Monday, July 24, 2006

Would people invest in you?


Here's a scary question: if you had 10 minutes to present your "career" as an investment opportunity, would people invest in your career? How much would they invest? What return would they expect?

Treating your career like a corporation is not a new idea. Brian Tracy, the super-motivational speaker and author, has been encouraging people, for the last 15 years, to treat themselves as the "CEO of their own personal services corporation."

In my own life, I've always treated myself as a free agent, working on contract (by choice) for corporations in the 90s. I only worked as a "permanent employee" for a publicly traded corporation for 7 months, after which time I promptly quit.

Back to the scary question. If nobody would invest in your career, then that is not necessarily bad news. It just tells you that your career might not be going as well as you THINK it is. There's nothing like an objective opinion to help one get rid of self-delusions.

If people won't invest in your career, don't get mad at them. Ask them "why not?", then calmly listen to what they say. Here are some stuff they might tell you:
  • "Well, you don't seem really passionate about it."
  • "You don't take charge of your professional development."
  • "Your salary hasn't been increasing over the years."
  • "I'm afraid your job is a prime target for outsourcing to India."
Once again, don't get mad at them. The truth might hurt a little, but it will help you get back on track to have a great career.

Dangerous: the illusion of communication


Nothing is more dangerous than the illusion of communication.

In business, it is risky to think that you communicated a message when, in fact, the recipient either did not get the message or completely misunderstood your intention.

A lot of people update their profile on Linkedin and then email the update to hundreds of connections who don't really care to receive such an update.

It's not that people don't care about you, it's just that they're thinking, "What's in it for me?"

A better way is to email them something useful, like a document summarizing your professional expertise or executive knowhow, by using Once the recipient downloads that document, you are immediately notified by email.

Only then do you KNOW, for sure, that the message went through and, more importantly, you know WHO really cares enough about you to download your document.

Free CRM

3:00 is great as a simple tool to manage your Linkedin contact information.

Sure, is much more powerful, with real-time dashboard metrics and indicators and everything.

But it's quite complicated to use. is a good place to start, and it can also be used as a PRM application (partner relationship management).

In fact, your Linkedin connections are more like partners than customers.

What's the difference? Partners exchange non-monetary value, whereas customers give up monetary value for a specific product or service that you provide.

Non-monetary value, which Alvin Toffler talks about extensively in his new book Revolutionary Wealth, can be information, goodwill, insight, ideas, opportunities, etc.