Innovation is Critical to an Entrepreneur's Success
My business has been and will continue to be improving how we listen to the market. When you're creating products and services for your business, it can be tempting to put your head down, blinders on as you intensely intensely. This is only good to an extent.
If you always want to be both relevant and recession-proof, a big part of your job is to know what's coming. Are your customers doing well right now? Are they anticipating tough times ahead for economic, political or seasonal reasons? What context are they living in? This is a fundamental for all forward-thinking entrepreneurs. Even if you fell that you have listened well before, good ideas quickly become mediocre ones because times change.
First, understand that, while surveys are popular, they are a little passe. By the time people can answer a survey with what they want in a clear manner, the opportunity to be ahead has already passed. What's more important than what the market can describe in words, is how they feel. Preparing the space for people to feel and express those feelings to you is the key. When people feel safe and respected for sharing their feelings, they begin to feel an aliveness (that they associate with you) that is precious.
This is like a modern site with a fun newsletter. Just a couple of ideas applied to your point of view can be fodder for new content, ways to motivate your team, and more.
A little of this reading goes a long way so don't fret if you find it a lot at first. Again, this is about feeding your brain nutrition so it becomes easier to think outside the box.
Google Scholar makes it easy to access the latest evidence-based studies on your topic. Just like with regular Google, type in your keywords and add some words such as "trends", "future", and "innovation" and see what smart data you can soak up to drive new innovation in your business. You will most certainly be ahead if you do.
The way this impacts you today is the exercise of expanding your ability to listen to the future will make your business and your offerings unique, standing out from the crowd and, therefore, even more RELEVANT.
By absorbing even just one future-oriented article a day and becoming a bigger picture thinker, you become someone who understands how the world is changing around you and how that is influencing the lives of your prospects. By learning from others who are molding and making the future, you will gain confidence to do that too.
All of these elements will conspire to train your brain to think fresh thoughts and lead with those (instead of the same old boring stuff that everyone else is selling). That's how this impacts you today.
It is okay if you don't know the answers. It is more important that you ask the questions because these are future-minded questions and the savvy entrepreneur is a future-minded person.
Take action when inspired. Be first to bring something to market. Feel like a hero to your clients because you helped them prepare. Be seen as a thought leader because you saw things coming.
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