Get Excited About Changing Your Business

Running a startup is rarely a simple and specific process. More often than not, your business will be in a constant state of iteration, change, and (hopefully) growth that needs to be accounted for and adapted to. That can be a difficult process to get comfortable with at first—especially if it means you must radically alter the plan that you set out with in the beginning.

But change doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, it can be the greatest source of renewed energy and success for the business you’re trying to build.

The world around us is changing faster than ever, and the business world is moving just as fast to keep pace. Your own startup will benefit most if you can stay with that flow of change and opportunity. The worst thing a business can do is shut itself out from the world and not recognize all the subtle (and major) ways that people are shifting their behaviors.

Now this doesn’t mean that you have to bow to every new ‘trend’ and fad that takes the world by storm week to week. It’s a very rare business that can completely alter their mindset and take advantage of these short-lived opportunities. What we’re looking for instead are the smaller, less flashy changes. The changes that will last and mean something in the long-term.

The first real step into diving in this pool of change is quite simply to get comfortable with it. As humans, we are naturally resistant to change. We like the satisfaction that comes from things advancing on the course that they are “supposed to.” But while routine can be comfortable, it’s not going to get you anywhere fast.

Not only should you get comfortable with change, but it should be an exciting thing—something you look forward to applying to your business every day. If you can engage yourself in that process then not only will you enjoy the tectonic shifts, but you will be way better at making the right kind of decisions to steer your course.

Think of change like this. Any need for it is proof that what was happening before wasn’t working. It’s proof of concept that the process was broken and needed you to step in and fix it. There will always be bumps in the road. It takes a keen and present leader to recognize them and make the right calls on which path to travel down.

The most important skill you can develop to become an adaptable leader and build an adaptable business is that awareness. Keeping your ear to the ground with a keen perception of all the ways that the world is changing from audience shifts to social media platforms on the rise will help you hit the ground running whenever a new opportunity presents itself.

That perception should be active inside the business just as much as it is outside. Spend as much time being critical of your own process as you do soaking up the wisdom from the changing world around you. Talk with your team, engage with the things that they do, and be mindful of the problems in that process.

The most underappreciated, but incredibly powerful skill that a leader, or any person can hone is an abundance of critical thinking. The best kind of change happens when you know exactly what’s not working and what steps you can take to fix it.

Critical thinking and a keen awareness not only makes you a better identifier of problems, but it makes you a better decision maker too. When people are paralyzed by the various roads in front of them—unable to make a choice—it’s usually because they haven’t fully analyzed the decision in front of them and landed on the best possible course of action.

Are you always going to be able to make the right choice? Absolutely not, but that’s what’s so great about startups: you can always try again. Don’t be afraid of that constant state of iteration and re-development. It’s the magic that’s going to take you forward. Every moment of crisis, every fork in the road is an opportunity in its own right. Step forward and be willing to take hold of each and every one.   

— ZK

Ed Lynes13p5Comment