Many people throw around the concept of businesses needing to be future proof, and much of that thinking is focused on the technology you choose to adopt and the digital strategy the business needs to be able to survive. No business ever wants to be a Kodak who decided to ignore the fact that digital photography would eliminate film and paper. Yet even the advisors whom Kodak chose to ignore, could not foresee the cellphone camera revolution.
What about humans and the pending threat of artificial intelligence or AI as it is called? How can we future proof ourselves or at least be relevant as a species for a few more generations?
Here are 7 things to get good at:
- Listening – I can’t seem to emphasize listening enough, and remember – 80% of your success will come from listening. The key is found in silence, be that listening to the world around us or to a divine power. It is no wonder that the words LISTEN and SILENT have the same letters.
- Connecting – We can all be social but can we actually connect? Connecting and networking truly will determine your net worth. When connecting, never forget the little people around us. Most of the time the biggest nuggets of value come from those whom we least expect.
- R.O.I.R – Tom Peters, the ultimate management guru, calls it “Return On Investment in Relationships.” Once we have connected we need to develop relationships. Ultimately the more we can show others that we care for them and that they are important, the greater our influence will be. Peters says “Generally people do business with people they trust and like, or people who are recommended by someone they trust.”
- Presenting – The quicker you learn to present, the better you will be able to communicate. Regardless of age, there is no longer an excuse: YouTube and other video channels have made it possible for you to share what you have with the world. We all have something someone else needs, and the best way to find those who need what you have to give is to make it available on YouTube. The better you present, the more subscribers you will have and the more you will understand what people want. Remember if you don’t have a presence on YouTube, you virtually don’t exist.
- Selling – Yes, selling; you may have enjoyed the article to this point and are now probably asking why I had to bring selling into the mix. There is a saying that goes “If you are not selling, you are not growing”. Nothing is more relevant in today’s fast paced world and the question is what are you selling? Again regardless of age, the earlier you learn to sell the better your chances at success will be. Why, you may ask? Simply – selling teaches us how to deal with objections and handle rejection, most unsuccessful people are only that way because they have never learnt to handle rejection. So get out there and start selling something.
- Entrepreneurship – To be an entrepreneur is to identify challenges and then assist people in overcoming those challenges. The quicker you can assist them over those challenges by providing something they need, the more potential you have to influence niches and potentially derive a profit from your efforts. Most people never stick around long enough to see the fruits of their labour, and most are discouraged along the way as they cannot handle objections and the rejection that comes with potential success. Remember the world in general would like you to be just like them, and that is certainly not a picture of success. This is rather simple survival, or an existence just above survival, that we tend to justify by comparing ourselves to those that have less than us. Be an entrepreneur and challenge the status quo, you may even find that you can change the lives of others by offering them employment.
- Humanity – The word for the qualities that make us human, such as the ability to love and have compassion, be creative, and not be a robot or alien. The word humanity is from the Latin humanitas for “human nature, kindness.’ Accountability, Wisdom, Empathy summarize what is needed to make us the kind humans we are intended to be. We cannot have humanity if we ignore the people around us. We need to be accountable, gain as much understanding that will lead us to wisdom and show as much empathy as possible. It’s only when we find ourselves in the service of others that we can truly say we have found meaning in life.
I encourage you to future-proof your life, so that you will leave a legacy for the generations that follow you. Remember we actually ‘die twice’ – the first time is when our physical beings pass away, and the second is when people stop talking about you.