Have you ever wondered what happens to things that find their way into the lost & found? What happens to great ideas when they fail to produce desired results? What do you do when what you’ve learned no longer works? Why don’t people start a business? Why do people wish, or hope something better will come along? Why don’t people know what they want? The real question is, what are you looking for, what are you hoping for, and most importantly, what are you waiting for?
There has never been a better time in history for anyone to make the world a better place, to start a business, to make something great happen, to truly see your purpose in life, and yet, we keep holding back. What is it, did you lose something, was it taken from you (most likely yes), or were you told you couldn’t? I’m going to tell you something. Those individuals in your life that tell you it’ll fail, it won’t work, and you can’t do it. They don’t have power over your desire to do something, today….you can just do it, you don’t need permission, you don’t need to ask anyone, you can just do it!
Somewhere along the way we lost sight of our future’s, our desire to do things. I can remember being in high school talking about all the great things I was gonna do after I got out, all the places I was going to go, and how I was going to life out the rest of my life. But somewhere on that journey, that confidence, that desire, that passion, and that drive, was driven out of me. Why? Because I allowed it, not because I didn’t have a choice. But today, that is all in the past, its history, today I can choose, I don’t have to conform to the powers that be, they actually have to keep an eye on me. The tables have turned, and now, you & I have the power to shape our future, to leverage each day, the choice is…more than ever, yours. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, I’m not very good, I did however, choose to start this blog a number of years ago, and I’m writing to you right now!
You might be all fired up and ready to go, but let’s not lose sight of what you already have, and what you must look after, more importantly, making sure you’re being a good citizen that pays their bills, and shows up for work, life doesn’t stop because you’re all excited, and want to focus on your dream. I share this with you because I found myself looking back, wondering what happened, wondering…..something fell off the wagon. What was it, today it’s clear, at the time I was left wondering what was wrong, what was missing.
Many people don’t know what they want to do, many don’t want to leave the comfort of their careers, their jobs, because they are overcome by fear. Fear is powerful, you can’t ignore it, but most of the time, you can over-come it, you might even master it. Fear prevents you from living the abundant life, you never really live until you can move beyond those fears that are strongholds in your life.
What was that something that fell off the wagon? It was my power to choose, I gave up my power to the Industrial Age way of life. I gave my power away so I could feel secure, so I could keep the peace with my family and friends, so I could fit in. That system, that way of life works for some, but it squashes the will of many. If it works for you, then do it well, if it doesn’t….you have a hope and a decision to make, but make smart calculated decisions. Today you have choices most of us didn’t have 20 years ago, today you can do things at much lower levels of risk than 30 years ago. It’s an exciting time to be alive, don’t let your power to choose become something you lost, don’t let it fall off the wagon.
It amazes me how afraid business owners are of giving something of value away, that fear of loss prevents them from learning something special about themselves and their customers. Typically, if they aren’t afraid, they are trying to dump a loss leader item that is costing them money, not because it adds value to their customer base. It’s a way of justifying a bad buying decision, let’s just get rid of it, rather than invest in it and do something special for our customers. If that’s you, why not rethink how you can bundle that bad buying decision and turn it into something customers could use and actually want.
Maybe you’re not one of those businesses trying to dump a product that didn’t sell like you thought it would, maybe you’re just trying to figure out how to bring up the bottom line during a down cycle in sales. It doesn’t really matter what or when, it does matter how view and think about incorporating FREE into your business. The benefits of free are mind-boggling sometimes, there are examples of business, large and small, that took the risk and came out looking like the most amazing company ever!
From very large organizations, to individuals, people who saw the value in their customers, not their wallets. The by-product of the interaction and free, was in the end, customers opening their wallets…or they became your largest PR & Marketing machine. You know, the kind of advertising you could never buy or afford.
Most of you know who Gary Vaynerchuck is, he gave away his Wine Library TV content, most of you know who Seth Godin is, he opened up Squidoo, and you get to use it for free, they both practice the Open & Free Business Model, in their own unique way, but that’s the they’re selling advantage. They gave content away, good content, and or provided a service that didn’t force you to open your wallet. They also did it for a considerable length of time, they built credibility. WestJet over Christmas used FREE as a way to not only show they value customers, but they did something no one saw coming. The setup a kiosk where you scanned your boarding pass and Santa appeared asking what you wanted for Christmas, hours later when those who participated landed, Westjet presented each of them with the gift they asked for by sliding it down the baggage carousel for them to pickup. It was brilliant, it was dubbed a #WestjetChristmas, and it was risky too. It doesn’t matter how much they spent on the gifts, they got it back and then some with the PR that came from it.
Watch the video:
No, not everyone can do what WestJet did, but you can do something. And no, not everyone needs your product or service, but someone does, and they’re looking for you, online and off. Keep in mind, what you think should be given away for free, may not be of value to your customer base, it’s a double-edged sword if you get it wrong. You must know your client base, understand some of their basic needs. You must have some data to work with to get the strategy right, to make sure it succeeds. Don’t just give something away for the sake of giving it away, make sure you think it through, and build something around it that makes it engaging, people want to be a part of it. Hire the right people to help you, don’t rely on your own brain power, get outside help, they will see your business from a different paradigm.
