The latest guidelines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious diseases was welcome news to many and was a shocker for others.
The guidelines “shook” a booming professional sector. Prior to the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, the members of this sector had been playing vital roles in the growth of businesses and industries in the country.
This professional sector includes independent corporate trainers, professional speakers, so-called leadership and life coaches. In this sector are former top corporate executives who either went for early retirement or who were lured by the idea of setting up their own shop and market themselves as freelance management consultants.
The most recent IATF guidelines cover the “new normal”. This sector found out that the “new normal” has obliterated their most important business resource: the physical platform from where they spoke, lectured, conducted their classes and workshops and displayed their expertise in their field.
In short, the “new normal” has taken their “stage” away.
Without the “stage”, two things now face serious uncertainties: their reputations and their revenues.
The leaders in this sector are mostly boomers and the members of the early Generation X.
The former established their niches in businesses and industries by providing insights and inspirations derived from years of experience in their respective practices and corporate work. The latter are in demand for their ability to translate their experiences into replicable and scalable business processes.
They were making good money.
They were paid handsomely in terms of retainers and fees. Some claimed to command six-figure fees for a one-hour keynote. Whether or not the claim is true, only the Bureau of Internal Revenue or their consciences would know.
Now, the IATF has declared that, in the “new normal”, “business-related mass gatherings” will remain banned.
“Business-related mass gatherings” include “trade shows, conferences, conventions, workshops and retreats”.
Tragic. Those are the very occasions which provided the physical stage where this sector lent their presence and voice. These were the where they drew audiences, displayed their brilliance and generated revenue.
Today, this sector has subdivided itself into two: the digital migrants and the non-digital holdouts.
The digital migrants scampered to find their place in a new world as soon as they realized that the physical venues and stages where they practiced their craft and conducted their business may have become things of the past.
The “new world” is the “online stage”.
The non-digital holdouts say they will sit it out and wait for return of the “real normal”.
The digital migrants were in for another shock. By this time, they may have discovered that the “new world” is dominated by the “digital natives” – millennials who have been conducting the very same types of business using the internet long before the boomers understood the value and use of Facebook and Twitter.
The “digital natives” are technologically savvy, and adept with handling and manipulating the buttons of the applications that boomers may find both mysterious and complicated.
The young “digital natives” are also business savvy. They have created new models for winning over clients using social media. They have invented systems to lead prospects to their websites, to their products and merchandise. The “digital migrants” would be shocked to find out these “kids” make money while they sleep.
The boomers call that “passive income”. Most boomers usually spend half of their lives building sources of passive income. The digital natives require at most half a month to come up with one.
The boomers may also be shocked at the manner with which the “digital natives” market themselves.
While boomers wait nearly three quarters of their lifetime to earn the distinction of being called “experts”, the young entrepreneurs inhabiting the digital marketplace have no qualms claiming that title. They would describe themselves as “international”, “leading” and “number one”. They would label themselves as “best-selling authors” and as “coaches”. They seem not to have the patience to wait for what boomers call “third-party testimonials”. For the “digital natives”, other people’s complements are a bonus. Their self-description is what matters more.
In a way, the boomers may have to realize there is nothing really wrong with that approach.
It is what Stephen Covey, a favorite among Generation X people, would refer to as “beginning with the end in mind”.
“Digital Migrants” might also be surprised that the many digital natives – with ages ranging from 25 to 30 – would claim they have already made some 10 million or more pesos using “the top three secrets” of drawing traffic into their website landing pages where they present their “irresistible offers” to their customers.
Some of them would claim to have made that amount in a just a matter of weeks – working from home. Digital migrants would have had to work all their lives to save that kind of money.
So, the digital migrants are in for a double shock.
First, shocked with the reality that the old stages and venues are gone – for a while or forever.
Second, that in the “new” digital world, the natives are king.
Three things the “digital migrants” will have to do to make it in the “new world”.
Aware. Accept. Adapt.
Be aware that they are now in a “new country” where the systems and rules are not the same as the “old country”. Accept that fact – there is nothing they can do about the new reality. Adapt to the culture, learn the system and be ready to start all over again.
Here’s the good news.
The “digital natives” are more than willing to teach the migrants the systems.
They are giving the training for free or at give-away prices.
That’s part of their trademark “irresistible offer”.
The migrants just have to be careful: there is a thing called “upselling” in the digital market.
They have to ask the “digital natives” exactly what that means
Mr. Archie Inlong is a business communication and media training consultant with a 38-year experience in helping leaders and organizations develop, enhance and protect their public image and reputation.
His present and past clients include the biggest utilities companies in the country, international agricultural technology companies doing business in the Philippines, frontline government agencies, some of the country’s biggest food manufacturers and partisan political interests.
He is today chairman and CEO of NPI Communication Consulting, Inc. and continues to mentor and coach leaders in business, government and politics.
Mr. Inlong is a graduate of Journalism from the University of the Philippines.