Moving out of the personal sphere, we are getting into the professional sphere. With personal growth and personal optimization you sow the field of success, and with professional growth and professional productivity you fertilize it. This means that you can get results by only mastering the first two pillars, but with the last two you can get results on steroids.
If we examine the everyday life one more time, but from professional point of view, we could draw the following conclusions:
- The global economic crises get more and more frequent (as predicted by people a lot smarter than me)
- The lifestyle of the baby-boomers generation is a dream for the following generations. Most probably the 401k plans and the social/pension systems will have collapsed long before we could use them
- You are stranded in a very peculiar situation: you are educated by your baby-boomer parents, for which academic education, good and stable job and a big pension, have always been the dream and the goal; you have mastered a whole bunch of useless skills going through college, university or whatever, but you do not understand the game called business
- In order to be successful you need to master new ways of learning: how to be flexible; how to stay in the technology and information loop while you are working; how to anticipate and embrace the changes that are in front of you
- You need to accumulate a great deal of new knowledge, including but not limited to: finances, accounting, marketing, sales
- You need to learn to be entrepreneurs, businessmen and investors in order to succeed in life and gain that quality of life you all aspire
Essence of Professional Growth
This is mainly why I am talking about new rules of a new game. My parents are both highly educated professionals, respected in their academic fields, but who had to learn investment urgently in order to survive the cruel world. Some attempts were successful, others were not so successful. Most of what your parents have taught us is largely useless for this new world. Have a head start in life and learn those new rules early in your life.
Benefits of Professional Growth
Professional growth teaches you to differentiate between the rules of the old world and the rules of the new world. It gives you insight about the new game and it teaches you how to survive in this new game. There is no field of business that you could leave aside, no matter if you are an employee, a self-employed professional, a businessman or something else.
Have you heard the phrases:
- If you want to have a better quality of life, you need to earn more – this is a blatant lie
- The people that do business are lazy and live on the back of the working class – this is only partly false as the businessmen really live on the back of the working class, but they are not lazy
- Investment is like playing poker – another lie that should have stayed in the XX century
- If you study hard and get a nice job, you would be able to afford a beautiful house and you can drive a new car – well this is true, but what other aspects of your life would be affected? How long would you have to work to pay for the house?
I hope you haven’t, but if you were lucky enough to have been raised with the rules of the new world, you would not be here and you would not read these lines.
The activities included in this pillar are:
Understanding the benefits of Marketing
Marketing is no longer a marketer-specific skill. You all advertise your way of life, your products and yourself as a product. And a non-exhaustive list of subtopics
- Do marketing research
- Understand and use advertisement
- Work on your personal brand
- Create the right product
- Create value for the customer
Acquiring the Sales skills you need
Even the best product could not sell itself alone. You need to make the public aware of it by marketing and sell it to them with your sales skills. The boundaries between sales and marketing are not well defined, but for the purpose of structure I would try my own division between the two
- Understand marketing mix
- Acquire the mindset of a sales person
- Define your target audience
- Master value proposition
- Develop your elevator speech
Getting on friendly bases with Accounting
This is a weird world of numbers and transferring them from one column to another. This is not for everyone, but it is for everyone who wants to succeed. Once again the difference between finance and accounting is pretty dim, but I will do my best to separate them anyway.
- Uncover the secrets of the balance sheet
- Master the income statement
- Know more about taxes
Utilizing the power of Finance
This is another hot topic that most of us have probably been avoiding the whole time, because of its over-complicated terminology.
- Discover money flow
- Understand debt and credit
- Know more about corporations
Mastering Competitive Analysis and Strategy
Tthis is the ability to analyze the competitiveness of the market and to set the long- and short-term strategies of your company or business.
- Do SWOT Analysis
- Find core competences
- Find competitive advantage
- Define corporate strategy
- Set corporate tactics
As you can probably see I am drawing deep from the knowledge acquired in my MBA Program. MBA stands for Master of Business Administration and it gives you the foundations for running your own business. Without the money and effort spent on that part of my life I would have never been where I am now. Without the knowledge in the topics from professional growth I would have never dared to become self-employed and start my own businesses.
What are the next steps?
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