There I was, in a massive Toronto stadium, breathing in the anticipation of 46,000 fans. The sold out crowd was a mix of old school David Bowie fans in tie dye shirts and greying pony tails, hard core Nine Inch Nails fans in long black everything, and folks like us who met somewhere in the middle. The tour itself was a risk for Bowie and NIN, each of them stretching outside their usual fan base, the set list including songs never played from the stage before. But they had a sense that it would work – and after a rocky start, it really really did.
Back to teenage me standing in this auditorium.
I’m watching NIN. Trent Reznor is all over the stage. I can feel the industrial grunge in my bones. It’s a really, really good show. Trent, still singing, moves to centre stage and we all watch as a fog forms around him. As the fog dissipates, standing there in his place, is David Fucking Bowie. A seamless transition right in the middle of a song. The crowd was stunned because what the heck just happened; then we all went wild.
Despite it being nearly 30 years ago, this moment happily lives rent-free in my head. Because change is rarely like what happened on stage that night. Wouldn’t it be amazing if every transition was this smooth? We’re headed along, the fog rolls in, then dissipates, et voila! Change complete. Check. Done. Moving on.
But life is rockier than that. Most changes that happen in our lives and businesses are unexpected – even when you can see it coming, change is still uncomfortable.
I’m not talking about pivots, although yes. I’m talking about navigating the ups and downs of reality.
Much of the business advice out there is based on a linear idea of growth and because life isn’t like that, when this advice inevitably fails, we take it personally. We think we’re the ones that have failed. Ask me how I know.
This is why I’m such a champion of regenerative design.
Regenerative design is about knowing you can navigate change when it comes.
It’s about knowing where to shore up, where to double down, when to take a break, when to ask for help.
Because change is inevitable. And you need your business to deal.
I want to give you a few examples of success from clients who are implementing regenerative business design:
✨ One client has been an entrepreneur for decades. This year – for the first time in a long time – they didn’t need to borrow money to get through the first of the month.
✨ Another client needed to attend to a family health matter late last year. Months later, they came back (with good news about their family member) and a business that coasted through without issue.
✨ And another who signed on a new client despite preparing to move across the country. They knew, based on what they’d learned through building their business up, that they had the capacity to manage both.
Life isn’t linear. Business isn’t linear. We are not performers who have practiced the transition multiple times before the show. The question isn’t how to stop change from happening; it’s how to build a business that can withstand the change.
If you want ongoing support through all of <gestures wildly> this, join me in the Motorcycle Club. There’s a spot for you.