I recently heard the news that Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus was closing its doors after 146 years of business. I instantly looked past the headline to see the relevance. A giant leader in their industry finally fell over dead. Why? It is simple, they failed to stay relevant. That got me thinking about other casualties of change and how that compares to digital transformation and our modern world. I even took it to a personal level and thought of how it might affect me personally. Here are a few things every business and individual needs to think about moving forward.
The definition of success has really been centered around accomplishments. Whether it is making the huge income, revenue, or winning the race, success is measured by accomplishments. The problem is that this very way of thinking is flawed and is a sure path to becoming irrelevant. Accomplishments live in two spaces, either the past or the future. If it is a past accomplishment you’re spending today and focusing on things in the past that you already did. The opportunity cost is today’s growth and focusing on the things that you haven’t done. The worst thing for success is a little bit, it can put your mind in the past and reduce drive. If you want to keep growing change your mindset.
The casualties of relevance. We have all heard of things that are no longer cool, nobody cares about, and nobody wants. Businesses have fallen into that category, products, and sadly even people and ideas. Most businesses are still trying to get big instead of being relevant. Size doesn’t matter when it comes to relevance. Huge companies are making monumental shifts because they realize they are not relevant. When all your time goes into building a structure only to find that the basis of the structure is no longer relevant, then violent disruption occurs. Businesses need to bask in the fundamentals and breathe adaptability and environmental awareness so they can ride the wave instead of swimming in the ocean. This is also why talented people are greater assets than products.
Accomplishments lose relevance. Have you ever wanted something really bad and then worked hard for it only to have the excitement wear off shortly after you finally got the object or goal. It happens all the time. Why do you think so many famous people use drugs or kill themselves. They have what they always wanted and what everyone else wants and still feel unfulfilled. Objects and goals don’t bring fulfillment, they are just a moment in our lives and if you focus on goals for happiness you will fail to have happiness along the way. This is a big mistake people spend entire lives doing. Don’t fall into that trap. Learn to celebrate forward progress and growth. Calculated growth will take you past markers of success known as goals, but the idea of a goal is an end point when in reality your accomplishments are just points along your journey.
Growth creates full-spectrum experiences. If you live in the past or are always looking at the future your life will be a grind. The way to gain value from the past and future that translates into your experience today is to focus on growth. You can grow today, you can learn today. The happiness and fulfillment you want can be lived in every moment. Growth is action taken today with the knowledge of the past that creates a better future. Re-centering your focus to today’s success through growth and planned growth for future directions will help you experience more every day and appreciate it now. The real question is how amazing are you right now! This goes for business, products, and people.
Agile, adaptable, growth focused people and companies are happy and ready for the future.
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The art of being amazing. What is better than outward accomplishments is simply being amazing. The ability to accomplish is the real gold. We often put a carrot on the end of a stick because we were told to and the carrot becomes the focus instead of the stick which is the real reward. Building the ability to adapt, learn, overcome and accomplish is much greater than a carrot mentality. Also it removes the stress of never getting the carrot and lets you be empowered in constant growth of your own ability. I don’t want to just accomplish goals, I want to develop that ability to accomplish goals, that is a huge difference.
Measure your success in the moment of who you, your product, or company are and what they can do right now.
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Listen to me unpack this concept in the video below (11 min)