Many professionals resist the notion that they are in business, and prefer to think they are above selling themselves, their firms or their products and services.
A good example of this are the Universities, where intellectual professors are boring their students out of enrollment. Only when they realize that the students are their clients and responsible for their salaries and that education is big business will things change.
The professors that add value are entertaining, interesting, and passionately sell their subjects. The difference between the past and future is that these professors made the same amount of money in the past, and in the future, the ones who know how to sell, will be paid more money while their boring counterpart will become redundant and probably replaced by Automated Intelligence.
The truth is, we are all in business.
The dictionary defines business as a commercial activity involving the exchange of money for goods or services. By this definition, if you are receiving money in exchange for goods or services – then the activity you are engaged in is business.
As a professional, regardless of your title – you are not only in business – you are a business. If you are employed by an organization for which you work and you receive money in the form of a salary then you are a business.
Viewing your career or your work as a business will radically alter your point of view, the way you think about work, productivity, return on investment, your image and your income.
A person who is unique, interesting, and passionate about their personal contribution to any business, they are involved with, becomes increasingly irreplaceable and valuable to that business. A person who is mediocre, boring, and dispassionate, becomes increasingly replaceable and expensive to that business.
As a business, your goal is to maximize your return by seeking ways to get the maximum return from the minimum risk, time and effort. This means that you will see yourself as a tangible asset that has brand value, and a market value. What would you do differently if you thought of yourself as a brand? How would you increase your personal market value? What is your current image, and what are the different ways that you could upgrade your image to be more representative of what you want? How you become ever more unique, interesting and passionate?
The answer is in your ability to value the asset that you are and to feel good enough about yourself to invest in yourself, to develop both your personal and professional skills and to do this continually.
This short clip is from the 2009 movie “Up in the Air” starring George Clooney. George’s character is delivering bad news about a layoff.
Dreams. We all have them. When we were children our heads were full of possibility, dreams, and fantasies. Most of us knew no limits, other than what we were told we could or could not do.
As we got older our conditioning from family, friends, society and school brought us down to reality, to what was practical and reasonable. Many of us embarked on careers, expecting them to last a lifetime only to discover that times had changed and we had to change too or become obsolete.
A dramatic change in the structure of modern organizations is transforming the very nature of work. The traditional position descriptions that are part of a formal, rigid, hierarchical organizational structure are changing into loosely structured, multifunctional virtual project teams.
These virtual project teams work across time zones and borders as part of multiple project teams. They can be easily assembled and dissembled at the completion of the project.
Work is still the best way to achieve personal success and to better play our role within society: it helps in enhancing self-esteem, provides social prestige and generates income which facilitates civil and political participation. Work is, has been, and will remain the key component of the social contract. It forms the basis for creating societies of free women and men, and it is the foundation for democratic governance.
– International Labor Organization
A recent study of 30,000 workers showed that individuals suffering from depression took an average of 30 days off work while stress-sufferers were away for 21 days.
This research shows just how important it is for managers and HR professionals to take early action to support individuals before their condition deteriorates into a long-term sick leave problem.
– Chartered Institute of Personal Development