Adaptability and eCommerce – Be Water My Friend
A great man once said, “Be water my friend.” And when the legendary Bruce Lee shared his philosophy with the world during a television interview in 1971, he was referring to adaptability. To open-minded, focused thinking that allows one to insightfully shape themselves to better handle any situation, to succeed in whatever they do. In his characteristically exuberant, Zen-like manner, he explained:
“Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless. Like water. Now you put water into in a cup…it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow…or it can crash.” And with a crafty, knowing smile he finished; “Be water my friend.”
Highly adept at this much sought after, and cherished skill of flexibility, Bruce Lee’s unique, innovative philosophy, and varied martial arts styles made him controversial to some, and beloved to others. But his talent for being highly adaptable and open to any and every successful move possible gave him infiniate room to talk. One is hard pressed to find a better example of a person who could so successfully adapt to the fullest, than Bruce Lee. After all, the mans’ whole life was one adaptation after another, and he used this ability to the fullest, becoming one of those rare individuals with much to share with the world. And even rarer yet, he was always happy to do so.
The Philosophy of Flexibility.
While this philosophy is highly relevant to pretty much every aspect of life, I am particularly drawn to the concept of its relevance to the world of business; most especially when it comes to eCommerce.
While I strive to be as adaptable, and open minded as possible myself, I find that there is perhaps no better place to practice, and benefit from a talent for adaptability than when you make your living online. In fact, carving out your own niche, and making an income on the web demands that you adapt, and “flow” at all times in order to succeed.
I find that its’ exactly what Lee described when he spoke about water; you must be flexible. And coming to the conclusion that believing in only one way, one particular style, that is written in stone and must be observed at all times is the surest way to fail, he forever changed the world of martial arts by adopting all of the styles one can; or more overly, any style that proved to be successful.
Adaptability, Flexibility Wins Throughout History
There are many well known examples of this concept being successfully applied to business, even before there was an internet. Go all the way back to the legendary companies that formed throughout the late 1800’s, and the early 20th century, like Ford, Sears & Roebucks, and Kentucky Fried Chicken, all the way through the late 20th century, like Apple. All amazingly successful because they looked beyond the standard methodology and acceptable practices of the time to enthrall their customers with something new, something better. They saw a demand or potential demand, sometimes even created that demand themselves, and they went for it. It didn’t matter to them that there was a way that was considered standard. They looked to a better, more successful way, regardless of the popularity of that idea.
Great musicians adapt their musical style to suit new generations and trends, clothing designers adapt their clothing designs. Take Chris Cornell for example; his skillful ability to adapt to more popular styles of music along with an updated yet still quintessential “Cornell” look have kept him on top well into his 50’s. And more power to him. That’s what we all need, and savvy online businesses know it. Successful businesses with staying power know that to be adaptable, is to not only survive, but to thrive. Without adaptation, all would go stale, and stagnate, and slowly fade away. Covered by a snowstorm of newer, more enticing marketing, strategies, products and services.
This concept has been proven throughout history to yield stellar results. Adapting well, and intuitively to your environment or situation, whatever it may be, being flexible, and open to new ideas, strategies, and methods is the best way to stay super competitive, and highly effective. To experience success. And adapting to the needs of your audience, customers, and clients is of utmost importance. The ability to flow from one thing to the next, taking all in stride, with opportunistic determination; that’s the stuff that successful, enduring businesses are made of, and it rarely fails.
Empty Your Mind…So You Can See
To achieve this one cannot cloud their mind with thoughts of any one way, because this leads them to ignore, or perhaps even entirely miss, new things that may well prove lucrative if only recognized. Now, this does not mean re-invent the wheel when it is working, only that you should always keep an eye out for, and be open to, new concepts, methods, and strategies that will add to your success, new things that work. But you have to see them first. And to do that, you must open your mind.
And with this constant need for adaptability come new, exciting challenges every day; and perhaps the best opportunity one can find to grow, and thrive in the modern world. Which is infinitely appealing, and exciting to me. But then again, hasn’t it always been that way if only one was open minded, and flexible? After all, way back somewhere in time, someone certainly got the idea (most likely controversial at the time) to fashion clothing to keep themselves warm, to see a demand and create something to fulfill it; you get the idea. Most things were at one time un-thought of, and yet today it is considered a standard concept.
The Necessity of Successful Adaptation
Now, certainly some of that adaptability comes about in order to protect ones self. A modern example would be in the case of recovering from a severe hack on your website, or surviving a downturn in the economy. So there is risk involved too, but what else is new? Doesn’t this just give us a chance to improve, learn new moves and strategies to protect ourselves, and move to new opportunities? It improves business “Kung Fu” so to speak.
Adapting For Something Better
Now may be the best time in history to take advantage of this concept. The internet provides us not only with the ability to let our unique gifts and talents shine on a global scale, but also the opportunity to make something of ourselves that was never possible before, something better. To share those gifts and talents with the world in a way we never could before, helping others along the way.
I mean, it’s easy to forget to just stop and take a look at the internet for what it is anymore. It seems as if we have been working at it for so long, diving down every rabbit hole that comes along, drilling right down to the last detail of every technique and strategy possible. Learning every new thing that comes along that we can. But when you just take a moment to stand back and see all that the web has become, everything it’s become to us, what changes it’s made to our lives, it really is beautiful. Or at least it can be.
Like Bruce Lee, we can incorporate new styles, new forms, new knowledge, and skills with those we already possess, and we can come away wiser, and better human beings, with more successful businesses for it. We can share, and grow, and create success from nothing more than determination, and practically thin air. We can set our own schedules, our own financial limits, help the envronment, be the people we were meant to be, and pass this knowledge on to others. But only if we adapt, learn, and open our minds to new ideas and concepts.
To me, very few things in life hold a candle to the possibilities we have online. Very little is as worthy of our time, and so inspiring that you can wake up each new day, excited to get to see what comes your way. Nothing, with the exception of one thing; our children.
More than just your business…
And when you can make your world better by making a living online, you make their lives better as well. You can make more of your time with your children; more time, and a richer, fuller life with them. And then too, you can pass what you know on to your children. If you have one of those marvelous, like minded kids, who looks forward to doing what you do, and loving the job for what it is, you can especially ensure a better living for future generations too. All because you passed on this gift of adaptability, of possessing an open mind. That goes for every aspect of life.
More than us…
And it’s not just our children, and our income that benefit greatly from this way of making a living. The world itself benefits every time new successful online income is attained. How? Because every time this happens, it’s one less individual using gas to drive a car, or ride a bus to work. One less person using all that paper, less of a burden on our ecosystem. And now, that adaptation makes a whole new difference to the world.
If he were alive today, I wonder what Bruce Lee would think of the world wide web. Presumably, the master of adaptability, of crash and flow would no doubt take advantage of this amazing technology. I should think he would share his philosophical views, and ever improving martial arts style with the even more of the world than he did in his lifetime. And no doubt someone with so much talent and passion for that state of mind, and teaching others along the way, would quickly adapt. And keep on adapting to thrive, online. It would have been quite a thing to see.
Be Formless, Shapeless…online.
But regardless of what the master of adaptation would have done with this wonderful gift, what I really want you to focus on here is this; what will you do with it?
Will you endeavor to adapt, to grow, and thrive online? I certainly wish this for all of my fellow entreprenuers, my clients, and students. I wish you all the best in your business endeavors; all you truly deserve in life. And after having pondered this extensively on this crisp, beautiful fall evening, my only advise to you is: “Be water my friend.”
Until next time; take care. Explore, Learn, Enjoy – and strive to be adaptable!