Conquer Stagnation: Think New Thoughts

Change. It is a word that evokes excitement, fear, hope, and bewilderment. Change, for better or worse, if you embrace it, tackle it head on, and at times even seek it, will open doors of opportunity, success, security, and adventure. Now, I recognize that if you are reading this blog post, you have embraced change at some level. Perhaps you've ventured out into running your own business. Perhaps you reluctantly joined this "internet" thing and got yourself a website. Possibly, you could teach me a thing or two about what it really means to embrace change and you love change so much, you scour the web for articles about it (okay, pretty unlikely). I would like to suggest, cajole, and even challenge you to think new thoughts. You need it, your business needs it, and your customers need it.

Why is change good?

Change is oft spoken with bitter taste. It is usually resisted at great effort, even more effort than it would take to accept and adapt. Changes beyond our control can hurt us or help but most change can be adapted to help us. Industries have risen and fallen due to technology changes. Change is healthy for us and our brains - if our thoughts and actions were to be continually repetitive, breakdown would occur. Our bodies and minds need to adapt to new movements, new thoughts, new problems, and new hurdles in order to thrive and improve. Change is a bringer of new things - new seasons, new friendships, new sales opportunities, and new dreams are a few of the new things that only change can bring about.

What change is out of my control?

There are a number of changes that are out of our control, but that we can adapt and use for our own personal growth and business growth. Our own life cycle provides uncontrollable change that could prove good for us if we embrace it instead of resisting it. If you are in a new age bracket, your own experiences, your perspective, and other's perception of you can influence the types of change you embrace. Now may be the time to change your approach to sales, to management, to advertising, to personal growth initiatives, or to business structure. The economy changes, sometimes very unexpectedly. Customer's tastes and preferences and how much they are willing to spend for a specific object or service changes and it is important to be aware and adapt accordingly. Societal fads and even values change from month to month and decade to decade. Whether we perceive these changes as good or bad, how we much we adapt to position ourselves and our companies within these changes matter.

What change is in my control?

For your own personal growth and for your business, I recommend taking the initiative to create your own change. Now is the time to think new thoughts - to not accept stagnation in your own life nor in your business. Let us look at some opportunities to initiate change:

Personal Growth - 

Be a lifelong student. "Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn." -Benjamin Franklin. Is there some skill you wish you had, some part of your business you still do not know? Whether it is learning a new language, a new marketable skill, a new perspective, or a new ability, it is never too late to begin and make progress. It is good for the brain and heart to learn. The more I learn, the more I realize that I did not know. There are many free or low-cost learning opportunities online and in your community. Be a reader, listener, and thinker. This is a win-win action step, you will be thankful you took the step back into learning new things. It will affect you, those around you, and how you operate your business.

Experience new things. "A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Take a step out of your comfort zone. And then another. And then another. By experience new things, our minds are widened and deepened, we can better embrace unexpected change, and we learn more about ourselves that we did not know before. I implore you to try new cuisine, travel to new places, try a new sport or activity, and go to a new cultural event (live sporting event? ballet? music festival?).

Business Growth -

Get a new website. Since I am in the business of websites, I thought I would be amiss if I did not lead off with this. If you have a website that is several years old, whether you like it or not, whether it was made by a family member, or whether you have heard no complaints about it, it is time for a change. Smart phones and tablets are everywhere. Their use is growing more and more. If your website is not prepared to showcase your business as relevant and informative in a mobile-friendly way, you are in danger of turning away business within the first 5 seconds to visiting your website. Surveys and data show that your site's look and feel has a powerful influence on potential customer opportunities. Make the change now, you won't regret it. If you are in doubt whether you need it, you do. So contact me and I'll make sure that your website change will boost your online reputation and business opportunities. I would add to this, to think new thoughts in regards to marketing. But if you only want to "freshen" up an old and out-dated, unappealing site, the new marketing efforts will be very marginal in success compared to costs.

Team up. Perhaps the best method to get new ides and new opportunities is to team up. I am not saying to go right out and change your business to a partnership to sell half of it to a new partner. I am saying to find a complimentary business or a geographical neighboring business that you can hash out cross-marketing ideas or create new shared services/products to offer. Another "team-up" opportunity you could embrace is outside of your business offerings. Find a local charity, community service project, or local parks and recreation facility to offer your own personal talents and abilities, company's sponsorship, or promotion for them through your business. This will not only benefit the community as a whole, but will also lead you to new ideas, new connections, new market opportunities. Make a difference, embetter yourself, and create possibilities in one action.

CHANGE IS GOOD. 

Embrace it now and reap the rewards for a lifetime.

Kyle Sawyer 07-Mar-2014
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