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Improve #5: Move out of Stagnancy

"Stagnancy" is defined as the state of not flowing or moving. For example, a country's economy becomes stagnant when there is lack of activity, growth or development.

Blockbuster was the #1 home video rental company which expanded throughout the 1990s. At its peak of success in 2004, Blockbuster employed 84,300 people and had 9,094 stores worldwide. With millions of customers, massive marketing budgets and efficient operations, it dominated the competition. In the year 2000, Reed Hastings, the founder of Netflix, proposed Blockbuster to become partners. This would mean that Blockbuster would promote Netflix at its stores and Netflix would run the online portion of Blockbuster. We should guess what happened next.

Blockbuster went bankrupt in 2010 and Netflix is now a $28 billion dollar company.

What would you have done if you were Blockbuster's CEO, John Antioco?

As I think of this impacting story, I wonder what would have been the best decision.

Was accepting the proposal such a bad idea? I don't think so. If John Antioco would have accepted, he would be partial owner of Netflix which is a lot better than bankruptcy.

Was not accepting the proposal a bad idea? I don't think so either. He didn't have to accept but sadly, he didn't see the signs. Antioco didn't realize that the world was racing to online business. This is how Amazon became Amazon.

Antioco must have been complacent with the massive success of Blockbuster, and didn't have the foresight that the world was changing. He didn't have to accept the deal, but he should have explored and entered the online business immediately.

In spite of its great success, Blockbuster had become stagnant. Blockbuster was comfortable with their business model and never thought that things would change. It didn't stay ahead of the game, and therefore, a faster runner eventually took over the race and won.

Sadly, this happens with our personal lives. Success may lead to stagnation, stagnation to decline, and decline ends with failure. When do we know if we are stagnating?

  • When we have not achieved anything new or significant for the last month or two

  • When we know we should be doing something, but yet we keep avoiding it

  • When we have a deep sense of feeling that we are living under our potential

Just like stagnant water becomes breeding ground for mosquitoes, our lives never lead to anything good if we stop moving forward.

At some point, God's people experienced stagnation. They had stopped the rebuilding of the temple but God sent Haggai, the prophet, as a messenger saying in Haggai 1:6-7:

You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways.

Stagnation leads to failure, motion leads to progress. Be innovative and improve what you already think has improved. Keep moving, keep improving.

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