I am a bit inclined to this myself but am at great pains to catch myself doing it and stop it immediately. Not because there’s no value in what I’ve learned over the last few decades in accounting and business, there is. But because I observe people inventing new ways to do things every day which are better in almost every way.
Don’t get me wrong. Not everything is better. In fact if things work fine as they are, I wish they wouldn’t change them. But they do. I am not for change for change’s sake. But I am definitely for reviewing the ways we have always done things. They are not better done that way just because we always have.
If you are less than thirty years old, you are probably wondering what on earth I am on about. What I see is people flogging a dead horse, either in the information they sell, the things they believe or the businesses they run. If the writing is on the wall, move on.
One of my businesses is almost obsolete because it is rather old-fashioned in its operating system. What I notice all the time is that new people come along and invent better ways of what we are doing; more flexible and faster. Our choice is to invest more than we want to in order to keep up, or to drop out of the market. I suspect we will opt for the latter.
Has your market moved? Did you notice? Are you watching your business shrinking? What’s causing that? You? Or market conditions? What can you do about it, if anything, and how long are you prepared to go on flogging that particular horse?
Depending on what stage of life you are at, I would be looking at ways to match your income from something much lighter and easier. The old ways are not necessarily best though by all means take the best of your good bits with you to the new venture. Sell the old one too, while you are at it, if you can. There may be some value in it for someone, someone else who hasn’t noticed what’s going on perhaps.
If you are peddling the same old information you’ve been churning out for the last decade – or more – it’s time to move on, update, review, refresh and reinvent. Otherwise you are a dinosaur. If you can demonstrate to me that you are making loads of wonga doing it and there’s no sign of that slowing down, then good on you. If your returns are diminishing, something’s afoot and I would encourage you not to be too bored or too fearful to look at the hard truths which may have been staring you in the face for some time.
If no-one wants what you do in the way that you do it anymore…no moaning, there’s no profit in that. Pick up sticks and move across to the new, pronto.
If you are a died-in-the-wool entrepreneur, I will be preaching to the choir here. Just as there no such thing as a job for life, there is no longer a business for life either. We have to adapt or die. No resting on your laurels. Look around you, see what’s going on, what’s cool, funky, sexy and now and produce some of that. And then create desire for it. People will always find the money for what they want.
Keep everything you know and think and believe, and everything you do, under constant review to make sure you are keeping abreast of what’s going on, what people want, what they will pay for and what’s new. You won’t regret it. We all need to refresh, stay contemporary and get with the beat now and again. It’ll keep you young!