Adaptability is the key to survival in this world. The world is changing, and it is not going to slow down. If you can’t adapt with the times, there’s a good chance you will get left behind. In fact, adaptability can not only help you survive, but thrive. So how do you become more adaptable?
The Men Who Built America
On the History Channel, there is a show called The Men Who Built America. The show is an examination of men like John D. Rockefeller, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and many more. These are the Titans of the US, who were responsible for much of the infrastructure and early innovation of this country. While you may have opinions of these men, good or bad, there is something to be learned from their example.
John D. Rockefeller, in particular, is a master in the art of adaptability. He founded Standard Oil, one of the biggest companies in the world at the time. His legacy is so vast that his surname is well-known throughout the world today. And the Rockefeller’s wealth continues to expand and grow exponentially with every generation.
In his early years, John Rockefeller was refining kerosene oil, which was essential in lighting up the US before electricity. Yet, this was also the age of Tesla and Edison, who were the pioneers of electricity. Eventually, the lightbulb was born, and Edison wanted them in every home across the country. For the Rockefellers, this could have been a massive threat.
So, what happened? Rockefeller saw opportunity in the challenge, and knew it was time to adapt. Instead of spending time worrying or sulking, he got to work. And he started by examining his own work with a critical eye. By examining the refining process of kerosene, he saw that there was enormous waste. That waste, however, was something called gasoline. He didn’t immediately know what he had, but he was determined to find new ways to adapt his business.
And no surprise, this time also overlapped with Henry Ford, who had just created the first automobile. His bold dream was to have every American driving cars. So, Rockefeller pivoted his business and found a way to turn what was essentially his company’s waste into fuel for another massive industry-in-the-making. As they say, the rest is history.
There is a huge lesson in this: our biggest opportunities often come from our biggest challenges. Instead of taking his circumstances at face value, Rockefeller knew that he was being presented with an opportunity to adapt. His was not going to let his business be crushed. Instead, he examined his processes — even the ugly parts — to find a solution. This self-reflection and solution-oriented spirit allowed Rockefeller to stay on top. Today, the world still sees and knows his legacy.
When you face challenges and adversity, I encourage you to look for the opportunities that may be lurking under the surface. They won’t always be obvious, yet the ability to examine your own effectiveness will serve you well in life. Who knows, maybe you will open up to new markets too.
Live your Freedom, Live Your Legacy, On Your Own Terms,
M.C. Laubscher is a husband, dad, podcaster & Cashflow Specialist. He helps business owners and investors create, recover, warehouse & multiply cashflow. You can learn more about exclusive cash flow strategies in M.C.’s new video series at https://www.yourownbankingsystem.com/