To get started – first things first. These notes are going to be about your career, your job, your company – what you do most of your time. Set aside sleeping and home and these are by far the most important things in your life. Some law firms today want 2000 billable hours each year from their staff. There are only 200 working days plus or minus, which means 10 hours per working day BILLABLE to clients! That doesn’t leave much time for anything else. So, humour me – your job, how you like it, how good you are at it – matters.
The approach is simple – structure your thinking to cover four key steps. Be prepared to think pretty hard about how you resolve each step within the structure. Here goes – four steps to the sweet spot.
- Be passionate – about you’re your choices, what you and your company does.
- Be the best – at whatever you set out to do.
- Be very profitable – and know what the key to that profitability is.
- Be different.
Step 1. Be passionate.
You are going to eat, drink, sleep, and rely upon your job for the rest of your life so you had better be passionate about it. What are the things, thoughts, experiences that really catch fire with you? What are your hobbies? What do you spend your spare time doing? Remember if your working life is also your passion, you will never have to work again.
Step 2. Be the best.
You can define whatever this means for you. The best pizza store in the US is pretty demanding, the best in the Treasure Coast, possibly – the best in the street, that’s doable. Whichever, you have by inference defined the competition, the market, and all manner of strategic and tactical issues. If your chosen market is the local street you don’t need a national advertising programme but you do need to love your neighbours to death. And you do need to know what makes you special in their eyes.
Step 3. Be profitable.
This is your career, your job. It is not a hobby and whether you are a New York law firm or a small town charity you must make enough money. And I mean red hot bottom line cash in the bank. Only then can you be self reliant. Only then can you back new ideas. Only then can you keep spending to improve the quality and range of your much loved services. Make sure you understand what it is that makes your customers come back to you time and again, why your pizza store and not the one three blocks away. Above all know what is the key engine for making you money?
Step 4. Be different.
The last and most dynamic of the four steps. What is it that differentiates you from your competitors? What keeps you ahead of the pack? What makes people talk about you in a good , excited way? Look at Amazon – sell anything, rapid delivery, low costs and now drones – DRONES for goodness sake. But I bet you talked about it too.
Have a good day.