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jerryking : self-assessment   13

Opinion | The Surprising Benefits of Relentlessly Auditing Your Life
May 25, 2019 | The New York Times | By Amy Westervelt, a journalist and podcaster.

"The unexamined life is not worth living" is a famous dictum apparently uttered by Socrates at his trial for impiety and corrupting youth, for which he was subsequently sentenced to death, as described in Plato's Apology (38a5–6).
analytics  data  evidence_based  happiness  housework  marriage  note_taking  patterns  quality_of_life  quantitative  quantified_self  record-keeping  relationships  relentlessness  self-assessment  self-examination  self-improvement  spreadsheets 
may 2019 by jerryking
5-Step Primer to Entering New Markets
| Inc.com | BY KARL STARK AND BILL STEWART, Co-founders, Avondale.

Expanding into a new market can be an effective way to leverage your core business for growth. But it takes a disciplined process to accurately assess the potential of each growth opportunity, because a bad bet can bog down your business.

Investing the appropriate level of resources in market analysis, selection, and entry method can create a foundation for success in the chosen market. We suggest following five steps to properly assess the opportunities and risks of a new market.

1. Define the Market
2. Perform Market Analysis
3. Assess Internal Capabilities
4. Prioritize and Select Markets
5. Develop Market Entry Options
marketing  growth  core_businesses  market_entry  new_markets  capabilities  frameworks  market_definition  market_analysis  self-assessment  market_opportunities  market_assessment  generating_strategic_options  assessments_&_evaluations  opportunities  Michael_McDerment  primers 
october 2016 by jerryking
How to approach your own career like an entrepreneur - Fortune
1. Choose growth over profitability. Rather than focus on short-term gains, think long-term goals and what you need to get there.
2. Bet on who you want to work with, not on where. Job seekers should invest in people, not ideas. That means pick the place you’re going to work for the people you’re going to work with. They’re the ones who will train you and lead you to other opportunities when the time comes.
3. Find your special sauce. Fetishize your product-market fit. This may be one of the hardest challenges in the new economy.
4. Celebrate uncertainty. Iterate. Seek feedback and adapt. Pivot where necessary.
5. Be public. Be on Linkedin. Give away hard-won information and knowledge, you’ll get something back. Be more transparent.

Nitin Julka was 31 and working like a dog in Cleveland when he got the itch. For six years he’d been a VP of his family’s business, a $20 million company that sold IT to schools. He had moved home after getting an MBA, excited to grow the company and make a difference in educational technology. It had been a “wild ride,” but he was ready for change. “I had no idea what I wanted to do,” he says. “I just knew I wanted to do something different.”

The jobs that interested him most were in tech. He started calling friends, friends of friends, business school classmates, and even distant contacts to talk about Bay Area companies and about what professional roles he might actually qualify for. After 30 or so conversations, he made up his mind: He wanted to be a product manager at a fast-growing Silicon Valley–based startup.

This struck few as a logical or even feasible next step for Julka: “I was changing job functions, industries, and geographies. People told me you can do one of those things—not all three at once.”

But Julka is more self-aware than most. On a quarterly basis, he conducts a life assessment and reviews what he considers to be his professional competitive advantage. Among his “most unique” attributes he lists his receptiveness to feedback. Indeed, in his quest for continual improvement, he has recorded personal and professional feedback in a single, running Google doc since 2010. He reads it once a week, when prompted by a recurring calendar invite.

And so began what Julka considers the “abnormal part” of his job search: He drew up a spreadsheet of 60 target companies, a few of which he researched for 60 to 80 hours (he admits he “overinvested”). He read 10-Ks and 10-Qs and a hundred CrunchBase articles; he mined his personal and virtual connections; he enlisted a friend, a former Google programmer, to tutor him in code; and he found free online videos from which he learned UX/UI design. With his wife’s support, he gave himself five weeks in Silicon Valley—no mean feat given that he had an 18-month-old baby at home. He met with three or more people a day, prepared a 48-page set of interview notes, and rode the highs and lows of pitching himself for a job that many thought he was an odd fit for.

It ended on a high. In September 2013 he got several job offers—including one, through a contact of his business school professor, at Bizo, a startup that has since been acquired by LinkedIn LNKD .

Julka may sound like a case study in craziness, a modern-day Ben Franklin whose entrepreneurial energy and efforts cannot be easily matched. But while he exists at one extreme, he’s the prototype for what it takes to navigate one’s career these days.

