The Future Of Business – One Thing You Must Eliminate. I was working with a client this week, and a common problem almost every business suffers from arises. It’s human nature of course, but it inevitably shows up on some level. It’s the one thing you must eliminate if you plan to survive the future of business, the business world of tomorrow. There’s very little room for it.
Most of us move forward by feeling, we tend to allow our emotions to make decisions for us, not really a good idea. I’m not suggesting you eliminate it completely, intuition is important. Gut feeling saves us from our selves sometimes too, we need to have that instinctive sense. But that’s not the thing, it’s bigger than intuition or instincts.
Almost everyone I know suffers from fear, that’s easy peasy, it’s not the fear that’s the problem, it’s the worry that something bad might happen. It never does, well, 90% of the time it doesn’t.
No, the thing to eliminate is the fear attached to risk, the word risk is a bigger issue. It’s a double-edged sword isn’t it, damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. There is always going to be some level of risk in business, it’s the engine that drives success really. We all make decisions based on this fear, big and small, the fear of things not working out and so on. Calculated risk is the best place to be, as long as you have good perspective, all the information you need, and everything has been well thought out. Then everything comes down to one question:
Can I survive the worst case scenario?
The hidden question is, What’s the level of risk?
You see, the price of doing nothing is much higher than doing something, there is always going to be risk, so embrace it. There is always going to be failure, so embrace it, it’s how we learn.
Eliminate risk, risk tends to mean there will be a winner and a loser, don’t do that, fear will handle that for you….move forward always, don’t look back.
The reason most people don’t do something significant in their lives, is because they won’t pay the price of taking a chance, taking a risk. It feels painful, and we tend to stay away from anything that makes us feel bad. These people don’t learn, and they don’t tend to change the world, and we all want a better world.
Risk is good, but it’s only good if you have done the hard work to assess it, so make it a calculated risk. Once you have done the hard work, execute! You must eliminate the fear of taking risks, your businesses future depends on your taking risks to move forward, in order to make it more profitable.
Lately, there have been a number of blog posts floating around on the topic of, well….blogging and traffic. Some claim they blog as an outlet to get stuff off their chest, some just like to write, some are hard core and want people to come clambering to their site so they can eventually sell you something. All are valid reasons to write blog posts, or what is considered blogging. But let’s be honest here, if you tell me you’re writing and don’t care about traffic, I don’t believe you!
The only reason anyone puts something out on the NET is to get attention, traffic, and readers, saying anything otherwise, you’re not telling the truth, nothing but the truth. Most of us blog because we feel we have control over something, we rarely have control if you have a Boss, period, the Boss has control not you. So that one is out of the way.
I have come to the conclusion that, we blog with the hopes of something better is going to happen in our lives. Better could be something as simple as having many people come to read your writing, say nice things about it, praise you and your efforts, and even encourage you to write more often. That would be enough for some wouldn’t it?
Something changed in the blogosphere over the past couple years me thinks. Commenting on blogs happened more frequently in the past, but today those comments are no longer static, they have become Tweets and Updates on Social Networks. Suddenly, you feel empty, left behind, even forgotten. Frustrated might be a better word, you did nothing wrong, you kept writing and responding to comments, but people stopped leaving comments, and took them elsewhere, thinking you would come along with them. That didn’t happen did it, you didn’t want to go where the comments went, you want to stay at home on your home base, your blog.
I write about the Future Of Business as I see it, as my research reveals it to me, and I put it all here on this blog, I like that. I like it when I see the light-bulb come on when you read what I have posted, when you comment and share how you feel about a particular thing I’ve shared. It’s awesome! But do you think blogging is becoming a lost art? There are many new ways to share your thoughts, Google+, Tumblr and so on. These canned, easy to you use systems are making blogging something of a has been, blogging suddenly is becoming hard work. I don’t mind hard work, but I like to work smart too!
The truth is, I see blogging as a great place to build personal brand, even if these other systems are easier, at least here on a self-hosted blog, you can shift gears easily, you don not have the same limitations canned systems have, you can only do what they let you do. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
I said it earlier under TRUTH! If you are putting anything out here on the Internet, you are looking for attention, traffic, and to some degree, validation. Why? Because we don’t get it in places we thought we would. Father’s go to their day jobs everyday, the people they work with say how smart he is, or she, only to come home and discover they don’t know anything. The kids think you are old and stupid, could never understand, yadda, yadda, yadda. You know it’s true, your boss thinks you are lazy, or stupid, and so on, even our Mother & Father’s did that, and we can’t figure out why we aren’t happy all the time! What do we do?
We start going to places where people like us, people who want to be with us, who say the most ego stroking great things about us and to us, and we want more of them to come everyday. It’s about traffic baby, and lots of it, especially when they pump you up to a smart, intelligent, good looking person….who wouldn’t! We get attention, and more people come because of that attention, attention brings more people, more traffic. But is that a healthy place to be, getting that kind of attention out of an insecurity, or maybe even a false sense of security.
