digital worldCredit: stock.xchng - ilco [Image ID: 1206712]

The world has been transitioning from the Industrial Age to the Information Age. With technology evolving at an exponential rate, we are witnesses to one of the most significant societal shifts ever in existence.

How do we cope with these changes? What do they mean for our future?

Consume Information

There are some amazing statistics showing that one-third of high school graduates and 42% of College graduates will never read another book in their lives, and 80% of U.S. families did not even purchase a book this year[1].

Contrast that with the fact that the average CEO reads four to five books a month[2]. Is it any wonder why they are CEOs? It's not luck, happenstance, unfair advantage or random chance. It's a conscious and deliberate plan for personal growth.

If you want to adapt to the Information Age, reading books needs to be a top priority of yours. This isn't just about consuming information. It's about spotting trends, applying wisdom, becoming an expert in your field and taking action on the things you learn.

It's fine to read blogs, watch videos, and listen to podcasts. In fact, there can be a lot of value in these popular forms of media. However, they should be considered either supplemental or secondary to book reading.

Provide Information

It's great that we have so much information at our fingertips, but if you want to take full advantage of this new Age, you have to start providing information too. This is why there's so much buzz about content marketing right now.

Many companies have blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels or all of the above to drive traffic to their website. Businesses that don't are either falling behind the times or they have other assets that help them maintain relevance.

You may think that every niche, every subject, every important topic has already been covered on the web. That simply isn't true. There is room for so much more great content.

Moreover, even if you could find all the secrets of life on the internet, they are so scattered and so buried that you would end up searching and reading indefinitely. Becoming a content curator - someone who gathers great information and presents it in a new way - has immense value.

So, if you want to thrive in the Information Age, find creative and engaging ways to share relevant, compelling content with others (either as part of a content marketing strategy or a product for sale).

Build Networks

It's not about what you know; it's about who you know.

Building relationships and networks is crucial to your success, and this dynamic hasn't really changed in the Information Age. What has changed is that communication is becoming somewhat of a lost art thanks to email, texting, instant messaging and illiteracy.

Go out for a few hours with the intention of meeting people, and see how many of them actually speak to you. Chances are there will be very few, if any, that engage you in conversation.

Paranoia, guardedness, fears... All these things can play a part, but the bottom line seems to be that very few people go out with the intention of meeting others. The question is, "Are you willing to go against the grain?"

Success in the Information Age will require some boldness and courage. You can't just do what everyone else is doing and expect success to find you. You have to be willing to do what others are not.

There are billions of people out there; many of them just like you. In order to build a network, you may have to leave your comfort zone more often, but that's just a part of adapting to this new Age.

Understand Global Economy

Traditional employment is not safe and secure. Now more than ever, people are replaceable. Unless you possess unique skills, talents, or leadership qualities, you are not particularly valuable to the company you work for.

Getting legal and financial advice from India is convenient and affordable. Graphical work, web development, social media strategy and even SEO can be outsourced to virtual assistants in Singapore who speak perfect English. You can find people who are willing to do small tasks for $5 using a site like Fiverr.

What does this mean? Quite simply, you can't rely on your job income to provide for your future. You know this to be true, because nearly 50% of the population carries a credit balance from month to month[3].

Some of that is poor planning or unnecessary spending, but some of that is also lack of income. In the Information Age, you can't afford to have debt. In order to supplement your existing income, you have to be willing to diversify. You might consider starting your own business or investing. You might look at flipping houses, blogging or direct selling. The point is that you need a plan for your financial future that doesn't involve employment.