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I find there are two general types of business owners.  The first is a business owner who is sure that everything they do is right.  It’s hard for me to have a conversation with them about change.  Since everything is perfect, there’s no need to question premises they have.

The second is a business owner who I hope is like you.  This business owner is always asking questions.  She is wondering if there is a better way.  He is willing to pivot if and when it becomes possible there is a better way. 

This post is for those of you who might fall into category one.

The world is changing, are you?

Change isn’t an option anymore.  It’s something that you need to pay attention to.  The workforce is changing.  Are you ready to welcome younger people with a very different mindset? 

Your customers are searching for information about you in new and different ways.  Is there someone in your company who’s monitoring what others are saying or thinking about you? 

Are you a seeker?  Do you know that whatever you’re doing is going to be obsolete sooner than you thought?  These are all premises you need to come to embrace…and embrace sooner than later.

If you’re not asking what would happen if, you could be in trouble.

I think this question is key to your success.  If you’re not asking what could happen if there’s a good chance you’re going to be blindsided with a nasty surprise.  Even if you get very good at asking this question, there’s a good chance you’ll still have some surprises you would rather not deal with. 

At least you’ll be in practice and be willing to consider the possibility.  If you’re not used to asking this question, it’ll take you too long to get over your anger before you can do something positive about the change that’s happened.

It’s always a good idea to start with a beginners mind.

I like to pretend I know nothing about a topic.  I find that when I do so all of the “knowledge” I have might or might not be useful.  A beginners mind allows you ask better questions about what is happening in your world.  A beginners mind will let you pivot if you have to do so.

Today, it’s impossible to know everything you should do.

The amount of information there is in the world swamps me.  People are thinking about things in different ways.  Clients expectations change.  The Internet and being allowed to measure everything has changed how we think about marketing and new customers.  Are you using tools that let you measure more effectively?  If not, you could be falling behind your competitors in finding the right clients for your business.

If you have lots of hubris, you’re not going to be seeking the best ideas from outsiders.  You’re going to think you have it knocked.  I hate to have to pass this information on……you don’t.

Find a good thinking partner….it’ll do you good.

I have lots of people I call to just kick ideas around with.  You should too.  These might be paid advisors who have a broad knowledge base.  It could be friends who have successfully gone through a similar issue.

Remember the things that are probably going to come back and bite you are things you never expect to happen.  You can’t assume that just because something has happened before it’ll happen again.  The challenge in today’s environment is the speed of change, not that change is happening.

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Topics: Change, op ed, hubris

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