The US will be energy independent within ten years.

Technological advances in oil and gas recovery through processes like hydraulic fracking or fracturing has allowed the US dramatically to increase its oil extraction and rapidly decrease its reliance on foreign oil.

Some anticipate that not only will the US be entirely energy independent within ten years, but it will also becomes the largest exporter of oil and gas on the planet – overtaking Saudi Arabia!

If that’s not going to change the global landscape, then I don’t know what will.

For years we drilled as deep as we could and pumped all the oil out of the ground. Eventually, the holes dried up, and when we ran out of places to drill – we became reliant on the oil-rich regions of the world.

It wasn’t until new advances in technology allowed us to start drilling horizontally that we discovered massive deposits of oil and natural gas hidden within shale rock that we could access through the process of fracking.

What does that have to do with your business?

Let me explain…

I once had a client who did pretty well. His sales and marketing efforts were always effective, and he was always profitable. His sales reps always performed well and year after year the company grew.

But then, out of the blue, things started to change. Customers weren’t buying as often as they once did, and my client was worried. Something had happened.

It would have been easy to assume their well had dried up, and they simply needed to find a new source of leads and new customers.

We could have made the argument that they needed to mine more referrals, add a larger sales team, increase the sales quotas, or sell more to their existing client base – but instead we decided to drill horizontally.

We learned very quickly that over the years the client had changed, but their sales and marketing efforts hadn’t followed suit.

The buyer had changed and evolved, the buying process had shifted, and the key influencers and decision makers had changed.

To reach and connect with the new buyers and decision makers they not only needed new technology, but a new approach. There was more work involved doing it this way, but the payoff was far greater.

It’s easy to keep going down > down > down > down…

And when one area of success dries up, you simply move on to another.

But what happens if all the holes dry up, then who will you rely on?

[tweetable alt=””]What if changing your approach was the key to thriving?[/tweetable]

Consider this: When something happens in your company, do you just default to drilling another hole, or do you try to discover if a new approach might be more effective?

Who knows, digging horizontally might offer the key to your own independence.