• What Next? The “New”

    As this year progresses, the question of “what next?” has come to the forefront of all levels of human engagement – education, business, medicine, science and technology, arts and entertainment, and religion.

     

    In the next, we expect something “new”. However, “new” does not necessarily mean something that has never existed before. “New” can be something that was already here, but which one is only experiencing now, for the first time. Seeing “new” in this way, shifted my perspective of what is next.

     

    Our next will be not only what has never existed, but also what is already here, but not yet discovered by us. The key is determining which “new” you are in, and whether you will be proactive or responsive to the “new”.

     

    Working with, and through, the shifting dynamics of family, work, community, and politics, can throw off our physical and mental well-being. Yet, despite these tensions, history has shown humanity’s ability to pivot in peril, and rise with  resiliency.


  • “I’ve been thinking…”

     

    Life is a gift and a trust,

    wrapped in moments and memories,

    secured by the bow of love,

    faith and community,

    received with the hands of gratefulness and

    responsibility,

    and displayed in the dignity

    and significance of humanity.


  • A New Decade

     

    2020 began with unusual fervor and anticipation of a new decade filled with resolutions, goals, plans and dreams. Little did we know, a virulent virus would shake up the world. All of us have felt the impacts of this pandemic, many which still linger, in some way or another. Feelings of loss, uncertainty, sadness and disappointment have probably touched us all.

     

    Yet, we have also seen growth in community consciousness and a heightened awareness of the dignity of every human. We have demonstrated and observed resourcefulness and resilience in each other.  So, while this past year challenged me too, I feel inspired and look forward to what lays ahead.

    You and I have the mettle for this moment!

    May you prosper, spirit, soul and body – III John 2


  • ANTICIPATE, SHIFT 4, AND EXPAND

    Subduing in business means to vanquish a need in humanity through the cultivation of allocated resources. The quagmire we see not only determines the need of resources we will utilize, but also to what extent we will do so. What is our responsibility to the earth and our fellow humans?

                

    Subduing also entails anticipating future needs for products or services. Those who are able to deftly do this find themselves still in business. Those who cannot become like Sears, Toys“R”Us, and Blockbuster or find themselves losing market share, like Blackberry or Motorola.

    Success incorporates your ability to anticipate need and shift to meet it, while expanding internal processes and capabilities (scaling). We must review the “Five Capital Model”, look at technical feasibility, operational implementability, and the nuances of political and bureaucratic influence. Having a “360” view allow for better allocation of resources and achievement of goals.

    Recalibration and restructuring are vital components to repositioning businesses for success.

    You’re on your way…Don’t stop now!

     

    Discover more in “Think. Innovate. Create.” available at www.aprilripley.com/store


  • NOT FINISHED, READY TO (SHIFT)

    Duplication and distribution would be key.

    We look at Jesus and see that for three years, He created a system of fruitfulness, multiplication, and replenishment in twelve men. Today, His system is still working—still making disciples. Distribution is key, because it allows the product or service to reach beyond local areas and go global. This is the part of business that allows you to make money while you sleep – residual income.

    When we look at replenishing, we also need to look at the element of scale. Scalability means that a business experiences competitive advantage as it grows, in a capable and cost-effective manner.

    The Coca-Cola Company wisely leveraged partnership to expand. They catered to their strength—producing concentrated beverages—and allowed for another company’s strength—bottling—to become a part of the aggregate, which has led them to become the world’s leading supplier of sparkling and still beverages. (Wikipedia)

    For my books and e-commerce businesses, I utilize various platforms that distribute them around the world. The key is to create systems of transport that will work 24/7.

    You’re not finished yet…Replenish!

     

    Discover more in “Think. Innovate. Create.” available at www.aprilripley.com/store


  • (SHIFT 2) MULTIPLY

    Being seedful allows for multiplication. How does this translate into business terms? Multiplication is increase. This multiplication requires a system to ensure that the reproductive cycle sustains itself so that what we produce is able increase and multiply exponentially.

    Multiplication can be seen in networking marketing and franchise models. And recently with the “paid partnership” of online social media influencers. I like to call this “cross pollination” marketing. This allows each entity to leverage the “network” of their contacts for the benefit of all parties concerned.

    Multiplication can be a collaborative effort, a strategic partnership, or a joint venture. It allows for diversification and value augmentation. It aligns with the African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.”

     

    Discover more in “Think. Innovate. Create.” available at www.aprilripley.com/store


  • THE KEY IN THE COMMAND (SHIFT1)

    God commanded mankind to be fruitful. In order to be fruitful, you must be seedful. Being seedful means that within every individual is the potential to grow something, which itself will have more potential to grow, and so on and so on. Before fruit grows, it is hidden in the seed; and once the fruit reaches maturity, the seed is hidden in the fruit. Everything created has within itself the seed to reproduce. This is what science calls the “reproduction cycle”—and all living things have it.

    As a business, what have you produced that will allow you to bring more fruit—more seed? For example, if you bake cookies for family gatherings, can those same cookies be made and sold to others, to stores, or even online? Do you have anything already in you that can produce more fruit?