The truth is, we do things to get attention whether we are aware of it or not, and we want that attention to come in the form of traffic when it comes to our blog, it validates us. It gives us confidence, and that confidence makes us feel incredibly good.
This is the real reason we do what we do on the Internet, in our churches, with our friends, and with each other here online, we want to feel loved. We want to belong to something that validates our feelings and thoughts, and I can tell you this, you will never have success in life or in business without people, like-minded people who love what you do because they to like to do it, they may even want to do it with you. Work together, what a concept!
Knowing the TRUTH, getting the PRAISE, getting the COMMENTS, means you continue to do the BLOGGING, to get the TRAFFIC, means you feel the LOVE! We have taken something very intimate, very personal, and handed it over to you on the Internet, we have taken a RISK many of us don’t do with our closest friends. Some of us RISK everything to acquire all the above, with the hopes someone finds value in it, and the best place to put your personal brand is on your Blog. It’s where you feel at home, and I hope you feel at home here on owengreaves.com, I open my home to you, come on in. A RISK worth taking, because you are worth it, even if you feel you aren’t.
The blogosphere is changing, and I hope for the better, afterall, the blogosphere is a very tender place, we are very attached to our personal brand. We want great things from the effort we put into our blogs, and we need to think out loud sometimes, like I am today. I’m here because I believe I have the gift of helps, I only want to help, and if that help provides a living financially, then I know I helped enough people get what they want.
Mostly, I’m here to make you think, to help create new ideas for your business, and those ideas come from knowing what I share here, The Future of Business, what I see and what the world is showing me…I’m just sharing and offering to help. I had to share, why? Because I was thinking again, sorry : )
What do you think, I’m I speaking your truth, or mine only?
MANY BLESSINGS MY FRIENDS!
The title may mess you up a little, but just keep reading and you’ll find the nuggets, if you get what I’m talking about.
A little over a month ago I spoke at a large conference, I was pretty bold, I told people that I hated FaceBook, and that I will offend someone before I’m finished. I did. I also shared that we are hypocritical, for example, I told business owners to give something away for free to those who repeatedly came back to your business, blog, website, anything that you would come into contact with a customer. People actually gasped, I can’t do that one person said. So I asked them, If you won’t give something away, someone else will, but why is it that you won’t give anything away, but yet you are the first one in line when someone else does? Is that you?
Why is it that we build a business, we do everything and anything to get it to a profitable state, we suddenly go into management mode. We actually stop doing what got us profitable, or maybe even successful. We took risk after risk, we didn’t care what anyone said, we didn’t care what anyone thought, we just stepped out and made things happen. We weren’t playing it safe, we were putting ourselves out there, willing to take the hits, the no’s and even the snickers. So what happened?
Giving something away is not a high risk act, in fact, it should be a well thought out strategy. And why wouldn’t you reward those who got you to where you are, they bought you product or service, they even invested time in reading your blog, they probably attended a talk you gave, but yet you still remain closed to the idea.
I’ll bet most of risk something higher in value while building you business, why is it then, once you enter management mode you are reluctant to risk anything? Again I ask you, is this you? If so, maybe it’s time to take a breather and spend some time doing something you may not have done in a very long time.
THANK YOUR COMMUNITY!
Thank them by giving them credit, write about them, brag about them, and maybe even give them something for free. That smacks of the Open & Free Business Model doesn’t it? Without your community you have nothing. In fact, if you fail to do this, you are playing it safe. Don’t do business in a safe manner, always challenge yourself to step close to the edge, learn to trust your community, afterall, they came to trust you first.
The Future Of Business Is Not Playing It Safe, keeping doing the things that made you profitable, and most of all, thank your community.
I’m thinking out loud today and thought I would share those thoughts with you. It’s been said we know the future, and we know what it looks like, but do we really? Yes we can predict with some accuracy what might happen, we just can’t describe the details, what color and what shape. Most people keep their head to the grind stone, look up once and awhile but for the most part they work till the bell rings. There are a chosen few who can’t stand the grind stone and have their heads in the clouds. I’m one of those characters, I love looking at the future, I love seeing what has yet to come and I love to share what most can’t see. It’s not that visionaries are better or smarter, they just see the world differently.
It’s not too hard to see that technology is getting more and more advanced and much smaller, we all embrace the use of handheld devices. Computers…towers and laptop’s will be a thing of the past in the next 5 years or so. Some of you remember the 1st Cell Phone, it was HUGE, today it’s almost the size of a credit card. If Ray Kurzweil is correct in his predictions, we will become wireless devices by merging with technology. Imagine that! Soon the Internet will be readily available anywhere in the world, it won’t matter which device you use, you will have access.
