How do you deal with constant change?

I was teaching a class to real estate entrepreneurs this week and the students were incredibly focused and concerned about the competitive landscape they are now operating in.  A robust conversation ensued about the rapid pace of change as new models, new technology and aggressive competitors enter the space.  There was a lot of fear and confusion swirling in the room.  This is not unusual.  In most of my presentations and classes how to deal with change and innovation is near the top of the topic list.

My observation is in most cases this is a distraction keeping you from doing what you need to do now.  No one can predict the effect of the change pushing into business right now.  Could it take you out of the game someday?  I suppose it could.  But you can’t control or predict the macro dynamics that are in play and so I have three suggestions.

  1. Get to work now.  I’m not saying ignore what is happening more broadly in your industry, I’m saying get busy doing your work now.  A funny thing happens when you’re busy with now business – you don’t have a lot of time to worry about the future.  Chances are your goals and your family are dependent on what you to now, this year, and next year – and far less connected with what may or may not happen 3-5 years from now.
  2. Build your skills.  Regardless of structural changes in the business, great sales, leadership, business, financial, communication and technological skills will be transferable.  The better your skills, the better your ability to adapt to whatever you need to adapt to going forward.
  3. Build your network.  Yes, your network is your net-worth.  What you do isn’t nearly as important as who you know.  Are you connecting those dots?  The humans are hanging around for a while longer, may as well get to know them better.  They are key to your success in the future.