Forecasting Isn’t Enough: The Art of Riding the Change Tsunami

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The Finxter mission is to help you stay on the right side of change. In this article, I’ll philosophize on the question:

Why do some benefit from change while most do not?

It’s tough to see through the many layers of societal and cultural obfuscation. But simplification helps, so here’s a simplified categorization into three groups.

  • ❌ Group 1: The Overt Deniers πŸ‘ˆ *minority, no benefit*
  • ❌ Group 2: The Passive Observers πŸ‘ˆ *majority, marginal benefit*
  • βœ… Group 3: The Strategic Navigators πŸ’« *minority, massive benefit*

The first two groups are not on the right side of change. The first group will lose everything over time. The second group (majority) struggles and will gain only little from change, at most. But there’s hope, the second group can simply move to the third group — it’s simple but not easy.

Group 1: The Overt Deniers πŸ₯Έ

The Overt Deniers remains anchored in the past, failing to recognize the approaching tides of change. Their narrative mirrors those who, at the onset of the automotive era, staunchly believed in the continued dominance of horse-drawn carriages. Dismissing innovations as temporary fads, they find themselves increasingly isolated from the forward momentum of society.

The overt denier says things like these:

  1. “Why would anyone ever need an automobile when we have perfectly good horses?”
  2. “The television is just a fad. Radio will never go out of style.”
  3. “Who’d want to read books from a screen? Paper will never be replaced!”
  4. “Flying in the air? That’s for birds, not humans. These ‘aeroplanes’ are pure fantasy.”
  5. “Sending a man to the moon? That’s just science fiction nonsense.”
  6. “Electric lights? These are just a novelty. Candles and gas lamps are timeless.”
  7. “The telephone? Why would I want one of those when I can just send a letter?”
  8. “This rock and roll music is just a phase. It’ll never last!”
  9. “Digital photography? No one will ever trust a photo they can’t hold in their hands.”
  10. “Online shopping? People will always prefer to go to stores in person.”

These statements encapsulate the skepticism that innovators often face when introducing groundbreaking ideas and technologies.

Today, overt deniers would say things like:

  1. Bitcoin: “Digital coins? Sounds like Monopoly money to me. I’ll stick to my tangible cash, thank you very much!”
  2. AI: “Machines thinking for themselves? Ha! I’ve got a toaster at home that can’t even get my bread right!”
  3. Self-Driving Cars: “A car that drives itself? Next, you’ll tell me my coffee mug will start brewing its own coffee!”
  4. Electric Vehicles: “Battery-operated cars? What’s next, wind-up airplanes? I’ll stick to my good ol’ gasoline engine.”

Everything is lost for the overt denier. The only chance they have is to move to group 2. Adapt or die – evolution is cruel!

Group 2: The Passive Observers πŸ‘€

The Passive Observers: A larger contingent comprises those who, though cognizant of the looming shifts, fail to take active steps to capitalize on them. Their hesitation or inaction often leads to missed opportunities. Here are ten emblematic instances where passive observers recognized potential but failed to act:

  • Bitcoin’s Emergence: Many saw its potential early on and even read the whitepaper but hesitated to invest.
  • Electric Vehicle Revolution: Despite forecasting the dominance of EVs by 2030, they refrained from investing in companies like Tesla or BYD.
  • Rise of E-commerce: Recognizing the potential of online shopping but not buying into platforms like Amazon early.
  • Advent of Streaming: Using platforms like Netflix but not seeing its investment potential.
  • Mobile Revolution: Witnessing the shift from PCs to mobiles but missing out on the growth of companies like Apple. Developers saw the app store early but ignored creating simple apps for the iOS app store when it was still easy to reach millions of users with a simple game or app.
  • Solar Energy: Anticipating a green energy shift but not aligning with leading solar companies.
  • AI and Automation: Recognizing the role of AI in industries but not investing in AI-first companies (e.g., Tesla with Optimus bot).
  • Gig Economy: Using services like Upwork, Uber, or Airbnb frequently but failing to see their disruptive potential.
  • Cloud Computing: Benefiting from cloud services but not investing in pioneering companies like Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services.

