People often ask me how will the Internet change the world in the next 50 years. As someone who created one of the earliest web sites in the world, my response is that in the fifteen years since I created that web site we have seen far less than 5% of the impact and change that the Internet will have on our world over the next 50 years.
I wrote Wind In Your Sails: Vital Strategies That Accelerate Your Entrepreneurial Success to help entrepreneurs think differently. So that they will act in a way that is aligned with their purpose, values, and culture. I hope that my book will do the same for you.
My three children are 25, 23, and 19. They have experienced most of that first 5% change that the Internet has brought about as we enter the information age. What I tell my children, and anyone their age, is that they will need entrepreneurial thinking to succeed in their career. The world will change even faster than it has for me and they need the nimbleness that entrepreneurs have to navigate those changes.
If you are from the same generation as my children, here is some entrepreneurial thinking that will help you in your career, whether you choose to be an entrepreneur or not.
Stick With Your Values
To start, you have to be clear about your own values. My son Kevin has had the good fortune to do three eight-month coops during his time at university. While each coop has provided him with awesome new experiences and skills, it has been amazing to watch and help him understand the core values of the organizations he has been with and how they align with his own values. What Kevin has realized as he graduates from university and starts his first job is that he only wants to work at a place that aligns with his values. It drags too heavily on him to be out of values alignment.
Discover the Market
In Wind In Your Sails, I write about how entrepreneurs have to discover what a market values by finding a pain point they people really need to be solved. The bigger the pain and the better the solution, the more people are willing to pay.
When looking for a job, make sure that you understand what markets the company is in, what problem they customers are suffering when they come to them, and how the company solves that problem. Then spend time figuring how the role that you want fits into the company, market, prospects, and solution. All roles relate to this in some way, even if it is indirectly. You will show up differently and be highly valued when you come prepared with this knowledge.
Think Like An Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs sense a market need, come up with a solution, and then set about selling their solution to the market. As the information age grows and changes all of our businesses and organizations, it becomes critical that you look beyond your little corner of the world, to see the biggest picture in your organization. My children have used computers since before they could walk. Technology and change is a way of life to them. Use your experience of the constantly changing technological and social experience to anticipate where your organization will need to change soon. This big picture thinking is what characterizes entrepreneurs and hopefully you too.
Network and Connect
As I walk down the street seeing someone with their head buried in their smart phone, I know that they are disconnected from the world around them. If you want to make a big impact, you have to connect and work with other people. My recent Lead Change Group post on Synergy, highlights the power of people coming together, connecting, and then overcoming challenges as a group. What they create is so much greater than the sum of the individuals involved. Your entrepreneurial and strategic vision can only be leveraged if you get out there, network, and connect with people by getting into conversation with them.
The world is changing faster and faster every day. Yet the new generation just entering the workforce is the one best able to thrive with all the change that is coming. Align your values, figure out your markets, think like an entrepreneur, and network to connect. The result will be a job you can thrive in and a career that you will enjoy while you make big changes in the world.
David Greer has a mission: to take his 35 years of entrepreneurial experience and share it with others to accelerate their success. Spend one hour reading his book, attend a one hour talk with him, or get one hour of 1-to-1 coaching and you will have 3 concrete action items that will shift and accelerate your business within 90 days. Connect with him @djgreer and learn more at coachdjgreer.com.