The truth is, wherever you are on the corporate ladder, whatever you do for a living, you’ve got to think like you’re launching a business from the ground up.

As LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha wrote in their zeitgeist-tapping book from 2012, The Start-Up of You, “All humans are entrepreneurs.” To accelerate your career in today’s economy, you’ve got to embrace that spirit and apply the Silicon Valley formula—“adapt to the future” and “invest in yourself”—no matter how comfortable in your job you might be.

Imagine you’re a founder. You’ve been working for days—years, really. (You can’t remember the last time you took a day off.) You’ve networked like crazy. And now, at last, you’ve landed one of those much-coveted meetings with a high-profile venture capital firm on Sand Hill Road.

the start up of you bookIt feels as though you’ve been waiting your whole life for this: You’ve prepared your slide deck, rehearsed your pitch, and honed your talking points. You’re ready to be grilled about even the finest details of your marketing and monetization strategies. You’ve gone so far as to research your VC’s hobbies. But the product you’re selling isn’t some whiz-bang app or the latest and greatest cloud-computing platform; the product is you.

Here’s where your potential backer steps in: What’s your competitive advantage, she asks? The questions come rapid-fire: What’s your addressable market? The opportunities for growth? Your five-year plan? Your 10-year plan?

You may not be used to thinking about your career in such calculating terms, but old standards like “follow your passion” get you only so far. You won’t get Series A funding, but the analogy is apt: If you are the startup, you’d better start answering to your inner VC.

“You’ve got to have a sense of purpose, authenticity, self-awareness, intellectual honesty, and the ability to navigate ambiguity,” says Hemant Taneja, managing director at General Catalyst Partners, a venture capital firm. That’s what he looks for in companies—and people—he invests in. Alan Braverman, an entrepreneur and angel investor who co-heads the Giant Pixel, a tech startup studio, speaks more bluntly: “What most people consider a safe career path, I consider falling behind.”

You don’t have to be a TaskRabbit (or a VC) to know that the world of work has changed. Technology, globalization, and one long recession—in which nearly one in six Americans reported losing a job, according to Princeton economist Henry Farber—have all disrupted old-fashioned employment. Corporations have downsized, outsourced, and rightsized. They slashed training budgets during the recession, and though that spending is coming back—up 15% in 2013, according to a Deloitte survey—corporate talent development is thought to be a dying art. “As companies see it, the incentives are just so perverse,” says Peter Cappelli, a professor of management at Wharton Business School. “Typically you train someone, and once they become useful, they’re hired away from you.” Meanwhile, the slow march of automation continues: Robots now fly planes, perform surgeries, and in some cases write news. That leaves you, dear worker, in a tight spot—whether or not you’ve got your dream job now, you’ve got to stay relevant and evolve.

That’s not as easy as it once was. The half-life of desirable skills has shortened with the hastening pace of technological change. (A Python programmer now eats the once-hot Java programmer for lunch.) Fabio Rosati, CEO of the online freelancing platform Elance-oDesk, says these dynamics are moving us from the era of employment to one of newfangled “employability.” Professionals, like the 9.3 million who find work on his site, are now being viewed as mobile, independent bundles of skills. In this universe the most adaptable talent rules the day. Increasingly, learning agility is an attribute sought in corporate leadership, says Vicki Swisher, a senior director at Korn Ferry, an executive search firm. What’s more, she says, it’s what employers are looking for in all new hires.

That agility is also mission critical for your personal enterprise (formerly known as your career path). Rather than climb a single corporate ladder like the company man of yore, you’re more likely to spend your career scaling a professional jungle gym, maneuvering between projects, jobs, companies, industries, and locales. By the reckoning of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest job-tenure survey, you’ll pivot every 4.6 years (make that three if you’re a millennial, a demographic that will dominate the workforce in 2015). To do this well requires imagination, initiative, and some guts. Much like a startup, you’re forging your way ahead in a dynamic world where there is no conventional path.

“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” advises Mike Abbott, a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who knows as an entrepreneur and as someone whose career zigged to Microsoft, Palm, and Twitter before it zagged to venture capital. In his case, he sought discomfort. “That’s how you learn the most.”

