Lesson 3: Crash and Thrive
Welcome to Lesson 3 of the Opportunity Course. In the last lesson, we discussed some major trends sure to lead business forward in the coming decade: health and wellness; personal technology; going green; and financial.
In the first lesson, I explained that they’ll do this because they all support individual power. Other businesses that support these could also do well, but I do think those will be four major trends.
But even in the hottest trends, there will be businesses that fail because they don’t “get it.” And you want to be able to avoid them. So how can you tell if a business “gets it”?
Well let’s take a look at the businesses that are failing today. In my mind, they’re typically companies that have gotten out of touch with real people living real lives. They’re companies that have put corporate profit before people and haven’t recognized the need to support individual power.
Seriously, there were people raking in the dough back in the age of MySpace (remember MySpace?) simply because they provided people with ways to easily customize their MySpace pages. I mean, throw together a few digital templates -- which cost almost nothing to distribute -- charge a few bucks for each one (or place paid ads on your high-traffic web pages) and you could make a mint (if you got in at the right time).
And meanwhile, in the depths of the recession, small businesses catering to the desire to personalize were making more profit than megalith companies that were struggling not to go bankrupt.
Likewise, companies that saw the “going green” trend early on benefited from people’s desire to help the earth and thus help their own health and the health of their children. These companies also fed the desire of people to feel “guilt-free” about the things they buy or do.
Other companies are trying to come on board with this now, and you’ll see that the major players are those who can move us around the globe and fuel our homes and our lives cleanly and inexpensively. Companies that keep clinging to the idea that Earth doesn’t matter will fold, or change their attitude in the nick of time. Because the Earth (we’ve finally noticed) is what supports people, and thus individual power, while raping the Earth for its resources is what supports short-term corporate greed.
Whether a company “gets it” or not is really a matter of them understanding the need to empower individuals. And I’d like to give some examples of those that don’t do this, even within the trends I’ve talked about.
Let’s take the typical solar panel company as an example. It’s absolutely not that they have a bad product. But they haven’t empowered the individual, because solar systems are typically so expensive to install that the average person cannot tap into this technology. So while providing something valuable in principle, I don’t expect most of these companies to go very far.
In contrast, SolarCity allows people to immediately see lower energy costs by leasing solar systems -- pay by the month or the kilowatt, but less than normal energy costs, and installation is free.
Let me give a health and wellness example. I don’t care how clean and green a diet someone eats (and most of us don’t), I believe that some level of supplementation is necessary for many reasons. (And we’ll talk about those in a later lesson so you can better understand the sustainability of this field.) But this still leaves a lot of questions about what is really necessary to supplement and how this can be done affordably.
Because the average consumer doesn’t know much about nutrition, it’s easy for a company to play on ignorance or hopes or fears in order to rake in the cash. And even to rake in far more than a product is actually worth. This is the old business model, and I believe it’s doomed to fail in time.
There are some important changes going on that will squash these companies in the next few years. New leaders are emerging who are going to triumph, and in a later lesson, I’ll show you exactly why this is going to happen.
In short, you can see the point here: those companies that have changed their attitude and have really put people first are the ones that will become the next giants. And they’ll remain profitable giants so long as they keep to this principle.
Google is an example that comes to mind -- they have become an online giant because they give so much away to empower the average person. In doing so, they’ve become a “go to” brand online, and they’ve been able to leverage that with advertisers, which more than pays the bills. As long as they keep giving power to people, they’ll continue doing well in the long run. (No, this isn't to say they aren't benefiting from people's data. I'm just saying they provide a lot of value to people in exchange for that data, which they then sell for a profit. Hopefully everyone wins, unless Google ultimately uses that data against us. Argument for another day. ;)
Now, in an earlier lesson, I said that we’d be focusing on home-based businesses because this will become so commonplace in the next few years. In the next lesson, we’re going to talk about why this is happening and will keep happening; why it’s a good thing; and the ways in which you can be involved. This will cover network marketing, affiliate marketing, and other at-home opportunities.