Successful people act as owners of their own company, whether they work for a company, as a contractor, or self-employed. It is crucial to have a strong sense of the value you bring which you can clearly articulate along with creating a plan on how to differentiate yourself from others in a similar role. Essentially, acting as entrepreneurs. It is all about selling yourself through communicating your brand.
I believe everyone should act as entrepreneurs, developing that brand—a concise and consistent message of what you want others to know about you, how you contribute value, and why they should care.
By taking ownership of your area of responsibility, you become the official CEO of “I, Inc.!”
Whether you stay in your current role or find another job, being flexible and adaptable is critical. A CEO is a strategic thinker. In today’s environment, there is so much information to filter, extracting what you need quickly, to make quick, insightful decisions. When you put on your entrepreneurial hat, you are planning and developing your company to take advantage of opportunities where others see problems.
By thinking of yourself as the Owner and the Product you are offering, you empower yourself. Successful people thrive in challenging times by taking ownership of their objectives, making decisions, setting priorities, and achieving their goals by acting as the CEO of their own company in the context of their role.
Next month I will write a more in-depth post on how to create that brand.
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Change is continuous; it will never stop. Preparing for the challenges change offers—whether an unexpected work force reduction or a role change—is responding to events rather than reacting to them. By managing your career, you have a much greater chance of taking advantage of opportunities as they come along (being let go is an opportunity if you have a plan), while focusing on creating value as you move forward in your chosen direction. Reacting, on the other hand, is letting the ‘cards fall where they may’, putting ‘all your eggs in one basket’ and could place you in a position where you just don’t want to find yourself.
A Front-Pocket Plan is a dynamic and energizing road map for how you want to move forward or grow in or out of your present organization. It is about thriving in your career, being fully engaged, discovering ways to add value, and strengthening your personal brand.
The following questions will help you create your Front-Pocket Plan:
- Where do I see myself fit in my corporation’s “bigger picture”?
- How can I use my strengths more effectively to impact that “bigger picture”?
- What skills do I need to develop or further master to support the corporation?
- What habits of thinking or behaving do I want to create that makes me more productive?
- What habits of thinking or behaving do I want to eliminate that hold me back?
- Where do I see my skills, knowledge, and experience being applied in ways I will enjoy?
- Who can I talk to—mentor, coach, advisor, subject matter expert—to help me determine my course(s) of action?
- What other resources do I need to thrive?
- What would I write as my value proposition?
Sometimes those blindsiding moments come up, and you need a:
A Back-Pocket Plan outlines what you will do if your worst-case scenario happens. For example, being part of a Work Force Reduction, accepting a job because it pays the bills but you hate. Perhaps, you find yourself in a job that doesn’t have the growth potential you were looking for, or working for boss you dislike. There are as many reasons for a backup plan as there are people, and not having a plan could find you in a tough situation.
A Back-Pocket Plan includes everything you can think of to prepare yourself if that worst-case happened, so you can hit the ground running. Pants have more than one back-pocket, and you should have more than one alternative. If Plan A does not work, then go to Plan B. If you do your homework, you should have a very workable plan that will keep you thriving regardless of your situation. By having this plan written out, it helps to reduce the feeling of uncertainty and increases your feeling of control.
Below are some questions to help you create your Back-Pocket Plan:
- What is my financial situation currently?
- What steps do I need to take to accumulate at least six months of savings to cover monthly bills and emergencies?
- What can I eliminate to stretch my savings—cable, summer camp…, etc.
- What aspects of my Front-Pocket Plan can I leverage with my Back-Pocket Plan?
- What would I love doing that will use my strengths and give value?
- What industries do I want to research?
- What updates does my resume require to reflect my experience and wisdom?
- What resources do I need to contact—mentor, coach, financial advisor, subject matter expert—to help me determine my course(s) of action?
Now, you are ready for action!
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This year has really flown by! Because we can get mired down in all the details of emails, deadlines, and projects, going into the New Year is a great time to think about what you have accomplished in 2018 and what you want to focus on in 2019.
Perhaps you think there is no time to reflect on what was done; only think about what needs to be done now. The strength of reflection is to learn what you did well and be proud of that, and identify what you could have done better and how you might do things differently.
So, I am asking you to take some time and answer the questions below.
- What are 10 things I am most proud of accomplishing this year?
- What motivates me?
- What learning’s can I apply to make work easier?
- What would I do differently?
- What problems or issues am I tired of having?
- What actions do I need to do to fix them?
- How can I do more of the things I enjoy doing and less of what I do not enjoy?
Charting a course for 2019, please take some time to think about:
- When I look back on 2019 next December, what would I want to have accomplished and experienced?
- What do I want to focus on in the first quarter of 2019?
- How will I remain on course for 2019?
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