While the ideas of a free-agent nation and personal brand building have been with us for a couple of decades, DIY-career building has gotten a big push from the digital (and old-fashioned sharing) infrastructure that fosters this independence. There’s the rise in communal workspaces like WeWork and educational alternatives like Coursera, which offers college courses online, and General Assembly, which trains workers in the most in-demand tech skills. (As Julka’s case shows, YouTube and Google can also be empowering resources.)

A slew of online platforms has made it simpler to drum up employment, from one-off gigs to full-time jobs. Professionals can peddle their services, whether it be supply-chain management or legal advice, more easily and independently too, through sites like Elance-oDesk and TrustedPeer, which sometimes cater to big companies.

The data are messy on the size and shape of this new, more independent workforce. The BLS, whose classification system dates back to 1948, counted 14.4 million self-employed Americans in April 2014. That’s a far cry from the results of a study commissioned this year by the Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk, which put the number of freelancers—a broader category that includes temps, part-timers, and moonlighters—at 53 million, or one in three American workers. (A report on freelancers … [more]
Ben_Casnocha  customer_growth  discomforts  Elance-oDesk  free-agents  gig_economy  invest_in_yourself  it's_up_to_me  job_search  large_companies  learning_agility  Managing_Your_Career  non-routine  personal_branding  pitches  preparation  product-market_fit  readiness  Reid_Hoffman  self-assessment  self-awareness  self-employment  Silicon_Valley  skills  slight_edge  special_sauce  start_ups  torchbearers  transparency  TrustedPeer  uncertainty  value_propositions  via:enochko  WeWork 
july 2016 by jerryking
The three personal development goals successful people pursue habitually - The Globe and Mail
DIXIE GILLASPIE
Entrepreneur.com
Published Saturday, Jan. 24 2015
(1) They spend time getting to know themselves. They know their energy patterns, so they know how much sleep is optimal. They know when they get their best rest they are at their best when they are awake. They know what fuel their body needs, and what kind of exercise it takes to feel the way they want to feel. They know what environments they need to be creative and productive, and they know the difference between those two states.

They know their priorities, too, and they know that all of their decisions must start with the highest level of their vision, mission or purpose.
(2)They spend time improving themselves. Successful people know that to increase their net worth they must increase their personal worth. They’ve mastered the personal SWOTT analysis and they consistently invest in themselves....Successful people read-story books, how-to books, news, industry articles. They read to improve their knowledge, their mind-set, even their mood. Moreover, successful people study--trends in their industry and outside of their industry, things that interest them and, most of all, they study people.
(3) They spend time sharing themselves. Many super successful people are generous with their money and time.
overachievers  self-analysis  self-assessment  personal_energy  self-awareness  generosity  mindsets  self-improvement  habits  think_threes  volunteering  serving_others  high-achieving 
january 2015 by jerryking
Relax
1. Develop your own personal operating system. Carve out and define your own reality, philosophy, values, and interests rather than automatically accepting those of your family, peers, religion, or culture.

2. Begin to let go of the need for validation. Don’t be motivated by the opinions or others or the desire for recognition. Be driven by what is important to you and what you value.

3. Trust your instincts and allow for experimentation. Get to know yourself and discover what you enjoy and find exciting, even if you have to fail a few times.
4. Accept others as they are. Begin letting go of judgments and criticism of others. Focus on people’s strengths rather than their faults. Learn to deal with difficult people without diminishing yourself.

5. Really hear people. Go beyond just listening and understanding. Let people know that you really get them.

6. Take care of unresolved matters in your life. Restore your integrity. Forgive and ask for forgiveness where necessary. Reclaim the energy you have given to these matters.

7. Embrace a healthy lifestyle. Get some form of exercise daily. Eat healthy foods that support your body, not your emotions. Do this because you respect yourself, not to impress others.

8. Cause things to happen. Don’t wait for them. Be a creator, an instigator, a collaborator. Share your enthusiasm.

9. Show people you care. Don’t just talk about it. Show them in ways that are meaningful to them, not you.

10. Require the best of people. See them not only for who they are, but who they can be. Lovingly reflect that vision to them.

11. Ensure your own needs are met. Discern your primary needs, and communicate fully what is important and valuable to you in your relationships. Don’t compromise these to keep peace or hang on.

12. Speak constructively. Use your words to uplift, inspire, motivate, and encourage. Don’t offer “constructive criticism” or subtle digs.

13. Laugh easily. Have a lightness about you. Take life less seriously and choose to find and create fun and joy.

14. Cease gossip. Choose not to talk about others in ways that are openly or subtlety critical. Don’t share information for the feeling of power or intrigue.

