I was recently talking about the changing face of business and marketing due to the internet, with a friend who has grown so much in her home business ventures.
Her epiphany came via a group of kids at a homeschool enrichment class on marketing, of all things. After we reminisced about it after running into each other, I realized that these are lessons that apply to us all.
Learning from Your Students
My kids, like many homeschooling students, took enrichment classes via a co-op we were involved with in our area.
Several years ago, this particular friend was asked to teach a hands-on class on marketing. After all, she had a business degree and a master’s degree in marketing. Moms signed up their entrepreneurial-minded teens for the course, thankful that someone who was an expert was to be teaching them.
My kids were all teens at the time (they’ve all since graduated) and they came home to tell us that Mrs. So and So doesn’t know anything about marketing.
As it turned out, it wasn’t that she didn’t know anything about marketing, obviously. It was that she didn’t grasp how marketing had changed due to the internet and social media. She was trying work under the old rules. The kids, children of the new millennium, instinctively knew that wasn’t going to work with their generation.
Initially, she acknowledges that she complained greatly about the kids’ unwillingness to learn the “right way” of doing things, as she had been taught. After they set up their sample marketplace to sell their product, it became pretty obvious that the kids knew far more than the teacher about what makes something get attention today. Eventually, she used this to make her own home business thrive.
Our Choice in Changing Times
The way I look at it, we have two choices in changing times. We can either complain about changes while trying to fill new wine in old wineskins (as Jesus said), or we can learn and grow with the positive changes taking place.
Unless we’re talking about an issue of values (as I spoke of in other parts, regarding my mission statement and regarding goals), and my own core beliefs, flexibility in changing times is a good thing. In fact, in many ways, this is also a good promotion for having a personal mission statement, for knowing what you believe (and why), and developing a plan, ahead of time, as to what is important to you.
I often reevaluate what I believe and why I believe it, asking myself, “Is this a hill Jesus would want me to defend and die on?” Things that are the clear cut truth, I will defend until my dying breath.
Things that are cultural, or “tradition”, or “The way we’ve always done it.”, not so much. Not every kind of compromise is wrong.