The past is “History”, the future is a “Mystery”, today is a “Gift” and that's why we call it the “Present.”
I was just listening to a friends podcast about becoming a new parent… Change Happens! He was describing how much his life has changed having to care for another very needy human being 24/7. For some of us, we really hate and fear all the change that a new year brings. I can guarantee you change is coming whether you like it or not.
As a year winds down, you see so many retrospectives on the prior year and how to make the new year better than the last. It tends to be a feeling of – out with the old and in with the new, but in most peoples' world it's more of a “Oh heck, I have to change again and what the heck just happened?” I am one of those crazies that not only enjoy and embrace change, but I force it to happen. Call it re-inventing yourself. Adapting, embracing, and managing change has to become a way of life. If you resist it you could easily be left behind.
Facebook just announced a new timeline and autoplay video ads. Twitter and LinkedIn added promoted posts and ads. Google changes searching with Hummingbird (their new search algorithm). You can try to beat and fool the system, but the system has much more time and resources. They are doing their best to level the playing field (level as in they control it to make more money).
I sat just through two free webinars that both started by saying you would learn something and there would be an offer at the end. What I learned is I could have made hundreds of dollars by not watching hour long commercials with no real takeaways. You have to continue to learn, but sometimes it can be a waste of time, But you have to keep trying.
Free is not free! Your job may be to get your message out for free. Their job (and they are darn good at it) is to get you to pay for sending your message to their audience. All these social networks are trying to monetize influence. Facebook caps off who sees your posts to 20% of your audience (or less), and they want you to pay to boost (or show to the rest of the people who LIKED your business page. Twitter and LinkedIn are following suit. If it's about reaching your audience via email, you are probably paying (email marketing costs $19.95 a month and up in most cases).
Change has to be managed and planned for. You have to accept and adapt. What we are doing this time this year may not be the same a year from now. I can guarantee you that your social network and network in general will be different.
Ask, Learn, Teach… Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Some people deal with change, while others hate it, but just like death and taxes… “Change Happens!” Here is some ways that help you smooth out the transitions of change in your business:
- Ask – You have a network of clients, vendors, power partners, and hopefully networking cohorts! The most productive networking groups I belong to are think tank groups. This is where we get to ask questions and pose problems, then the group uses its' collective brain power to offer solutions or suggestions. The same can work with your clients if you simply ask them what their challenges are? How can you help them solve those challenges, and then you may become top of mind when they arise.
- Learn – Explore your network and ask who they learn from. Most people can benefit from a coach or a think tank group. Just because someone calls themselves an expert or guru, look beyond labels. Some may be truly looking out for your best interests, while others may be looking only at your wallet. What matters is can they help you become more financially successful, not just feel better or smarter. Ask for financial (success story) references, not just feel good ones!
- Teach – Learn how to teach from good teachers. Yes you may have to sit through a few bad classes or webinars to learn what defines good and bad. Continue to learn how others teach so you can find your own style, flow, and develop a style that others can learn from. Teaching includes personal stories, practical advice, and actionable takeaways that don't require upsells to be usable to your audience.
Resolve To Be Resolute!
Like is said in the opening… Change Happens! You can either jump on the train or wave as it goes bye. What you are comfortable with today, may not be what you are comfortable with (or where your customers may be) tomorrow!
What are your New Years resolutions? How do you view and deal with change? Where do you see yourself being a year from now? Last year I resolved to write a book. This year I am starting out by publishing two more and growing my business and sphere of influence. I would love to hear about who inspires you and helps you grow in the coming year… Seth Godin? Zig Ziglar? Tony Robbins? Who? Comment away.