I was editing a blog for one of my lovely clients today – the theme of which was change. It got my brain thinking about how change is not only possible but inevitable, and yet it is something that most people fear.
I mean, I guess it is genetically understandable that many people have an inbuilt wariness or fear of change.
Think of it this way. As a caveman – you would know your world in a physical sense very well. You would know where each stream was, where the scary animals lived, which bushes and trees were where, and whether you could eat the stuff or not. You would know when to expect what sort of weather, or migration of herds, and many other things.
If one day – you looked out and saw the herds coming at a time you had not expected that would be bad. Because you might miss your opportunity to fatten up for the winter or get your skins ready for the cold period.
Generally as a caveman – change could be bad.
There are a few other things where change is potentially bad. Freak weather. Volcano’s. An irritating cough that just developed. Many reasons built up over thousands of generations, to fear change.
However, I am one of the weirdo’s that love change. I have a low boredom threshold and therefore running a social media business is BRILLIANT for me – because things change so rapidly and frequently that there is no chance for me to get bored.
I love to learn – learning and having fun are 2 of my top values. And therefore – change is a big positive for me.
And even when change seems to be a negative – like losing someone I love – I recognise that this particular change has also brought with it opportunities for new things to happen that would not have happened before.
And anyway there is f’ all you can do about it. People die. “End of” as my mother – rather inappropriately sometimes, is prone to saying.
In our modern world, there are less reasons (or maybe just different ones) to fear change. The thing you need to fear is NOT changing.
One of my good friends, is stuck in the 90’s. Literally. They do the same thing over and over. They are living the same life they lived 20 years ago – but not in a good way. They are stuck and unhappy. You have to change. If you don’t your brain cells die a little. And, so does your spirit. Your world gets a little smaller every day until your teeny tiny problems, seem huge and unmanageable.
When we lost my Dad in 2006 I was determined not to let that happen to my Mum. When he was alive she refused to fly. She used to be flown 1000 miles away to boarding school in Africa on rickety old propeller planes. The association with loss and the scary tropical storms, meant that once she came home to England in her 20’s she never flew again.
Which was really annoying because my Dad was a travel agent and we could have benefited from many free holidays!
By the time my Dad retired he had been everywhere and seen everything, and therefore he wasn’t bothered that my Mum didn’t want to travel outside the UK. Though we did send them on a driving holiday in northern France once. Hilarious and a story for another time.
Anyway – the point I was trying to make before I rudely interrupted myself, was that I was determined she wouldn’t fade away, her world getting smaller and smaller because of her fear of change or the unknown. So since then she has been everywhere with us – Spain, France, Canaries, Portugal, Barbados, Australia.
She has surprised herself at how much she has enjoyed the end result (if not the actual flying – although business class to Barbados and back was a lovely experience for her).
And it reminds me of how some people run their business. Some people stay in their comfort zone, doing the stuff they have always done, the way they have always done it. And even though they don’t see it at the time, their business loses a little and then progressively more, as time passes. They may be comfortable, but one day the herd comes along when they weren’t expecting it and they don’t have the resources they need for their own ‘business winter’.
On the other hand some companies just love to innovate. They love change and they thrive on it. Sometimes there is overkill – change for the sake of it. But at least nothing gets boring and they are trying, experimenting and generally that means that they are in growth mode.
And then other businesses have to be encouraged, pushed, made to change by their owners, their mentors, their investors. Maybe they are not the very first ones to make the change – but they see that change is happening and realise they need to be a part of it. And they may resist, but then realise that it was the best thing they ever did.
Many of my social media clients fall into that category.
Which one is your business?
Because it is always better to be leading the change, then playing catch up! And remember, change is possible!