Roll your own Future
January 7, 2010 2 Comments
I enjoyed reading Geoff Livingston‘s blog post today, Confessions of a Start-up Junky. One of the things I admire about Geoff, which shines through in this post, is that he is aware of who he is (and is not), and tries to design his business environment according to his strengths.
Very smart. This is a lesson best learned young.
For close to 20 years, one of my primary functions was Sales. I succeeded, but steadily came to one important conclusion…I’m not a salesman. In fact, I was speaking just recently to a pharma professional considering the possibility of taking an entrepreneurial direction, instead of staying within a big pharma company. I asked this person what percentage of his/her day was actually spend doing something truly productive. The wide-eyed silent response spoke volumes.
One piece of advice I’d give to any professional still developing his/her professional identity – Read the book Discover Your Strengths (it won’t hurt to read its precursor, First Break all the Rules). Take the StrengthsFinder on-line assessment or a similar tool to help you identify your true strong suits. Sit down for a couple hours and do a total blue sky exercise (What would I REALLY love to do if there were no barriers)? Sit down with a trusted friend/adviser and bounce ideas around. Gain as clear an idea as you can of where you truly excel, and where you’d like to take that.
Then work toward it. You may well be in a “mis-match” of a role or company. Fine – learn and grow all you can, build your opportunity network, and craft a future that will maximize YOU.
You might not be a start-up junky like Geoff, or a company builder/author like Deirdre Breakenridge, or a pastor/social media chaplain like Jon Swanson. But if you’re only operating at 25% capacity, then you’re robbing the world of your talents.
Take the challenge to shape your own professional future. As Geoff puts it in his post, “I always love winning when I’ve been told it’s unlikely or impossible. When I receive resistance from naysayers, it only fuels me. To me, success comes from personal commitment to achieving a goal as opposed to what other people tell me I should be or can achieve.” Exactly!
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