Break Through Old Patterns – Yesterday I had the privilege of being interviewed by Baraa Safaa, Baraa attended one of my Open & Free Business Model Workshops, he was intent and very open to hearing my message. Today he is culling smart people and is designing a Podcast show for you, he is currently interviewing people who have a clear perspective on what’s really going on in the business world, more specifically, what’s happening in his back yard.
During our chat, we talked about the stumbling blocks, and what’s the first thing someone could do to break through old patterns, the way we’ve always done things. It’s simple to me of course, but I see the world differently, in fact, I had to learn how to see…all over again. Much of what you know, and much of what you see is not real, it’s perceived. So, what to do…to break through old patterns.
How To Break Old Patterns
The first step to breaking old patterns, is to admit you don’t know….it’s not a bad thing to say out loud, just say it…I Don’t Know! Suddenly, without notice, you will be able to see things differently when you admit, you really don’t know what the hell is going on. At that point, you can step back and look at your business with a different set of eyes, still your eyes, but you can see differently.
Recently I was called by an old colleague, they wanted my advice on what their 20-year-old son should do, he wants to be in the technology sector, what should he take at college, but wants to do something different from what you normally find in your communities. I’ve shared this with you before, but….I merely told him this, hop in your car, drive down the main street of your town, then drive back to where you started, go to a coffee shop with a pen & paper, and ask your self this one question: What’s Missing? What product or service is missing, then find out if there is a market for you’re idea, taken from this exercise. Talk to people, eyeball to eyeball, find out if there is a need, if yes, you may have something, if no….keep writing down what’s missing. Once you’ve narrowed it down, it becomes clearer on what educational development track you should consider.
There’s only one way to break old patterns, stop using them, open your mind to new ways of doing things, more importantly, be willing to do what customers are looking for, sometimes for free! No matter how much you give away, especially online, there will always be an opportunity to make money from practicing the art of free, giving something of value away at no charge. You want to break away from old patterns, try waking up everyday, and ask yourself what you can give away for free today, your mind will change, and you will see people differently. I’m not saying don’t get paid, I’m saying, figure out what you can give prospective customers free of charge to aid in building trust. Trust is the real issue isn’t it. Kevin Kelly once said, you only need 1,000 true fans to buy your product or service, at $100 per fan, that’s a $100,000 per year, but it’s not that easy, you will work hard for those fans.
Stop using your analog brain, and start using your visionary brain – there is a huge difference. Visionary doesn’t put limits on things, it keeps an open & free mind, for the purposes of solving problems, to make sure it’s a viable business that will be profitable. That’s where to start, to break free, to break through old patterns.
Have you noticed how many courses, webinars, and online workshops there are, that claim to teach you the secret to XYZ? I’ve often wondered about those who teach these programs, did they start out as teacher’s, or were they student’s first. There is a saying, the teacher appears when the student is ready. I have been student most of my life, why…because I like to learn. I also love to teach, but it’s not a natural gift for me, I have to work hard at it! Learning is harder for me because I’m so abstract, visionary, and I tend to fly at 50,000 feet, and most of the time, people don’t get me. That may be a communication issue.
I’m in my mid to late 50’s now, so I’ve been doing the details and leading teams to do details for many years. I’m a teacher, and a learner, but I had to learn long before I could teach. Plus, I had to have some life experience before I could teach intelligently. So, what are you, or where are you in this journey of becoming a teacher? Are you trying to be a teacher too soon, maybe you haven’t learned enough yet, haven’t experienced enough, or does it matter?
I guess I’m just curious about where all these Expert’s and Guru’s come from, and where did they learn to do what they teach. Are they accredited, who are they, what do we know about them, ya my heads exploding with all the questions. The old adage, the old rule applies here as it does in any transaction, buyer beware, you may be getting sold down the river by these expert’s and gurus.
But if you ask yourself, what do I like to do, learn or teach, I think you’ll find one can’t go without the other. Be careful what you call yourself when you the student is ready to become a teacher, your experience will become obvious.
I spent many years just winging it, just responding to what felt right and mostly what felt good, sound familiar? I have found that there are more business owners, check that, most people were doing the same thing. As I mentioned in my previous post, we spend more time planning a two week vacation than we do our careers and our lives. Why is that? I suspect due to a lack of knowledge, a poor understanding of what’s at stake here….it’s your life and you only get one chance to do it. Enough about that, I want to share with you what drives me and what my vision for Owen Greaves Consulting is for 2010.
I have met and worked for many, many business owners, CIO’s, COO’s, and they all struggle with the same things for the most part. They know what they want to do, but don’t really know how to build and implement a strong I.T. Plan. I.T. visionaries are way ahead of the rest of the organization, think of a funnel, you have a narrowing in the middle, a wide open area at one end and small opening at the other end. The visionary is out in the wide open section and instructs back to the small opening at the other end to do this or that. A short period of time goes by and he / she is frustrated because what they saw and instructed is not done. Why?
