Using Change to Add Value to Your Life and Business

Like it or not, change is a huge part of your business. Technology, society, commerce and industry are all changing at unprecedented rates. There’s more of it, it happens faster and it’s increasingly complex. And it all affects you directly or indirectly.

The bad news is that keeping up with change can be a daunting task. The even worse news, the ugly, is that resisting change zaps you of your energy – your personal fuel – that you should be focusing elsewhere more productively. However, the good news is that change can really be used as a tool to add value to your business. Here are three tips for doing so.

  • Laugh when it hurts. It’s essential for every business owner to have a good sense of humor. There’s just too much that can go wrong, and occasionally will go wrong, to get “bent out of shape.” Being bent out of shape really means losing focus on what’s important to you – your dreams, goals, strategies and objectives. Don’t let that happen to you. Laugh it off, find the humor in the situation (we humans really are a funny lot!), refuse to play the blame game and tap into your creative genes to solve the problem or find another opportunity.It’s a proven fact that laughter stimulates creativity – which in turn leads to the creation of alternatives and solutions – something every business owner wants and needs. So the next time you encounter a snafu in your plans and you’re not sure if you should laugh or cry, choose to laugh. You’ll definitely get through the snafu and find a solution as well.
  • Network like crazy. Regardless of the type, change is led by people. People tend to put their own spin on change – they speed it up, slow it down and sometimes mess it up – but most importantly, they make it happen. To stay abreast of the change curve, network like crazy. That means getting out and talking with as many people as you can about what’s going on in their lives and businesses, how they’re addressing new challenges and opportunities, and what they’re doing to be successful. While you’re at it, be sure to ask for feedback as well. Most people will be happy to answer your questions, and they’ll even feel flattered when you ask. Set a personal goal of connecting with 5, 10 or even 20 people per month, and you’ll be surprised at what you will learn that you can apply to your business.
  • Challenge your assumptions. Highly successful people will tell you that their greatest learning experiences came from failure: failure to take off their blinders and consider alternatives and failure to listen to what their changing environment was telling them. Hard lessons are often paid for in loss of revenues, opportunities and, sometimes, colleagues and friends. You don’t have to learn the hard way. Challenging your assumptions about your strategy, tactics and pressing challenges can open up possibilities to confront the change that is occurring in and around your business. Ask a few key questions, a couple times per year, of valued colleagues. The key questions are quite simple and yet revealing:
    1. Is there another way to do this?
    2. Is there a better way to do this?
    3. Is my way really the best way?

    Maybe you’ll find a better way, maybe not. But by opening your mind to new possibilities, you’ll add even more creativity, and value, to your goals and objectives.

Yes, change is everywhere and it’s inevitable. Choose to be a winner; laugh when it hurts; challenge your assumptions; and network like crazy. If you do, you’ll create more value for yourself and your business.