I love technology. A new product or a piece of software is built and released long before it is perfect, the company gathers feedback, and it makes improvements.
There are major new releases, in which the product or software is completely reimagined, and in between there are minor releases that add some new features and fix the bugs that make it less than it might be. Each release comes with a list of all of the new features and improvements.
Technology companies are constantly innovating and making improvements, large and small. You should do the same.
I am Me Version 43.3 on my way to Version 43.4, which will be released on July 1, 2011.
Between versions, say, every quarter so, you need to take stock of how you are performing. What’s working well? What could be better? What could be improved?
If you continue to do what you did last quarter (or last year), without making any changes to who it is that you are and what it is that you do, you can expect to get the very same results that you got last quarter (or last year).
What do you need to change to make it easier for you to produce the same results? What do you need to do to produce far greater results in your next version? Do you need to reimagine yourself completely? Is it time for a major upgrade?
To begin your innovation project, you need to understand what you need to change to be more effective.
What would make someone buy you over all others?
What would make you worth paying more to obtain?
Imagining a new version of you is the easy part. The difficult part is actually making the changes.
Innovation is not imaging the change; it’s bringing those changes to life. It’s making the changes and improvements. And it isn’t easy.
You have to commit to trying on new beliefs and dropping old, unhealthy beliefs. You have to commit to taking on new behaviors. You probably have to do some things that make you uncomfortable, and you probably need to do some things you don’t necessarily like to do.
But change is the price of innovation. Change is the price of improvement. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes energy.
Not investing the time, the effort, and the energy to innovate and create the new and improved you is simply a surrender to the status quo.
The Danger of Standing Still
The dangers of standing still, of not changing, are many.
First, you live with a too small vision of yourself, never being all that you could be or accomplishing all you might accomplish. You don’t make the contribution you could make. Life punishes those that don’t innovate.
Second, the world is changing faster and faster. Standing still means falling behind. In sales, your competitors are trying new things, and some of them are working. Some of your competitors are studying, learning how they can be better value creators for their companies and your dream clients. The market punishes those who don’t innovate.
Reinventing yourself again and again and again prevents you from standing still—and from getting run over.
How will you innovate and create the mostly new and seriously improved you?
Why is it so easy to get trapped in the status quo, doing things we have always done them?
What significant changes have you made to improve yourself in the last quarter?
What innovations have you made to your sales game? How about your sales process? What have you done to produce better outcomes for your clients?
What are you going to do to innovate and create the next version of you?
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