Changing direction in business or your professional life can be daunting. Well forget “can be“, for me it was and still is.

But I’m bound to do it.

If I go broke and destitute I want to at least say that I didn’t sit in my comfort zone and think “What if..?”.

We’re changing our business.

It was 16 years of reacting to others’ inquiries. Sure, we’d still work on proactive “sales” and going after buyers, but we were still servants to somebody else down the supply chain, deciding to bring a product to market or not.

Subject to others’ whims, budgets or ignorance.

We decided this summer, to take a stake and drive it in the heart of “waiting for others”.

In case you haven’t noticed, the World is changing fast. If I’m working my tail off, waiting for others, who are, ahem..how to say this without sounding like a pompous ass….if I’m waiting for others in some ivory tower or some distributor who doesn’t know the difference between an overseas factory or the spaghetti factory to decide if they’re going to bring the order or not, then I’m out of my mind!!

Li and I haven’t learned all that we’ve learned to continue to wait on others.

Supplier communication and relationships?

Factory knowledge and order control?

Logistics: getting goods from point A to point B effectively? Along with clearing customs and dealing with freight forwarders?

Check, check and check… so why wait for others?

Types of businesses or people that could change in a similar way?

There’s a lot of companies, like mine WAS, where you provide essentially a service and wait for others to push the “GO” button.

When it comes to manufacturing or merchandise these could be:

  • Sourcing companies:  A multitude of companies, especially foreign-owned, source products for others in China. Why? Why not just make your own items and sell them yourselves? That’s what I asked myself and that’s why we’re burning down the house to change. One of the reasons these companies find their comfort zone is because they get a big client and find their comfort zone sourcing for them. What happens if that big client leaves?
  • Distributors buying from importers: Some distributors buy a ton of goods from importers. Perhaps they don’t want to take the risk. Perhaps they’re concerned about not having “boots on the ground” in the manufacturing country. Or it’s very possible, they’re too timid to take the plunge and do the thing themselves.
  • The entrepreneurial-minded who stays up late thinking “what if…”:  Just do it. You may have resources, time and connection. Don’t wait 10 more years. 10 years from now the world will be a different ball game and you, me, all of us will need even sharper and keener direction.
  • Anybody who has to wait: If your creativity and income only flourish if others take the first step, is there a way you can transition to their role? The internet allows us all to go direct to market, right?

Let’s all move on the light we have now!

New direction screams our name.

As of typing this post, new direction for us has the face of making our own brands, manufacturing our own product lines and getting them to market.

This may change.

But this is where our compass points.

Ahead of me is development, branding, getting to market, rinse and repeat.

Behind me is others telling me how and where to use my skills. Behind me is us busting ass quoting and quoting and quoting an only a percentage comes through. Was it my fault the quotes weren’t closing? Probably. Is it my own fault if I don’t change direction and now quote my own ideas and then sell my own ideas? Most DEFINITELY!

Others weren’t telling me anything. It was my own fault allowing myself to stew in a comfortable comfortable muck.

Discomfort is good.

Discomfort tells us what we’re doing is right.

It’s the body’s way of saying that the healing process is underway.

It’s the business’ way of saying this new direction is going to come out better on the other side.