5 Questions To Ask As A 'Business-Of-One'

This post is part of the Professional Independence Project series. Go to school. Get a degree. Get a good job. Accumulate benefits. That’s how people used to think of a career. But that rarely happens in today’s world. Instead it looks something like this: Go to school. Get a degree. Look for a job. Find a job. Lose a job. Find a job. Hate a job. Quit a job. Rinse and repeat over and over again. Benefits? What benefits? Retire… really? Maybe someday. Yes, a lot has changed in the past couple of decades. No longer can you rely on one employer to provide full security. They may provide a paycheck on a regular basis, but health insurance, retirement benefits, regular pay increases, even holding on to the job itself is anything but secure in today’s world. Which means as an employee, relying on your employer for long-term stability and security puts you at risk. Statistics show that more people are becoming self-benefit providing, self-income deriving, and CEO over their own careers than ever before. And those statistics aren’t going down in the coming years. In fact, if anything, freelancing and contracted help are quickly becoming the new norm in today’s employment world. And with good reason. In many ways, it benefits the employer. They can get great, qualified people working for them to do the job they desire. And when the position changes, they can easily move on to another person that’s equally qualified with the new skills needed. They can pay more upfront, knowing they won’t have a lot of investment in training and benefits. Which means they can move quicker with an idea in this fast paced world. And while that seems like it puts all of the cards in the employers’ hands, that isn’t necessarily the case. When you think of yourself as a business owner, you can become better at the skills you enjoy, and approach businesses that are more than willing to pay you what you are truly worth.

5 Questions To Ask As A 'Business-Of-One'

They are five ways to make sure you are on track for your future, and to make sure you approach your new role as CEO with energy. Here are five questions you should as yourself as a "business-of-one."

1. What are your current skills?

Have you ever sat down and taken inventory of your current skill base? I’m not talking about it in the same manner you would list it out on a resume. Instead, look at your skills from the point of view of what you’re good at and what you enjoy. This can lead you to determine where to develop further interests, where to find areas you can build upon and become even stronger in the work force, and possibly find a niche or a specialty in which you can move forward with style.

2. Where is your value?

When you work for an employer, you work every day on duties as assigned. To develop your own strategy, it’s more important to focus in on where your value is – what other companies would find value in as well. Value comes from what you can do better than others around you. What do you enjoy doing? What skills or knowledge have you developed over time? Today’s businesses are focused on quick results, so if they don’t have to train you and you can accomplish things quicker than the norm, you become a valuable asset to have.

3. Where’s your comfort zone?

Do you like working exclusively for one company? Or would you be happy giving specialty ideas to a variety of companies in non-competing fields? Do you like to dive deep and be personal with one or two resources, or can you share your talents with many at a time? Use these as your strengths when approaching opportunities with new potential businesses/clients. They need you; you determine what’s right for you and showcase how you will benefit each other.

4. How can you make money for others?

Companies value people that can contribute to their bottom line. How can you do that best? What skills do you have? How can you show that to potential businesses within your niche or preferred areas? This is where your examples can pull you ahead of others competing for the same business. You have value; never be afraid to charge what you are worth.

5. How are you taking charge of your future?

Resumes are a thing of the past. Instead, each of us in charge of creating a living, breathing profile that changes and grows with everything we do. You have a LinkedIn profile, right? (And if not, why not?) Have you ever Googled yourself? What comes up? Businesses and people care more than ever about reputation. And the quickest way to impress a new potential business is to have the facts there and searchable any time they choose.

Want to take control of your career?

If you want to take control of your career, check out our fall series, the Professional Independence Project. Throughout the month of October, we will be sharing expert advice and insight on how you can build a successful career you love. Sign up now to get five FREE video tutorials that show you how to market yourself to anyone, anywhere. Start your path the professional independence. Sign up today!       Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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