We still have several weeks left in the year, days and hours when we can choose to make a difference, and yet, much of the attention is wrapped into the pursuit of what's next.
Social media predictions are the everyday person version of a thick McKinsey report. It is the hope that knowing "best practices" and what others are doing will allow one to compete successfully in the market.
In that case, you'll indeed have a self fulfilling prophecy -- competition.
We trade assets, not hope.
So understanding the difference and constructing our narrative based upon it is a key component of how we learn to interpret developing trends.
When your go to market is "all-inclusive", the dishes are lukewarm and overcooked, vegetables are military green, and there is a lot of stuff you'd never want as part of the selection.
All content can be useful. Its usefulness is determined by applicability to your business. Do you have the time and resources to parse the gold nuggets from the rest?
I often hear the argument that you won't know it until you see it, which is a bit of a cop out. Serendipity is the how and the direct result of asking a specific why question.
Even when confronted with a buffet, you are called upon to choose.
To focus is to be able to see clearly. Having a laser-focused approach means you are concentrating on the activities that are a good investment of your energy.
Take a look at the media diet of people who have a considerable creative output, and you will see their approach is very focused. A key theme, question, or point of view is the lens used to parse the inflow of content.
Topical focus is based on an internal compass, the direct result of knowing what you're trading and being creative about how you combine your assets to increase your capacity for making better promises.
You can be laser-focused and immersed in flow.
How do you know which approach is for you? Here's where turning pro will help you decide.
Because when we make predictions we end up looking either at a version of ourselves of the past or a wish for the future. See if you recognize longing for the past successful versions and hope/wish for the future in these examples:
- "The world potential market for copying machines is 5,000, at most," said IBM to Xerox in 1959.
- "[Apple's iPhone] is the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard which makes it not a very good e-mail machine…"
- "With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn't likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market."
- "Children just aren’t interested in witches and wizards anymore," an anonymous publishing executive told J.K. Rowling in 1996.
- "The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C', the idea must be feasible," a Yale University professor about overnight delivery.
- "mobile apps will be the future of marketing"
- "brands will need to be everywhere all the time"
In themselves not inherently bad sentiments. Business is not about sentiments, though. It's about doing some hard thinking about the model you use to trade promises.
Turning pro means committing to doing the work to figure out what you're trading and the promises you are making, so you can make better ones. It's the condition we put ourselves in to make our own future by doing the work right now.
It is how you get to meaning from purpose.
I saw this on Google+ yesterday and wanted to pass it along: Sir Richard Branson says Screw Business as Usual. His message included: Since all royalties go to charity Virgin Unite please forgive the plug! Hope you enjoy the book.