I sat down to catch up on the day’s news on television and there was some talk about the slight increase in the number of unemployed persons. My initial reaction was that this does not affect me as I run my own business. I rephrased the question so that it could apply to me.
[featured-image single_newwindow=”false”](Image courtesy of Dollar Photo Club)[/featured-image]
[shareable]Is the income from my business guaranteed?[/shareable]
What would happen to me if someone turned up next door or across the road and started selling the same type of products and services as I do?
Competition at my door
I turned up to work one morning only to find a sign hanging on the door of the shop across the road saying “New Pharmacy Opening Soon”. This was completely unexpected as I was very comfortable being the only dispensing chemist in the area. My customers began to pledge their loyalty to me and promised to continue to cross the road and bring their business to me.
At first I was pleased that these loyal customers would make the extra effort. But deep down, I didn’t want the sympathy vote. I wanted to be the person who provided great value in exchange for money and effort spent.
It’s not just your competitors that can put you out of business. How about government regulations, new technologies, natural and man-made disasters (there’s plenty of this around)?
Then there is the ever-changing habits of consumers and the insatiable desire for a better, cheaper and faster way of fulfilling human needs and wants.
The world we live in is always changing and I am convinced that no job is safe and no business is destined to last forever.
Position yourself for change
So how can you as an individual or a business position yourself for the uncertainty that is certain to rock your world some time soon?
Let me give you three lessons I learnt from my own experience.
#1. Embrace uncertainty.
Embrace uncertainty. Crave it and know that the more you are comfortable with it the better your chances of surviving it. Many of the things that happen to you are outside your control. But you are in control of your response. I am not asking you to live your life expecting the worst. On the contrary, expect things to get better and it will. If that does not happen, then consider some of the options open to you.
#2. Be a change agent
To be the one who initiates change, you will need to constantly push the boundaries of your existing world.
How prepared are you? Are you learning new skills, embracing new technologies and meeting new people?
You may have heard it said that “if it’s not broken, why fix it?”. Don’t wait for anything to break before fixing it. Don’t wait until you get into debt before fixing your poor money habits.
Take a good look at every area of your life, career and business. Ask yourself the question: “What can I do to improve things?” Then go ahead and make the necessary changes.
#3. Try out new things
Humans are creatures of habit and once we are settled into a particular way of doing something, we seldom change it. But you can develop the habit of trying out new things. Most of us will always shop at the same supermarket and eat the same food in the same restaurant.
Consider new ways of looking at old problems. Visit new places, learn new skills and take on new challenges.
And when next you eat out, consider a different restaurant and a different menu from what you would normally have.
As you embrace change, as you initiate change and as you continue to live in an ever-changing world in which you co-created, you learn some of the skills that will help you survive when change does arrive.
If you are not satisfied with what you are doing, change it.
If you are not satisfied with the job you are doing, change it.
If you are not satisfied with the life you are living, change it.
If you are not satisfied with the relationships you have. change it.
Don’t change it because you think you will be satisfied with the next one. This is a highly unlikely outcome. Change it because you are a change agent, you thrive on change and you want to see what other opportunities are available to you out there.
Change it because you do not want to get locked up into a life and world that you dislike.