Are We Taking Lessons From Our Elders?

Has technology given us the mindset, ‘out with the old and in with the new’?  Just because it’s the latest craze or a rising trend, is it better?  Is everything digital better because it’s where business seems to be going?  Have we taken any of the important lessons from the generation of business owners before us?  And before them?

It’s common and arguably normal for this generation of business owners to hop on the band wagon and coast our way from app to touchscreen to social media.  Everyone’s using it so it must be where we need to plant ourselves and our businesses, right?  After all, why would sites like Facebook , Twitter and LinkedIn boasts about how many active millions of users they have if it wasn’t for our attention?  And it’s not just social media sites that keeps bombarding us with what’s new and happening.  What about all these wonderful sites that can solve this or organize that for us?  Digital offsite storage, mobile accessibility to documents, online video meetings with clients and employees –we’ve got it all!  There’s almost nothing we can’t do away from our office or on the go.  So how in the world did earlier generations of business owners take care of business?

Everything seems much easier these days because all we have to do is slide our finger across a screen or push a button and let the magic unfold.  We let machines take care of it.  Not too long ago, people were the machines (there were computers back in the day, but they were hideous and bulky) and they were also the magic.  They got the ball rolling and took care of business and it wasn’t at the push of the button.  They kept it simple and worked with what they had:

  • They stretched every dollar and reused everything they could to make it last longer and go further.  Nothing was wasted.
  • They kept in touch with their customers and clients in the most meaningful way: calling or hand written notes/ letters.  Nothing like hearing the sound of another person’s voice.
  • They hunted for deals.  Rather than spend their hard earned dollars on what was new, they looked for the better deals, things that worked for what they need and would hold up.
  • They tapped into their networks for additional resources (this still hasn’t gone out of style).  We never really know who we know who might know where to get what we need or knows of someone who knows where to get it.  Short version:  We know someone who’s linked to what we need.
  • They understood value.  The value of their money, the value of their service, product, time, customer, customer’s time and information.  Anything they saw as a benefit was of value.  And they appreciated it.

Before we throw ourselves at the next big thing thinking it’s going to take our business to heights we’ve only dream about, take a lesson from those who mastered and grew their business without all the bells and whistles.  Much of the time, we just have to keep it simple.

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