In my previous article, I have discussed the “Keys To Your Future” which are: Focus, Unique, Teamwork, Urgency, Recommit and Enthusiasm. In this article, I would like to illustrate what I mean by Unique.
Everyone wants to be successful in their careers and their lives. I have yet to meet a person who says that they want to be a failure. But, if everyone desires success, why then doesn’t everyone succeed.
Clearly, there is no one single reason. I do believe, though, that one of the primary reasons is a lack of specialization. The problem facing all of us is having too many options. This is becoming more and more true every day.
With the proliferation of information, communication and technology, people are no longer at a disadvantage on where they live, what their heritage is, what language they speak, what their gender is, and so on. Of course, there still are barriers that exist but every day these are crumbling further.
Consequently, we are all faced with a huge array of choices. Up until approximately 100 years ago, most careers were virtually chosen for people based on what family they were born into and what that family did for a living. In today’s world, however, virtually anybody has the option or opportunity to do anything they desire.
To succeed in any professional career, a person must become a master of it. This is even more critical if you not only want to succeed but also want to reach the pinnacle of your profession.
- Professional football players don’t try to play professional golf on the weekends.
- Open heart surgeons don’t practice dentistry in the afternoons.
- Top flight lawyers don’t moonlight as firefighters.
- The top architects don’t pretend to be part-time psychologists.
In fact, top professionals so not only concentrate on their chosen vocation, they even specialize in their field. The medical field is broken into numerous specialties: General practitioners, surgeons (heart, brain, transplant, etc.), pediatricians, obstetricians, gerontologists, gynecologists, optometrists, podiatrists, and so on.
The legal field is also specialized: Corporate lawyers, criminal lawyers, trial lawyers, civil lawyers, family lawyers, etc.
The world of sports is also specialized. There are quarterbacks, running backs, receivers blockers, tacklers, pitchers, catchers, infielders, outfielders, guards, forwards, centers, offense, defense, etc. Specialization is vitally important for anyone in their chosen career.
To succeed in any business, it is crucial to have a detailed business plan. A business plan is a blueprint or map which outlines exactly how you intend to operate your business. The critical questions that a good business plan must answer are:
- What specifically is your product?
- How specifically do you intend to market the product to the final user?
- Who specifically is your target customer or prospect?
- Where specifically will you market your product?
As an individual, you must also have a detailed personal plan. The personal plan is almost exactly like a business plan in that it is a blueprint or map which outlines exactly how you intend to live your life.
The critical questions a good personal plan must answer are:
- Who are you?
- What are your special gifts or talents?
- How do you want to use these gifts or talents in the market place?
- Who specifically is your prospective customer or employer?
- Where specifically do you want to work?
The key to success in business as well as in life is to be unique, to stand out, to be different, and to have a competitive advantage or a unique selling proposition. The best way to be unique or to separate yourself from the masses, is to specialize in one specific area. By doing this, you are able to concentrate your energies on this area and become a master of it. This will enable you to reach the top of this niche. This will make you or your business a very desirable product or commodity.
If you are in a business, decide whether you are going to specialize in price, technology, service, convenience, status, or something else. You must focus your business in a unique niche.
The same holds true as an individual. Are you going to specialize in sales? If so, are you going to specialize in large sales or small sales? What industry are you going to specialize in? What product are you going to market? Or, are you going to specialize in management? If so, what type of company will you manage: manufacturing, service, retail, or other? Obviously, the list is endless.
The key is to take the time to reflect upon who you are and what you want to accomplish. Then, make the decisions necessary to concentrate on your unique strengths, talents and abilities to empower you to rise to the top in whatever you choose to do. This will be a true key to your future.
By Randy Slechta, CEO / President of Leadership Management International, Inc. a global leadership and organizational development company.
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