Do You Run From Challenges or Do You Face Them Down?

There are people who shy away from challenges and then there are people who are energized by attacking challenges and “defeating” them!

There are pros and cons to both approaches. However, I am not aware of any great accomplishment or breakthrough ever happening because someone was running away from a challenge!

All major technology, medical, literary, artistic, or other societal impacting breakthrough has happened because someone identified a challenge, took it on, and solved it!

I was reminded of this by my grandson Jett. He is going through a phase where scaring him does not result in him running away. Rather, he turns towards the “threat” and runs directly at it. He is challenging the threat!

This does not mean that he is always successful in “defeating” the threat. In fact, most of the time he fails . . . but this does not deter him or keep him from trying again!

And, as business leaders, this is what we all should be doing!

Things You Can Count On By Taking on Challenges

How to Navigate Marketplace Complexities

This past year was a year full of transitions, amazing challenges, and stunning opportunities!

It was a year that saw many extremes including:

  • Outrageous political antics
  • Frightening political standoffs
  • Stunning Bitcoin valuations
  • Record breaking stock indices
  • Oil price climbing back to the $55-$60/bbl
  • Continued company downsizing
  • Record company profits
  • First recycled (reused) rocket
  • Great advances in hyperloop technology
  • #metoo movement

Some businesses experienced amazing growth (NVIDIA, Google, Apple, Amazon) while some saw their business shrink (Sears, Macys, GE). Others saw their market shift in an entirely new direction. Some took advantage of this shift and others were damaged by it!

This unprecedented rate of change and marketplace complexity can cause business leaders no end of sleepless nights and stressful days! However, this is where Thinking Business can help you thrive!

Acres of Diamonds

Think Big Things and Then Do Them

This week’s book review is Acres of Diamonds by Russell Conwell.


Conwell was a war hero, lawyer, businessman, educator, orator, minister, and visionary who is probably most famous for founding Temple University and for his trademark lecture “Acres of Diamonds.” This book is a transcript of the lecture along with a biography of his life and a commentary of the impact he has made on the world before his death in 1925.

The central point of the Acres of Diamonds lecture is that we do not need to look in exotic places to find business opportunity. Business opportunities are all around us. All we need to do is change our focus to looking at the needs of society and the people around us . . . If we strive to serve their needs, business opportunity will present itself!

My takeaway from this book are these three statements from Conwell’s lecture:

How to Focus Your Business and Make More Money

Most of us are totally unaware of how much our lack of focus impacts our lives and our businesses yet the impact is huge!

Among many things, lack of focus:

  • Damages relationships
  • Results in missing sales opportunities
  • Increases our cost of doing business
  • Derails us from our vision
  • Impacts our ability to achieve goals
  • Results in increased work hours and workload

Essentially, lack of focus is, at best, a drag on our business and, at worst, will bring our business to its knees!

I think all of us can recall a time in our lives and/or businesses when our lack of focus cost us something. If not, maybe some of these examples will jog your memories!

70% of Today’s Occupations Will Be Obsolete in 80 Years

Did you know that 70% of occupations in today’s marketplace will be automated or obsolete by the end of this century!

This is a stunning prediction that is hard to believe but it is happening before our eyes.

For those of you who find this hard to comprehend, this sort of job displacement has happened numerous times in the past . . . even in the last century. For example:

  • In the last 60 years, agriculture’s share of workers has seen an 80% drop!
  • Also, in the same period, manufacturing has lost 60% of its market share of workers

As technology, society, and our economies advance, the workplace has seen, is seeing, and will continue to see massive changes and upheavals.

Occupations That Will Be Obsolete or Highly Automated