A few weeks ago, we talked about building a defensible business when faced with major disruptions such as COVID-19. The key asset that allows you to survive and thrive is the right audience that you serve, and they serve you right back.
Understanding who your people are and what they want allows you to shift revenue models if necessary. And being a solo or very small organization means you can adapt in a flash to changing circumstances.
While we’re still dealing with the virus and its economic fallout, it’s a good time to permanently adopt a mindset that anticipates disruption. Technological, political, and cultural change will keep coming at us with ever-increasing speed, and there’s a constant stream of opportunity that comes with it, not just angst and worry.
Paul Schoemaker writing over at Inc. has some sage advice for adopting an anticipatory business mindset. While he’s generally addressing enterprise organizations, this approach works even better for the highly agile small business.
It boils down to three components that allow you to learn fast and take advantage of the next big shift, and the one that’s still happening:
1. Adapt with awareness: Fight the current fire to get your business stable, but don’t put blinders on. The rise of racial unrest while the pandemic was still raging presents a perfect example of how crisis can snowball. Think in terms of probable near-term scenarios.
2. Turbulence = opportunity: When you adopt an anticipatory mindset and combine that with the extreme agility of a 7-figure small business, you put yourself in a great position to act on new opportunity. You’re able to sense change sooner than rivals, seize opportunities early on, and transform your business in ways that make it better than before.
3. The need for speed: Compared with large firms or even typical small businesses, we can move quickly. Delays tend to narrow your strategic options because someone may get to them earlier. Seeing sooner also gives you more time to create flexible options for down the road.
For more detail on the above, plus Schoemaker’s four strategic drivers for a resilient company, check out the full article:
Content Marketing is Unconventional
After 20+ years of building businesses with content and an audience-first approach, it’s strange for me to read an article that calls it an “unconventional approach.” But it’s true — most people still blow a bunch of money developing a product or service that they hope someone wants, and then have to find people to buy it. Doesn’t seem all that smart, right?
Reading is Fundamental
Want a strategic advantage in business and life? Read books. Hardly anyone does, and it’s getting worse. All those people you think are so profound? They read a lot.
On the Exceptionalism of Books in an Age of Tweets | Cal Newport
Write Like a Robot?
Welp, OpenAI’s Text Generator writes even more like a human, which is bad news for humans cranking out lame “content” that merely fills a web page. The key to great writing is not the writing — it’s having something to say that people want to hear. Pair that with a willingness to work with machines, and you’ll be better than fine.
I used an algorithm to help me write a story. Here’s what I learned. | Technology Review
The Tax Man
Tax day got pushed back thanks to the pandemic, but just like a diagnosis that says you’re not currently dying — it’s only a delay. Lots of interesting stuff in this piece on freelance taxes. No, really.
Your Legal Safety Blanket
People put off forming an LLC or S corp because their business isn’t making much money yet. That’s the wrong way to think about it. If your business gets hit with liabilities that its revenue can’t handle, those become personal liabilities of yours. And then they come after your house and other personal possessions.
That’s it for this week. Hope you’re having a great one!
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