The Secret to Long Term Success

By Linda Elliott

was curious about what a cabinet in the spare bedroom held. I found totally obsolete VHS tapes of really good movies and lots of cassettes, together with the equipment to play them. Remember those things? Remember the good old days when those were high-tech? Actually, I miss those good old days because life was simpler. But saying we want to relive the “the good old days” is not really healthy. The reality is, if we don’t change with the times, we’ll never make it. Look at what happened to Blockbuster and Radio Shack.

It’s called INNOVATION. My ever-faithful Wikipedia defines innovation as “a new idea, more effective device or process. This is accomplished through more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are readily available…” We thrive on innovation, always looking for the latest and greatest. Look at how Apple has all but taken over the world through innovation. What about Starbucks? They used to only serve coffee. Now they offer a wide assortment of food and beverages, not to mention Wi-Fi and an interactive website.

It’s a necessary hurdle we must overcome to succeed in business and in life. Without being innovative, we become boring and humdrum. We’re not very exciting to be with, and we can become like snails, just slugging along while the rest of the world is whipping by us. Believe me, I know because I’ve been there.
Let’s look at what we can do to become more innovative. I’m convinced that whatever you do, you must have an element of technology involved. We simply cannot create that bit of excitement without using technology in some form or fashion. I am certainly no techie, but I do make sure the people I work with can cover me on that front. What I do know for certain is that I’ve GOT to use it to run a successful business.

I’m going to tell you two stories – one is about how I have built a new direction in my business through social media, and the other is about a woman who has enhanced her product by adding a very creative component. I’ll begin with my story.

Not only do I have Elliott Connection, but several years ago I started a subsidiary company called Healthcare Think Tank. When I decide to retire, Elliott Connection will very likely go away because it is too branded. That is not the case with Healthcare Think Tank. We’ve got member chapters in San Antonio and Austin and will likely start one in Houston and other Texas cities, possibly eventually moving into other states. We’ve built a machine that works well in communicating with members through technology, making expansion very manageable.

The most exciting part of our health care focus, however, is our blog site and its future. Our chapter members provide us with content for the site, and we post it through a newsletter and several social media vehicles. It’s like wildfire spreading. To hear that people from 10 different countries are now following is mind-boggling. The power of social media is quite impressive. Healthcare Think Tank can actually live well beyond me!

My next story is about Rory Siefer, owner of Epic Bound Books, a private book-publishing company in San Antonio that creates timeless family biographical and corporate history books. She is one of the very best in the world. Her high-quality coffee table books will be passed from generation to generation. As we are quickly becoming a world of less paper, she can’t get away from it, but she has come up with a way to implement technology through audio/video integration. It’s now possible to incorporate QR codes into the books, allowing anyone with a smart device to access the digital files.

That means home movies and scans of personal letters and speeches can all be viewed while reading the book, making for a truly interactive experience. As you read about how your dad worked on the farm as a child, use your smartphone to pull up a home movie of him riding the tractor around the family homestead. Perhaps he may even be able to narrate the story for you. Little Johnny never knew his granddad when he was alive, but he can hear him tell the story and watch him in action. That is using innovation to turn a history book into a living, breathing keepsake that will last for generations to come.

I relate these two stories because one or both can be applied to you and your business. Creating a way to utilize the power of social media in your business may be a good way to go. Bringing your product or service into the 21st century by adding an element of technology may be what you need to consider. Have fun, be creative and innovate!