Key Point: I believe there is huge value in thinking and acting as an entrepreneur in any environment. Constantly ask yourself who would pay for your personal “offering” if you weren’t being paid by someone else tomorrow. Let’s say you lost your job today and the only way to get a paycheck was to put your skill into the market place. How would you do?
I was 29 years old, my wife was six months pregnant with our second child, and we had just bought a house with an unbelievable 17 percent interest rate on our mortgage. My business partner and I started a consulting company, using our two weeks vacation and $250 dollars as working capital. I remember the delicious mix between fear and excitement. We never looked back and built what became a very successful business for 10 years. In some ways it was more luck than brains, but the best thing about having been an entrepreneur is that I NEVER worry about whether I can “put food on the table.” It is gratifying to know that one can thrive with no corporation or public entity paying your way. You learn to take action that creates value. There is NO “THEY.” Sometimes I want to throw up when I hear coddled and entitled employees whining about this and that. The less sensitive me wants to say, “Shut up and do something about it or leave and go do something of value. See if anyone wants to pay you for it?”
The following are key things to put in place to build that entrepreneurial you.
- Consciously build your brand. I am privileged to be the Chief People Officer at ATB Financial. But I am also the Lorne Rubis brand inside and outside the company. That’s one reason I continuously develop lornerubis.com. We are all individuals, but unless we are also a brand, our individuality will be invisible. According to Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic’s blog, The Future of You, a brand “means showcasing that which makes you special, in a way that is distinctive (recognizable), predictable (consistent), and meaningful (it allows others to understand what you do and why).”
- Commit to being known for building, creating and making things better. Who really cares if you are a lawyer, doctor, candlestick maker, teacher, laborer, etc? What are you known for? How do you make things better? Why would anyone care? And don’t mope around thinking you’re just ordinary. You may not be flashy but you are the only YOU. And we are hard wired to create and connect. Have the courage to be responsible for your own state of being. Don’t be afraid to get support. I could not have been successful starting that company without my wife’s encouragement and business partner’s competence.
- Become a super connector. If you can rapidly and effectively connect solutions to problems, people to each other, ideas to money, etc. you will attract buckets of value. Do not isolate yourself. If you’re by yourself literally and/or digitally, you will get in a dark, unproductive hole… It’s only a matter of time. That doesn’t mean we don’t need alone time. Of course we do. But we are built to be with each other. In today’s digital environment we have the opportunity to embrace the world. Do that AND make room for feeling the personal energy of the people. Embrace them. They deserve you and you them.
Personal market value in The Triangle,