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Different Times Call For Different Strategies

Business-Building Action Steps From Terry Brock

We are living in times that are different from anything you and I have lived in before.  Is the economy picking up?  Is it in for a long-term change? What is happening around us and how can we, as small business people, adapt and succeed?

Well, in different times one strategy is to can keep on doing what you’ve already done.  I remember the old phrase that I heard long ago, “If you keep on doing what you’ve already done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve already got.”  That sounded like profound wisdom.

Until I realized it was wrong.

John Trumbull's painting, Declaration of Indep...
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When things are different and the ground rules are changing and everything becomes different, if you keep on doing what got you to the level of success you’re enjoying now, you are certainly NOT going to keep getting what you’ve already got.

You are going to fall further and further behind.

This is not a pretty picture — if you keep on doing what you’ve already done.

Things are different today and we have to change a lot of the core beliefs we have held. The toughest beliefs to discard will be those which brought you success in the past but are no longer valid in today’s new environment.

If you know me, you know that I love studying history and embracing the principles that worked long ago to practical relevance for us today.  I’m reminded of the approach the British used in the American Revolution.  They embraced the tried-and-true 17th Century strategy of soldiers, all dressed in pretty red uniforms, marching in straight, organized formation doing war the “proper” way (and yes, the British still use that word “proper” today to indicate the way things “should” be done).

Well, it didn’t take long before the British realized that these colonists were not practicing the “proper” way of waging war.  Those pesky Americans were hiding behind trees, hiding in bushes and even shooting officers.  “How dare they?” asked the outraged British military.

Well, what worked in the 1760’s against Frederick the Great (The great enemy of the British in the Seven Years War) didn’t work against American frontier fighters who didn’t quite get around to reading the manuals on the “proper” way to fight a revolutionary war.

I hear the Americans did all right in that little conflict!

For you and me today, the lesson is that what worked in small business in the 70’s, the 80’s and the 90’s doesn’t work today.  We have to look at different ways of getting our message out to others.  We have to be unconventional.  We have to be willing to embrace new ideas, new technologies and new ways of doing things to serve customers, increase the bottom line and be profitable.

What worked before is not necessarily going to work in today’s new environment.  We have a fiscal year national debt of close to $2 Trillion dollars today (I still have trouble wrapping my mind around that much debt).  We have a national debt of around $14 Trillion (and THAT number boggles my mind!).

That means that you and I have to embrace different strategies in a different world.  Lean more heavily on technology and systems.  Lean more heavily on outsourcing to leverage your ability.  It means that we have to think of our market as international much more than based within a given geographical region.

Yes, we can make it and many are.  Throughout history those who can and did adapt to the changing landscape and circumstances succeeded.  Those who could not adapt to the new ways of doing things were eliminated.

Resolve today that you will learn something new that can help your business.  Also, resolve that you will let go of what isn’t working anymore — even if it worked before.

A new way of doing business is upon us.  As we embrace the change and adapt both with our philosophy and our technology, we will succeed.

Be sure to listen to the audio podcast of this article — enhanced with more comments that you are going to love!  Click on the “Play” button below to listen. You can also download it as an MP3 file to listen on your favorite MP3 audio player.  Enjoy!

Copyright © 2009, Terry Brock and Achievement Systems, Inc.  Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and professional speaker who helps businesses generate profitable results. He can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or through his website at  Join the Twitter adventure with Terry through his Twitter address: @TerryBrock

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