Your business model is obsolete.
Your leadership style is obsolete.
Your skills are obsolete.
Your systems are obsolete.
Your marketing is obsolete.
None of these may be true for you (yet), but what if they were? What would you do?
Kind of depressing, right? But there is hope!
Here are some questions to arrive at some hopeful, honest insights …
What are my non-negotiables? This can be a combination of beliefs, standards, mindset, behaviors. They are the fertile soil of what you will do next. They become organizing principles for planning and taking action. For me, it’s freedom. Freedom is oxygen for my soul. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Nor would I take it from anyone. Knowing what matters most to you gives you a starting point from which to rebuild.
What is my vision? If everything is obsolete, your first task is to survive. But even in the darkest moments of survival, there needs to be a vision of the future. Not a delusion or escaping to some sort of “happy place” to deny reality. But a picture of your future world. An exercise we do with our clients is “Will/Create/Become”. The instructions are simple: craft a short paragraph describing your future state (you choose the timing). Use those three words. Be declarative and specific. Note: this exercise is one of the modules of our new course. Check it out here.
What is my mission? This is that elusive “WHY” that becomes a fuel source for purpose, systems, planning, allocation of resources. It’s what you are here to do. It’s the story you want your life to tell. In my experience of coaching hundreds of people in the finding and articulation of their mission, I’ve always found it to be in the same place: inside you. This is why having some sort of contemplative or inquiry practice is so essential.
What do people need? Selling 101: find out what people need it and provide it for them. This is often one of the lost arts of selling. For the past 4 – 5 decades, there has been an increasing amount of selling the non-essential due to many recent innovations that are more entertainment than essential. Finding out what people need and providing it to them is the bedrock of community-level capitalism. From it springs the marketplace, the provisional storehouse, the crop grower, the craftsman.
What am I working with? Talent is the blend of natural gifts and learned skills. Your natural gifts never become obsolete. Your learned skills most certainly do. As we shared in a recent webinar (watch recording here), taking inventory of your life includes both spiritual assets and material assets. Spiritual assets are most often related to your natural gifts: ingenuity, creativity, courage, futuristic thinking, problem solving. Material assets are most often related to learned skills and existing resources: technology, know-how, your network, access to capital.
Straight lines don’t exist in nature. Everything grows in a spiral and exists in a circle of life. The cycle of everything is order, corruption and chaos. This makes life iterative. It is a comforting illusion that what got us here will never go obsolete. All it takes is one unplanned crisis.