On July 4th every year, fireworks inspire me to think about my own evolution, beliefs, business activities and even relationships. Many of are pushed to the curb into a "stand-by mode" even though most are considered to be acceptable to good.
This has an impact on the calendar since less time is spent on activities which basically make me feel validated and boost my ego, but not best use of time. The next step is to add activities to the schedule which seriously challenges my comfort level and skills.
In the article: 5 Essentials to Business Success, you will see: "Good enough today is not good enough tomorrow". Humans moan resist change because few look forward to more studying, more trial & error and possibly more work.
Questions to challenge status quo and start a personal revolution:
"Is everyone is doing it?" - What was once very special and available only from you is now available anywhere.
"Is there new software or technology which makes your product or service appear less valuable?" - Your unique products and services have been replaced with robots and software.
"While your product or service was remarkable, does it remain so now?" - You become your worst competition as you raise the bar and set new expectations, it isn't long before remarkable turns into functional.
"Is common sense all that is required? Or is special knowledge and expertise needed?" - This is very difficult to overcome if you read what everyone is reading and buy common products. Jeffrey Gitomer will tell you "If you want to learn something new, read a book that is 100 years old."
"Can it be done with automation?" - Services have changed from doing the work to setting up technology and automation. (and maintenance)
"Is my content being stolen by stupid and lazy people?" - If this is true, the value of your content is being diluted. Start a revolution and think differently about the type of content, how it is distributed and where.
"Can someone in the global marketplace outperform and over deliver?" - The global marketplace forces everyone to think differently about "what is real value"?
"Are the rules the same?" - Google changes the rules every month as do vendors.
"Do the laws of the land become a barrier?" - Marijuana, taxes, liquor laws, health insurance and minimum wage are but a few of the new laws which will have a ripple affect.
"Is enthusiasm still present?" - For business owners and entrepreneurs, there is no real boss or accountability. Success comes from plenty of ego, vision and pure will power.
One specific example of when it is important to raise the bar is "video". While creating a video was "cool" in the past, the ability of smart phones with video cameras, video software creation tools, faster upload speeds and low cost has made videos "old hat" and appear to be not as cool or valuable. What was once cool can be in fact a bit revolting.
Here are easy software tools to create videos:
Animoto.com continues to raise the bar and offers new ways to create videos with style.
GoAnimate.com is another resource but not near as easy to harness.
Stupeflix.com is very popular and easy for anyone to upload/mix photos, video and music to create stunning videos in seconds.
Stock photos are an example in the past where we must still challenge ourselves from doing it the cheap and easy way. Images only available to marketing agencies at a premium are now available free or for less than $5. These stock images are in and of themselves unique and would be costly for you to produce. Yet the common availablity of stock photos and images does not impress but instead causes people to YAWN.
Sure, you can use your own taste and decide you like pink... or maybe purple. Change that stock photo. How far can you go before things become revolting?
Software, tools and skills are
not a replacement for good judgment." - Michael Hartzell
Unfortunately, putting a new software tool in your hands and adding a few skills will never replace good judgment. In fact, a person with new software tools and only average skills has them working very hard with marginal results.
How can good judgment be acquired? Testing, conversing with true experts, listening first, tracking information from already successful businesses. It has been said:
Don't invent... innovate. Invention is for those with plenty of time and money."
Example for where to start your own revolution: Another example for letting go and starting a revolt is related to activity offsite. No matter how much time is spent on your website pages, until there is an investment on the Internet off your own website... no one will visit.
Reverse the ratio: Instead of 10 hours of activity on your website to every 1 hour off your website, think of the reverse. For every 1 hour spent directly on your website, spend 10 hours off your website with introductions, invitations and helpful tips to make their day. (You can point to valuable resources on your own website.)
For people to be very excited about sharing something "NEW", something NEW available should be ready.
Lazy and stupid? Sure enough, this copyrighted article may very well get stolen by people looking for an easy way. Those who steal the content will may pause and consider whether they too will have a revolution and break away to find their own voice instead of stealing.
At some point you too might have thought:
I am not smart enough, patient enough and I am a failure so I will steal the content from others to save time."
If that is the case, go to federal .gov websites. Look at the bottom for a copyright symbol and you will most likely not find any references to copyright. Borrow from the federal government. (Be sure to confirm the legal acceptability of this.)
You will pick your own day and reason for starting a revolution. I like July 4th but you may decide the New Year's is a good day. Birthdays, anniversaries are good days to take new steps forward. In a corporate environment, there are formal time periods tied directly to fiscal responsibilities.
Don't think of it as "giving up" or "change". Instead think of it as "evolution". Everyone evolves.