Business can be fantastically creative and for those at the peak of their powers can reap unimagined rewards.
But with every upside, there is a downside and here are some of the downsides you may come across as you make career decisions along the way.
1. Don’t jump in blindly
It is great to hold the spirit of adventure inside you, but always evaluate changes in career before jumping right in.
Don’t be one of those people who never change for fear of consequences, but always make changes in your career with a reasonably thorough understanding of what you are getting into. Don’t just jump right in!
Also, if you are unsure of what path to take, ask as many other people as possible for their input, always remembering you are the one who ultimately must make the decision and live by it.
2. Concealing your weaknesses
In business it is all too easy to focus on your strengths and conceal your weaknesses. Business is tough and no one wants to expose their weaknesses to the world. But you really must evaluate your weaknesses honestly because understanding them will safeguard you from making the wrong decisions in your career. Also, understanding your weaknesses will ensure you safeguard your personal health because you are not throwing yourself into situations that you cannot handle.
3. Shooting too high
It is easy to think you are going to be the next Mark Zuckerberg and maybe you are, but it is a mistake to set expectations that are beyond your ability to deliver. Trying to do so will make you look stupid and undermine your confidence. Evaluate your abilities honestly and only shoot for opportunities you really can deliver on. As your abilities grow, you will find yourself aiming higher and higher, where the rewards are much greater than where you first started.
4. Crashing the party
Don’t get involved with the wrong people. Sure you can crash the party by selling your way in, but at some point they will realise you are not a good match for them and eventually show you the door.
5. Submersing yourself in Negative Content
Your whole life story is a mix of positive and negative content. This is also true of your career.
If you spend too much time with negative people or listening to too much negative content, it will turn your career negative and can have a devastating effect on you personally.
6. Disrespecting Authority
We all think the boss is a bit of a twit, but if you rage against him he will make your life a misery and ultimately find a way kicking you out with a negative reference. If you find yourself in the wrong place, don’t rage against it, LEAVE.
7. Being too Self Obsessed
Don’t think about you all the time. Business is about the value you bring to other people. If you spend all the time thinking about yourself, you won’t have enough time to understand the problems of your potential customers and your products and services will not be sufficiently targeted to your customers needs for them to buy from you.
8. Meditating on the Hill
You won’t know your market by reading books or conjuring up ideas from afar. To know your market, you have to get out there and engage with the people in that market. There is no better way of knowing your market, than actually living everyday in that market.
9. Calamity Jane
When things go wrong because you have made the wrong decisions don’t threaten to kill the boss. Evaluate what went wrong and move on. Every decision you make in your career, is ultimately your responsibility.
After all, you are the one who must live with the consequences.
10. Don’t play with fire, if you don’t want to get burnt
This is similar to “Don’t jump in blindly”, but basically suggests that there is real danger in stretching yourself too far and that if you want to do business with the big boys, you better be prepared to learn quick and think on your feet.
I hope some of that personal experience was useful.
Stephen (Steve Ryan)