The realization is now – Written by Marketing Expert Seth Godin

*** I wanted to share a copy of Seth’s article with you, simply because I believe it has a fantastic message, one that could serve as a sound directive to get our country and hopefully keep your business on track in so many ways. This was actually written five to six years ago. I hope you enjoy his thoughts, which fit almost every industry (The italicized items are my comments.):

“New polling out this week shows that Americans are frustrated with the world and pessimistic about the future. They’re losing patience with the economy, with their prospects, with their leaders (of both parties).

What’s actually happening is this: we’re realizing that the industrial revolution is fading. The 80 year long run that brought ever-increasing productivity (and along with it, well-paying jobs for an ever-expanding middle class) is ending.

It’s one thing to read about the changes the internet brought, it’s another to experience them. People who thought they had a valuable skill or degree have discovered that being an anonymous middleman doesn’t guarantee job security. Individuals who were trained to comply and follow instructions have discovered that the deal is over… and it isn’t their fault, because they’ve always done what they were told.

This isn’t fair of course. It’s not fair to train for years, to pay your dues, to invest in a house or a career and then suddenly see it fade.

For a while, politicians and organizations promised that things would get back to normal. (Remember, this was written 5-6 years ago, not during our recent pandemic… It’s fitting today, though, isn’t it?) Those promises aren’t enough, though, and it’s clear to many that this might be the new normal. In fact, it is the new normal.

I regularly hear from people who say, “enough with this conceptual stuff, tell me how to get my factory moving, my day job replaced, my consistent paycheck restored…” There’s an idea that somehow, if we just do things with more effort or skill, we can go back to the Brady Bunch and mass markets and mediocre products that pay off for years. It’s not an idea, though, it’s a myth.

Some people insist that if we focus on “business fundamentals” and get “back to basics,” all will return. Not so. The promise that you can get paid really well to do precisely what your boss (…or government leaders claim) instructs you to do is now a dream, no longer a reality.

It takes a long time for a generation to come around to significant revolutionary change. The newspaper business, the steel business, law firms, the car business, the record business, even computers… one by one, our industries are being turned upside down, and so quickly that it requires us to change faster than we’d like.

It’s unpleasant, it’s not fair, but it’s all we’ve got. The sooner we realize that the world has changed, the sooner we can accept it and make something of what we’ve got. Whining isn’t a scalable solution.”

I urge you to please join me in making the changes we need to in order to succeed and prosper! Next month, I’ll start my focus on the benefits of “Upstream” thinking from Author Dan Heath. Stay tuned. If I can assist you in any way prior to that, please reach out at or at 209-988-8960.

I wanted to take this opportunity to revisit a story that I had written in a previous blog almost three years ago. In spite of the difficulty we have faced with our economy at times during the past ten years, we certainly have a lot to be thankful for. Frankly, I couldn’t think of a better way to remind ourselves of this than to look at the story of Victor Frankl once again. I hope you can relate.

Throughout the crazy events sometimes surrounding us, it’s often difficult to find meaning – in effect, to make sense of things that are occurring every day. Victor Frankl was a survivor of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Nazi Germany. Many entered Auschwitz; few survived. Victor Frankl in his book entitled Man’s Search for Meaning explained that the key to survival was that people needed to do six things. There may be some sound guidance for us here, too.

First, he said, “Realize that the game of life has changed.” Isn’t that applicable today in all industries? As Frankl stated, the old game is over, a new game has begun. That’s true for you and me, too. We’ve got to operate under a new set of assumptions because the old game is over. Be prepared & remain open to change – it’s coming faster than ever!

Second, every day, you must find something beautiful. For Victor Frankl, from his cell, he could see a mountain range. For us, maybe it’s a sunset.

Third, every day, you must find something humorous, something funny. For Frankl, it may have been the way one of the guards walked. As you face the stress of working through any difficult situation, find some humor each day. Trust me. We all need some.

Fourth, every day, you must find something to be grateful for. Instead of focusing on what we’ve lost or what you don’t have, try to focus on what you do have; something you are grateful for!

Fifth, every day, you must find some way to be useful. For Victor Frankl, it was helping other prisoners in the concentration camp by listening to them. What will it be for you? How can you be useful to someone else or to your industry today?

Finally, every day, you must find something to help you prepare for the future – a big goal, for example.  We all need a bigger goal beyond this current experience. For Frankl, what kept him going was his goal to write his book: Man’s Search for Meaning.

As Dan Sullivan, founder of The Strategic Coach organization says, “All progress starts by telling the truth.” So, remember, as Victor Frankl stated, realize the game has definitely changed. We’re in a new experience. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we’ll be able to reach new objectives. Also, don’t forget the other five steps to success:

Every day, find something:

  • Beautiful
  • Humorous
  • Something to be grateful for
  • Some way to be useful to others
  • A reason to prepare for the future – A Goal!

Try this today. It works far better than complaining, especially on items over which we have no control… As Teddy Roosevelt said:

“Complaining about a problem without proposing a solution is called whining!”