Action Catalyst Blog

How to Survive in a World of Change

We live in a world of change.

Things are changing so fast – technology, strategy and even people’s personal interests and beliefs.

Many people don’t survive change. They can’t keep up and thrive, so they get left behind.

When was the last time you saw Blockbuster Video? It’s been a long time. The company went bankrupt just a few short years after Netflix came on the scene.

I was talking to another executive who said cell phones have put some wallet manufacturers out of business. People don’t carry wallets anymore because cell phones have replaced them.

It’s also the same with watches. I wear a watch because it was a gift from a consulting client; his son makes watches. Otherwise, though, I wouldn’t need to wear one. I could use my phone.

Also, taxi cab companies are dealing with Uber and hotels are affected by Airbnb.

We live in a world of change.

Whether or not you realize it, in your business and your profession, sooner or later someone’s going to come along and move your cheese.

Amazon affects everybody who sells products. Even Walmart is running a little bit scared because of what Amazon has become. None of us can 100% accurately predict the future, but it sparks an important question for us.

How do we survive in the future?

How do we adapt to change?

What it means is that what worked for you yesterday and what works for you today may not work for you in the future.

In some ways, things may change now. A lot of times, though, the principles don’t change.

Sometimes the practices change, but the principles don’t change.

The Southwestern family of companies has been around since 1855. We’ve been around through Civil War times and through the Great Depression, and through the creation of cars and light bulbs.

As the whole world has changed, Southwestern has survived. We also have a lot of clients that have been around for a 100 years or for dozens of years at least.

And what about performers? The timeless entertainers, the sports franchises and franchise businesses – how do they survive?

Here’s where something we know to be true comes into play: Even though we don’t know what the future holds, we know that people who are disciplined will survive.

People who are disciplined will adapt. Why?

Because discipline means doing things you know you should be doing even when you don’t feel like doing them. It means you might have to change something you’ve always done.

When you first started, you became successful by doing things that were uncomfortable and new, and by having to adapt, evolve and grow.

As long as you’re willing to always be disciplined, to do the things you know you should do, that you don’t feel like doing, you’re going to be OK.

When you get complacent, though, that’s where the risk happens. When you become entitled and you say, “You know what? I don’t want to change. I don’t want to have to adapt. I’m too good for that.” Or, “I already know everything I need to know because I’ve always done it this way.”

That’s where it gets risky and scary.

But if you’re disciplined and you’re willing to do the things you don’t want to do, you’re always going to find a way to not just survive, but to thrive.

The people who are the most disciplined – no matter their age, ethnicity, income level, education level or where they live geographically – find a way to survive and thrive.

Even though you don’t know what the future’s going to look like, discipline is something you can put your faith in.

You can put your trust into learning to do the things that are uncomfortable, but you know need to be done that you don’t like doing.

That’s timeless. It’s universal. It’s ubiquitous.

It’s tested, so you can put your trust into that, even though we don’t know exactly what the practices of the future will look like.

I invite you to request a free call with a Southwestern Consulting coach to talk about creating a customized game plan for you to survive in a world of change.

Remember, success is never owned. It’s only rented and the rent is due every day.

Leave a Reply