Ready to Become a Business Owner? Hard Trends Build the Base

September 28, 2021

Throughout one's professional career, they may think to themselves, "I wish I could just work for myself," or they may look at a product, service, or procedure and think to themselves, "There has got to be a better way."

Almost every day, someone with that nudge decides to pursue entrepreneurship in the hopes of positively disrupting an industry, making a difference in the world, or being the next Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, who will be recognized for something they invented that didn't exist before them.

Entrepreneurship has the potential to be a low-risk endeavor.

Starting a company or creating something revolutionary may be a dangerous undertaking; but, as I often teach in my Anticipatory Leader System, innovation based on certainty is low-risk, whereas innovation based on uncertainty is high-risk. But how can a rookie entrepreneur know which ventures are low-risk and which are high-risk?

They're distinguishing between Hard and Soft Trends, with Hard Trends being future certainties that will occur and Soft Trends being future possibilities that may be influenced. An Anticipatory Leader uses these to create a picture for themselves of what will happen in the world, how certainties will disrupt industries, and what they can do to take advantage of those disruptions.

This approach reduces the risks associated with innovation and entrepreneurship in general.

Begin with cycles

It takes experience to use my Hard Trend Methodology to create a low-risk environment for innovation, and one of the best ways to practice is to grasp the idea of cycles. Let's look at a few cycles that we see in our daily lives that may help us spot Hard Trends.

Take into account the reality that tomorrow will arrive. Is it possible to declare with confidence that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow?

Tomorrow's sunrise is a repeating future certainty, barring any significant changes in the Earth's rotation; a Hard Trend!

You'll most likely be hungry for breakfast when the inevitable dawn wakes you up. After beginning your day with a meal, you will almost certainly be hungry for lunch, and then for supper.

This cycle then repeats itself forever, keeping you fed and healthy.

What about a human being's biological life cycle? If a kid is born today, he or she will grow up and age each day. Aging is an unavoidable trend; yet, no living creature on this world has ever drank from the fabled fountain of youth, preventing them from aging, making this a never-ending circle of life.

Using cycles to create positive disruption

When you read them, they may seem simple; nevertheless, my goal in writing this is to provide you with a starting point for identifying more complicated cycles that are essential in creating transformational company concepts. While most people take cycles for granted, the Anticipatory entrepreneur sees them as exponential events.

Future certainty is accompanied with future possibilities, or Soft Trends, that may be influenced. We may readily recognize the Soft Trends that come in tow by looking at the aforementioned cycles that occur every day.

A person who becomes hungry during the day is a Hard Trend, but what they want is a Soft Trend that may be influenced by your specialized food truck parked near their workplace.

Every person born ultimately grows up, bringing with them a slew of Soft Trends, such as what each generation likes in terms of clothes, entertainment, and buying habits, among other things. Finally, if you think about it, the sun rising every day offers an endless supply of Soft Trends!

How many distinct events in your daily life are susceptible to influence?

Using it in business

An Anticipatory entrepreneur's ability to see these similar occurrences in business and industries becomes second nature after mastering the fundamental knowledge of everyday cycles and where Hard Trends and Soft Trends emerge in our daily lives.

Cycles are mainly based on behavioral patterns. When we look at various generations with purchasing power, such as Baby Boomers, Millennials, and even Generation Z, we can see how cyclical their spending patterns are in comparison to their generational forefathers.

For example, I've previously discussed how the introduction of the minivan in the 1980s was largely due to Baby Boomers starting families and not wanting to follow in their parents' footsteps by purchasing the station wagon of the past. As a result, Dodge realized this and developed the minivan, a brand-new mode of family transportation.

The Hard Trend becomes apparent now that millennials not only have their own purchasing power, but are also beginning to establish their own families: generations will marry, have children, and need a family car. The Soft Trend is also visible: what people desire is malleable.

Pre-solve problems by anticipating them

Automobile manufacturers recognized the Hard Trend that younger generations would grow up and eventually have families of their own, and dutifully noted the cycle that they, too, would likely reject the notion of driving their families around in a minivan, using the principles of my Anticipatory Organization Model.

Soon, you could see that manufacturers were paying attention to the Soft Trend of what people wanted to drive, and today we have a variety of crossover cars that combine the sleekness of a coupe with the utility of an SUV.

Every entrepreneur, whether new to business or attempting to stay ahead of disruptions of any sort, may get a degree of low-risk assurance by mastering cycles and adopting my Hard Trend Methodology. The only true method to "maintain the status quo," as it were, is to utilize anticipation to become a positive disruptor who sets the status quo.

Thanks to Daniel Burrus at Business 2 Community whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.

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