Fouri Newsletter

Large Problems, Little Solutions

Large Problem, Little Solutions

There are a lot of issues in the world. I recently heard leading international economist, Dr. Dambisa Moyo, give a lecture where she highlighted some disturbing facts/trends/insights – here are three of them:

  • 47% of current jobs in the USA will disappear by 2030 (and that will most likely apply to the UK too)
  • (For those that dismiss the prediction above) In 1900, 60% of the US workforce was employed in agriculture, today it’s 2%
  • 80% of the UK workforce is employed in the service sector (and that’s a lot more vulnerable to changes in employment than agriculture was 100 years ago)

So what can you and I do about this? The answer is very little.

Lots and lots of very little.

The changes in agriculture didn’t happen overnight. Farmworkers weren’t gainfully employed one day and then en masse forming a queue at the dole office the next. The decline happened over several decades but this rate of change will be much faster for the service sector. What each of us can do is three key things:

  1. Adopt a mindset of curiosity. As Albert Einstein wrote in a letter to Carl Seelig, his biographer, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” The alternative is to try and cling on to the past, something I observe too many people attempting to do. For me, this explains in part why I’ve recently accepted a NED position on the board of , I want to understand more about PropTech and concluded the best way was to be a part of one of the vanguard. Are you learning every single day? What are you reading? What courses are you going on? What events are you attending? (Along with several of our Partnership group members we have two major events this week that still have a few places available – for free – to learn from Australia’s number one estate agency coach, Josh Phegan…details here: )
  2. Experiment outside of the comfort zone. In startups risk is prevalent, perhaps the driving force. It explains in part why so many new businesses fail. But there’s a bigger risk for more mature businesses, bigger because having become established they have more to lose, and that’s not to innovate. To quote Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg: “The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” We had a successful formula with the Estate Agency and Lettings Agency of the Year Awards, one that we’d developed over nearly two decades, but we scrapped it to create and I feel that at any one time there must be at least one area of your business, (and probably several ideally), that you’re completely changing.
  3. Ask yourself, “what are the problems/opportunities/issues that our clients face today and tomorrow that we’re here to address?” Not the problems of yesteryear or even yesterday – the issues they have right now and will have in the next 1-5 years. In other words keeping relevant. In estate agency, the problem 10 years and more ago was that sellers and landlords didn’t know for sure what the value of their property was. Today, many are at least as well informed as agents given the huge amount of information that’s immediately available to them for free. The issue has changed. Now most people are time poor and buying/selling/letting are all massive time-suckers. This is the key issue you’re here to address.

By being curious and learning every day, experimenting with new innovations and making sure you’re keeping relevant and addressing the clients’ current and future issues, you’ll not only be helping yourself but contributing to the global issues which ultimately will be addressed by all of us, little by little, taking one step forward every day.

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