    I recall my friend Tracye Carter, founder of Tracye’s Culinary Creations and her world-famous Tracye’s Chicken Salad Dressing. Tracye was always one to host dinner parties and insist on preparing everything. The dinner presentations were elegant, but the food was starlit. The dish that became her claim to future fame was her chicken salad.

    Tracye’s consistency in her product and service at dinners and get-togethers led to large catering contracts. I even had her cater my first book launch! She and I met one night for dinner to talk further about the far-reaching potential of her chicken salad. After our conversation, additional business research and counsel, and a leap of faith, her product is now available in all of the Whole Foods Markets in the southeast.

    Tracye started her business with a seed of a skill—culinary skill. She continued to develop it by learning more about food—how to prepare it on a larger scale, how to market it, and more. Was it an easy process? No. Did it cost something to make it happen? Yes, it cost time, energy, some no’s, and even financial investments. However, if you ask Tracye today if it was all worth it, she would tell you yes.

    What seed do you have? What are you doing to make it grow?

     

    Discover more in “Think. Innovate. Create.” available at www.aprilripley.com/store


  • BE A PROBLEM SEEKER

    In business, we identify problems through research. Then we must acknowledge the problem and find out how it came to be. What are its effects? Remember, you cannot solve a problem on the same level on which that problem was created, but you must understand the level on which it came to be in order to find solutions. This is what an entrepreneur does. This is what an intrapreneur does. Whether you own your business or work for someone else, you are ultimately a problem solver.

    In today’s marketplace, we are told to stand up, speak out, and stand out. We celebrate and encourage the search for the uncommon, the new, and the disruptive. I am often asked, “How do I make more money? How do I get a promotion?” My answer is, “Find a problem, and solve it.”

    Problem-finding appears to be the antithesis of our society today, though. We try our best to avoid problems. We hear sayings like “Don’t ruffle any feathers” or “Don’t rock the boat” or “Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil.” We like our comfort zones.

    However, no one in history is remembered for staying in their comfort zone. The ones we remember are those who gave up their comfort to make impact and change in their communities and the world. Business is not comfortable. It is not remaining in a stagnant mindset.

    Let’s look at Blockbuster and Netflix. Blockbuster no longer exists because it did not want to change with the market’s demand for at-home convenience. People wanted to rent a video without having to go into a physical store to get it, especially when—and this was the worst—there was a chance the video would already have been rented out.

    Netflix saw the demand for people wanting to watch movies in their home without ever having to leave their home to get it, coupled with the rise of in-home internet use. It now has more than 182 million paid subscriptions worldwide, including 69 million in the United States, and also produces its own content (Wikipedia).

     Seek for problems to solve…You are a Problem Solver!

     

    Discover more in “Think. Innovate. Create.” available at www.aprilripley.com/store

     

     


  • PLANNING IN PURPOSE

    Purpose is the reason for the creation or existence of something; it involves intention. What is it you want to do? Why do you want to do it? If you want to start a business, discovering the purpose of your business will be the foundation upon which the mission stands. Depending on what your business is and in what industry you work, you will operate it in unique ways.

    Planning is essential in fulfilling purpose. Business owners must also look to where they want to go and initiate the appropriate strategies to get there. Given where we are today, with accelerated computing power, artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation, we must ensure that our businesses remain agile and collaborative. We live in the age of collaboration. This collaboration exists not only between mankind and machines, but also between humans and humans.

    Planning is crucial for every human, whether you own a business or work for a company—and even just for you as your own person. Why? Because time and chance happen to us all (Ecclesiastes 9:11). Time progresses for everyone, and chance is the unknown.

    Change is the constant of time and chance. Everything living changes, by nature and design. Some may have the attitude that “Whatever is to be, will be, so why would I plan anything, not knowing what will be?” True. However, it is in that very statement of not knowing that you should plan, because you don’t know. We cannot ignore change. Change is inevitable.

     

    A wise person plans for the future, because it will come.

     

    Discover more in “Think. Innovate. Create.” available at www.aprilripley.com/store


  • PURPOSE-FILLED…

    Vision gives direction for our lives. But vision begins with understanding purpose.

    Purpose is the reason for which something is created or exists.

    Purpose comes through discovery. What is the most asked question in life? Why am I here? Why is a question of purpose. It is the search for origin and meaning – the big idea. All things are created with by ideas. Ideas are thoughts in the mind of the creator or maker of a thing, which produce the thing in order to fulfill a function.

    We look at a car, plane, train and boat. They were all created to meet logistical needs. However, each function differently, according to the need of the transportation in respect to passenger, goods, weight, and distance.

    But, how does one determine their purpose? Look within.

    For myself, I knew I liked meeting people, and learning about new things, writing, ensuring things were executed in a professional manner, traveling, and had a fancy for fine arts. So, as I look back over my life, and at the things I have accomplished so far, I see all of these things in a measure.

     

    Write down the answers to these questions: What do I love doing? What things do I hate to see, or do? What is my proclivitiy?  What am I able to do with ease?

     

    This is just the beginning…



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