At university Thomas Friedman´s book ” The world is flat” was a mandatory read. Now years later many of us have experienced the examples from the book, though a little outdated the key elements of this are stil true today. It is all about how the world keeps getting smaller and the markets bigger, the level playing field is very much global in terms of the actual market or it at least is impacted by it in some way. I am sure you can relate to this both privately and in your work environment, either by personal experience or through the experiences of the company you work for. It all basically comes down to change and how we choose to deal with it. Often we think ´how will this change affect me´ rather than ´how can I discover new opportunities within this change´? I wish I could say that choosing the latter was easy with a little bit of effort, but as all valuable things this does not come easy. It is you that will have to take charge in stead of waiting for the impact to hit you. But it definitely is a long term strategy that will keep your soul as well as your business alive.
Choosing to embrace the opportunities that lies within change instead of seeing it as a threat to overcome will open great new paths and opportunities. Businesses all over the world are embracing change and taking advantage of the new opportunities, and if you have not already you need to get going as there are new changes emerging and happening in a pace faster then ever. Online retailers have changed the way we shop, airlines staff up on customer services located in different time zones to meet clients 24/7 service expectations, media publishers are adapting to all platforms available; snapchat, facebook, apple watch, tumblr to deliver the latest news to us, the music business is releasing new an renewed streaming services faster than we can even keep up.
This can, and in some cases will, affect the local businesses work force, meaning unemployment rates are going up. But then again who says that your next customer or colleague will have to be in the same room or even in the same city or country as you? Your employer may have to outsource some services, or all together close your place of work. Either way in this position you have to try to embrace this change by seeing it as an opportunity. An opportunity to learn another line of work, start your own business within a different field or with a different target audience, or go freelance. In the US an estimated 34% of the American work force are freelancers. According to Forbes.com this number is expected to reach 50% by 2020. And freelancers are no longer just associated with small businesses, the emerging freelance economy means flexibility to both small and larger businesses across the world. This also means new and bigger opportunities for freelancers; work with partners and clients across broders, and from anywhere in the world. This puts you in the driver seat of your life and business.
The enabler for embracing the changes coming, besides you, is of course the technology provided to us today and tomorrow. Technology enables us not only to keep in touch with our friends and families but also to run businesses online; marketing, conversations, distribution, sales, customer service, keeping your stories alive, instruct and motivate your team players, across borders. There have never been greater opportunities than now. We should be very grateful to technology and the inventors of it, but it would lead a short life if we didn´t embrace change and use the new technology.
I will leave you with some food for thought in the spirit of the global market, technology, opportunity and change:
Snapchat was founded in 2011 and today has over 100 million users per day. YouTube was founded in 2005. This week YouTube announced they are now updating their mobile app to improve the vertical video experience. Why? Because Snapchat has changed the way we watch and create video on our mobiles, and over half of YouTube videos are now played on mobile devices.