You’re ready to move forward.
You’ve look backwards and identified the lessons from the past. You’ve seen what worked, and what didn’t work.
You’ve seen what people are doing today. You see the trends that are popular, the behaviors people have adopted, and you can clearly see preferences emerging.
You can almost step back far enough to see where things are going, you feel like you can almost see the future.
You’re looking forward and you’re ready to introduce something entirely new.
But something isn’t quite right…
The people who embrace the past don’t like your new idea. It’s foreign. It requires change. And it’s certainly more far out there than what’s going on today.
The people today barely pay attention to you, there’s simply too many other things going on. Why should they pay attention to you amidst all of the other options?
Sure, there are a few early adopters who like where you’re going, but not enough to sustain you.
Herein lies the challenge of the past, present and future.
If you don’t respect the past, you’ll never bring people along with you, you’ll never understand them. And if you spend too much time in the past, you’ll never lead the way.
If you don’t respect the trends of the present, you’ll never capture people’s attention, and you’ll never build your momentum. And if you spend too much time worried about capturing attention today, you’ll waste all of your time chasing your tail, competing for attention amidst countless other options.
If you only think about the future, you’ll be so far out in front that you’ll be alone, desperately waiting for people to catch up and see where things are inevitably headed. And if you spend too much time there, you’ll drive yourself crazy wondering why every idea fails to catch on.
So what do you do?
Be moderate. Be understanding.
Appreciate the lessons of the past. Embrace the people who refuse to come along. Understand their fears, hopes and dreams, and maybe a few will come with you.
Don’t fight the trends of today, don’t judge it. Accept it, roll with it, understand it, and maybe you’ll learn to hold attention.
Be mindful of tomorrow and never stop trying to move things forward. But be sure to look over your shoulder and make sure you’re not traveling alone.