The famous hockey player, Wayne Gretzky, quoted his father, Walter, when he said, “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” Note, that’s not where it was last season, nor where it is now, but where it will be. Too many businesses are built on what worked well years ago – and they fail.

“This is what the market wants” should be qualified with, “And what is it going to want in a year or two? Or five?” Only has-beens rely on out-of-date, obsolete ideas to gain a feeling a false security and to glow in the pride of past accomplishments. That is not the way to build a successful, growing business. Lauren Bacall said, “I’m not a has-been. I am a will be.”

Some people who have tasted a measure of success in their business lives would rather hold onto that fading glory than to potentially fail at something new. They focus on what they think they have to lose.

A good example of a business that continues to flourish is AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) as the Baby Boomer portion of our society mushrooms. AARP (CARP in Canada) has grown and changed dramatically in response to societal changes while remaining true to its founding principles:

  • To promote independence, dignity, and purpose for older persons
  • To enhance the quality of life for older persons
  • To encourage older people “To serve, not to be served”

The accelerated growth of the electronics industries and the use of electronic surveillance are obvious to all. I personally witnessed this on my recent visit to the giant Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with my business partner.

I am referring to the partner with whom I created IPS Safety Inc., a Canadian company that offers Baby Boomers, the adult children of the elderly, and vulnerable people around the world, including the parents of young children, business owners and homeowners, the option to use electronic surveillance to increase their safety, security, and quality of life. We are skating to where the puck already is and will increasingly be in the future.

Seek to put into practice Zig Ziglar’s tenet, “You can get whatever you want in life if you’re prepared to help enough other people to get what they want.” You can supercharge this conviction with sincere passion when you care deeply about the people you serve, as we do at IPS Safety. (Incorporated, registered, insured, Member of the Consumer Technology Association.)

Robin Elliott