No industry changes as quickly as the internet, but the connected quality of today’s world means that every line of work is perpetually changing with the times. For entrepreneurs and their businesses to continue being competitive, they must keep up with the faster-than-ever speed of change or lose out to new and improved businesses.
After being an internet entrepreneur for more than two decades, I’ve seen my fair share of changes and advancements that have shifted the status quo. Navigating these changes is a challenge, but one that’s achievable if approached with the right mindset. The mindful and successful entrepreneur understands that what works today might not work tomorrow, and what is considered important now may be totally irrelevant soon after.
With that in mind, here are two pieces of essential advice that I’ve learned in my career for staying relevant and new in the now:
Never think that you know enough
No matter how successful a business may be, being at the top of an industry is a tenuous position that can often be toppled over with ease if one is not careful. Take a look at various industry leaders like Blockbuster, Nokia, and IBM to see how quickly the tables can turn when businesses are not paying attention and not adapting to the changes around them.
Constantly learning is the only effective way to keep this negative mentality at bay — reading articles and books, or watching videos, discussing with peers, and listening to your employees are all immensely valuable ways to not just continue developing as a professional, but also ways to get ahead of your industry. Gaining as much relevant information as possible will lend insights into upcoming trends that are primed to disrupt a given field. My first company, GreatDomains, was considered an early leader in the field of internet domain transactions, and the reason it came to be was because I was constantly learning and caught on to the trend — all it took to find that path was stopping and listening to what was happening in the industry.
Always keep pushing back the finish line
When I say this, I don’t mean to imply that you should never reach the finish line. Rather, once you do, it’s important to keep pushing it further beyond what you had originally planned. Without a race to run, or a goal to achieve, one is far more likely to fall into stagnation, which is the bane of the ambitious entrepreneur.
As you continue to learn and keep your eye on the market, you’ll discover new trends, insights, and advancements that can push the finish line further away or in a direction that you didn’t anticipate going. Certainly this is a challenge for any entrepreneur, though in my mind, that’s just more of a reason to continue running forward.
My journey with MyLife was spurred on after reaching a finish line of sorts — after my first company was purchased, I continued forward to find that social media (not known as such at the time) was ready to erupt, and my new finish line was to create a successful company in this field. Even then, my finish line was shifted once again when it was spun into MyLife, and my focus turned to protecting people’s personal information and online reputations.
All this is to say that the most important factor in staying new in the now is to realize that there’s never a true finish line. When one race ends, another one starts, and it’s up to the ambitious entrepreneurs of the world to discover where the next race should lead. In the end, staying relevant is about continually addressed the consumer needs that are most pressing and most impactful. I saw MyLife as an opportunity for that. With these important tips for staying up to date, you will be able to remain diligent and on the lookout for the next race, the next goal to strive for.