Are You Still Relevant?



Are You Still Relevant?

  • What new skills did you learn this year?
  • Could you lose your job in 2018?
  • Could you be replaced by younger, cheaper, or smarter labor?
  • How can you protect yourself and your family in this hostile business environment?

Dear Industry Professional:

     This is a long article, so many people won’t read it… But I urge you to make it to the end as I feel sure it will stimulate some good ideas for your business or career.

     One of the greatest insults every hurled at me, and I’ve had my share, was when I was leaving the karate business after more than a decade of massive success. One of my former clients had become my biggest competitor (with the help of massive outside financial backing) and I was ready to go on and do something else.

     He ran an article saying I was no longer relevant, oh that stung, especially since I had created the entire martial arts info industry from which they were all feeding. I was also in my physical prime at 36. But despite all the success I had enjoyed, there was some truth to what he said. I was burnt out and ready for a new challenge even if I hated to admit it.

Are You Still On Top of Your Game? (and I don’t mean your swing)

     If we were talking objectively about an NFL player or a striker for Manchester United, nobody would not question that, if the player gets fat and slow, he loses his job. If a player repeatedly misses training he gets cut. No one questions that if a kicker can’t make the extra point when needed, or score from the plenty spot, someone else will get the job. Not next month or next season, but next week!

     But, when you turn this conversation to personal/business performance people get very weird, touchy, and agitated that someone would question their experience, their dedication, or their self-worth.

     But, like it or not, a middle-aged manager in any business with no working knowledge of say social media, is at a MASSIVE disadvantage to someone who does. This, even though a general education is no further away than a 2-hour read and reasonable competence, could be had in less than a week!

     A manager, who stakes his reputation only on his people skills and service is at a massive disadvantage to a younger, hungrier person who is also well versed in sales. Even though an entire sales course could be consumed by that manager via audio, driving to and from work each day for a week…

     If only he could live without sports radio, Howard or Rush for a few days.

     I should point out that this conversation about relevance has VERY little at all to do with age although in general, most people seem to agree that the desire to learn and change seems to lessen with age. (I hold up myself and Bob Devitz as prime examples of the opposite, although Bob does still use a PC instead of a Mac)

     The truth is, what I am talking about is attitude and a commitment to Kaizen (never-ending improvement) not age!

    I am sure you have seen the resumes cross your desk, especially in this economy.

     Almost every resume you ever get touts experience, and the more senior the position, the more experience they claim to have, so here is the question I ask:

Do you really have 20 years experience, where every year you learned more, took on more responsibility, and grew personally, or did you more or less experience the exact same year 20 times?

     Unfortunately, the look on their faces when they hear the question is painful. There is often embarrassment, stunned silence, babbling, and the sad realization for most of them that the latter is unfortunately true.

     Most people confuse showing up for work for twenty years with an actual increase in marketable skills, but of course, it’s not the same thing.

     Especially in this world and especially NOW!

For great info to enhance your career go here:

David Bowie, Madonna and You!

     You may or may not like the music of David Bowie or Madonna. You may or may not agree with their life choices in regards to sex, drugs, and life in general, but whether you love them, hate them or couldn’t care less, they are both amazing examples of how to stay relevant in your industry year after year.

     David Bowie had his first hit in 1969, dominated the charts in the early seventies in his Ziggy Stardust period. Came back in the mid-eighties with his mod look. Showed up again in the nineties, (had hits in the 21st century) and managed to put in a solid stage and film career in his spare time. His ability to continually reinvent himself and stay reverent in style and music is amazing.

     So amazing that in fact, that in an interview Madonna, who has done the same exact thing herself, credited Bowie with the inspiration to continue to reinvent her looks, style, and music which against all odds, she managed to do well into her 50’s, which as a women, in the music business, is even more impressive.

Now some VERY general observations (save the hate mail)

     I travel a great deal and meet a great many people.

     Hardly anyone I meet over 30 reads. In fact, studies show something like 96% of people haven’t read a non-fiction book since leaving school.

     Hardly anyone over 40 uses Twitter. Ok, fine, but half again don’t have a Facebook account either. A high percentage of those that do, don’t really use it. (So in effect they are out of touch with how OVER half the world communicates!)

     Lots of professionals are on LinkedIn… Lots still are not, or not using it effectively to enhance their careers. Just look at how many profiles don’t even have a picture!

