What interesting times we are living in right now. Every morning I wake up with a feeling of gratitude in my heart for the beautiful life that I get to live.
Although the world is experiencing the turbulence of political populist movements, although the amount division between religious and political groups is the largest we have experienced in generations, and although the disparity between classes is now wider than ever in my lifetime, what an extraordinary time to live in. I am very optimistic that as we learn from these times, our new-found knowledge will make our world an always better place to live.
Fascinating times! I am convinced, historians will look back at these times and dissect them with minutia. So many intermingling socio-economic, politic and technological line crisscrossing all at once.
- Never before have we been richer, yet we haven’t been this un-happy in generations.
- Never have technologies exploded so rapidly, yet the same generational issues, and diseases remain un-cured.
- Never has the common man had access to so much information, yet most choose to wallow in the sensationalism of the media rather than affect their life in a more meaningful way than the previous generations.
In the midst of these tempestuous times, are millions of hard working, small business owners who are trying to make sense of it all. For them, any change or instability can be economically disastrous. No wonder they are so nervous.
Consumer tastes are shifting faster than ever before. Profitable markets disappear over night. And last month’s marketing tactics can’t guarantee you will be able to pay your bills six months from now, let alone retire in 10 or 15 years.
How can they make sense of it all? It seems like business owners have so many things to track just to keep their head out of the water.
When they come and ask for my advice, many business owners are confused, overwhelmed, exhausted and they have fear in their eyes.
“What will the future bring Marco?”
“How can I anticipate the next trend and adapt fast enough?”
“How can I run a successful business and still put enough aside for my retirement?”
Those are some of the questions they ask me.
I advise them that the first thing they have to do is to go back to the basics of business.
- Business is simple – Stop listening to all the jargon-filled and mind-numbing management theories of so-called experts and stop trying to implement the marketing tricks of the stage-gurus and talking-heads on social media. They don’t know what they are talking about!
- Business is simple – Put your whims, egos, tastes, inclinations and emotions aside. Business is rational, stop being so delusional! Business is not about you, it’s about them – the consumers.
You see, before there was Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Snapchat and all the other social marketing platforms, people ran successful businesses. Before there were religious tensions, people ran successful businesses. Before there was a political left and right, people ran successful businesses.
So, stop for a moment. Stop trying to merge your delusions, your fancies, your faith, your good heart and your business activities all together.
Focus on one thing: your business, only your business, and you will succeed. Turn off your TV and stop interacting with the dividing leeches of social media. Focus on your business.
Like the economist Milton Friedman stated in the 1970’s: “The (only) social responsibility of business is to increase profits.”
If you own a small or medium size business, that’s your job: Increase profits. That’s it. Period.
Let me tell you why I wrote this article. Because I am a bit nervous. The economy has been on an upswing for a quite a few years. But little of this economic growth has been fueled by actual increases in production. Yes, we are more productive than before, but most of the recent economic growth has been fueled by debt. In short, we borrowed the money to grow our economy, and at some point (soon) we will have to pay it back.
We are tittering on the edge of an economic cliff, while many business owners are entertaining themselves on Facebook by caring more about President Trump’s activities than their own businesses. They love to entertain themselves by reading their favorite pundits skewed-political commentaries, by blaming this group or that group, but little is being done to create successful businesses.
It’s the job of entrepreneurs and business owners to make our society better by creating jobs and by inventing new technologies. Yet, the masses of them are entertained on the verge of economic disaster. It’s like the band that never stopped playing when the Titanic was sinking.
This economy will come down. It has to. It’s sheer gravity. As Sir Isaac Newton famously stated about gravity: “What goes up, must come down.”
Most business people don’t seem to get that. Baby boomers are getting olders, yet they are still trying to grow their unchanged businesses a little more before retiring. It’s not working. In fact, many are losing market shares because they can’t adopt new technologies fast enough – they are too busy watching what Trump is doing to see what’s going on in their own market.
Here’s my advice, if you are a Baby Boomer, someone who will have to retire in the next ten or fifteen year, you’d better have a plan to get out of your business soon. Stop trying to grow your business just a little more on your own. It’s not working.
Either sell your business, take whatever the market will give you, and get out now, or find a business expert like me who can help you move your business up and fast. The clock is ticking. You don’t have much more time.
Watch Ray Dalio’s animated video on the Economic Machine for a thorough understanding of the economic cycles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHe0bXAIuk0
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marco Robert is a business management consultant, and merger and acquisition (M&A) expert. Using the BOSS Model, a methodology that he pioneered nearly twenty years ago, Marco advises family-run businesses in America, Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. To find out more about Marco, how he can improve your business results or how he can help you get out of your business, please visit www.CoachMarcoRobert.com