15. Make requests, not complaints. If you need something from someone, ask for it directly. Don’t whine or complain to them or others.

16. Handle situations fully. Kindly but clearly deal with negative issues as soon as possible. Don’t tolerate anything if it causes resentments.

17. Be done with arguments. Smile and walk away until healthy communication is possible.

18. Offer help only when asked. Don’t assume that others want you to fix them or that you know best for them. Be available and give help only when asked.

19. Care deeply, but remain detached. Let others know you care deeply about them when they have problems, but don’t get caught up in their problems.

20. See with your heart, not your eyes. Look beyond superficiality when seeing someone. Financial status, appearance, notoriety, all mean nothing. Look for the authentic person inside.

21. Don’t say yes when you mean no. If you mean no, your yes will be harnessed with resentment. Say yes only when your yes is given freely.

22. Let others know you are grateful. Tell them and show them that you feel blessed to have them in your life.

23. Never play the guilt card. Don’t try to manipulate or hurt someone by trying to make them feel bad about their choices, decisions, or actions.

24. Give more than is expected. Don’t over-commit, but freely give more than you promise.

25. Be inter-developmental in your relationships. Don’t be controlling, dependent or co-dependent. Create relationships that are mutually uplifting, reward, and satisfying.

26. Be a big person. Don’t try to take credit, diminish others, or hold back on praise. Offer acknowledgment and power when it is needed and deserved.

27. Be confident enough to be humble. Be able to laugh at yourself, acknowledge your flaws and failures, and accept that they don’t define you.

28. Be open to learning. Don’t flaunt your intelligence or superior knowledge. Recognize that there is always something to learn, even from those who appear “less than.”

29. Be more engaged than engaging. Show your sincere interest in others. Use the word “you” more than “I.” Listen intently and reflect back to others who they are.

30. Give gifts that others want. Not just gifts to impress or that are important to you.

31. Challenge yourself constantly. Don’t settle for mediocre. Don’t languish in past accomplishments. Keep moving forward and exude enthusiasm about possibilities and the actions to make them happen.

32. Detach from adrenaline. Simplify your life enough so you are not rushed, stressed, cluttered, or distracted. Allow yourself time and room to focus.

33. Embrace the incredible power of now. Nothing is more valuable than this moment. Make it the best moment you possibly can right now.

34. Don’t fight the flow. Don’t struggle against people or situations you can’t control. Move effortlessly in a different direction.

35. Keep evolving. Stay on a path of self-improvement and stay alert for opportunities for shifts and growth.
motivations  inspiration  strengths  affirmations  personal_growth  self-improvement  immediacy  simplicity  focus  movingonup  gift_ideas  listening  continuous_learning  humility  praise  relationships  overdeliver  gratitude  sincerity  authenticity  self-awareness  constructive_criticism  foregiveness  values  self-starters  healthy_lifestyles  gossip  self-analysis  self-assessment  self-satisfaction  complacency  personal_energy  span_of_control  disconnecting  rainmaking  individual_initiative  beyond_one's_control  next_play  walking_away 
august 2014 by jerryking
If I was...setting out to be an entrepreneur - FT.com
January 15, 2014 | FT | By Daniel Isenberg.

“Worthless Impossible and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value”.

...If I were setting out as an entrepreneur today, I would buy an existing company to scale up rather than build a start-up from scratch. I would make incremental tweaks of improvement rather than innovate, exercise cool judgment rather than hot passion and build my departure plan from day one...a lot of great businesses, such as PayPal [the online payments system] and Kaspersky [the internet security company] are carved out of, or combined from, existing assets, or are family businesses taken sky-high by the second or third generation...Rather than start a new company, I would buy a rusty old business to fix up and grow as fast as I could. I want a discarded company that is undervalued but can be dusted off, refurbished with vision and talent, and scaled up. I would be talking to venture capitalists....I know that proprietary technology is not a market maker by itself. Great marketing and management almost always trump big innovation.

Minnovation – small tweaks on existing products – is what moves the ball of economic growth forward. Neither Facebook nor Google, for example, were technology pioneers.

