It's been a chaotic year for millennials and boomers alike (and now Gen Z is beginning to enter the workforce). For the most part, the beginning of 2018 has been frought with global economic uncertainty, fierce political division, sky-high real-estate prices and now record-high gasoline prices hitting the pumps here in Vancouver, British Columbia. However, while this all sounds terrible, it's really just uncomfortable. If you're wondering how that might be the case, then this is the article for you!
1. Being outside your comfort zone can make you cranky, if you let it
We humans are creatures of habit. Think about it - we've been raised since childhood with certain expectations. And according to parents and teachers, these expectations usually consist of:
- Get a job
- Get married
- Buy a car
- Buy a house
- Raise children
In that order.
But times have changed - whether you blame foreign buyers, politicians or population boom, the results are the same: million dollar homes and $1.60 / litre gas. So how do you avoid letting the overwhelming pressure of chasing a moving goalpoast drive you crazy? The answer: don't. That doesn't mean you have to give up on your dream! But in order to avoid treading water (which is the worst thing you can do when you're trying to get somewhere), you have to move forward. And in order to move forward, you have to learn to how to adjust your expectations. More on that in a minute...
2. History repeats itself - use it as a lesson
Case in point, the rise of automation coupled with the steady march of inflation looks very similar to the Industrial Revolution when you remove the emotion, take a step back and observe: Self driving electric vehicles, drones delivering packages, and machine learning / AI are all things that could disrupt many jobs. At the turn of the 19th century, many manual labor jobs were being replaced by machines. Now the same thing is happening again in the 21st century.
So how do you survive when your job is being replaced by a robot, axed in favor of temporary foreign workers or just plain eliminated altogether? Again, change your expectations. Yes, many people lost their jobs during the Industrial Revolution, but the question to ask is what did we learn from it?
Well for starters, people in the 19th century had to change their expecations - and the ones that thrived were the entrepreneurs, inventors, mechanics and traders; these people saw change coming and positioned themselves ahead of the curve. So take a page from that part of history and try your hand either at creating something, improving something or making something available to the public.
3. Ideas are a hot commodity
James Altucher got it right - the more ideas you can come up with, the better. And you know what smart entrepreneurs are doing now? They're exchanging ideas. Instead of paying for tons of services they can't afford, they're offering discounts to each other and helping each other succeed. We need to get back to the good old days of Dale Carnegie where a good firm handshake is the spark that lights the fire of a good relationship - and that all starts with sharing your ideas with someone in your circle.
Also, the world still needs a lot of help - and we certainly aren't getting that help from all the political ranting on Twitter (I don't care whether you're a Hillary supporter or a Trump supporter - DEAL WITH IT). Bill Gates is trying to get rid of malaria; Elon Musk is making cars that don't produce CO2; you don't have to be a philanthropic billionaire but at least try your hand at improving something you're good at - you never know, it might just turn into your next career!
4. Get used to sharing - space that is
Besides sharing ideas, something else many of us are not accustomed to is sharing space. Co-working is a great way to cut costs and network with prospective business partners. Organizations like CMPNY are redefining what it means to go to work. Instead of staying isolated at home or in a cubicle, you can hotdesk and meet new people! They also have quiet areas where you can meditate and activity rooms where you can enjoy a little pingpong or foosball. You can even sign up for a virtual address just to have your packages and mail delivered to! Either way, you're going to save a lot of money over a conventional lease and you get to work with great people (and did I mention they also include coffee, a lounge area and cleaning services?)
5. Hipsters vs robots - who would win?
I don't know about you, but I love going to see my pal Matty Conrad over @ Victory Barbers. This guy is a true entrepreneur, forging ahead while re-inventing a new & improved splinter of the past. No I'm not accusing Matty of being a hipster, but what I'm saying is that sometimes old becomes new again. Hipsters love old stuff - from vintage barbershops to Victorian period clothing to whiskey and vinyl records. And you know what? There is something very relaxing about sitting back while getting a hot shave and a haircut while listening to BB on vinyl (or a beard trim, because beards are another old thing that has become new again).
If you learn to identify these cycles (remember when bell bottoms became fashionable in the 90's? And now mom jeans are making a comeback in 2018), you'll be able to anticpate and capitalize on them in the same way Matty has (and might I say one more time that Victory Barbers are awesome - go and see these guys if you live nearby).