Don’t Go The Way of the Dodo

The Dodo Bird evolved in isolation on a tropical island in the Indian Ocean named Mauritius.  A big bird, unable to fly, with plenty of access to food, in an environment free from natural predators, the Dodo had it made! Little was required of our Dodo friend in their sheltered paradise. Then, along came humans, bringing with them their hunting skills and four legged friends, and down went the Dodo.

Nature did not deal the Dodo a helpful hand for survival. Without a steady stream of ecological or predatory challenges to overcome, to adapt to, the Dodo was unprepared and got its ass kicked.

No one wants to go the way of the Dodo. We have to adapt; physically, emotionally, strategically, survival depends on it. Adapting to our environment, to changing circumstances, is challenging. We may choose to adapt, or change may choose us, but the success (and failure) that follows leads to a better life, a longer life. In hindsight, I can imagine the Dodo might have wished for some hardship in order to have extended their time before extinction. The injuries along the way may suck. But we learn and pain heals.

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As someone who would much prefer to choose adaptation over having adaptation choose me. Here are a couple suggestions for a little entrepreneurial Dodo-proofing.

1) Focus on Business over Brand: Much attention has been given to the importance of building a brand. This is certainly valuable, but not at the expense of building a business. Business basics are essential; picking a business structure, having a business license, completing financial documents, etc. All of these things protect you and your business, and provide you access to small business support systems which are harder to access by those who don’t. Keep in mind, having a business doesn’t have to mean having multiple employees, you can be a business of one.

2) Diversify your revenue streams: One solid revenue stream is good, but multiples are better. All eggs, one basket, basket breaks, no eggs. You may have a primary revenue stream that is working great, but what else is available for you? Is there a passive revenue opportunity you may be missing? Are there other components of what you do that are salable? You know how to package your content for multiple platforms, adapt that to package your product or service in multiple ways as well. For Example…

3) If you aren’t already, start teaching online. There are an enormous amount of kids at home right now, stir crazy! And even more parents balancing teleworking, distance learning, and their children’s desire for more activity. It is a problem that creative entrepreneurs are exceptionally capable of solving! Start with your community, your neighborhood, what online product, activity, class, coaching, could you provide for either the parents and/or the kids?

4) Watch what happens: Watch, read, listen to what is going on, how is technology and trends shaping your industry, how can you participate in that, test it out. What are your peers, your competition, doing? Why are they doing it? Pay attention to the details. Try not to get so buried in your day to day that you miss what is happening in the industry around you.

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