Question: It seems like everything is always in a state of change. This can be disconcerting at times. How do I keep up?
Answer: Entrepreneurs embrace change. We’re sort of like scientists in a sense. A scientist who is looking to discover a cure for a disease runs countless experiments. With some experiments the cure formula is changed incrementally. In other experiments it’s changed dramatically. Regardless, the formula keeps changing until the solution is found.
For us change is exhilarating. Why? Because it’s a way to make things better. It’s a way to find out what works and what doesn’t work. If we view change with trepidation or fear it will be difficult for good things to come about. But if we see change as a golden opportunity we can meet and exceed our goals. I love change from a business perspective because it creates inefficiencies in the marketplace. The opportunity I see is to react to such inefficiencies in a profitable way. Look at the companies that figured out how to successfully adapt to changing conditions in our society. Xerox got its start selling photography paper. Tiffany’s was a purveyor of stationery before it became world famous for jewelry. LG sold cosmetics before the days of flat screen televisions. Now look at companies that failed to change – Eastman Kodak recently filed for bankruptcy as did Borders Books and Blockbuster Video.
A key to understanding change is the word “pivot.” I played basketball as a kid. Our coaches taught us how to pivot in every practice. We would keep one foot anchored to the floor and rotate our body around that foot in different directions. In business as well as our lives, we should always be on the lookout for opportunities to pivot. Perhaps a slight change in direction will yield better results. But remember, a pivot should be undertaken with a clear objective in mind. In basketball the objective was to pivot into a position to score or to pass the ball to someone else who could score. If we just pivot around and around with no objective it’s likely that we won’t score.
One final thought on change. I have found that to be able to thrive on change as an entrepreneur, I need certain constants in my life. Remember that pivot foot in basketball stays anchored to the floor until I dribble, pass or shoot. I’ve been fortunate and blessed to be with the same wonderful woman for more than 41 years; be with the same company for more than 37 years, and live in the same house for 34 years. Look for something in your life that is a constant or a positive anchor – faith, family, friendships – and then shoot for the moon where change is concerned. Happy flying!
This blog is being written in tandem with my book, An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By, available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.