Changing and Adapting for a New Congress and New World
By Terry L. Brock
Whoa! Did you feel the earth shake the other day?
The balance of power in the US Congress has shifted. As politics often do, those in charge promise to bring a “New Direction” even while being vague about what exactly that “New Direction” will be.
So what are we to do in our small businesses? How can we best prepare for this change as well as others that are coming down the pike? Fortunately we can learn from history and those that are successful. As we become more flexible, adaptable and resilient, we not only survive but thrive in a tumultuous sea of change.
Here are some specific pointers that can help now and into the future:
1. Learn How To Learn--Fast. Learn how to assimilate knowledge and information that is useful to your customers. Learn to assimilate it quickly. Then learn how to distribute it quickly and efficiently to your customers and prospects. Your time, money and effort spent in learning how to read faster, memorize more and assimilate practical new information will pay off richly in your personal and business life.
2. Think Flexibility And Adaptation. These traits will help you no matter what happens. As I talk with friends and clients in the past few days since the election, I’ve heard many raise concerns about what to do. Here’s a thought: Prepare yourself and your company for maximum flexibility and adaptation. That way, you’ll win no matter what happens! Listen to what your customers are asking for now more than ever. A customer-focused approach is superior to any product-driven focus. As you are flexible and can adapt to new desires of customers, you’ll be able to prosper and succeed in any environment.
3. Think Mobility. Your market is changing fast. The more you can operate from anywhere at anytime to serve customers, the more business you’ll garner in the marketplace. Remember what General George S. Patton said, “Permanent fortifications are monuments to man’s stupidity.” Be able to get the job done from anywhere. Hint: Lean on technology and the Net.
4. Be willing to pay the price. I see a lot of people that say they want to use certain technologies. However, when they find that it costs in terms of time, money and effort to master this technology, they back off. That would be like asking to learn a language or learn to play the piano but being unwilling to practice and devote time to study. Michael Masterson of www.earlytorise.com maintains that it normally takes about 1,000 hours of practice to attain competency in a given field and approximately 5,000 hours to attain mastery. Fortunately for technology you can master most concepts (like video, audio, changing your website, etc.) in a few hours of concentrated, focused learning. Getting help and the right coaching will shave huge chunks of time off that learning curve. Think about what you want to accomplish and what will be required. Then be willing to pay the price. Get the resources around you to make that happen.
5. Focus on Relationships First in Business. The environment will change. Tools and technologies will change. What lasts is relationships with your customers, your suppliers and other key stakeholders. Leverage technology to establish, build and maintain these important relationships in business. By focusing on what matters over time, you’ll enhance your business and be better able to handle any change that comes down the pike.
Handy Tool For Mobile Professionals
Here’s a great little tool I just got the other day that can help mobile professionals. It is called the iGo everywhere8 and it frees you up from carrying lots of electrical adapters. If you’re like me, you carry a lot of portable PDAs, cell phones, laptops, cameras and more when you’re on the road. Carrying all the charging cables and docking stations can be a hassle.
The iGo everywhere8 allows you to carry one simple, small unit for charging and add extra devices with a small unique tip for each device.
I’m using it now for my Apple iPod and my Phone/Windows Mobile device. Instead of carrying the two separate device chargers, I can carry the everywhere8 and accompanying tips to get the job done. As they add more tips for other devices I have I just add the tips and don’t have to worry about all the extras. In an era where we want to carry less but let our devices do more, the iGo everywhere8 provides a great combination for the mobile professional. Cost is $39.99 for the everywhere8 and about $10 for each tip you add. This will make for a great Holiday gift for your favorite mobile professional.
With an additional splitter the everywhere8 will power 2 devices at once. I just wish it could power my laptop and about 14 other devices at the same time! For now, this is a welcomed inexpensive solution for mobile professionals with too much to carry.
Check out the video I shot of this at: http://snipurl.com/ChangingAdapting
to see how adaptable the everywhere8 is for your needs.
(everywhere8 from IGo, www.igo.com, $39.99 for basic unit, $9.99 for each tip)
Terry Brock is a regular columnist for Business Journals and a marketing coach who helps business owners market more effectively leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their busy days using the right rules and tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website at www.terrybrock.com.
Copyright © 2006, Terry Brock, All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used in any way without prior written permission.