Right now, there seems to be a huge trend to constantly fixate on the idea of entrepreneurship as the ONLY career path that can make you happy. "If you want true freedom, you need to be your own boss. If you want to do what you truly love and be paid appropriately for it, you need to start your own company" come the claims from various internet marketers (funny how they conveniently have a course on how to do just that!)
And as someone who made the leap just under 12 months ago into my own business full time, I can tell you, it sounds fun, exciting and engaging...(which it is)...
...but that's only one side of the coin.
Yes, I can spend my time at coffee shops, chat with friends, wake up at whatever time I want (although I am still a dedicated 5am club member), but the reality is, ultimately, I am responsible.
I am completely accountable. Accountable for the only thing that truly matters: results.
The thing is, unfortunately due to the rise of many clever marketers selling this dream, it seems now more than ever, pressure to be your own boss is at an all time high.
But please, if you take anything away from this article, please let it be that not everyone needs to be an entrepreneur, nor are they cut out for it.
You see, every single person on the planet operates from their own set of unique values. This is a prioritised list of actions from highest to lowest in order of importance to them.
No-one is right. No-one is wrong. But everyone is unique.
Now unless, you have a reason to leave, such as a cause bigger than what the company you work for can provide, and an immediate way to translate that into value for clients (meaning they will pay you), my advice is to develop & grow into the best leader and 'intra-preneur' you can, until it is time to move on.
So below, I share with you five needle moving ways that you can implement right away to really stand out in your current position and be noticed more at work...
Develop Profit Increasing Ideas and Present Them to Management
Spend the next 30 days observing everything around you in the business. What currently works? What is currently broken? What can be done about it? What resources would be required? What costs would be involved? What are the savings? What are the cost reductions? What can be optimised? Where can you save the company money?
Present all of this in a document called: "Making <business name> world class" and share with your supervisor in a meeting you setup.
Do not wait for the changes to come from the top. You must be the change.
I did this in my last role, and not only did it help people start thinking differently, but it helped my mind stretch to go from looking for problems only, to looking for solutions (and how I could be part of them!)
Provide a Truly Unique Experience for the Customer
What can you do for the customer that they cannot get anywhere else? Something to wow them. Something completely remarkable (that is...worthy of being remarked about).
If you work in the product business, how about you simply share with them a handwritten thank-you note inside their delivery box?
If you work in the service business, how about giving them a call out of the blue and explaining you were thinking of them and wanted to share some new industry research or something of interest to them? When is their birthday...Why don't you ring them and say (or sing) happy birthday?
OR, if you work in either, how about arranging a vendor or supplier night where you hire out a space ($300-500) and get these like minded industry people together to connect...they see you as a legend of industry by doing so and you get to get in front of more of your customers.
When you look back and think about it, it's not actually that hard to think of a few ways to do stand out. Plus the flow on effect from this is insane reputation and a brand that wow's people (plus you are known as the one who provided that experience).
Be Prepared for all Meetings
- Show up to each of your appointments 10 minutes ahead of schedule.
- Bring an agenda with actions, time frames and discussion topics (copy enough for everyone, and also send ahead of time).
- Follow up with all meetings with your agreed action items (as well as a thank-you for everyone who gave their time for the meeting) and work at getting them done.
This may sound basic, but I promise doing this stuff will ensure you stand out above the rest (trust me...not many are doing this stuff!)
Always Be Learning (A.B.L)
Those who are driven to learn, attract more experiences to learn from.
Some of the best mentors I've had saw my hunger to learn and would be surprised at my drive to consistently want more. You need to be a sponge. Soak up their advice and take action...fast! (nothing grows respect like an action taker).
Read books on business, leadership, self mastery, and anything else that will benefit you as a human.
Listen to podcasts and audio books in the car on the way to work.
Attend seminars and workshops to constantly become better (in your own time).
Do whatever it takes to become a legend of the game and show your company that you are more than a muppet. You are here to drive results.
Leave Your Baggage at Home
This may sound harsh, and some might not agree (and that's ok), but the reality is, no-one wants to know your story. No-one wants to know about your break up. No-one wants to know that you're frustrated at something at home. No-one wants to hear the same story again and again and again.
Everyone has a story. 90% of people don't care and the other 10% are glad it's not them. (a little something I heard from Les Brown).
Nothing kills culture faster than gossip and negativity.
Commit to leaving your story at home and focus on the things that will drive your companies performance forward today.
Hmm kinda basic when you really break it down, right?
I know that when you implement the above 5 principles (hell even just implementing 1 of the 5) over the next 90 days, will make a profound difference to how you feel in your career and job. If at the end of those 90 days, you haven't been promoted, praised or pumped up...I give you permission to call it quits ;)
Speak to you soon. Hayden