Change: The Only Constant

“Pig Pen, this here is Rubber Duck. We ain’t gonna pay no toll…”
CW McCall, “Convoy”

Who would have dreamed, in the 1970s, that anything would ever replace the CB radio? Some readers will, like me, be old enough to remember the CB craze. We will all remember, for instance, that the “main channel” on our CB radio was channel 19.

“Breaker 19, this here is the CopyGuy, with a newsflash: before that Hollywood actor named Reagan becomes president, CB radio will be a fad from the past…”

Fast-forward to just around the time CB radio had completely faded from the American consciousness, and you’ll discover a curious new technology called the compact disc just making its debut on the market. There were scoffers. There were purists who said nothing sounded as good as vinyl (there still are, but that’s another post). And there were plenty of people to point out that nobody in their right mind would replace an entire record collection just to go buy the same music on CD. Those people were wrong.

Fast forward again. Apple introduces a service called iTunes. There are scoffers. There are purists who say there’s nothing like having the liner notes you get inside the case of a CD. And they’re plenty of people pointing out that nobody in their right mind will replace an entire CD collection is to go buy the same music for the iPod. Those people were also wrong.

Just to be clear: those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Change is constant. Industries appear and vanish in the space of a decade. Those who win are those who anticipate the trends, and get in front of them. Distinction worthy of note: it is much easier to predict trends and get in front of them that it is to be the creator of said trends. Much, much, much easier.

 

Are You Interested Or Committed?

Are you interested or are you committed? This question is where the rubber meets the road. This is where I might lose you.

english breakfast

Some people will say, “Oh yeah, I’m interested in having my own business!” They’ll read what I have to say, or listen to a podcast, they’ll nod their heads and say, “That sounds like a good idea.”

But they won’t actually go out and do it.

They won’t do what it takes.

They won’t buy the educational materials, the books that are recommended, or attend the training events. They won’t read Think and Grow Rich.

They won’t invest in themselves and get the continuing education they need, or find a mentor.

There’s a lesson to be learned about commitment from breakfast. “When it comes to breakfast, the chicken is interested, but the pig is committed.”

It’s one thing to lay an egg and contribute that to breakfast; it’s another thing entirely to give yourself up to be the bacon.

How about you? Are you interested or are you committed?

Are There Diamonds Buried In Your Backyard?

While we’re busy searching, striving, and battling to build a fortune, we often overlook the Fortune that is right in our own backyard. Don’t feel too bad, I’ve been there right along with you.

Luxury diamond with clipping path

Perhaps the story of my own folly will help reassure you, and motivate you to take another look at the opportunities that lie at your feet…

Recently, my son Sean Edwards came on board at my company. He’s been learning the business, and getting familiar with our processes, projects, and products. When I gave him access to all the digital products we have created over the years (which we keep in a central member’s area), he was shocked.

“Do we still sell any of these?”

“No”, I told him, “I’m usually focused on selling latest product we have developed.” He laughed.

“But this is a treasure chest! What if we just started selling all these products that are sitting on a shelf?”

This was a very good question.

I admit, it’s a little embarrassing to tell this story. But there is a powerful lesson here, and it reminds me of Russell Conwell. Conwell is one of the pioneers of our industry (the information marketing/teaching/coaching industry.) According to Wikipedia, Conwell was born in 1843 and became an American Baptist minister, orator, philanthropist, lawyer, and writer. He’s best remembered as the founder and first president of Temple University in Philadelphia… and for an inspirational lecture, “Acres of Diamonds”.

“Acres of Diamonds” was a speech Conwell delivered over 6,000 times around the world. It was first published in print in 1890.

It’s worth reading in its entirety, especially if you are a student of the industry (and you should be.) You can read it for free here. The basic premise of the speech is that there’s no need to go looking somewhere else for opportunity or riches. Everything we need to achieve our dreams is already present, right where we are.

Conwell credits the original tale to an Arab guide, who told Conwell about a man who so desperately wanted to discover diamonds that he sold his property and set off on a search for his fortune. Meanwhile, the new owner of the home found a rich diamond mine right there on the property. The home’s original owner had literally overlooked acres of diamonds in his own backyard.

We are presently building out a simple plan to start selling the products that I had been keeping in my “digital treasure box”. Just one example of the “acres of diamonds” on my own property.

What opportunities, assets, products, wisdom, experience, connections… what “acres of diamonds” are just lying in your backyard, waiting for you to pick them up?

Work The System by Sam Carpenter

Last week I recorded a podcast in which I talked about thinking of life as a system. I have been profoundly affected by the work of Sam Carpenter, author of the book Work the System. Today’s post is a review and recommendation of that book.wts-book

Sam operated his own stagnant and dying business for 15 years. He worked hundred-hour weeks, literally lived at his place of business with his kids, and spent most of his time “putting out fires”.  Playing the role of entrepreneurial superhero. More than once, the payroll checks bounced, and Sam found himself standing on the doorsteps of his employees’ homes, handing them cash, and begging them to give him one more chance.