The workers back at the small opening can’t see the big picture through the narrow opening in the middle, they don’t see what the visionary see’s way out there, they can’t even see where he is. The problem is at the narrow opening in the middle right? There has to be someone there that can clearly articulate what the visionary wants done back to the people (workers) in the small opening at the back. You might say things get lost in translation, it can happen if the person in the middle does not clearly understand what the visionary wants!
So what does this have to do with my vision for 2010. It’s obvious to me that there is a bigger problem than the funnel, it’s the man in the middle. Having someone who can build the plan so the workers can get done what the visionary wants completed. My vision, to help that person or organizations with a simple way to build that Strategic Technology Plan and to ensure that all businesses indeed do have a plan. Most don’t, they rely on internal staff, staff that don’t know how to build a plan because they are frankly too close to the problem(s). Most business owners think they know how, but they all too often are using the wrong filters to truly understand what the I.T. Plan should look like and be. Some of the smartest business people in the world don’t fully understand what needs to be in the I.T. Strategic Plan, hence they should hire the right people and or consultants to help build that strategy. No matter how big or small your business is, you should have a good plan on how technology will drive your business.
Most organizations have not documented what thier business processes are! How could they possibly know which software application, payroll, HR, CRM software and what have you to implement if they don’t know each and every process it takes to get the job done in a day. My goal is to ensure as many businesses / owners as possible have a good I.T. Plan. This has very little to do with Social Media but it has much to do with Technology overall. Social Media happens to be a large part of my work at the moment and it’s the hot topic of discussion everywhere I go.
My Plans for 2010:
- Increase Public Speaking Engagements – on The New Technology, I.T. Strategies / Planning
- To educate and teach 100 businesses develop an I.T. Strategic Plan. (roughly 8 new businesses per month)
- Develop a video series on developing I.T. Strategic Plans. ( The I.T. Strategic Planning Series)
- Continue working on my next eBook, The New Technology Pt 2. (hope to complete by end of 2010)
- Write more often on my Blog. (daily if possible)
- Get more subscribers on my Blog.
- And of course, increase revenues ( I have to put that on here)
If you don’t have a list of items or targets, stop right now and make one…make two! What are you aiming for in 2010 and how do you plan to hit your targets? Better yet, what’s your I.T. Strategy for 2010?
I can see a problem with my list already, if I want to be successful, I have to find a few things to not consider doing. I may have to hire or partner up if I want to achieve all my goals.
What’s On Your List?
After talking to many business owners and I.T. Execs here in my area, I’m convinced most don’t understand or see the change that is taking place and think Social Media is a waste of time, a fad. Most are bottom-line thinkers and there must be a result for ever action taken, an immediate return on investment. They say I don’t have time for that sh*t! It puzzles me how those who think in these terms consider themselves Revolutionary thinkers, Visionaries in their respective fields. It would seem to me that this is the ultimate oxymoron. These individuals understand bricks & mortar better than most but they struggle with the soft side of what’s happening with Social Media and refuse to believe that it has any influence on the bottom-line.
How could it be that these brilliant minds are missing the shift, unwilling to accept that their roles will be obsolete as they know them. The argument is valid, someone must do the work, and, someone must be in charge, well, sort of. The Executive(s) that understand we the people are going to tell him what and how things will go will win, he must listen and listen hard before making a final decision. I’m not saying dismantle your hierarchy right this minute, I’m saying prepare to allow for a flattening of management and an empowerment of your staff unlike anything you’ve planned for in the past. Open yourselves up to bringing strategic I.T. and Social Media consultants (thinkers) in to help guide and wade through this new environment, this new era of Social Media and what it will mean to you and your business. How 50 Billion Dollar Marketing Dollars will go to firms that are smaller and can move faster than the bloated organizations we know today.
There will still be a need for large ERP systems and the like but they too are changing, as we move towards Virtual Reality and Nanotechnology, these environments are being built via the Cloud today rather than in big rooms with SANS and mainframe like servers. In the future we all will be wireless device’s, we will integrate with technology, in some ways we already have, manual processes will disappear in such a way we won’t see it coming. This isn’t fear mongering, this is asking you to look outside of your four walls and take notice of what’s really going on with technology, spend time looking ahead and consult with those who can help you see what you can’t see now.
I.T. Exec’s – The Time Is Now! You may even be too late in some circles, much needs to be done and you need to get started if you haven’t already. Don’t do things in a vacuum or you will stay inside your four walls and try to use old thinking to get you of your Executive Box. I know most of it seems logical but trying to put an ROI to conversation(s) is confusing at best when you try to get there using traditional equations. There are some sharp people who can help you and you must be willing to allow them to lead you through the maze, if you are looking for someone in your area let me know and I’ll get you connected.
I could go on and on but I think you’re getting the picture, get outside the box and ride the wave rather than be whipped out by it!