by Ken Keis, CRG Consulting Resource Group International, Inc. —
You cannot have true job security unless you take full responsibility for your life and the value you add to the world of work. That includes the powerful option of being a self-employed entrepreneur.
Before I speak to what you can do to address job security, here are some stats and comments for your consideration.
• Of the top 100 companies operating in the year 1900, only 16 were in business in 2000.
• Over 90% of all new job creation is done by small business and entrepreneurs.
• Of the current S&P 500 companies, one quarter are family run and their total wealth exceeds the other 75% of the S&P 500 list.
• Most of the companies mentioned in Tom Peters book In Search of Excellence are no longer operational or no longer demonstrate the excellence they once had.
• One of the best-researched books on leadership—Good to Great—cited Fannie Mae as an example of star leadership. Most of us now know Fannie Mae was as one of the major contributors to the financial meltdown of 2008.
• Over 70% of individuals in North America have considered launching their own entrepreneurial venture.
Bigger is better turned out to be another 20th century myth. It’s become clear that size and mass, at some critical point, begin to make companies less competitive, not more. Big business has become oversized and over managed. In almost all industries, the best company, certainly the most profitable one, is rarely the biggest. - Peter Drucker
Admittedly, being a self-employed entrepreneur has other implications. There are many unsuccessful business ventures. Some failures can be attributed to the fact that our education systems don’t teach about or support the notion of owning your own business.
Individuals don’t understand what it takes to operate their own company. Famous business schools like Harvard produce MBAs by the busload; they teach them how to be managers. The MBAs don’t learn how to be successful entrepreneurs.
Many out-of-work executives troll job fairs hoping to find the right job. Most job fairs offer a high percentage of commission-based sales or part-time positions—hardly what the majority of unemployed executives will find attractive.
If people don’t know what job will suit them best, how can they possibly find it?
Security comes from setting your own path, after you are clear about the value you can add to the marketplace. You may not be a business owner but you can at least work for an organization that has an entrepreneurial culture. When was the last time you met an enthusiastic bureaucrat?
What makes small business owners tick?
According to the research conducted by Larry Farrell’s organization, The Spirit of Enterprise, four simple truths set successful entrepreneurs (and their ventures) apart from mere managers and executives.
1. Sense of Mission: The entrepreneurial way to deliver product/market winners
Entrepreneurs are passionate about their product and cause. Just ask one about his or her company and you won’t have to say a word for the next few hours. That same sense of mission will ensure that that organization will make a difference in the world, no matter the product or service. Rarely is the discussion about the money. It is about vision.
2. Customer/Product Vision: Creating entrepreneurial passion to produce continuous growthSmall business owners are constantly connecting the dots between the product/service they offer and their consumers. Even though Apple is a large organization, Steve Jobs continued that tradition. Apple operates like the IPod.
3. High-Speed Innovation: The entrepreneur's secret weapon for beating the competition
Entrepreneurs are dedicated to faster and quicker, unlike huge multinational companies who are buried in bureaucracy. Have you ever worked with a city planning department? It seems their process is to slow things to a pace that will discourage most developers and visionaries.
4. Self-Inspired Behavior: The power of loving what you do and becoming very good at it
True entrepreneurs and on purpose people do not need supervision because they are fully engaged in the tasks at hand and they know who they are. They are connected to their responsibilities and work roles.
It’s amazing what happens when you are clear about what you want. Opportunities will be attracted to you.
Remember: Motivation is a myth. The pursuit of your interests requires no motivation because you enjoy them. Interests compel you—compel means to be pulled or attracted. You require motivation only for things that don’t interest you. If you need motivation, you must question why.
Job security is a myth. Only you can take personal responsibility for your life by determining what you would like to contribute and understanding what you find personally fulfilling.
Now what? Below are some action steps to get you started in the right direction that will allow you to discover your purpose and passion.
1. Job security is a myth! You can ensure your future only after you take personal responsibility for the value you can add to the workplace and to society. Pass this on to others. Make sure your kids (other people’s kids, if you have none) are encouraged to consider becoming an entrepreneur. Remember: 90% of all new jobs will come from small business, not big business.
2. Self-employment is one the few ways to ensure you don’t become unemployed.
3. Are you one of the 70% who has thought about starting your own venture but have not acted on it? If your answer is yes, list your bright ideas now. Why haven’t you acted on your dream? What’s holding you back?
4. Do you know someone who has put off the dream of becoming an entrepreneur? Think about how you can encourage that person.
5. Have you lost your job in the past few months? Has someone you know been laid off? You must be clear about your perfect job. Stop going to job fairs. Start listing all the factors that make up your ideal opportunity.
6. If you are going into business for yourself, remember the four critical elements that must be present for success, based on Larry Farrell’s research.
• You must be passionate about your business. If your venture is only about making money and you don’t love your product or service, forget it. You are doing it for the wrong reasons. Rarely will the effort be sustainable.
• You understand the relationship between your product offering and your clients.
• You move quickly to innovate and improve.
• You are self-inspired to act. You don’t require supervision or motivation to engage an activity. Inspiration is a natural consequence of the good work you are doing.
7. If you are not interested in being an entrepreneur, work for an organization with an entrepreneurial vision.
8. Bigger is not always better. Ask the former employees of Enron and Lehman Brothers.
9. No matter the economic conditions, many individuals and organizations still thrive.
10. Confirm your purpose and passions by outlining the exact steps to take to discover what really is important to you in your life.
11. Motivation is a myth. The pursuit of your interests requires no motivation because you enjoy doing them. Interests compel you—compel means to be pulled or attracted. You require motivation only for things that don’t interest you. If you need motivation, you must question why.
12. If you are out of a job or wondering about your next steps, now is the time to embrace change. People living on purpose build their life’s directions on their own personal strengths and desires, not those of others.
13. Start now. There has never been a better time.
Start now! Take your personal or business life to the next level with the right assessments for your needs.
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About the Author — Ken Keis, Ph.D., President of CRG, is a global expert on leadership, wellness, behavioral assessments, and life purpose. In 28 years, he has conducted over 3000 presentations and invested 10,000+ hours in consulting and coaching. His latest book, The Quest For Purpose: A Self-Discovery Process To Find It And Live It!, is available at thequestforpurpose.ca. He is also the author of Why Aren’t You More Like Me? Discover the Secrets to Understanding Yourself and Others, and co-author of Deliberate Leadership: Creating Success Through Personal Style. He co-created CRG’s proprietary development models, and has written more than 3.5 million words of content for 40 business training programs, and over 500 articles. Ken’s expertise includes assisting individuals, families, teams, and organizations to realize their full potential and to live On Purpose!