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For the past three decades, the fastest way to increase your income has been to land a job with a finance company (banking, wealth management, insurance). The industry has provided a ticket to prosperity for millions of professionals.
To tell you the truth – this party is coming to an end. A combination of rising competition and technological change means that companies will hire far fewer people. And this is not a temporary blip – this is the new normal. Industry leaders in different media have bravely admitted that automation can displace a third of all jobs within three to five years and companies will hire far fewer people. We can see it happening already.
Employees doing tasks that can be automated, the middle managers who supervise them and all those with average performance, with no passion for customer service and without expert skills are living on borrowed time.
So what do you do if you are a member of these endangered jobs and professional areas? I’d say that the first thing is to embrace reality and recognise that the game is changing for good. The worst thing to do is be wishful and wait for good things just to happen to you. They won’t. But there are still lots of opportunities. What’s happening in the industry is “creative destruction”. New technologies are destroying old jobs but creating many new ones.
Here are three things that you can start doing now to take action towards proactively influencing your future and taking the drivers’ seat in your own career:
- Create new jobs – see the emerging need in the business, start adding massive value and emerge in a new job,
- Move to entrepreneurship – notice the upcoming gap in services or products and how they can best serve customers and smash the competition by your approach,
- Develop your Personal Brand and enhance it in your current role to become recognisable and The Go To Expert – you will become irreplaceable!
Whatever you choose – take the drivers’ seat in your own career. Because if you don’t – others will drive your journey. And you might not like it.
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Change your traditional surroundings if you want to focus and innovate. To achieve a different outcome, you need to have a different perspective, a different environment and inspiration.
I encourage you – to get out of your traditional office environment and find a cosy buzzy place to bring your mindset a different perspective. Believe me – you will be amazed of the inspiration that arrives your way!
How often do you usually take time to revisit your success aspirations and widen your opportunity horizons? To start with, I recommend doing it at least once per quarter. And then – as frequently as you find it necessary. I will further share with you my five tips for constant revisitation.
- Create a habit of revisiting your aspirations to ensure you stay on track of your passion and inspiration. Widen your horizons frequently – you will feel absolutely taken by the opportunities that this process creates.
- Attend and be present in conferences, breakfast learning sessions, networking events to constantly stretch your mindset and widen your horizon. Build your network of people to connect with, learn and share the learning. It is much more fun doing it together! A few weeks ago I received loads of inspiration at the leadership conference in Riga, Latvia: vaditajukonference.lv I gave a presentation on the Leadership Personal Brand theme and learned from many other presentations and conference participants.
- Write your learnings in blog posts and share your learnings with others. In this way you will remember it better and people who will read your learnings will benefit from it as well. Sharing is learning together. When I write my blog posts about my learnings, it keeps generating new insights that I can further share and apply.
- Follow up your conference contacts – you will be surprised of the extent of opportunities it will generate for you. Both for you to add value to your contacts and also to learn from them. Every event I have attended and followed up on my contacts and connections has brought me new and exciting opportunities to do what I enjoy doing in life – which is to add value for people by helping them to build their personal brand to succeed.
- Every weekend reflect and pick your one key success of the week– what is one thing you are happy with on your achievement? And celebrate it – as a way to acknowledge success. This starts to create the success mindset and attract more success in your life. It works like a snowball effect – the more you notice and acknowledge little victories, the more of them will come your way. Enjoy doing it, but do keep your humbleness with you at all times for balance.
A good tool to help you revisit your aspirations and wider horizons frequently is here: www.TheSuccessPlannerBook.com
The Success Planner helps me constantly stay focused and inspired and has been proven to massively add value for many others. Enjoy!
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Enjoy your Christmas time,
Your Sparkle of Inspiration
Recently I attended an entrepreneur’s mindset event that refreshed my thinking of stepping out of comfort zone and adding value by innovating solutions.
It was organized and facilitated by The Wealth Dragons in London. My key take away thought for inspiration of this event among many others is:
“Love problems and innovate solutions to add value”
Great entrepreneurs are problem solvers. The bigger the problem you can solve, the bigger the reward, recognition and appreciation you will receive. People with entrepreneur’s mindset love problems. Problems give them opportunity to challenge and stretch themselves to find solutions. And if you do not know – how to solve the problem, go and find the know-how to solve the problem. Learn it, create it, outsource it. Just do it.
Constantly look for solving problems, adding value and changing lives for better. And you will instantly succeed. A difference between success and failure often is the speed of implementation. People with entrepreneur’s mindset do whatever it takes to take an action towards solution. They are not stopped or scared to just go and do it and possibly make some mistakes on the way to progress. We are going to make mistakes and learn from them to succeed.
