The Tracks

By Kyle Elmendorf on May 09, 2017 Coaches Print

“I had a friend was a big baseball player/Back in high school/He could throw that speed ball by you/Make you look like a fool boy/Saw him the other night at this roadside bar/I was walking in, he was walking out/We went back inside sat down had a few drinks/But all he kept talking about was.” -Bruce Springsteen

Do you prefer the music of your parents’ childhood, your own childhood, or what’s popular today? Most will always go with their own childhood. Why? Because we love memories. It’s nostalgic. We love the feelings that music brings back to us. It makes us feel alive, and we’re able go back to that happy place in time.

However, if we allow this same sentiment into our professional lives, it spells doom.

If you recognized the lyrics above, they’re from Bruce Springsteen’s iconic hit ”Glory Days.” We all have our glory days, but if we want relevance and continued success, we can’t be that guy from the song.

Back in 2009, Disney made a decision to revamp one of their most important and historic theme park attractions, “It’s a Small World.” When news of this first broke, many long-time, die-hard, traditional fans were upset. They were outraged and would say and ask, “I’m never riding again. How could Disney do this?” Those who were upset would also say, ”They’re ruining an original attraction and the fans who go every year will no longer love the ride.”

How could Disney do this? Why did they do it?

You’re going to get run over if you don’t adapt.

Disney made this decision based upon the vision Walt Disney had from the beginning. He is remembered as saying, “Our park will always be changing as long as there is imagination in the world.” Simply put, Disney was going to where the puck was going; not standing put. Disney wanted to update and modernize the ride to attract new riders and create new traditions. Even though the change upset people, Disney knew they must make a change to draw in new audiences.

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. -Will Rogers

You either stay current and relevant, or you get left behind. Our world is changing every day with technology. If you’re not willing to adapt you’re going to lose. All you’ll have left is the nostalgic memories of the past. There’s nothing wrong with having great memories, but why not have those memories while creating more?

I will be entering my 12th year as a teacher and 13th year as a coach. As each year goes by the more I realize I have to change my style. Key word being style. Who I am, what I believe in, and my philosophies haven’t changed. What I’ve realized is that in order to continue to reach my students and athletes, I have to change the way I deliver my content. I also realize this as an entrepreneurial author, speaker, and influencer.

My content doesn’t have to change. But the way I deliver it must.

Here is what I know to be true: the most successful businesses, entrepreneurs, and coaches all find a way for their message to reach their audience. I hear and see a lot of teachers and coaches say that technology (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) isn’t for them.

How so? You’re in business dealing with kids. They’re your audience.

So, tell me again why social media isn’t for you. The kids aren’t going to change, so if you want them to hear your message, tell it to them on their platforms.

Only within the last few months have I begun to use and realize the value of Snapchat. Snapchat is huge and is only going to get bigger. I have moved some of my time and content to it in order to reach the 13- to 35-year-old audience. Professional sports teams, marketing agencies, and fortune 500 companies are all sharing their content on Snapchat. If your company or business isn’t doing the same yet, start tomorrow. Stay relevant.

We can all hold onto the past but we don’t really want to end up the 35-year-old in his letterman’s jacket reliving the glory days, do we?

As Gary Vaynerchuk said in his new book #AskGaryVee (I highly recommend), “Clinging to romantic notions and tradition is the quickest way to go out of business.”

Whether we are teachers, coaches, businesswomen or entrepreneurs, we all need to come terms with this: Technology is not an alien intruder to our lives. It is our lives.

Here are five keys to staying current and relevant within your career field:

  1. Use Snapchat. It’s not just for teens and it’s not about sending nude selfies. Don’t be ignorant. This is the fastest growing platform. Get on it, use it, have fun, tell your story.
  2. Know and use the apps that kids are on. If you teach and coach, ask them what they’re on and why they use it. Then check it out and see how you can use it to tell your story. Also look at the most popular apps in iTunes. It doesn’t matter what career field you’re in. Use the power of social media.
  3. Use tech to tell your story. You don’t have to be on every social network, but be where your targeted audience is. Then watch videos on YouTube, use hashtags to find experts, and just start. It doesn’t have to be perfect at first. Just get started and figure it out as you go.
  4. Make it a priority to have friends among different generations. Just because you’re older or younger than a co-worker doesn’t mean you can’t befriend them. Heck, you’d be wise to. You will learn tricks of the trade from your older peers. And the younger one’s will be able to help you stay current with technology and social media.
  5. Adapt, adapt, adapt. Don’t be the person who says, “Well, this is the way it’s always been done.” When you think that, you’re done. Let other people be negative and shoot down the ideas. Be the person who can blend old ideas and methods with the new and emerging technology.