It is certainly a FACT that the world is changing. Every day, new developments in technology and society rewrite the guidelines for how we interact with our families, our colleagues, and our customers. The world gets smaller with each new development. With that shrinking of the global market comes a new sense and celebration of diversity, individuality, and the evolution of the New-Age professional. More than ever before, New-Age professionals are climbing the corporate ladder. More than ever before, New-Age professionals are achieving greatness by way of their startup companies.
As a New-Age professional, you have to understand that your customer's needs are constantly changing. In the same manner, if you're employed in the corporate sector, you have to understand that in order to move up, you have to keep evolving as an employee. Keep in mind that your competitors are working hard to innovate the next big thing every day.
As you begin your strategic planning for the year 2014, you must consider your relevance and value in your respective market. If you hope to avoid becoming obsolete, you must consistently offer variations of your products, services, and/or personal brand. If you're not evolving, you're fading. Maintaining success is a long-term investment. With that in mind, consider the following tips as you create your strategy in 2014:
Tip # 1 - Set Attainable Goals
Some goals are long term. Some are short term. The same is true of the steps that encompass each goal. For this reason, it is important that you assess and assign your goals/steps based on a reasonable and measurable timeframe in which they might be achieved.
Tip #2 - Find Your Niche
Think about the people who have reached the top of their industries. They all got there--almost without exception--because they refused to dance to someone else's tune. They carved their own paths and followed their own beliefs unabashedly. The result was the kind of authenticity and commitment it takes to excel in business and in life. These people were not afraid to be different. They weren't afraid to be themselves. They understood the power of themselves. Remember to always be different, authentic, and genuine. Be you. Find and become your niche.
Tip #3 - Understand the Power of You; Sell Your Brand
Don't attempt to build your brand like anyone else. Be authentic. If you can be open and honest with yourself about your personal value, you won't need to fudge facts on your brand. Focus on your passions. Determine what it is that you're inherently good at, what value you bring to the table, and how you can make an impact in your chosen market.
Tip #4 - Dress for the Career You Want; Not for the One You Have
Internalizing and making personal your goals starts and ends with dressing for the job you want. Sometimes it can be easy for bright and motivated professionals to begin to feel entitled to success. We begin to think that we're so brilliant that we don't have to go the extra mile to get noticed. But that is simply not true. You have to be the whole package if you're going to get where you want to go.
Tip #5 - Reposition, Reinvent, Re-strategize
There comes a time in every businessperson's life when one of the Three R's becomes necessary: Reposition, Reinvent, and Re-strategize. The important thing to remember is that you're not the first person to have to revise your brand, your strategy, or even yourself. Keep that in mind when it comes time to go back to the drawing board and you will be in better position to make the honest, accurate, and appropriate decisions that will lead to greater success in the future.
Tip #6 - Be Relentless in Your Pursuit
Finding success has a direct correlation with the unwillingness to let the word "no" become a setback. Be relentless. Live a life free of stagnation and align yourself with the path of consistent upward movement. Your milestones will pass by quicker than you could ever imagine. Through your 110% effort, you will become more powerful than you ever thought possible. Before you know it, you will have reached your ultimate goal.
Tip #7 - Build the Right Network
With that "right" network at hand, you are ready to begin putting all of your plans into action. The people worthy of your "right" network--especially those people who wind up in your inner circle--need to demonstrate results both in the past and present. If they are experts in the field you're pursuing, that is the ideal. Most of all, they must be people you can trust and rely upon.
Tip #8 - Strategy and Implementation are Symbiotic
The business world is full of stories about genius ideas that didn't become reality because the innovator didn't properly strategize. For every failure-in-strategy story, there is an equal number of failure-in-implementation stories. The common theme in all of them was that there just wasn't enough attention paid to one or the other. If you look across the landscape of the hundreds of thousands of successful businesses in this country, you will find one common theme: strategy and implementation were symbiotic. It is essential to not only devise a strategy; but, also implement the necessary steps to make the vision into a reality.
Tip #9 - Create Your Own Blue Ocean
When creating your own blue ocean, in order to succeed (in order to attract customers; in order to land that big promotion), you must always concentrate on delivering value. Always. While your competition continues to spend all of their time and effort trying to figure out how to be better than you, you'll be trying to figure out how to maximize the value you bring to the table. They will be worried about your performance; you'll be worried only about how to better yourself. In the end, it will be this factor above all others--your concentration on yourself and the value you have to offer--that will lead to success.
Tip #10 - Follow the Path to Self-Actualization
Like you--and like millions of other professionals-- you continue to work on achieving comfort with your self-esteem, achievement, confidence, respect of others, and respect from others. In the Self-Actualization phase--a phase to which we should all aspire-- you achieve expert control of your creativity, spontaneity, and problem solving skills. You have assumed a comfortable and sensible morality. You operate with the ability to separate fact from fiction while eliminating prejudice. It is, in its own way, the clearest definition of what it means to be enlightened as a person and as an entrepreneur. Everything begins to make perfect sense, and everything begins to come easier.
Consider this final point; life is a constant and ever-evolving journey. Work hard and achieve, and by all means, be sure to enjoy your success along the way. Celebrate your successes, but always look toward the future, never give up on your dreams, and be sure to realize your ultimate vision.