Changing That Tune

So the big news this week in the business world is that Apple is changing (ending) iTunes. I’m not an Apple user, I don’t seem to think that way, but you have to respect them from a business sense with all that they’ve done and the very large and faithful following that they have. So today I thought I’d share a few thoughts on this change and how it could relate to your business.

I think the big change has mostly to do with the fact that iTunes is really getting unwieldy at this point with all that’s part of it.  As a name iTunes also is very narrow in focus to only music, and not the multimedia service that it has become.  Separating it into 3 separate components means that there’s more focus to each of them and Apple isn’t managing everything under one program. 3 separate apps has some benefits and some draw backs, people may not want to go to separate places to find their music, TV or podcasts.  But on the other side if you’re only into music you won’t see anything TV or podcast related (I assume).

There were some indications that Apple was moving in this direction considering their Apple Music subscription service, which was a good way to prepare their users for the change, without throwing everything at them at once. It also gave Apple a chance to test things out before changing everything.

Apple makes this decision knowing that they’ve got a loyal user base and they’re not going to lose people over this change. If it were a smaller company they may lose people who don’t want to deal with multiple apps, but Google (Play Store) and Amazon both have had multiple (separate) apps for years for their music and other media. So in some ways Apple is behind the trend on this. It’s also a smart decision because they’re seeing that sales aren’t coming from devices (they aren’t converting non-Apple users or people are keeping the devices longer perhaps), and that they need to boost the software/subscription side of their business.

So what about your business? Are you missing out on important shifts that need to be made so that you not only stay with the market, you keep your sales up? Are you missing out on easy sales? Are you planning changes that are a good fit for your business and customers or just changing things up without doing any real research? Change is good and healthy, but not without proper planning, preparation and communication.

Seeing Success

In one of the many inspiring emails I receive throughout the week I read this quote:

Danny Thomas said: “All of us are born for a reason, but all of us don’t discover why. Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.”

I always love thinking about life purpose. It’s one of the best ways to be encouraged and motivated. Of course, if you don’t know what your purpose is, it can be one of the most frustrating things to think about. But lately what I’ve been thinking about more than life purpose, is what success really means. To some it means getting up in the morning. Others feel successful when they bring in millions of dollars for their clients. Still others find success in raising their family. Do you realize that success means a lot of different things?

In the quote Thomas is talking about true success, a win-win-win, when everyone wins or benefits from what’s going on. So not only is it important to know that true success includes everyone, it’s also important to know how you define success, and to be open to re-defining your definition of success. By not being open to redefining your success, you limit yourself to how successful you can become! So if you think that success is making a million dollars, but once you reach that you don’t rethink what success could be, you won’t ever make more than 1 million dollars. Likewise, if you think only you can be successful in life, and can’t help someone else be successful at the same time, your definition of success needs to be re-written.

So ask yourself today, what do I think success means? Do I need to redefine what success means in order for it to better fit who I am? (Am I thinking that I want my kids to be less difficult, but what I really want is 10 minutes to myself each day?)

You can have success, and you can have it today. It just depends on your perspective.

A Green Summer

Many of the special days and holidays this month have to do with the outdoors and/or nature. The first week of the month is national gardening week, it’s also fresh fruit and vegetable month, camping month, international mud month, and great outdoors month, not to mention we’ve got the official start of Summer. It’s really a great month to focus on the outdoors because it’s typically not super hot yet and yet it’s consistently nice enough that you can plan to be outdoors and only get bothered maybe by a fast summer thunderstorm.

I grew up with a nice backyard and two parents and a grandmother who had green thumbs, and other grandparents who lived by the beach, so I was raised to be outdoors and to love nature. I’m also a big fruit and vegetable lover, and always enjoy trying new recipes with them as well as going to outdoor farm stands. There’s something magical and exciting about being part of a thriving natural scene and eating food that you know where it was grown and that it was picked that day or that week.

The good news is that more places than ever are encouraging the creation of green space and protecting those that are there. Rooftop gardens aren’t a fad, they’re a thing that communities are embracing. I’ve always had plants indoors and while I may not have the greenest thumb I am able to keep a few alive and look forward to having a space in the future where I can grow more edibles like tomatoes, beans and more herbs.

Gardening outdoors and in helps teach kids some valuable lessons, from where food comes from to how things grow to what it means to care for something (or someone) to the impact of time and resources to patience. It’s also a fairly low investment option that can really show your kids some good progress and has rewards that they really appreciate (food). Gardening is also a great opportunity to spend time together as a family. Even if you can’t do it outdoors there are inexpensive smaller window boxes and pots at Dollar Stores and big box stores that are great to fill and put by sunny windows indoors. Gardening indoors means you can have the great greenery all year long no matter the weather and plants are good for helping to keep the air you breathe cleaner.

If you’re looking to do something as a family this summer, gardening or getting into the natural world are both great, and inexpensive, options. What will you do in the great outdoors or with nature this summer?