(Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1ISZOHD)
As you may know I’m on a bit of a futurist band wagon right now because it has been like a bit of a light bulb moment for me. So I want to share it all. It can also be connected to your English learning too, but I will get to that later.
I am a businesswoman. I own a business. I am always looking for new ways to get customers. Right? That is the key to business, getting customers, but now I am realising how things have in some ways totally changed and in some ways haven’t changed a bit.
In the old days when a new business appeared in a particular market, the newbie business looked around and saw what the other competitors were doing and said “I can do much better than that!’ right? True, and so went about debunking all the competition around them to create more amazing things that would eventually completely kill everyone else in the market. The result? You would be the leader of the gang and everyone else would be dead because you were so amazing….this was the dream (though many business people may not admit it – come on be honest, everyone wanted success in this way!)
Okay, 2 years down the track, the newbie business takes a look at themselves. Yes finally themselves, not their competitors. Why? Because though their product was so amazing and yes they did have some incredible success in the beginning, something happened after that… what was it? For every new business it will be different, it could have been e.g. new government regulations, customer needs changing, staffing issues, international markets drying up because of civil wars or their government regulations changes, etc…it could have been anything. But the key point here is…you realise you are not doing as well as you thought this year as you did last year. You evaluate yourself and decide to make certain changes in your programmes, products, management, etc. But after you have done so and sweated and stressed out about the changes you have had to make, you look up at your competitors who are still there in the market, and you notice something… they are now all looking at you. And what are they saying?
This is the truth. Your competitors who were there before you and who are still there after you, know something very true that you will never know until you have reached a certain point of growth. It is not just the great ideas that are important, it is how well you can move with the changes and challenges, because they can either kill you or bring you into the flock.
This doesn’t mean you have to become just like your competitors, but I think the ultimate key is, you should never disrespect your competitors, always trust that if they have been in the business longer than you, then they will know what it takes to still be there.
This is an old story that is nothing new. But what is new is that the future of business will start off this way, not end up this way. Newbies will never be operating in a dark vacuum on some genius plan, they will be included as a trusted team player in a diverse market of wants and needs. The whole concept of ‘crushing our competitors’ will be a thing of the past because as the world becomes even more connected technologically, there will be plenty of audience for everyone. The key is to find a way to work together but still have your unique brand. Like a family. Everyone is loved, but everyone is different.
So how does this relate to learning English. Well the link is easy, when you start you want to be the best of the best as fast as you can, and maybe you are for the first month or two, then suddenly something happens, it’s like the brain seizes up and you just can’t digest anything anymore. You used to be top of the class, now you are in the middle. What’s happened?
You realise you need to work with what you have and start building your skills laterally not vertically. Particularly with English, it is not a vertical piece of knowledge, it is a skill that grows and diversifies in a way you cannot describe, and it eventually becomes a lifetime thing. Sure it will get a lot easier, and even one day a native speaker will maybe even describe you as a native speaker, why? Because you are that good.
The future for everything is far more social, and developing your English is the same as developing a business, which is that you need to trust your competitors, and let them lead you, there’s so much out there that truly there is enough for everyone.
If we all did this, imagine where we would all be?
- What’s the future of business
- Building a better future for language learners
- The uncertain future of the English language
- Whats the language of the future?