Adaptability and Flexibility: Crucial Skills for Success Today

By: Eden Hensley; Top photo by: Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

"I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." – Jimmy Dean

For years, we have heard that blogging is dead. Yet the blog survives. However, today's blog is vastly different from yesterday's blog. And as technology continues to evolve, success as a blogger will continue to change, ever more rapidly. If we want to continue doing what we love as a business or to transition from a hobby into a full-time job, we must view our blogs as media businesses.

Defining ourselves as more than bloggers requires a mindset change. What exactly does it require? 

Well a few weeks ago, Overstock.com sponsored an #AltChat on Twitter where we explored aspirations and the path(s) to them. Consistent among the answers were the ability to be flexible and the willingness to adapt.

  • In order to reach our goals we should focus on the things we can control, not the things we can’t.” Davon H. of The Bubbleista, @TheBubbleista
  • Not everything can be controlled so keep your end destination in mind and adjust to the flow to reach it.” Brittany Fabello of Light Rust Studio, @LightRustStudio
  • You can’t always control the environment, but you can control how you handle adversity. Adapt!Casey D. Sibley, @CallMeCasey
  • We can’t control everything: just ourselves. And that’s freeing.” Colleen Pastoor of Lemon Thistle, @ColleenPastoor
  • Know who you are and where you want to go, but be flexible in the how.” - Chris Covington of Red Letter Every Day, @RLEveryDay
  • Life is one big adaptation game. The better you adjust and adapt, then the more success you find!” Camille Whiting of Friday We’re in Love, @CamilleWhiting
  • Success is just a bunch of failures until something works. It’s important to be able to get up after being knocked down and adjust and look at what’s next.” - Bree West, @BreeManzelli

Photo by: Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

We need to expand our thinking beyond writing, art directing, styling, and photography. We need to become entrepreneurs, embrace the unknown, weighing the risks of trying out (or ignoring) untested platforms, and assessing our results. 

What skills do you think are crucial to continued success?

Learning From Failure

Not every idea we try will succeed. So it is important to learn from what did not work as anticipated. Was the timing wrong? Did we not have the right set of skills or team members?

Whether we make the move from blogging to a media business depends on our ability to redefine failure. Similar to how each no brings us closer to yes, each failure helps us refine our product and our delivery until we have content that resonates with our audience.

If you are interested in adopting a culture of learning or redefining failure for yourself or your organization, here are some resources:

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Eden Hensley

Marketing creative, community engagement specialist, technophile, photographer, food and wine enthusiast, and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Road to The Good Life, a lifestyle blog about appreciating and enhancing your life by being grateful for the "haves" instead of lingering on the "wants." There you will find personal stories about my life and family weaved in with real-life, achievable entertaining tips, recipes for hearty home cooked meals, and DIY projects for capturing and sharing memories. I believe the best place to swap stories is over a shared meal, preferably a Thai-meal served family style, and teach an online introduction class to Thai Flavors and host the Family Dinners at The Station supper club in San Francisco.