If there is anything we can be sure of, it’s that change is coming.
And it’s coming fast.
Depending on what field you currently are working in, you’ve probably seen it yourself. We’ve automated just about everything.
Why rely on a human to drive when a driverless car means less risk?
Professionals aren’t safe; automating the job of an anesthesiologist means less risk for a patient.
And if you were amazed at how Watson could think and defeat humans on Jeopardy, just wait until you see what the “grandkids” and “great grandkids” of Watson’s technology can do.
All of that puts our old way of thinking at risk. And if you think it won’t impact your job, just wait around for a minute or two. Virtually no position today will be left unchanged.
That has left many of today’s most brilliant and futuristic minds thinking about what our future will look like after this disruption occurs. Imagine a world with 50, 60, even 70 percent unemployment or more.
Because if automation occurs, that means fewer jobs for us. If a job is repetitious, if a computer can do it better, it soon will be gone forever.
Terrifying? Maybe. But those same brilliant minds are also looking for solutions. And some have come up with what is termed as a Universal Basic Income plan. It’s even currently in place in some parts of the world where people have been displaced by technology and cannot find work.
Whether you consider that a good idea or not, it should at least open your eyes to the potential problems we may face in just a short period of time.
We have to be thinkers instead of doers.
We have to be problem solvers instead or reactors.
And that means seeing how your life will look in the future, and do something about it now.
Because even if a UBI is in place for protection, you’ll still have a lot of time on your hands.
Time to do something you love! And the sooner you start it, the more prepared you’ll be for what comes next.
Write, Write, Write
Many people will tell you that self-publishing was in its infancy back in 2010. Amazon released the Kindle in 2007, and that brought the concept of ebooks to the mainstream. People could self-publish easier than ever, thanks to the tools that Amazon brought to the marketplace. Today, however, is a different story. They say the marketplace is crowded. The rules have changed so much that it’s no longer the viable alternative it once was.
I disagree. I wrote books and sold them on Amazon back when it was first developed. I created close to a dozen books and published them myself using Amazon’s tools. It was clunky and difficult. Today’s technology makes that process much easier.
The publishing industry is changing. It’s easier to get into any market, any niche, and develop in any way you choose. Blogging is still a great way to reach an audience. Ebooks are growing in ways we’ve only started discovering.
When was the last time you went to Barnes & Noble or a place that has a wide variety of magazines – like Powell’s here in Portland? Spend an hour or so browsing through the magazines. I assure you you’ll be amazed. Would you have found a gluten-free magazine ten years ago? Or how about one on a nomadic lifestyle when you’re married with kids? Downsizing? Simplification? The sandwich generation?
Once upon a time we went to the store and bought one tube of toothpaste because that’s all that was available. Now they take up an entire aisle. And even that’s not even close to all of your options. I’m gaga at the moment over Lush’s tooth tabs. They are the best for sticking in your carryon luggage.
The point is we’re only scratching the surface of what the potential is. If your goal is to write, make it a business. Find ways to make money with your writing, and it will change your world completely.
The world changed yet again this week with the merger of Amazon and Whole Foods. If you haven’t thought about what it means to the future, you might want to do a little reading. Amazon is about to reinvent the entire food industry. Just like they’ve done with many other industries: books, retail, etc.
While Amazon is busy taking over the world, they are doing something else. I hinted to it above. They are also giving the little guy an easy way to distribute their goods. You can produce it for next to nothing, and with Amazon’s distribution process, you share in the profits if your item sells.
If you create a book, you share in the revenue. But if writing is too much for you, you don’t even have to write or create a product; there are sites that allow you to set up shop with no inventory at all.
Ever heard of Alibaba? It gives you access to product lines without the normal process once associated with operating a business. Your storefront is a website. Your warehouse is nonexistent – they ship directly to your customer. You’re in the middle, collecting along the way.
And while this isn’t a post on how Alibaba ( and others like them) work, instead it’s about possibilities. If you have an idea, it’s possible. Whether you “make” the product or not. Google is your friend; search away, and anything becomes possible. You’re not looking for “new” ideas. Proven models work best. It’s in the way you put together your ideas that matter most.
“But you write. I don’t know what I want to do.”
I hear that a lot. Guess what? Writing came to be a love of mine as the years progressed.
I didn’t go to school to be a writer. I never had a dream of creating a book until much later in life. It came slowly over time.
As a photographer, I was approached by a publisher who heard my story and thought it would be an interesting book. We signed a contract, and my first book was born.
I found a coffeetable book in a Pottery Barn many years ago, and something triggered. “I can do that,” I said, and with a whole lot of work, I turned our photography into a coffeetable book called “Being A Bride.”
I surfed, and I watched, and I investigated, and I learned. And eventually I found blogging and Kindle and said: “I can do that.” And I did it.
I didn’t set out to write a romance novel. In fact, my original Destination Barcelona was, in fact, more of a fiction travel self-help book that took a look at a woman’s journey coming to terms with her empty nest. It was only when I looked at moving forward in fiction writing that the concept of romance came to me. When I learned it’s the most in-demand genre with the largest income-generating opportunity, I wrote Destination Barcelona into a romance, the one I have on the market today.
Whatever interests you have, there is a world of possibility waiting for you. Whether it’s knitting or cheese making or writing or traveling. Start a search and learn. I guarantee it’ll leave you excited for your future.
Just ask: What If?
Whatever you do, don’t expect what’s a given from the past. That’s the surest path to failure.
The world is changing. The possibilities are endless for ways to make your future a success. The only question is how you are going to approach each new day. Stick with the old or plan for the new? It’s up to you.