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Last August, I was skateboarding in my band’s jam spot after practice. I attempted an ollie over an old snare drum — something I have done dozens of times.
(When I write it out like this, it sounds like a terrible idea.)
This time was different; my back wheels caught the rim, I fell on my elbow and broke it.
I am 39 years old.
I had to come to terms with this.
When starting a business, you can’t expect everything to stay the same forever. You have to learn the difference between a dip you can power through, and changes you’d better adapt to.
Two and a half years ago when I started the podcast, sponsor requests were steady and building.
Last year at this time, sponsorship requests filled my inbox, and the price was moving upwards.
In 2017, sponsorships for the show are steady, but they are less lucrative and harder to find.
The show itself has grown, the market has changed. It now takes more work to get the same results as last year.
I had to come to terms with this.
To be clear, I am not about to stop skateboarding or podcasting, but I’ve realized my need to evolve.
How I skateboarded when I was 18 years old, is not the same way I should do it today.
How I focused my revenue around sponsorships in 2015 and 2016, is not the same way I should do it today.
We need to come to terms with change.
It is a work in frustration to wish things were not as they are. We can complain about these changes, or we can evolve and react to them.
Coming to terms with change is the first step. From there you can choose to adjust or ignore.
We need to step back and analyze our lives and businesses, to see if the ways in which we perceived them last month or last year are still valid.
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it. — Ferris Bueller
Often, when things stop working as well as they once were, we feel the need to double-down or push harder. We think, maybe it’s just a dip, or maybe I need to work more?
Yes, it could be a dip. And yes, perhaps you could stand to work harder.
That said, I’m suggesting you should stop. Stop and look around to see what changes have occurred — changes that are beyond your control.
You may find that nothing has changed and you simply need to push through. But you may also find that things have changed around you, and you need to adapt.
Before you can do this, you will need to come to terms with the fact that things have changed.
The faster you can come to terms with this new reality, the quicker you can react, and leave your competition behind.
No, this is not a cop-out for you to not enter into competitive markets or to push through the hard times.
It is a call for you to become aware of the difference between competition and changes in a marketplace.
Discerning this difference is where the magic happens.
Learning this distinction is an exercise in awareness, and it will save you from trying to push against reality.
We inevitably get older, markets endlessly evolve, and tactics stop being effective.
When we refuse to come to terms with these changes, we execute from a place of weakness — and this is not a place where we can do our best work.
Come to terms with change.
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