Embracing ambiguity is the secret sauce, and I mean embracing ambiguity in most things online, not just technology. Technology is growing exponentially, therefore we can’t really predict it’s advancement with accuracy. We can however see where technology is going, the deliverables are another issue. Like most things in life we can deduce them to an equation but we really can’t tell you in great detail or when it actually delivers. Visionaries can see what’s coming and they work hard to help you understand it, they just aren’t clear on when you can have it.
Creativity is a function of ambiguity really, we start with an idea, a concept and work within that ambiguity until it takes shape. If you invested in that ambiguity, that would suggest you have huge faith that it will come to fruition. Afterall, you wouldn’t risk without some form of faith that thing you are creating will actually deliver. So why is it so hard for most people to function in ambiguity? It’s a thing called security, we want some kind of quarranttee we won’t lose anything, but will gain everything. Technology is one of those rare fields where that’s possible and we are willing to accept almost every technilogical invention we lay our hands on. For some reason, most are comfortable here in the technology sector, even though the risks are the same in any other catagory or profession.
My point, we can’t possibly know the outcome of any one thing. We must dream big, and with that means we will have to risk big and create within the ambiguity until we have a clearer idea of what’s really going on with our creation. If we always played it safe, do you think we would be where we are today? I doubt it.
So, no matter what you do, whatever profession you happen to be in, try to embrace ambiguity and make it your friend. It won’t be easy, if you have ever been poor or had more month than money, you know what it means to not know where or how you were going to make the ends meet. That kind of ambiguity can turn you inside out, if you’re in Ministry or are required to raise funds in order to pay your bills, you know what I’m talking about.
I share alot about the future of technology, and the new open & free business model, and I need smart people to make sure the predicted progress is done right. Not only do I embrace ambiguity, and not everyone can, it is however easier to embrace the ambiguity of technology.
Are you a risk taker, are you comfortable with ambiguity? Is it the mystery that draws you or is it the anticipation of something new and cool to use?
I’ve met with a number of Real Estate Agents and Broker’s the past few months and I’m not surprised they view Social Media as a waste of time. Don’t get me wrong, I have found a few that get it, they have taken the risk and setup virtual offices and even opened accounts with FaceBook & Twitter. Some use these Social networks well and some just say they use them effectively, my research here in Canada reveals that most aren’t practicing what they preach.
I’ve made recommendations and suggested radical approaches to how an agent prospects and wastes a huge amount of time with tire kickers at open house events. They look at me with those puppy eyes and say I couldn’t do that, I don’t know how, that sounds like too much work. I think it’s harder the way they do things now, but they’re stuck! If you’re an agent or a broker that’s been in the industry longer than 10 years, you may have a tougher time making the paradigm shift. I’m not saying you can’t or don’t have the ability, but I am saying if you don’t, life is going to get very interesting when the new tech savvy up and comers produce at a high level with a very different kind of effort. How will you compete and survive?
Let me give you an example of one thing you could do and have fun doing it. I’ll look at the old school traditional agent first, then the new tech savvy agent.
Old School Agent
The old school agent would sit on the phone rounding up prospects for hours on end, then would set up 4 or 5 walk abouts and even a few open house events two weekends in a row. A lot of time and effort goes into this type of selling, hard work is important but with today’s technology why would you do this? Organizing and worrying about how may or may not show up, worse yet, having to go and pick them to ensure you do have a prospect. Getting flier’s out and setting up sign’s, the list goes on. The advertising costs can be staggering too, time spent networking, convincing people they should come and see this house and so on.
The New Tech Savvy Agent
The new tech savvy agent sits at the desk and decides which homes to work on this week, then prepares how they would sell the dream of the home on video. This agent goes out and buys a Flip MinoHD Camcorder 2nd Generation (Amazon Link) hooks up to the net, logs into their UStream.TV account, walks through the house and broadcasts it LIVE! They walk through the home and share how this home could be plus records the whole event, then puts the recorded video on UStream and his or her Blog and other locations for prospects to view at their leisure. The tech savvy agents then jump on Social Network’s that feed multiple Social networks all at once with this new home to look at via video.
This new agent let’s the prospect qualify themselves and let’s them contact him or her when they’re ready, this agent is thinking about the prospect not themselves.
As you can see the new tech savvy agent takes a different risk, invests their time giving what prospects want and then makes it ridiculously easy for them. The prospect that calls the new tech savvy agent back just qualified themselves, less work than the old school way of handling the same task. This is just one opportunity to start making the shift to Real Estate Selling with Social Media, if you don’t take baby steps now and don’t learn how to do some of these techie things. I have to wonder if Real Estate Brokers won’t become obsolete, Broker / Owners at some point will figure out they can handle inventory in a less complicated way. By the way, people complicate things not flip cams and iPhones.
Are Real Estate Agents Obsolete? Maybe not yet, and maybe not all, but more than you think.