believe….if you find your voice, you find your calling. But keep in mind, your calling is a journey, not a destination. It’s the trip of a lifetime, take it!

You can’t improve or make the world a better place by just going along, doing what you’re told, or never saying what you think or feel. You have the power to make the world a better place.

I used to think my calling was to do something good in the world. It turns out, it’s really about becoming someone good – and letting that goodness impact the world around me, those close to me, and even those who are a world apart. Work on being someone good, you have the power to make that happen.

A funny thing. The world is full of people who want to be heard. But how many are actually saying something that matters. Don’t be that person, say something that matters, do something that matters, you have the power to be a person who matters.

Stop trying to be famous and focus on being successful. Success is not about money, it’s about setting a goal – and then achieving it! Again, you have the power to make this shift, this change….no other creature on earth has this power.

These thoughts are my encouragement to you, you who take the time out your life to read this blog. I thank you. Go use your power for good, become that good person, use your God given power.

The Future Of Business – The Consumers New Found Power. It’s been said forever, the customer is always right. So why doesn’t business believe it, why don’t they practice it? Greed? Probably. I as a consumer, more than anything want accurate information, pure uninterrupted support, ease of access, and above all, the freedom to make a decision without being coerced, or sold.

It’s also been said, that a customers experience with a brand (product or service) is what determines the life span of a business. If it’s good, you get another day. If it’s bad, your days are numbered, it’s really that simple. It’s called Word Of Mouth, people talk, and now they talk to millions at the stroke of the keyboard.

The future of business is like the threat of an avalanche, a business can be wiped out as quickly, and it can grow equally as fast. Why? Word Of Mouth. The Consumer has new found power, many will abuse it, that’s human nature, but many will tell the truth. It’s the truth that’s the problem, it’s harder to deal with, it’s harder to make corrections when the truth is revealed. Those who abuse this new found power will be found out, and then will have to deal with the truth, it goes both ways doesn’t it.

Gerd Leonhard has said it, I have said, and many others have quoted it, we will have to learn how to trust the people formerly known as the consumer. Why? Because they have the new found power. Whether you believe it or not, that’s the truth in a nut shell, they can and will determine the future of your business. They don’t need to qualify, they don’t need permission, they only need an opinion. You and I have absolutely no control on how they will share that opinion. As a business owner, we have the opportunity to ensure it’s a positive opinion, there in lies the rub. We have to work hard for that positive opinion, and most of us don’t want to. We want to do just enough to reach our objectives, then get out before we have to work too hard.

I can only offer this, in order to build a legacy, to build a business that makes the world a better place, you have to plan and work hard to ensure that happens. If it’s just about making money, you’re looking at the wrong metric. Money is merely a means to an end, but the legacy, the world, it wants more from you than just handing over money. The new found power of consumers wants more, and will demand it, it will force you to be accountable, you will comply or pay the price of ignoring the new found power consumers have today. Their opinion matters, and you need to pay attention to it.

And that’s why telling the truth, honesty, sound products and services that deliver, and your integrity matter, it is the foundation that will help you build a legacy, a strong successful business. It sounds corny, and it sounds like hard work, that’s because it is. If it was easy, well you know the answer to that one.

The future of business will be built on this new found power of the consumer, they will determine whether you service or product is any good, they will determine if your recommendations actually solve their problems. Plan, work hard, and deliver. That’s how you will get on the good side of the consumers new found power.

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The Internet is filled with places to get free information, free software, free content, it’s all there for the taking. We can click and get whatever we want right? The Internet is a giant copy machine, we copy everything, imagine what would happen if you took the copy function away, you would lose the the listening function. What would happen then, revolt, maybe the hackers would be the politicians? Pirates would rule the Internet world, how would you stop them or should I say us?

Personally, I think most content should and will end up being free on the Internet, we will figure out how to monetize around that free content, we have no choice, it’s going to happen. There will be wars over intellectual rights, copyrights and royalty fights before it’s all said and done. Access will come before ownership. When we see a threat, we default to protectionism, we should be asking the question, how do we go from copyright to usage rights?

There is so much confusion as to where Social Media is taking us, it’s really reshaping Media to where the new sell is the conversation, the non tangible things matter now more than ever, this is a drastic disruption to old thinking. Why is Social Media so powerful, it’s FREE! You can join any number of Social Networks at no cost, build a following, a brand, and hopefully trust. The best thing is to sell something different like, convenience, experience and trust, generate demand, create new innovation and maybe even add value to the orginal.

Most Blogs provide free content, some have communities attached to them where you pay a small fee to be part of, they add value to a need, that’s one way of monetizing around your content. If you are going to be in this space, you have to decide if you’re going to compete.

Linus Torvalds released Linux back in 1991, Slackware was the first distro to be released, it’s a free operating system that has spawned a number companies that have figured out how to monetize something around the Open Source code. Open is good, it stirs the creative juices, it brings about innovation, and takes creativity far beyond any closed system has ever dreamed of going.

The power of free is far reaching, provides a platform to build something far greater than any one person, we must collaborate to build anything of true value in this attention space. Do you think FaceBook won’t make money from the free to join social network? Where you can be connected to thousands of people, business contacts, business owners at no charge. They will, and it will be astounding how much that will be.

Think of all the things you can get it for free, then think of all the content you can’t get for free, what’s important to you in this circle, that’s what you will pay for. But I can promise you this, if you can get for free, you will, even if it means you have to hunt for it. If you create content of any kind, offer it for free, you will harness the power of your audience. You can’t put content behind walls and generate new money, only in the open can you generate new money, and only then you will see the power of free.