Setting yourself up for success. It’s a well-worn phrase that you’ve probably heard hundreds of times. In fact, you’ve probably heard it so many times that it hardly even registers anymore. And it can mean so many different things at the same time, what are we even to make of this saying? It can mean different things to different people, and each of us can bend it to suit our purposes. The great thing is that we can change our interpretation of setting ourselves up for success as we move along the timeline of our careers.
When we are just starting out, setting ourselves up for success typically involves learning as much as possible about our new industry. Learning about different business models. Learning about different types of software that are available to help us run our business. Learning about all the different federal, state and local taxes and paperwork we need to keep up with.
Once we have started our business and are attempting to grow it, setting ourselves up for success takes on a different meaning. We strive to learn about our clients, who they are, what they need and how we can best provide it for them. We attempt to educate ourselves on marketing, what are our options, which ones are the most viable and how can we utilize them to our advantage.
It’s harder to stay on top than it is to make the climb. Continue to seek new goals.Pat Summitt
As we begin to grow our business, our view on setting ourselves up for success changes yet again. We strive to excel in our industry. We evaluate our client base, attempting to streamline it to take advantage of our most beneficial clients and minimize the number of “problem children” that we have to endure. We learn how to adjust our methods and our products, maximizing customer satisfaction, reducing liability and increasing our profitability. We evaluate our market position, deciding between maximizing our current market share or expanding our business in an attempt to capture an even larger segment.
And finally, as we near the end of our careers, setting ourselves up for success often involves forming an exit strategy. Do we simply take our gains and ride off into the sunset? Do we attempt to position our business so that we can sell it, or maybe even pass it on to a relative or trusted employee?
Our business changes as it matures, and our definition of success should change along with it. We should be doing everything in our power to help our business (and our level of success) grow as we move through the business life cycle. To do otherwise is to rob ourselves (and our clients) of the benefits that come with growth and maturity.
We need to keep creating the “what’s next” of our lives. Without dreams and goals there is no living, only merely existing.Mark Twain
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