5 Tips to Embracing Change

Change is probably one of the most common things that people fear (along with public speaking).  It’s funny, because we all experience change throughout our lives and careers.  Despite its inevitability, many people avoid it like the plague.  Those of us in the affiliate and online marketing industry are likely much more accepting of change than the average person – since we actively chose to enter a business where the playing field is constantly evolving.  But, even though we deal with change on a regular basis, it is still normal to gravitate toward staying within our comfort zones.  Even successful affiliates can find themselves getting comfortable in their chosen niche and not venturing outside of it until the market changes and they have to branch out again to keep their business going.

With all this in mind, I thought I would provide a few tips on how to not only react to change when it comes your way, but to proactively seek it out and leverage new opportunities.

1.       Analyze Yourself And Your Business
This is really the first step in the process.  Take a good look at your current ability to embrace change.  Are you focused on just one or two key niches in the campaigns you promote?  Do you have a set routine every day?  How do you react when things don’t go the way they are supposed to?  Think about the last time your top performing offer either went down or stopped working.  How did you react?  When was the last time you tested a different niche or traffic source?  Are you constantly seeking out new offers to run, new media to test, and new avenues to grow your business – or do you just hone in on a couple of key initiatives and constantly fine tune them?  There aren’t any right or wrong answers here.  The idea is to really look at yourself and your business and start thinking about how you deal with change.

2.       Force Yourself Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Unless you are one of the rare few people who actively seek out change on a regular basis, it is time to start pushing your boundaries.  If you spend all your time running nothing but social media traffic to a handful of dating offers, it is time to try something new.  This doesn’t mean you stop running offers or niches that are making you money.  It just means that you need to force yourself to try something else, as well.  Initially, you can start with small steps.  Test out some new traffic sources on your current offers.  Pick some that you really don’t know much about and start learning.  The goal is to get to a point where you are actively looking for opportunities to grow your business in new directions.  Leverage the areas where you are already succeeding and look to expand into other avenues.  One of the biggest advantages of diversification is that you start building a stronger and more resilient business.  Plenty of affiliates would effectively be back at square one if their biggest offer suddenly went away.  If you stay in this business long enough, I can pretty much guarantee that this will happen to you at some point (and possibly numerous times).  It is far more effective to diversify on your own terms than wait until the market makes the decision for you.

3.       This Isn’t Just About Business
Being open to and seeking out change shouldn’t just be confined to your business.  In fact, if you try to compartmentalize it to just one aspect of your life, you are far less likely to be successful.  So, while you are looking for ways to expand your business into new areas, incorporate your new change-seeking attitude into your daily activities.  In short – try new things regularly.  It doesn’t really matter what new activities you try.  Learn a language, take dance lessons, sign up for a judo class, try skydiving, learn to paint, travel to new places, learn to snowboard, become a scuba diver.  Basically, the idea is to keep testing out new experiences that you think might be interesting.  It is a safe bet that you will like some of your new activities and others won’t stick.  That’s actually fine.  Just like when you test different campaign creative, some will work and others won’t.  Add the things you enjoy into your ‘routine’ and keep looking for other new activities.  Worst case scenario, you become a much more interesting person to talk to with a lot of interesting stories.  Best case, you find a bunch of new things that you really love to do.  Either way, you become much more open to trying new things and this attitude can become a part of your personal and professional life.

4.       Change Doesn’t Mean Chaos
While the idea of embracing change may seem chaotic and random, that isn’t what I’m suggesting.  It can actually be very helpful to add some structure to your efforts at embracing change.  While it may seem counter-intuitive, you can develop a plan that helps you seek out change.  The fact of the matter is that it is easy to say “I’m going to test out a new vertical or try some new activities.”  But, actually doing it is another thing altogether.  Having a plan can make the successful execution of your new ideas much more likely.  To start, you may want to set up a timetable or schedule that reminds you to test out a new campaign or try a new activity each month or at whatever time period initially works for you.  Set some goals for yourself.  You can break them up into short and long-term or simple and complex.  Setting a personal goal of learning play piano is more involved than trying bungee jumping.  So, plan accordingly and hold yourself accountable for following through on your plans.

5.       Don’t Reject All Routine Activities
Don’t go overboard.  I’m not advocating changing everything you do just for the sake of change.  Don’t suddenly stop running a successful side of your business just to try something else (unless there are other reasons you want to change your business).  Keep running your successful campaigns.  Just begin adding new things to the mix.  The same goes for your personal activities.  Don’t stop mountain biking, if that is your passion.  Just look at adding more interests to your schedule.  When you find things that really work for you (a top performing campaign, a great burger restaurant, etc.) add them to your routine.  But, keep looking for new things that can also become part of your regular business/lifestyle.

If you really work at seeking out opportunities for change and incorporating them into your business, you should become much more adept at dealing with unexpected changes when they come up.  In an industry like ours, this skill can really set you apart from the competition and help you take advantage of all those changes to grow your business.

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