There are countless business books, but there are some that hit the spot. This post is about one of such immeasurably impactful books that I came across recently titled “Who Moved my Cheese” by Spencer Johnson. It is a short illustrated book with some profound ideas that will radically change how you think about business.
It is geared at helping employees who have been displaced from their job and is especially useful for training an entrepreneur’s mindset. Entrepreneurs must always be on their toes, always looking out for the next best opportunity. Or must they?
Let’s go over this analogy from the book;
The book’s lesson is conveyed through the story of a mouse who discovers that the source of his cheese is no longer reliable. The mouse’s buddy returns to the same spot, searching for more cheese, only to get more hungry. However, the story’s main character discovers a new location of cheese with a more abundant supply. When he finds the new source of cheese, he proceeds to tell his buddy about the new location. Still, the buddy insisted that cheese would always be in the old place and that, in fact, he was mistaken about the new location.
Obviously, this isn’t a story about cheese. It’s a metaphor for dealing with change. “Who Moved My Cheese” teaches us that we cannot constantly rely on the same supply source. Markets dry up, companies go through downturns and have to lay off good employees, and revenue streams can change but one thing is sure; There is always a new source of funds somewhere in the market.
The intelligent entrepreneur will anticipate a change in the market and make the necessary changes so that they can go where the money is, or move with the “cheese” to discover and tap into a new source of abundant funding. It’s more than a metaphor about seeking for a new job; it highlights the misery of unemployed and stuck up individuals and businesses. When someone loses their work, they are frequently trapped in a mental loop of waiting for their prior employer to rehire them or hunting for a job that is nearly the same in nature. For businesses, some are trapped in the cycle of trying to get former customers to buy again or running ads to get new customers without tangible returns. They keep repeatedly trying without making progress. However, if that industry is experiencing economic hardship or if the business model for that sector has changed substantially, there may no longer be abundant sources of money and employment that were once so dependable. In other words, the cheese has moved. Businesses that have learnt to adapt in a changing environment and made the necessary changes to adapt to the new source of “cheese” are the ones that have survived over time.
Suppose you are from Nigeria, and you are old enough. In that case, you will remember the time when video rentals and sales of discs were a thing in Nigeria. The sector evolved and ultimately dissolved with improvements in technology, such as the widespread use of the internet and video-on-demand platforms (such as Netflix, Amazon Prime) etc. Many businesses folded up whilst waiting for the world to come back to rentals or buy discs. Others saw the change coming and adapted for survival. Some transitioned into the business of compiling movies to sell (50-in-one discs) to make their offers more attractive, others changed the type of movies in stock (instead of Nigerian movies, they now sell Philippines, Korean or Indian movies) because they knew that most of these movies have hundreds of episodes and most people would instead buy discs than spend so much money on buying data to download those movies. The rich ones of the lot moved up into movie production and online distribution of content to keep their business going and so many other methods of adaptability.
Other industries where dramatic changes have forced businesses to find out who moved their cheese are the music industry and the book sales industry which have been heavily impacted by internet sales.
If some businesses can survive the landscape shift, adapt and change with the market, then we have good examples of how we can do it too.
So, look forward, think about the future of the industry you’re in right now and ask yourself these questions; what is this industry evolving into, what is the future of this industry, what are the changes that have occurred over the past couple of years, what changes are likely to occur in the next couple of years, what can I do to improve on what my business is offering today? Of course, there are many more questions to ask, but these should get you started.
You should be aware that your business needs an online presence; social media, a website, a blog, etc. And all these elements complement each other. So, think forward and contact The-One Media today to discuss how we can help your business improve by designing a website for you at very affordable rates. Remember, a website is a window through which your business can say hello to the world.
If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.Charisol