     All business owners have a website, most haven’t a clue what it can actually do other than post text and send emails, and so the power of the potential is lost on them.

     97% of the working world spends more time watching mindless TV when at home, than reading, or learning anything.

     All of these observations are fine if you are not actively involved in a business or have a large staff doing your every bidding, but not real bright if you are in business and don’t have excess staff…

So what do you do to stay relevant?

     Obviously, it depends on your position and personal goals but here are a few questions to get you thinking.

     How many non-fiction books related to your scope of work do you read a year? It’s the fastest and simplest way to improve your skills in any key area. (One a month would be entry level)

     How many audios do you listen to? Even less painless than reading, turn off Rush or ESPN and expand your universe. Sales, marketing, communication and leadership CDs will pay you back 100 times their cost.

     How many videos, live seminars or webinars do you watch per year to directly enhance your business knowledge? Social media, e-marketing and blogging programs would make a great start.

     The Golf Marketing Boot camp is the only program of its kind that gives you a massive amount of career-enhancing information in just one day!

     Have you considered learning a second language to increase your value? In many parts of the USA more than half the population speaks Spanish. Rosetta Stone is the best I have found and I’ve tried them all!

     Have you tried personal coaching or a night class to quickly grasp a new skill? I have frequently paid big money to have people educate me in a single day!

     Do you make a conscious effort to network with people OUTSIDE your industry?

     If you are not dedicating 2-3 hours of your week to improving yourself, you are almost certainly moving backwards. Time, technology and competition march on relentlessly with no regard for age, physical strength, race, religion or motivation.

     For great information to enhance your career at home or in your car go here

What to study to stay relevant

  • If your club is struggling for customers study marketing.
  • If your business is struggling for cash, study sales. Nothing MAKES YOU MORE RELEVANT in today’s economy than sales skills… Nothing! Get those skills in just 20 minutes a day by clicking below or take you pick from Tom Hopkins, Zig Ziglar, Jeff Gitomer or your personal favorite.
  • If your community has gone ethnic, study whatever language will give you an advantage with your new customers.
  • Study the trends in your industry, read industry news and blogs more often, and more thoroughly.
  • Look also outside your industry at others competing for the same demographics. Find blogs and newsletters whose ideas you might bring back into your industry.
  • If you teach golf and your clients are seniors, study yoga, stretching, or biomechanics that will give your students an edge they can’t get from anyone else.
  • If you have no time to do any of this, switch off the TV and study time management. I carry books on my iPhone now. It’s amazing how much you can read just waiting around for kids, planes, or the group in front to putt out!
  • Get engaged in social media, ask questions, post comments, join groups be active, be out there!

     You can, of course, ignore this advice, pooh ha it as self-interest in moving some books or tapes, but it is not…

     It is real, it is factual and becomes more difficult with each passing day you take no action.

     You either make a personal commitment to stay relevant or you do not!

     I spent 4 hours yesterday watching videos on trends in social media at a cost of $97.

     Ok, I have the luxury of taking long vacations that many people don’t, but in 10 weeks I didn’t once, turn on the TV in my hotel room either! I played language tapes for 20 minutes a day and read two business books on my iPhone while having coffee or drinking beer because, for me, it is important to stay up on everything that is going on in the sales and marketing world so that a decade from now I’m still relevant!

And believe me, it takes a real commitment to try and stay relevant!

     The world is changing at an astonishing pace. But you can do it, and the rewards are great, both personally and professionally.

     People who like to learn and who look for ways to increase their knowledge and skills on their own time, on an ongoing basis, and then demonstrate that new knowledge in the form of positive action, make better employees!

Indispensable employees!

The more they grow, the more indispensable they become!


     Good luck in 2018, but then again people who got this far don’t need it, you get it already!

Andrew Wood
Legendary Marketing
Direct: 352-266-2099

PS: For great info to enhance your career in the golf industry go here

PPS: The Golf Marketing Boot Camp is the only program of its kind that gives you a massive amount of career-enhancing information in one day!


1 Comment

  1. Andrew, Always good to read your insights. I remember those day at NJ National in 1998 when you called our ownership to get them on board with a new way of doing business. You give me the kick in the butt I need form time to time. Thanks!

Leave A Reply