2011 will be a turning point for many, if not most, Americans.  The realization that companies, businesses, corporations, organizations, and yes, even local, state, and federal governments will no longer assure jobs and take care of employees will finally be realized.

Yes, many unemployed and underemployed people will need to create their own jobs by starting their own little enterprises, business opportunities, or entrepreneurial ventures.  But whether you work for yourself or are still fortunate to be employed, you must not only begin to think and act like an entrepreneur, you must master value-based entrepreneurial skill sets. In an ever-changing, competitive, and often hostile economy / job market, the ONLY source of job security is the security you provide yourself and your family.

And this can only be accomplished by becoming more valuable to the marketplace every day by branding yourself an entrepreneur.  The two major benefits of branding yourself an entrepreneur are 1) You give yourself a better chance of remaining with and growing in your current job or business, and 2) If you are forced to seek out new employment or self employment, your value-based entrepreneurial skills will serve you well in landing a better opportunity quickly and painlessly.

Value-based entrepreneurial skills:

Value-based entrepreneurial skills are skills that have a significant value to a company or organization (even your own) that extend beyond those expected skills required to perform your job well. Regardless of what job you have, what you are paid, how long you’ve been employed, or your experience, without developing and mastering value-based entrepreneurial skills, you will have little control over your future.  Said differently, if you do not invest in yourself and embrace the concept of expanding your market value on a daily basis, you will become worth less (worthless) to the marketplace and will place your future in jeopardy.  On the other hand, if you commit to expanding your value-based entrepreneurial skills on an ongoing basis, you will be introduced to unlimited opportunities in the year and years ahead.

Though there are virtually unlimited value-based entrepreneurial skills to learn and master, the foundational principles upon which all value-based entrepreneurial skills are based up are noted below.

The 8 principles to brand yourself an entrepreneur:

1)  Always go the extra mile. Always do more than what is expected of you – in EVERYTHING you do!  Going the extra mile “is the very best investment you can make in your future.”

2)  Contribute to new business development efforts. If you’re in sales, produce more.  If you are not in sales, you must think of how you can help increase sales and new business.  Today, everyone, including those in non-sales positions such as human resources, accounting, and security must help contribute to new business development efforts.

3)  Do NOT major in minor things.  Time management is one of the greatest value-based entrepreneurial skills there is.  Prioritize and invest your time and energy doing those few things that will make the most difference.  If you major in minor things and spend time on things that don’t produce significant results, plan on being out of work or out of business.

4)  Give more than you receive. Produce more than you are paid.  That’s right, produce more in value than you are compensated for.  There are two primary reasons for this: 1) You will outperform your colleagues and when the layoffs and downsizing come, you’ll most likely be kept on, and 2) What goes around comes around.  When promotions, bonuses, and raises come around, you want to be the first in line to receive them.

5)  Increase you value everyday. Do NOT turn on the television until you have invested 30 to 60 minutes of reading a book, magazine, online article or some type of professional development that will make you more valuable tomorrow than you were today.  In other words, for the financial security and well being of yourself and your family, “don’t go to bed as stupid as you woke up.”

6)  Smile and empower others.  The world is full of negative people who constantly gripe, complain, and whine. Success is NOT attracted by negativity and gloom.  Wake up with a smile and use it throughout the day to motivate and empower others.  When you embrace this philosophy, it will motivate and empower you to greater heights in both your career and your personal life.

7)  Take responsibility. Most people are what I call “exblamers.” Whenever things go wrong, they find excuses or blame others rather than take responsibility.  When you take full responsibility, you take a leadership role and achieve the levels of success you deserve.

8)  Embrace collaboration. Leadership is taking a little bit more of the blame when things go wrong and a little bit less of the credit when things go right.  Leadership is empowering others and valuing differences; not arguing and fighting over them.  Conflict breeds greater conflict; collaboration breeds success and achievement.  It’s time to replace conflict with collaboration throughout society.

Adopt these eight basic principles that will lead to the attainment and mastery of value-based entrepreneurial skills to meet today’s transformational workplace.  The old days and the old ways are gone; and won’t return.  To better protect and secure your future and your family’s future, the Protean Career model requires that we all “brand ourselves entrepreneurs.”


Jay Block is an industry pioneer and the nation’s leading motivational career coach.  Jay is a best-selling author of 15 books, including his latest blockbuster: 101 Best Ways To Land a Job in Troubled Times (McGraw-Hill).  He has a 20-year record of success for creating and recreating the career management industry. His website is: www.jayblock.com