It could be said that a lost job, or no job, is simply an opportunity to change course. Job security and a steady paycheck are becoming less of a possibility, particularly in Lansing’s volatile economic climate. So if you want to future-proof your livelihood, read on. One solid choice that will stay with you despite economic factors, living locale, downsizing, outsourcing, cutbacks, layoffs, shutdowns, slowdowns or meltdowns is to choose this:
Entrepreneurialize Your Talents
I can see eyes rolling as I write this, but look at it this way: If you constantly strive to improve yourself, you reduce the likelihood of being replaced, reduced or rebuffed. You create an inner strength and vision for yourself, your family, your life and livelihood once you commit to yourself the following: No matter the form of the storm around you, you will find ways to make yourself invaluable to your boss, your company and ultimately your own business.
Entrepreneurship is the only job security you will ever have. Once you declare for yourself that you are an entrepreneur you make a commitment to constantly reinvent yourself , your offerings, your capabilities and your worth as an individual and a valuable player in resurrecting Lansing’s economy.
Regardless of the form your company takes, be it a brick-and-mortar locale, one-on-one meetings with clients or a remote business via the information superhighway, you will be in charge of your own personal sustainability.
Know this: Entrepreneurs aren’t born. Rather, they emerge from an inner sense of creativity. Sometimes that creativity is spawned by an urgent necessity like a sudden job loss – and there are plenty in Lansing as of late – but creativity is the key.
So if you want to join the ranks of personal empowerment by way of entrepreneurship, then end the ride on the hamster wheel. Break out of the cage, shed the rat suit, cloak up in something fresh and hit the field, road or keyboard!
This exercise might help you on the path to prosperity on every level, rather than wallowing in emotional and financial poverty. Ask yourself these questions and make the time to write three answers. Once you start writing, you may be surprised to see 10 more answers appear as you begin to free your mind. Open up your thinking! The key here is to not restrain your thinking, rather to dream big dreams. Dreaming is a great place to breed creativity. Bringing it down to reality is the next step.
First step is to think with abandon!
While writing this, I received a quote in my e-mail inbox, from Chris Widener, which was indeed timely because it fits what I’m saying. Kudos to Chris for saying it better, “You were made for success––created for unique and magnificent destiny! Dream the extraordinary! Pursue your passion with faith and tenacity and you will bring that destiny into reality.”
Take the entrepreneurial challenge:
Don’t just read this… write your answers! No cheating!
1. What motivates and impassions me?
2. If I could choose any type of business and not have a single worry about financial or time constraints, what type of business would I choose? (These are your ideals.)
3. Given my current life commitments, what are my non-negotiables (must-haves) for a career?
4. What professional endeavors (business) can I embark upon that meet my non-negotiables?
5. What professional endeavors (business) can I embark upon that have the greatest potential of meeting my ideals (listed in answer two above) and my non-negotiables?
The first time you look at these questions, it may feel daunting, but I encourage you to take as many tries as it takes for you to empower yourself and dream of the entrepreneur you want to become.
Here are a few ideas that might stimulate your thinking process:
Change your environment
I often find myself at the Everybody Reads bookstore in Lansing browsing and flipping through magazines and books to help spur my creativity. Sometimes just the energy of the bookstore or a café like Grand River Coffee in East Lansing gives me an idea. I remember a few days ago, driving to an appointment I came up with three viable business ideas. I wish I had the time to run with all the business I dream up in a day’s time.
For example, maybe you would enjoy running a mobile auto detail business, especially during the harsh winters in Lansing. Or maybe you could operate a valet service for shopping centers like Sam’s or Costco – especially in those cold weather areas like East Lansing, Michigan! Perhaps you would find pleasure in providing nonmedical caregiving services to the elderly. How about managing a top-notch, affordable residential cleaning service for the busy, dual-income households?
Go on a (traditional) news fast
Certainly this is not the first time you have heard of this concept, but have you ever tried it? Garbage-in-garbage-out applies here. I implore you to digest this concept. How purposeful is the doom-and-gloom attitude that permeates our news pipelines and seeps into our psyche? Think about it for a moment; it’s all around us. Our coworkers, community members, neighbors, clerks, friends, family, the radio and TV inundate us with traditional, unhealthy news. I bet no one reading this can make it through an entire day without hearing or delivering a comment about awful, challenging or depressing news.
Here’s my not-so-subtle, highly optimistic suggestion: Replace the traditional news pipeline with the nontraditional news pipeline, just for one week––and see how you feel.
Bury yourself in a new news/good news break
I challenge you to try it for one week. Feed your mind with uplifting information and inspirational stories from sources that interest you. Ingest only good, awe-inspiring, creativity- building, self-empowering and dream-spawning input––for one full week. You may be amazed at what your mind creates after just one day. With the dark winter skies upon us, it’s a great time to refuel with bright ideas and food for thought!
A sample list online includes:
Business Solutions brought to you by BizJournals
Jay Conrad Levinson’s Guerilla Marketing
Christine Comaford’s Mighty Minute from Mighty Ventures
Jeffrey Gitomer’s Sales Caffeine
Anything by Paul Schutt’s Issue Media Group
Michael Gerber’s E-Myth and website
Subscribe to e-zines with good news that fits you, your interests, your hobbies and your inner passions. Keep the good news coming! Once you feed yourself new input, make time to do a little inner searching of what makes you excited, impassioned and completely fired up, then you will be well on your way to finding your entrepreneurial core and living the life you dream – true job security is there for the finding. It’s your job to find it.
No matter what type of entrepreneur you become – maybe even like this shrimp farmer, you will be in charge of your personal sustainability – no longer a victim to this economic climate or the boss who keeps you down. You will lead your own life into the dream you envision. Remember, there is no perfect next step, only a next step. Make it a leap!
We can view our world as one suffering from economic hardship, or we can take advantage of the rich entrepreneurial infrastructure that surrounds us; dream up a little creativity; capitalize on needs and wants of our customers-in-waiting, hire a smokin’ hot marketing consulting team to get your back – and bust out of the rat trap once and for all!