The Future of Business is leading people on a journey, giving them something they didn’t really need but wanted, to be a part of what you are doing anyway. Plus, your product or service actually solved a problem, or helped them get to the next level. You provided value because you valued them first. The Open & Free Business Model is a way to make a difference in your business, to make a difference in your customers view of you and your business. Use your business to make the world a better place.
The greatest of creations ever made, were you and I, we’re amazing! We can do things no other creature or animal on earth can do, we can stop before we respond, we can decide how we want to respond to stimuli. We have so many abilities, one of them is the ability to create, we can create incredible solutions to world problems, we can see things through our ability of foresight, the list is endless.
This blog’s tag-line is: Create. Differentiate. Deliver.
These three words sum up what the business of the future will need focus on.
All of us have ideas, we’re spiritual creative beings, we strive to conquer, we survive, we overcome, we’re passionate, we love, and we have a desire to help one another. Mostly, we like to create, we like to build and conquer. The problem many struggle with, fear, and what to create. A good place to start is, what drives you, what energizes you, what you’re true passion is, listen for the voice within. Many search external clues, the true passion is in you, create that. Seth Godin calls it “ART”, the art each one of us carries within but is scared to let out. Mostly because of fear.
It doesn’t matter what you create, what matters is that you do something, let the art in you be heard, seen and found, you will change your world. So create, make something, solve a problem, eventually you will find a way to monetize your creation. Let the world do the marketing for you, you just let the world know where to find your creation.
The fear of failure is a powerful force, the cost of doing nothing is far greater than failing, so create and fail as often as you can. That failing will teach you more than you will ever learn doing nothing. Don’t analyze, just do! Create!
We’ve All Got The Industrial Age Disease, it’s sad, but it’s true. Back when I was in high school, we were told, when you graduate, you MUST get a full time job. So we took a job at the mill, because it payed better than F. W. Woolworth. Today that’s changed, today people want full-time wages for part-time work. We were told to sit down and behave, to pay attention, and how to think… we made a mistake…we settled for something we new deep down within, wasn’t what we wanted. We did it because we were told to, we did it because we felt safe, we did it because we felt comfortable, and then it became our comfort zone, our sense of normal.
Unlike the Matrix, we believed in something that today is no longer true, we believed the Industrial Age System(s) would look after us to our last breath, just as we have in governmental systems. We justify our place in the world based on those systems, the factory model, the school system, they were designed to educate you in such a way that you would fit into that factory model. We went to school, we went to University, being taught how to fit in, not how to disrupt, not how to find a better way. But another way has been making itself known, and only time will tell if it’s a better way. This new way of business may be a replacement for the Industrial Age, it’s called the connection economy!
“I don’t care how many friends you have on FaceBook or how many followers you have on Twitter. Those are not actual friends or truly followers. I care about how much people will miss you if you’re not back here again tomorrow.
Connection involves a complex swap of information, expectation, and culture. It involves opening ourselves to others, creating vulnerable moments that frighten us. It requires humanity and generosity, not the rearranging of digital bits.
The swap means that it’s no longer completely up to us; it’s a partnership, not an announcement. When we give up control over the outcome of our interactions, we allow others to connect with us and with one another.”
The biggest difference today, over the last century, we have access to more resources and information than we have time to consume. The Industrial Age forced us to memorize, to conform, to fit in, today we merely need to know where to get the information, we don’t have to memorize it. We no longer have to conform to an old system, we now have the freedom to learn and create new ways to accomplish what the Industrial System doesn’t want changed. Hence, we don’t have to fit in, we can now choose not to comply, we can do that which we were meant to do, we can stand out. We were meant to connect, to share, to make the world a better place.
This new economy feels weird, it feels scary, it feels unnerving, it’s not for the weak of heart, it does however give us a freedom we’ve not had in the past. It’s not perfect, and that’s a good thing, we finally have a cure for The Industrial Age Disease.
I’ve shared with you in the past about ten people that get my attention everyday, but there are three authors that reach the very core of what I believe, I have to put them on your radar screen. I’ll assume you like to read, if you’re online, you have no choice. It’s been said, leaders are readers, but readers are not necessarily leaders.
I was recently asked who my favorite author is, I couldn’t answer with just one. I have many, but three tend to be at the top of the list.
These gentlemen have helped shape and affirm what I believe to be true in the world of business, more importantly, they are real people, with real issues, no different than you and I. The big difference, they Create. Differentiate. Deliver. all the time, they have a message for you, and I think we should pay attention.
All three of these authors, along with many others, have taught me in one way or another, to shape, to encourage, and they inspired The Open & Free Business Model, which I teach and preach here on this blog, and to anyone who is even a little bit curious about the 90 / 10 rule, it is the future of business.
The Internet is a huge world, and yet it can feel like a small town, because we are all connected. This connection, or connecting, is the new economy, it is what makes the world go round. It is the connectedness where you will be found, where you will find your place eventually, because someone also believes what you believe, and they will connect with you to become a true fan.
I challenge you to read anyone of these three authors everyday, if you do, your world will change, and it will never stop changing, especially if you put into practice the lessons learned from these brilliant minds.
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