Big innovations are few and far between and are often the stuff of large companies with long patience and deep pockets....Next, I would drain my venture of passion and replace it with commitment, hard work and realistic and relentless self-assessment....start with a stark test of harsh neon lights, exposing every flaw and crack long before the market does so that I can fix them before the customers vote with their feet....plan one's passionless departure from the start, creating a platform to allow the talented people and partners I hire to outperform me very soon.
entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  rules_of_the_game  unglamorous  books  Daniel_Isenberg  advice  howto  passions  exits  lessons_learned  turnarounds  contrarians  scaling  minnovation  undervalued  under-performing  carveouts  family_business  proprietary  incrementalism  self-assessment  customer_risk  breakthroughs  large_companies  vision  refurbished  spin-offs  hard_work  dispassion  marketing  management  commitments  marginal_improvements  unsentimental  outperformance 
january 2014 by jerryking
Managing: What entrepreneurs should watch out for
July 16, 1996 | The Globe and Mail |

fourth pitfall is the most difficult, Mr. Drucker says. “It's when the business is a success and the entrepreneur begins to put himself before the business. Now he asks himself, ‘What do I want to do? What's my role?’ "Those are the wrong questions. If you start out with them, you invariably end up killing yourself and the business. You should be asking, ‘What does the business need at this stage?’ The next question is: ‘Do I have those qualities?’
Peter_Drucker  entrepreneur  challenges  selfishness  pitfalls  cash  self-analysis  self-assessment  life_cycle 
july 2012 by jerryking
Charlotte Beers, on the Importance of Self-Assessment - NYTimes.com
March 31, 2012 | NYT | By ADAM BRYANT. This interview with Charlotte Beers was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant. Ms. Beers, former chairwoman and C.E.O. of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, now runs seminars called “The X Factor” for women who are leaders.
Charlotte_Beers  women  self-assessment  CEOs  advertising_agencies  Ogilvy_&_Mather 
april 2012 by jerryking
How to Stay Stuck in the Wrong Career
December 2002 | HBR | by Herminia Ibarra.

But change actually happens the other way around. Doing comes first, knowing second, because changing careers means redefining our working identity--our sense of self in our professional roles, what we convey about ourselves to others and, ultimately, how we live our working lives. Who we are and what we do are tightly connected, the result of years of action. And to change that connection, we must first resort to action--exactly what the conventional wisdom cautions us against....First, determine with as much clarity and certainty as possible what you really want to do. Next, use that knowledge to identify jobs or fields in which your passions can be coupled with your skills and experience. Seek advice from the people who know you best and from professionals in tune with the market. Then simply implement the resulting action steps. Change is seen as a one-shot deal: The plan-and-implement approach cautions us against making a move before we know exactly where we are going....It all sounds reasonable, and it is a reassuring way to proceed. Yet my research suggests that proceeding this way will lead to the most disastrous of results, which is to say no result. So if your deepest desire is to remain indefinitely in a career that grates on your nerves or stifles your self-expression, simply adhere to that conventional wisdom, presented below as a foolproof, three-point plan....what consumed 90% of the year he spent looking for a new career, is what the conventional models leave out-a lot of trial and error....that it is possible to discover one's "true self," when the reality is that none of us has such an essence. (See the sidebar "Our Many Possible Selves "for a discussion of why one's true self is so elusive.) Intense introspection also poses the danger that a potential career changer will get stuck in the realm of daydreams....We learn who we have become-in practice, not in theory-by testing fantasy and reality, not by "looking inside." Knowing oneself is crucial, but it is usually the outcome of-and not a first input to-the reinvention process....To launch ourselves anew, we need to get out of our heads. We need to act....But when it comes to reinventing ourselves, the people who know us best are the ones most likely to hinder rather than help us....Mentors and close coworkers, though well meaning, can also unwittingly hold us back...So if self-assessment, the advice of close ones, and the counsel of change professionals won't do it, then where can we find support for our reinvention?....Reaching outside our normal circles to new people, networks, and professional communities is the best way to both break frame and get psychological sustenance.
Managing_Your_Career  career_paths  career  HBR  reinvention  Second_Acts  Herminia_Ibarra  analysis_paralysis  trial_&_error  action-oriented  self-assessment  self-awareness  pragmatism  counterintuitive  conventional_wisdom  change 
august 2011 by jerryking
Luck Isn't Lucky At All - Brian Babcock
February 20, 2004| First published in the Globe and Mail| By BRIAN BABCOCK

start to anticipate.
Brian_Babcock  introspection  self-analysis  Managing_Your_Career  anticipating  luck  chance  contingency  self-awareness  self-assessment 
april 2009 by jerryking

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