A friend of mine has a saying – “Nothing lasts forever.”
How true is that statement? Well, it’s very true! I used to believe in it less than I do now, but events over the past few years have illustrated to me how true it is. Both in my personal life and also in my business life things have happened that time and again show me that nothing lasts forever.
However, there are things that you can do to stretch the lifespan as long as possible out of whatever it is that you are trying to preserve.
Let’s look at the business since that is what this site is all about. I have a business that I started up about 7 years ago. It’s been a super business. I have made some really nice money from this business. It has kept me happy, healthy, with food on the table, etc. There was a time when I thought that the business was invincible. A couple of years ago, I decided to concentrate on the business less than I had been. I thought that this particular business was so well established that it could prosper even just with the guidance of my staff. Of course, I would keep an eye on it, but I would involve myself less and less in the day to day operations.
So, I set out on this path a couple of years ago. It did very well for quite some time. However, about a year ago, it started declining. At first, such decline is virtually unnoticeable, because you just count it as a normal fluctuation, the regular ebb, and flow of business. But, it has continued to spiral downwards. New competition came in. We didn’t make many changes, just maintained the status quo. That is my fault because I put the thing on auto-pilot.
That is a huge mistake.
Now it is time for me to jump back in and get the business back on track. Honestly, that is something that I enjoy doing. I don’t enjoy running a business, but I enjoy innovating, making changes, etc. That is part of the personality profile of a true entrepreneur. Entrepreneurial people enjoy starting businesses, but then they tend to walk away when things are going smoothly. That’s what I did.
So, I have come up with a list of innovations that I need to make to hopefully get my business back on track. It won’t be an easy thing to do, but I am drawn to do it.
What about you? Do you believe in the statement that I used as the title of this article? Innovate or die. Nothing lasts forever. I just hope that through innovation I can prolong the life of this particular venture.
This is so very true. Amazon is in the process of making changes to how they deal with small publishers. Not surprisingly, these changes greatly benefit Amazon in the short-term (but are likely a mistake in the long-term). That being said, if your only business is independent publishing and you haven’t innovated out from that point, you are likely in trouble. Some folks will go out of business. Others will innovate from now forward.
The ones who will survive will be the ones who know that nothing lasts forever.
You are right Bob, the problem now is that money is a lot tighter now than it was a couple of years ago, everyone is tightening their belts so you have 2 problems but I’m sure you will come out on top.
Hi Tom Nixon – Yes, it is very true, innovation is very important, regardless of what industry you are in. The publishing industry has seen massive changes in the past decade, and will probably see more as we go forward!
Hi Phil – I learned something from a mentor of mine about 25 years ago. I consider what he taught me as a milestone in my thinking and personal business beliefs.
What was it that he taught me?
In business, the best time to start a new business or to innovate an existing business is when times are bad. Tough economic times are the right time to experiment and innovate, to perfect a new business strategy. The reason is, if you can make something successful during hard times, when times get good again the thing will really flourish!
It is a tenet that I live by!