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  • Think Like a Company Because YOU Are One

    I’ve thought a lot about the distinction between company and individual this week. If you analyze the makeup of the company you work for, then you notice that the various business functions are relevant in your own life. In a world where, everyone is for themself, you have to understand how you can make yourself a successful business, without relying on others. Today, I examine 5 different roles each and every individual must play in a brand YOU world.  Don’t neglect any of them.

    The roles of Me Inc.

    1) Chief Executive Officer. You are in charge of yourself, which makes you the CEO. At the end of the day, personal failure or success lies in your hands. You make the final decision which company you want to work for or start. You are the decision maker in every aspect of life, but you, just like company’s, have little control of external factors (such as weather, politics, etc). As the decision maker, you can choose your own destiny and that is empowerment.

    2) Chief People Officer. Who you surround yourself with is a representation of who you are. As the CPO, you are required to recruit and retain powerful allies. You need to meet people who have shared interest, but also have skills that compliment your own. For instance, if you are a talented musician, then you need to connect with a business expert in order to further your career. The more people you can “recruit” to be part of your network, the better equipped your business will be to succeed. Think about it, we are all in Human Resources (HR) because we have to locate and befriend people in order to have a social life and professional network. The hardest part is finding the right people and giving them enough value so you can have a substantial business advantage.

    3) Chief Information Officer. Your role as CIO takes a few forms. First, everyone in the world needs to know how to create a website. If you don’t, you are at a severe disadvantage when establishing Me Inc. on the web. Second, you need to be able to pay attention to your industry (area of interest) and follow it. I have hundreds of news feeds as we speak. Follow the trends and research on a continuous basis because they lend to your credibility.

    4) Chief Financial Officer. Everyone in the world has to be their own CFO because at some point in our lives, we will be accumulating wealth. Stop relying on financial advisers and start learning how to invest your money. Do you really want someone else controlling your money? I think you’d rather ensure that you are getting the most ROI possible. Businesses make and lose money and so do we. We all need to assume this role because it’s how we fund our lives over time.

    5) Chief Marketing Officer. A CMO typically owns the PR arm of a business as well. As your own “personal PR” person, you need to represent yourself at all times. You are a spokesperson for your personal brand whether you like it or not. Everything you say and do can be used for or against you. Also, you need to put your marketing hat on and never take it off. Every new person you meet can change your life, so have your best marketing pitch ready. Learning about online marketing, direct marketing, public relations, advertising, etc, is going to play in your favor.

    Start thinking like a company. I don’t care who you work for because at the end of the day, you are tasked with recruiting people, marketing yourself, handling your own finances and for learning the technical skills required to survive in this ever changing world of uncertainty.

    Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages.

    Posted in Career Development, Networking, Personal Branding, Success Strategies
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