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I just spent 3 days with smart folks who make it their business to watch the world's economy, track world trends for entrepreneurs, and find new ways to monetize self-publishing. It's a talented and busy group who doesn't waste time talking about the daily news drama. Not once in 3 days did anyone focus on the U.S. government's closure other than a passing comment by someone from Denmark who said “We used to think of you as the United States of America, but now much of Europe is calling you the Divided States of America.” It's a fascinating, multi-national group of all ages – people who are truly out-of-the-box thinkers.
The focus of this groups is:
- What we as world citizens and business owners should be noticing
- How we should be investing
- What trends we are seeing
- How to monetize these trends within our businesses
Here are a few of my observations.
- The under-30 crowd is driving less than the past two generations of young adults did. In fact, a much larger percentage of under-30's don't know how to drive and have no plans to get a driver's license. Business owners in related industries have already felt the effects of this trend. Will this trend affect your business in sales or staffing?
- More small business owners are consciously using intuition in decision-making, and watching how the energy flows in their business and among their staff. My favorite sentence of the entire 3 days was from a woman who co-owns a million dollar business. Speaking of two options for her business, she said, “There's a vast difference in vibratory energy between these two options.” This was like a historic moment to me. Are you watching how the energy flows among your staff and in your business?
- The go-to second language to learn has been Spanish for a while now – but now the talk is all about learning Chinese. It's interesting to me that the majority of people at this event are bilingual, some speak 3 or 4 languages. All the international participants are bi-lingual (obviously), fewer of the U.S. participants were fluent in a second or third language. I met 4 American participants who are actively studying a new language right now, realizing they cannot capture some of the new business opportunities without a second language. How many languages do you speak?
- The biggest stumbling block to seeing new opportunities for ourselves and our businesses is ethnocentricity, which leads to the “not invented here“ syndrome. How many “wild” new ideas do you consider for yourself and your business?
The seminar's presenter described a bleak financial picture for many boomers, who are now reaching retirement but have credit card and mortgage debt, 20 to 30-something adult children still being supported financially, and elderly parents who need money and attention. Options?
- Keep working indefinitely
- Move to a less expensive area in the United States (if you are American)
- Export your retirement by living offshore
- Live in near poverty
Which of these options would you take if you were facing retirement right now?
My recommendation is to adopt two mindsets.
- Your business and your life will constantly change in reaction to or in anticipation of trends.
- Creating income now and investing for your future should be an integral part of your business and life planning and a top priority. I'd like to think that if I live ex-pat one day I do it because I want to, not because I have to in order to survive.
What “seeing the future” planning do you do for your own life and your business? Sharing those thoughts was super-helpful this weekend. We can do the same thing below.