Do you hate change?
Do you love the familiar comfort of the same-old-same-old? Many of us do. Change can be scary. It rocks the boat. It stirs the pot. It upsets the apple cart. There are countless clichés that represent what many of us consider a negative.
As a business owner I encourage you to adopt a different attitude.
Learn to welcome change. Embrace it. In fact, seek it out. Why? Because change is a business necessity, right up there with solid marketing and a unique brand or positioning.
Think about any business or person that has remained successful for a long time. Have they stayed exactly the same? No, in most cases not. While there are some formulas you don’t mess with—Coke for example—that doesn’t mean you don’t innovate. While Coke may be the Coca-Cola Company’s flagship brand, the company sells more than 3500 beverages, including sodas, water, fruit juices, sports drinks and energy drinks.
Technology is another great example.
Imagine if Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak stopped innovating after designing the first Apple computer? We wouldn’t have today’s iPod, iPad, or iPhone.
The entertainment industry is home to a few innovators as well.
Consider Madonna. The other day I heard “Lucky Star” on the radio. That song was on the Billboard charts back in 1984. It may still be heard occasionally on the radio today, however Madonna hasn’t banked her career on her 1980s hits. She has reinvented herself multiple times in the past 30 years. As a result, she’s still very current and continues to sell out top-notch concert venues. Compare her to the bands that are still playing their “moldy oldies” from the 80s and 90s and touring the “B” concert circuit.
How does this apply to you as a service professional or entrepreneur?
Well, I know very few service pro’s that are still offering the exact same programs and services, or marketing the same way they were five years ago. I know I’m not. In fact, my business, my products and services, and my marketing have gone through several evolutions in the past five years.
Yes, some people may still be coaching or teaching around the same content, but the marketplace has changed, their competition has changed, the economy has changed, technology has changed (anyone teaching marketing has seen huge changes with the birth of social media), and to remain successful they’ve had to evolve with these changes.
Simply put, we don’t do things the same way we did them five years ago.
Things that worked back then simply don’t work anymore. If you resist changing with the times, your business is going to go the way of the dinosaur.
Leaders vs. Followers
Successful businesses are also leaders in their industry. They break new ground. In many cases that’s what makes them successful.
It’s easy to follow—to model what others are doing. There’s a sense of safety in that. Someone’s already done it; they’ve taken the risk for you. Yet I would argue it’s a false sense of security. Often, there is so much competition, or the market has changed, that by the time you start following, that technique is tired, overused, or just doesn’t work anymore. And, there’s always the chance it was a one-hit-wonder and only worked for the person who created it.
By constantly asking yourself how can I serve my clients in a better or different way, you will find yourself on the leading edge. Your business won’t grow stale. And, while everything you create may not succeed (remember the Apple Newton? It was a PDA that was ahead of its time), you have a much better chance of long-term business success.