A license to Learn

With a stroke of the instructor’s pen, I was authorized to fly the airplane by myself.  In that moment, that I had anticipated for so long, I felt as if I was floating.  My instructor, looked me in the eye and said, “Congratulations, now you have a license to learn.  Remember – it’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”  The instructor wanted me to understand that although I’d invested a lot of time and energy learning how to fly an airplane, the learning phase doesn’t end with reaching a milestone.  Lasting success in business isn’t so much about reaching a destination as it is a journey that requires observance of…

You guessed it – change.

How you can use change to improve your business

The view from the captain’s seat on a scenic flight. My license to learn enabled me to fulfill a boyhood dream.

Change is inevitable

One of the certainties of life is change.  Change happens whether you want it to or not and regardless of your preparation for it.  Often when we don’t like the way things are, we look forward to change and work to change our situation.  However, when we’re happy with the way things are, we tend to look to maintain the status quo.  This is a dangerous way of looking at change because it positions change as something that we can control, when in fact change is inevitable.  Whatever the situation in your business and in your industry today, you can be certain that it will be different ten years from now.  Looking back ten or twenty years ago at what your business or industry looked like can be quite instructive.

Twenty years ago most businesses hadn’t heard of the Internet.   Your industry has been tremendously affected by the advances in technology and the Internet in the last ten years.  What changes are afoot in your industry right now?  What legislation is being discussed that will impact your business?  How will advances in technology impact the way you do business and communicate with your clients and prospective clients in the next five years?

Growth requires change

Growth, by definition, requires change.  Somehow the idea of growth is appealing for many people in a way that the concept of change isn’t.  However, one doesn’t occur without the other.  The idea of growth in business is considered desirable while the subject of change in business often strikes fear in the heart of the business owner.

Change in your industry and in your business is inevitable.  You don’t get to choose whether or not change occurs, but you do get to choose whether or not those inevitable changes will represent growth for you and your business.  For some businesses the process of evolution means that they go the way of the dinosaur while for others it means they will choose to adapt and continue to grow and thrive.  Knowing the value of your customers will enable you to respond to market place changes much more efficiently.  What do growing businesses know that you don’t?

Change can be your friend

Change produces new opportunities in business.  In order for change to be your friend, you must be positioned to take advantage of new opportunities.  Back in the early 90’s while I studied marketing in college I recognized the change that the Internet represented in business.  As graduation day neared I charted a course that put me in a great position for making full advantage of my schooling and this emerging trend.  How can you position yourself and your business to make full advantage of the changes and trends that will impact your industry?

As a student pilot I desired to be a better pilot.  That is not a destination goal – that is a life-long journey goal.  It is a goal that requires constant change.  In order to make progress toward that goal, I must invest my time and energy learning how to improve (change) my skills and continue educating myself about changes in legislation and advancements in technology as they impact my ability to fly an airplane.  In order to grow and maintain a business that thrives, we must increase our awareness of the changes and trends that may impact our industries.  What changes can you make today that will position your business for the future?

Leave a Comment