Most people are open to change and accept disruptive technologies. But they don’t position themselves to benefit from change. If you see change, but don’t gain from it, you’d have few advantages over group 1.

Let’s move to the only group that really benefits from change:

Group 3: The Strategic Navigators β›΅

The Strategic Navigators not only spot the winds of change but also adjust their sails to ride them. They actively engage with emerging trends, ensuring they’re positioned favorably as these trends become mainstream. Their proactive nature and foresight allow them to harness the opportunities that change brings, ensuring they remain ahead of the curve.

Here are ten examples of how strategic navigators, as everyday people, can become millionaires by capitalizing on opportunities:

  1. Real Estate Savvy: Someone who recognized the potential of a declining neighborhood, bought property when prices were low, and then benefited from the area’s eventual gentrification or development. They saw change and acted on it.
  2. Stock Market Insight: A schoolteacher who consistently invested small amounts in tech stocks in the late 90s and early 2000s, like Apple or Amazon, and held onto them, watching their value skyrocket over the years.
  3. E-commerce: A hobbyist who started selling handmade crafts online, eventually turning their Etsy shop or eBay store into generating six-figure monthly revenue with a 75% profit margin and turning it into a multi-million-dollar brand and business.
  4. App Development: A regular office worker who learned coding in their free time and developed a unique mobile app that filled a niche, leading to millions of downloads and revenue.
  5. Franchise Investment: Someone who noticed the popularity of a local coffee shop or eatery and decided to buy a franchise, expanding its presence and reaping the profits.
  6. Online Courses: An expert in a particular field who created and sold online courses or tutorials on platforms like Udemy or Coursera, capitalizing on the knowledge economy.
  7. Self-Published Author: A writer who, instead of chasing traditional publishers, decided to self-publish an eBook or audiobook, which then went viral or became a best-seller, selling 3 million units with $5 profit per unit.
  8. Subscription Box Service: A fashion enthusiast who started a monthly subscription box service for niche products, like eco-friendly cosmetics or specialized gourmet foods, and built a loyal customer base.
  9. Real Estate Crowdfunding: An individual who, lacking the capital to buy property outright, invested in real estate crowdfunding platforms, benefiting from the pooled resources of many investors.
  10. Dropshipping Business: Someone who identified trending products and set up a dropshipping e-commerce store, managing to market it effectively and sell products without holding inventory.
  11. Bitcoin Investor and Tech Nerd: A tech enthusiast who, back in the early days of cryptocurrency, got curious about the underlying technology of Bitcoin. Instead of dismissing it as just another internet fad, they invested a modest amount. Over the years, as the value of Bitcoin soared, their initial investment multiplied exponentially, turning them into a millionaire.

Each of these examples showcases everyday individuals who saw opportunities in familiar spaces, took calculated risks, and successfully navigated their way to financial success.

Don’t Just Observe. Act! Tips to Become a Strategic Navigator

As the world continues its relentless pace of change, the challenge is not just to observe but to act. It’s imperative to be nimble, informed, and ready to adapt, ensuring we’re not merely spectators but key players in the ever-evolving tapestry of progress.

  • βœ… Tip 1: You’re already doing it — actively reading and learning and always keeping change top of mind. To become a strategic navigator, you need to know the waves we’re currently in. For example, we are in a Bitcoin bear market at the time of writing and Tesla has just lost a lot of market capitalization. Two example waves you could ride if you agreed with these opportunities.
  • βœ… Tip 2: Act! If you’ve identified a trend you could benefit from, act! Implement your investment strategy today. Create the brokerage account and buy the damn thing instead of always being stuck in figure, figure, figure.
  • βœ… Tip 3: Be bold! You can wait for the disruptor to take everything you’ve got. Or you go with the change and become the disruptor. For example, you could leave your job in an industry that’s obviously being disrupted — such as gasoline-based car manufacturer — to start working for a company that’s on the right side of change. Alternatively, you could hedge your bets by investing in the company disrupting your industry.

πŸ§‘β€πŸ’» Do It Now! Feel free to chat with FinxterGPT (see bottom left) to determine ways to benefit from change. Copy and paste the previous tips to give context for your personal situation!

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