Scott Scantlin’s new book, The Relevance Gap, is a much-needed helper for anyone who wants to make sure they won’t be left behind as we move into the third decade of the 21st century and beyond.
Scantlin begins by defining the relevance gap as “the distance between where you are and the speed of the changing world 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 ever-changing technology, but it is more than that. It’s realizing the skills you already have that you can evolve and use to stay relevant as the world around you changes. Scantlin once asked his ninety-four-year-old grandmother what her secret was and she replied, “Stay away from nursing homes and never stop moving. When you stop moving, you die!” Scantlin reminds us that the same is true of our career: we are expanding or contracting; There is no middle ground.
Scantlin spends considerable time discussing how the world is changing and how younger generations are driving that change. Discuss how Millennials and Gen Z, unlike previous generations of consumers, are not driven by survival or the need for extreme wealth, but rather 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 would rather text or use social media to communicate than talk on the phone or have a meeting in person), and we must stand behind the products and services. serving the causes they support. As Scantlin says, “By 2020, Gen Z will account for about 40 percent of all customers, and they are ready to talk to their money.”
Doing things the old way will not work in the future either. A perfect example is how taxi companies are suffering from Uber. Scantlin states: “The future of artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, 3D printing, autonomous vehicles and the blockchain does not belong to big companies; it belongs to the creators of disruptive innovation that make things simpler, easier and more affordable. For example, Netflix does not have cinemas, Uber does not have taxis, Airbnb does not have hotels and LegalShield does not have law firms, but they dominate their market categories. From consumer to product through a mobile application. “
Scantlin knows what he’s talking about. He shares his own story of how the 2006-2008 market crash made his marketing business irrelevant. Now you have revamped your business to make it scalable, and you are on track to soon achieve $ 1 million in residual income.
But how do we stay relevant? Actually, it is easier than you think. As Scantlin explains, it’s about being aware of what’s going on in the market and using that knowledge to your advantage. For example, biohacking may seem like a scary science experiment from a horror movie, but Scantlin reduces it to a level that 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 has been created to create dopamine downloads that become addictive. Scantlin also talks about the power of the subconscious and how we can learn to use our subconscious to our advantage so that our brain works for us when we are not working.
One of my favorite discussions at The Relevance Gap is about knowing what your core values are. Just because the world is changing around us doesn’t mean we have to be like a leaf blowing wherever the wind takes us. Instead, if we establish our core values, we will know what is important to us and we will abide by and follow those things instead of chasing the latest trend. Then we will be firm as a tree, able to withstand the strongest storm. In my opinion, the chapter on core values alone is worth the price of this book.
Scantlin looks at many other things that, surprisingly, turn out to be more about how we can cultivate self-esteem, eliminate negative self-talk, set goals, and develop a vision for what we want. So we don’t have to worry about chasing the latest technology trends except those relevant for our purposes. We can develop clarity about what we want and pursue it in a focused, career-oriented, and purposeful way that will benefit us, our industry, our clientele, and our relationships. This honest and visionary approach is refreshing, eliminates fear, and best of all, it’s realistic.
I really feel like in The Relevance Gap, Scantlin has captured in a nutshell the essential elements to remain relevant in the 2020s or any decade to come. It’s a book that can benefit any reader, from high school students to ninety-four-year-old grandmothers and everyone in between.