Tag Archives: Goals

Own Your Professional Career Decisions

Have you ever lost your job? Do you have a wide enough professional network? Do you feel disconnected from the latest technology and overall economic trends?\r\n\r\nIf you have been following my newsletters, you will know that I have covered several situations around the three steps outlined in my book, The Business Apostolate: Insights to Define and Achieve Your Mission in Life:\r\n\r\nStep1: Become 100 percent accountable for the decisions you make (and not make) in your life.\r\nStep 2: Develop and record in writing your personal mission statement.\r\nStep 3: Live your mission 24/7.\r\n\r\nThis month, I want to cover a topic related to Step 1: How to become 100 percent accountable for the professional career decisions we make and do not make. I am going to leverage the insights I gathered from a book I recently read: The Start-Up of You, by Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn co-founder) and Ben Casnocha. I found the book highly relevant to today’s business and job environment, where lifelong employment with a single company is no longer the norm, and where you need to assume a much higher level of ownership of the professional career you wish to have.\r\n\r\nHere are my top three insights from the book:\r\n

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  • Treat your career like a start-up company. Be in permanent “beta mode,” constantly searching for ways to improve your value proposition in the job market.
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  • Invest in yourself. Related to insight number one, keep a close watch on the market trends and skills required to succeed in your field. Invest not only in the skills you need for your current job, but try to anticipate which skills you will need for future careers. Avoid the “Detroit Syndrome,” where the U.S. car industry failed to anticipate market and economic trends and was overtaken by foreign competition.
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  • Network. In the chapter titled “Who You Know Is What You Know,” we learn that having a broad and heterogeneous network is not only important to spot career opportunities, but is also a source of market intelligence. It is important, however, to build and nurture your network by giving something of value to them. Build the relationship first, with no strings attached.
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\r\nReading this book gave me some fresh ways to assess how well I am living up to my professional role within my personal mission statement. I have started to build the three insights shared above into my professional priorities. They may also be relevant to your own professional career.\r\n\r\nI want to close this newsletter with a quote from the American motivational speaker and author Les Brown: “Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.” As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.

Lessons Learned From an Entrepreneur Taxi Driver

I want to share the business principles I saw being practiced by a taxi driver on a recent trip to Peru. Although the principles were not new to me, the way this entrepreneur put them in practice caught my attention. Hopefully, they will catch yours as well.\n\nUpon finishing a presentation to a group of general managers and business owners on work and life balance, I struck an enlightening conversation with a taxi driver. The 20-mile ride from the event site started with the driver telling me that he enjoyed learning and wanted to listen to my presentation, but he had prudently decided not to “break” into an event where he had not been invited.\n\nHe told me that he saw himself as an entrepreneur, a provider of safe transportation from point A to point B. His customers were mainly women who did not want to use “a taxi from the street,” but rather one where the driver was somebody they could trust. He charged a premium for his services, but this did not seem to present an issue to his customers. To the contrary, he mentioned that the demand for his services was larger than he alone could fulfill. I noticed he received two to three customer calls during the ride, which he politely handled by indicating he was with a customer and would return the call as soon as he was free. He had plans to finance the purchase of a second car and had already found a driver for that unit, another retired police officer.\n\nHe said he also owned a beauty salon, managed by and co-owned with his wife. He was proud of his rather large customer base, which had also become the main source of prospects for his transportation business. In fact, the lady who managed the logistics of the session I had just performed was one of his customers.\n\nHe was a retired police officer. He positioned such experience as a key credibility factor for secure taxi rides. He left the police force due to what he called “political differences” with his superiors. It seemed that these differences had been escalating over the years, until they got to the point where he could no longer endure them.\n\nAs we reached our final destination, I thanked the driver-entrepreneur for the great lessons he had shared with me from his life and his businesses. I congratulated him for the clarity of his thinking and his growing businesses. I gave him my business card and a sample of the Spanish version of my book, The Business Apostolate: Insights to Define and Achieve your Mission in Life. He gave me his business card and committed to share his reactions to my book upon reading it.\n\n In summary, here are the top three business principles I saw being practiced by this driver-entrepreneur:\n

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  1. You can charge a premium for your products and services, as long as you offer an added benefit versus other competitors.
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  3. There is a large cross-selling value in a group of satisfied customers.
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  5. He understood the value of integrity and saw it as a key element of productive networking and successful entrepreneurship.
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\nI want to close this newsletter with a quote from the American writer Richard Bach: “You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.” As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.\n\n \n\nPercy M. Cannon\nAuthor, Business Consultant and Professional Coach\nwww.cannonbalance.com\n\n \n\nPS1: Use this link if you want to buy my book, The Business Apostolate, Insights to Define and Achieve your Mission in Life with a special discount for newsletter readers. Just enter code MU5Z7NLM.\nPS2: Use this link to ask questions, post comments, and request topics you would like to see in future issues.\nPS3: Use this link to subscribe to future newsletter issues or review previous ones.

How Did You Do In 2014?

How Did You Do In 2014?

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Did you have a good year? Unlike most companies that usually have a structured way to assess their performance during the past 12 months, individuals tend not to follow such a process for their yearly evaluation. If that also describes you, give me a chance to convince you of the importance of performing such a process, as well as a few tips on how to do it.

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Why is it important to know how you did in 2014? If you value the impact you can make on your life and the lives of those around you, you owe it to yourself to determine if you are moving in the right direction. Year-end holidays are an excellent opportunity to analyze your performance and to then set improvement goals for the following year. In this newsletter, I will suggest tips to perform your analysis. Setting improvement goals will be covered in the next newsletter.

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I suggest you ask yourself the following three sets of questions:

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    Do you feel 100 percent accountable for the decisions you made (and did not make) during 2014? Don’t feel bad if your top-of-mind answer is not 100 percent, as long as you commit to understanding why. Are your work responsibilities defining what your overall life priorities should be? Is someone else defining what is important in your life? And if you take inventory of the values and principles that drove your decisions during 2014, are you pleased with the choices you made?

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    Have you defined in writing what success looks like in your life? What were your top priorities in both your professional and personal roles? Did you define these priorities at the beginning of the year? Or is it all driven by the professional goals that your company defined for you?

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    What type of life did you end up living during 2014? Was it what matters to you the most? Or did you spend most of your time solving urgent matters versus important ones? Did you create any good life habits or turn around any bad ones? Did you track your life progress regularly, or is this the first time you are doing so in 2014?

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The outcome of these simple but powerful questions should be to place you in the right frame of mind to plan for a much better 2015. In the next newsletter, I will share suggestions for planning a great 2015. Stay tuned!

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I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2015. If you desire to give my book, The Business Apostolate: Insights to Define and Achieve your Mission in Life, as a present to relatives, friends, co-workers, or customers, you can take advantage of the 2014-15 holiday season 25 percent discount, available to newsletter readers. Just click here and enter code 8SCBLYTF.

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I want to close this newsletter with a quote from Winston Churchill: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.

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Percy M. Cannon

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Author, Business Consultant and Professional Coach

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www.cannonbalance.com

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PS1: Use this link to ask questions, post comments, and request topics you would like to see in future issues.

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PS2: Use this link to subscribe to future newsletter issues or review previous ones.