Navigating the Business Highway
- Companies need to keep shifting, morphing and changing to stay alive in the business world, and you need to do the same in your career.
- A typical business cycle starts with emerging companies and markets, and then there is growth, then status quo, and then depletion or extinction.
- Keep educating yourself and changing positions so you can stay in the fast-moving cash flow lane and out of the status quo/breakdown lane.
How many times has this happened to you? You’re in the left-hand lane, cruising smoothly down the highway at 70 miles an hour, and then all of a sudden traffic slows down to 30 miles an hour. Then it speeds up again before grinding to a halt again—and this pattern continues over and over, much like the action of an accordion. Eventually, you see why. There’s an accident on your right-hand side and cars are stuck everywhere.
This is analogous to what is happening every day in the business world. Companies are stalling and crashing. Once-mighty Kodak lost 140,000 jobs over a 10-year period because it wasn’t looking ahead to see where the photography business was really going and it got caught short. Kodak was stuck in the same business model and couldn’t shift, morph or adapt the way companies like Amazon do. Now Amazon is competing with UPS and FedEx in the express delivery space; it’s able to deliver packages to you just a few hours after you place your order with them. Not days, but hours! Absolutely amazing.
There’s a natural business cycle that occurs, and in The Strategic Coach® Program we look at that cycle, starting with emerging companies or markets. Then we examine what happens as businesses enter a growth cycle, before slowing to a status quo mode, and eventually entering the depletion phase before ultimately going away. You don’t ever want to be in a business that’s in the stagnation or depletion phase. The same thing goes for your career.
As you’re going through your working years, you might change jobs or positions three, four, five, even ten times. You have to continue educating yourself and making sure that you keep yourself in the cash flow lane—in the left-hand passing lane—so you can move along quickly to continue growing your wealth. Otherwise, you can find yourself involved in “multiple crashes” with businesses that can’t hang on because they’re on the down side of the growth phase, either stuck in neutral or simply self-destructing as faster-moving enterprises pass them by.
Any way you look at it, you always want to be accelerating, not riding the brakes. There are always new places to go, and you have to look at those as you move ahead to get out in front, and you need to make sure you keep reeducating yourself about what is happening in the world as well as with your business, all while keeping tabs on where things are likely to be going.
Until next time, enjoy.
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Gary Klaben is in our Glenview, IL office and serves our clients who are now located all over the country. He has over 30 years of experience and is the author of Changing the Conversation, The Wealth Sanctuary and co-author of The Business Battlefield. Whether advising his clients, mentoring his team, or coaching entrepreneurs, he is always simplifying complexity and motivating others to take the next action that’s right for them.
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