Thomas Edison might have had over 10,000 attempts to get to the light bulb success. What would happen if he had given up at 9,999? Success is when preparation and persistence meets opportunity.
Action is the only way to success. Can you learn how to swim just by reading a book? And even if you buy a book and put it on the shelf, it’s not self development, it’s a shelf development. Sometimes you need to jump out of the plain to make an action. Because when you jump, you can not get back to the plain. You need to fly.
Everybody has 24 hours a day, the difference is how we use these 24 hours. My advice is: use them wisely – look out for problems, innovate solutions, take an action and add value to people’s lives.
Innovation is about challenging and improving our thinking. “What most distinguishes highly successful innovators from those who struggle, is their skill at systematically revising their own mental models—at iterating what’s happening inside their heads.” D.Stauffer,
When the word “innovation” is mentioned, most people may think of extraordinary inventions created by outstanding geniuses. However, the majority of business and society innovations today are not created by exceptional geniuses. They are created by people who are focusing on generating ideas in collaboration with customers, partners and employees. The companies that generate innovations thrive on exchange of ideas and regular interactions with customers, employees and other stakeholders. They innovate not necessarily to revolutionize their industry, but to meet specific business goals and enhance a competitive edge.
Possibly, the most important is that innovative companies do not outsource innovation function to a department or agency. For them innovation is a way of life. It is what they do. Innovation is integrated in their business culture and mindset.
As the term “Innovation Mindset” would suggest, innovation is a state of mind, more than intrinsic talent or element of being genius. There are lot of tips and strategies on how to enhance the innovation mindset. My favourite are the following five:
1. Develop constant curiosity
Strive to understand what makes people tick. How their thinking habits work. Innovation is a process, not a destination. You want to create something meaningful that would add value or make an impact, not just innovating for sake of innovation.
Recently a friend from Colombia visited me in London. She is developing her business in selling a special occasion dresses and accessories. I was amazed to see how she was discovering ideas for her emerging business while sightseeing in the central London, exploring the musical styles exhibition or reading the adverts in the underground train. Constant curiosity helps her to discover new and effective ways of communicating to her customers.
2. Challenge your thinking for opportunities and possibilities
Notice and throw away any limiting believes. Choose the thinking pattern of “yes, and…” instead of “yes, but…”. Think bigger every time.
Look for ideas from anywhere. Constantly. Seek for “how could it work” rather than “why it will not work”. Approach the innovation with the belief that anything is possible and you just need to figure out the way how it is possible. Learn from mistakes, find another way and carry on. Steve Jobs in relation has said: “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations”.
3. Be bold and trust your guts
Go to market or society and implement your innovation even if you are not 100% ready. It is quite common to come up with new ideas and become obsessed with them or focus on making the outcomes perfect. Don’t spend huge amounts of time to perfectionize – be bold, get it out there and seek for feedback to improve. Learn to fail and learn from the feedback and your mistakes. As well as you learn from your achievements.
To ignite innovation, fuel the inspiration from within. Trust your guts and what intuition tells you. Push your thinking boundaries. Create explosive reactions. “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got”, Albert Einstein.
4. Welcome diversity
Learn from people who are different, who have come from different cultures, environments, development, thinking habits. Learn from the way how they think and how they look for solutions. Donald Fan in his article “Proof That Diversity Drives Innovation” mentions: “Research confirms that diversity is a valuable resource for innovation. Prof. Ron Burt of the University of Chicago conducted an empirical study indicating that people with more diverse sources of information generate consistently better ideas”. I am noticing that in my diverse global team every week – how different and effective solutions we can generate welcoming opinions and ideas of people from different countries.
5. Take action to add value
Is it innovating for profitable growth, customer engagement, business sustainability and agility, productivity, greater service or any other purpose – take an action to implement it, communicate your added value and strive to hear how it works. Execution is part of innovation.
Adding value, making life easier or more enjoyable is part of innovation. I recently participated in the leadership team meeting where our customer Heijmans shared how their company innovates with their customers. It was example about designing and constructing smart highways. “Smart Highway is the result of an intensive collaboration between builder and developer Heijmans and designer Daan Roosegaarde. The themes sustainability, safety and perception are key to the concept and are manifested in the newest technologies in energy and light”, www.smarthighways.org . The architect had an inspirational idea to make smart highways. He kept communicating and sharing this inspiration until one city mayor in Netherlands gave this idea a try in his governed city. This teaches me – persistence guides to success.
This leads to a summary conclusion – persistence does guide to a success. If you have an idea of innovation that will add value, take an action and keep you persistence alert. It shall lead to success sooner or later.