Wednesday, October 31, 2012

You INC - The New Face of Business

In a recent post over at, I described a friend of mine who turned down a $150,000 a year job to start his own consulting company. How does someone in this economy get offered such an opportunity and have the confidence to turn it down? This friend of mine is a new class of worker. Those I refer to as "YOU Inc." Their loyalty and commitment is to themselves and their personal development, not to a particular employer. In the world of YOU Inc., employers are the customers and they benefit from these workers  commitment to excellence.

In today's environment of downsizing and hyper competition between companies, your number one employer should be YOU Inc. This does not mean starting a business, but viewing yourself as an enterprise serving up a high value product - YOU.

Instead of being in fear of losing a job, YOU Inc. turns the tables by making themselves so indispensable, employers fear losing them. YOU Inc. treats the employer as a customer who pays invoices after the delivery of a quality product or service. Those who deliver the best products receive higher revenues.

If you operated a business, would you arrive every day unmotivated and deliver lackluster performance? Of course not. Well, you do operate a business. YOU Inc. is the business and you are the product.

YOU Inc. Inventory

You along with all of your positive attributes and talents are the inventory. This includes the energy and attitude you bring to your work.

Like any other enterprise, you must update, upgrade and replenish your inventory through training, workshops, education and certifications. Look for new skills to enhance your product. Spend time each week brainstorming how to make your employer's life easier, just as a business does for its customers. A new idea that saves money or increases output is the breakthrough innovation your employer is ready to purchase.

YOU Inc. Stock Holders

Your stock holders are all of those who rely on you for support whether family members, friends or your community. Part of your job is to keep them informed and satisfied with your performance.

For immediate family members, this means bringing home the bacon, which includes getting the best pay for the right work. This can also include coming up with sources of income beyond your job, such as investments or a side business.

For friends and community, this means using your skills to improve their lives as well. If you volunteer, use what you learn on the job to provide meaningful help to your community members. If you are a lawyer, donate law services. An IT worker, help install computers or write software. Corporations now compete with each other to illustrate they are compassionate members of society. YOU Inc. must do the same.

YOU Inc. Competition

YOU Inc. has very little competition because YOU Inc. innovates and creates, while others simply watch the clock. As an IT consultant for many years, I witnessed this play out in project after project.

One example from last year is of an employee at one of my customers who was the quintessential example of YOU Inc. in action. He referred to the computer users he supported as his customers. Many internal IT departments throw around this buzz word, but this guy meant it.

He arrived to work before everyone else and he was often the last guy to leave (along with me, the consultant, who gets paid to stay late). He received special recognition from the head of the company in a department of more than 200 people. However, this was nothing special to him as he saw himself as doing his job. He went right back to work serving his customers.

YOU Inc. and the Economy

YOU Inc. does not suffer during economic downturns because they are either the last people to be let go or have recruiters banging down their door. In the event they lose their job, other employers are ready to snatch them up. Or in the case of my friend, decide to start their own business with the full confidence they can always find another job if needed. 

Entrepreneurship is not an occupation or a lifestyle, but a mindset. Entrepreneurs view the world through a lens of problems and solutions. Their desire is to change the world and create value in the marketplace. The employee who exhibits such a mindset is the golden child for his or her employer and the envy of co-workers. 

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