If the world was a static place, you could make your bed, set things in order and watch your money-making job or business simply cash flow without disruption.
However, we don’t live in Narnia. It’s not a place of bliss and perfection. Now that everyone is connected and able to make change, it forces your hand. Resting on your laurels becomes more risky than the better strategy of leveling up and continually innovating.
If you look at large corporations, their divisions are segmented based on natural business functions – operations, marketing, finance, accounting, sales, and research and development.
If you are a solopreneur or small business owner, you have the same functions by necessity. Research and development is where you level up. There has to be time, attention and money dedicated to the goal of continuous growth. It means being open to what is happening in your industry and even beyond.
You have to be open to new ideas and integrate them into your own model.
The threats to your current position have to be evaluated. Paradoxically, the way to reduce risk is to keep moving forward and leveling up.
If you are not testing new ideas and putting them in play with real customers, then how can you be surprised when someone else replaces your position and value in the market?
Here’s an idea. For a couple hours every week, block the time out in your calendar. Get away to a place where you can’t do your reactive work. Take a piece of paper and simply imagine. Open your mind up to new ideas you can test. The ideas can come from news, people, media, gossip, hobbies or whatever else crosses your path.
Merge the extraordinary. See if you can come up with a way to test something new over 30-60 days to see if customers will like and pay for your idea.
Just think of this as embedding research and development into your otherwise busy work weeks. In the process, you mitigate the risk which innovation relentlessly presents to threaten your position. Level up or become irrelevant.
What ideas can you level up on?