Look, I get it, change is tough, but we only have two choices: Embrace it and move forward or give up and fall into decline. I’m not a quitter, and I don’t think you are either. Sometimes we just need someone or something to kick us in the ass and get us moving in the right direction.
My wife Jill died last year after a 5-year struggle with cancer. It was devastating. We did everything together. We sat within touching distance of each other at work for almost a decade, and not once were the cops called. We truly were the epitome of soulmates.
Last summer, my daughters invited me to spend a long weekend with them in a mountain cabin. Spending that weekend talking to them, in that secluded environment, and in this new phase of my life, was an eye-opening experience. I realized that I had been completely oblivious to how much things had changed when both of my daughters insisted, I start dating again. What does dating have to do with anything? Let me explain.
If you’ve never seen one of the more popular dating apps called Tinder, prepare yourself. It’s a mind-numbing, lightning-paced, wooden rollercoaster experience. I guarantee you’ve seen someone using Tinder, you just didn’t realize that was what they were doing.
In one second or less, you’ve been swiped-left and tossed in the dorky loser pile. A girl will go through over 100 guys in just a few minutes looking for that one, that one guy, who gets the prized swipe right. It’s super-fast paced, instant decisions, with no second shots. No one gets resurrected from the dorky loser pile.
So, I asked my daughters “is this the way your generation does everything?” “Of course, dad.” Now, both of my daughters are adults. One owns her own business and the other is a schoolteacher. Both shops online for personal and business.
My next question was “would you buy from a company with a click-here-to-shop link?” In unison, they yell “Left!” Alright then, “would you buy from a website that said login for price?” Again, “Left!” “How about not mobile…” Didn’t even let me finish, “Left!” I was going to say, “not mobile friendly.”
Instant decisions, no second chances, in the dorky loser pile, never to be seen again.
I hate to tell some of you, but Doris and Otis have retired. They’ve been replaced by Jaden and Katlin. You must provide the experience this generation demands. That means top-of-the-line website, mobile responsive, open-site and competitively priced. Scrimping and cutting corners here will cost you, not save you money.
So, let’s speak honestly about reality as my daughters did for me. You think “I don’t want that fickle internet shopper; I only sell to businesses.” Reality is, she is a young, up and coming, business owner in your area. She spends thousands of dollars a month on supplies. She woke up pissed off at her current supplier and knows she can do better. She picked up her smart phone and started looking for a better boyfriend. Guess what happened next?
It’s either one of two things, all too often, for most independents. She couldn’t even find you, or your site was so poorly designed and implemented, she couldn’t figure out how to do business with you. You have no idea how many times, after telling people what I do for a living, I hear “I would do business with a local independent, if I could find one.” This is killing independents at a crucial time in history.
Not caring is the easiest thing you can do. You can sit in your comfy chair binge watching Netflix, convincing yourself that it’s too much trouble. Sure, I used to chase after that girl, when I was young, but now I’m old. It’s a lot of work. I’m not sure what to do. I’m afraid of being a dorky loser. And that’s when my grown daughters said, “quit your whiney-ass bitching, and man-up.” “Sure, it will be scary, sure you will make mistakes, but it’s the only way you’re going to learn.” “We need you not to give up.”
I guarantee there are people in your life, right now, that need you not to give up either. “I” need you not to give up. We’re not the dorky losers. We’re just sometimes oblivious to what’s happening all around us. If an old fart that was married for 30 years can overcome his fear of dating again (it was truly terrifying), then you can get over your fear of change and make those right-swipes happen.