This is the start of my favourite walk, a pretty country lane full of twists and turns. I took this photo during the first lockdown of 2020 because it made me think about how life is all about how you approach things.
If I was driving down this road from where I took the photo, I could only drive at 30 mph, but when I pass those signs I could (in theory) accelerate to 60 mph. If I was coming the other way, however, I could drive at 60 mph, but then I’d have to slow down to 30 mph. Same road, but one way involves accelerating, the other involves slowing down.
If You Always Do What You’ve Always Done…
It was Henry Ford who said:
If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.Henry Ford
I think there’s a little section missing when talking about the modern working world –
If you always do what you’ve always done, and you’re lucky, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.Richard neville
The sentiment is still the same of course; you can’t expect things to change unless you change them. Equally, however, what I’m saying is, you’re not guaranteed to get what you’ve always got by doing what you’ve always done anymore, not by a long shot.
Accelerating My Results
I was reminded of this photo because I got a couple of emails in quick succession this afternoon to say some people had made purchases from Internal Force Fitness (my online shop selling East Asian and vintage fitness programs). As it turns out, a lady purchased one book – an excellent one, but one I don’t sell very often – and a gentleman purchased four.
In the past, I would have taken the win and hoped they would buy again, but I’ve been doing things a little differently recently. Whenever someone makes a purchase from the site – big or small – I reach out. Just a small thank you email, tailored around which item they’ve bought, and a discount code for (hopefully) their next order.
Not everyone responds, or uses the code, but a lot of people do. I’ve already met some very interesting people this way, and it’s given me a new drive to improve the content, improve the experience, and generally make my business better.
People have always bought books from the site semi-regularly because they aren’t available elsewhere (in that sense I’m lucky). Seeing as I don’t really advertise, however, the only way they can possibly find the site in the first place is to stumble upon it. Going back to old Henry Ford, without the changes I hope to make in the coming weeks those are the results I will continue to get – at best. In business, relying on luck, and the vagaries of Google, is NOT a good idea.
With a bit of a revamp, some effort on my part, and the small changes I’ve already made, I’m confident I’ll start getting something else, something good!
Whatever your creative business is, look at what you’ve always done, and then take a moment to wonder what might change if you decide to do something even slightly differently…
Small changes can cast BIG shadows (yeah, I just wanted to use this photo from another walk).
A Note On Walking
I’ve always like going for walks. Primarily it’s because I like to get some fresh air every day, but there are a couple of other reasons too. It’s a chance for me to listen to music, educate myself with a podcast or two, or just idly stroll along, alone with my own thoughts. It’s the classic ‘me’ time.
The routes I walk are popular among local people too, so it’s rare that I won’t have the opportunity to say ‘hi’ to someone at least once. When working in isolation, even contact as fleeting as this can be good for you!
So, when I mentioned earlier about taking a moment to think about what it is you’re doing, why not take a walk and think about it. You never know what other problems you might solve along the way.