“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” Albert Einstein
This week I was talking with a friend about entrepreneurship and career transition. It is interesting that our careers paths were quite different but some milestones happened pretty much the same way. Personally, I always had 5 year goals and I built my career creating plans for 5 years at a time. When my plan was not clear and left a lot of room for change, I struggled. For him, there was not a lot of planning in the beginning because he was not sure what he wanted to do. But after some experimentation he found a certain career path and thrived. The main point here is that he also planned his career after he found what he wanted to do.
I shared with him a concept that I have been working on for some time now, and he could not agree more. Our careers are like business. We are all entrepreneurs growing a business. Our offerings are our time and knowledge.
Time is really our only asset. We control how we invest it. It does not matter if we are doing something useful or not, time will keep flowing and being consumed. As such, we should invest it wisely. To acquire knowledge (and have a desired product for sale) we need to invest time. To live healthy lives we need to invest time. Sure, there is money involved, but money is available because, at some point, someone paid for our time and knowledge.
Since we are talking about an investment, it makes sense to talk about business. It is the only way of making the most from our investment. Following this approach, a good investor would look at some key aspects of the investment:
1 – Is the business I am investing on run by a person committed to its success?
2 – How much the person running the business knows about this industry?
3 – How much competition this business has?
4 – How well is this business products differentiated from the competition?
5 – How well is this business keeping up with the industry evolution?
6 – Is this business ethical?
7 – Is this business sustainable?
Notice that some key traits of entrepreneurship stand out from the list above. To make the most from our time invested in our career we should be committed to its success. We need to get prepared by investing time and money in quality education, acquiring the knowledge and practice necessary. We need to know our competition and know what we can offer that is above and beyond all others can offer. We need to have good soft skills, need to have strong ethics and be flexible to change, adapt and evolve.
Like an entrepreneur, when we decide on a career we are jumping into the unknown. We don’t know if we are going to succeed, make a living or be happy. By adopting an entrepreneur mindset our chances of succeeding and living happy thereafter are much bigger. And the truth is, entrepreneurs are also the best employees.
What do you think? Am I too far from reality?
Jose Cid is a Business Intelligence Consultant, Educator and Coach. Throughout his life he has been helping people inside and outside of the work environment. His motto can be translated into a simple equation: Knowledge + Intelligence + Action = Power ©. Please visit www.josecid.ca for other articles and to know more about the services offered.