Scott Scanlin’s new book The Relevance Gap is a much-needed help for anyone who wants to make sure they don’t fall behind as we move into the third decade of the twenty-first century and beyond.
Scantlin begins by defining a gap in relevance as “the distance between where you are and the speed of the world that is changing around you”. If we don’t keep up with how the world is changing around us, we will be left behind. For most of us, that means staying on top of technologies that are constantly changing, but it’s more than that. It is an awareness of skills that you already have that you can develop and use to stay relevant as the world around you changes. One day, Scantlin asked his ninety-four-year-old grandmother what her secret was, and she replied, “Stay away from the seniors’ living quarters and never stop moving. If you stop moving, you die!” Scantlin reminds us that the same is true in our careers – we are either expanding or shrinking; between them no.
Scantlin spends a lot of time discussing how the world is changing and how the younger generation is driving these changes. He discusses how Millennials and Gen Z, unlike previous generations of consumers, are not driven by survival or the need for extreme wealth, but rather they want to belong to a community and make a difference in the world. We need to keep up with them by adapting to their communication preferences (they prefer to send text messages or use social networks to communicate rather than talk on the phone or have a face-to-face meeting), and we need to keep track of products and services that serve they support. According to Scantlin, “by 2020, Generation Z will make up about 40 percent of all customers, and they are ready to talk to their dollars.”
Doing things the old way will also no longer work in the future. A perfect example of how taxi companies suffer from Uber. Scantlin argues, “The future of artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, 3D printing, autonomous vehicles and the blockchain does not belong to big business; it belongs to the creators of subversive innovations that make it easier, simpler and more accessible. For example, Netflix does not own cinemas, Uber does not own taxis, Airbnb does not own hotels, and LegalShield does not own law firms, but they dominate their markets. What unites them? consumer to the product through the mobile app ”.
Scantlin knows what he’s talking about. He shares his own story of how the market crash of 2006-2008 made his marketing business irrelevant. He has now upgraded his business to make it large-scale, and he aims to get $ 1 million in residual income soon.
But how do we stay relevant? It’s actually easier than you think. As Scantlin explains, it is about being aware of what is happening in the market and using that knowledge to your advantage. For example, biohacking may seem like some scary science experiment from a horror movie, but Scantlin lowers it to a level we can all understand by explaining that companies are already doing it. They analyze how the brain reacts and use it to sell products. For example, Facebook was created to create an addictive surge of dopamine. Scantlin also talks about the power of the subconscious and how we can learn to use our subconscious to benefit our brains to work on us when we are not working.
One of my favorite discussions in The Relevance Gap is about knowing what your core values are. The fact that the world around us is changing does not mean that we should be like a leaf that spreads wherever the wind blows us. Instead, if we establish our core values, we will know what is important to us and follow and follow these things rather than chasing the latest trend. We will then be resilient as a tree, able to withstand the strongest storms. In my opinion, only the section on core values is worth the price of this book.
Scantlin discusses many other things that, oddly enough, turn out to be more about how we can cultivate self-esteem, eliminate negative conversations with ourselves, set goals, and develop a vision of what we want. Then we don’t have to worry about chasing the latest technological trends, except for those relevant to our goals. We can clarify what we want and achieve it in a focused, career-oriented, focused way that will benefit us, our industry, our clientele and our relationships. This honest and far-sighted trick is refreshing, relieving of fear and, best of all, realistic.
I really feel that in The Relevance Gap, Scantlin has in a nutshell grasped the key elements to stay relevant in the 2020s or the next decade. This is a book that can benefit any reader, from high school students to ninety-four-year-old grandmothers and everyone in between.