I have an incessant habit of cleaning before the New Year. I can’t stand bringing junk and disorganization into something that feels to fresh, clean and opportunistic as a New Year. Being off for a few days over the November holiday, allowed me to start digging through piles, filing the trash bin and finding old memories. What a good feeling it is to purge the stuff I don’t need and reconnect with my past memories. This year, I came across something I hadn’t seen in many years; my resume.
Looking at it in all its glory took me back to a much simpler time in life. Before houses and business’s, babies and investment portfolios, there was a time that nothing mattered more than what this two page document looked like. Always making sure it was current, fresh and filled with just the right representation of me, took time. I engaged with activities that represented leadership and jobs that took creativity. I worked diligently to achieve my college degrees and worked feverishly to never have gaps in employment that would cause for unnecessary questions from future employers. One could say I took this document all too seriously or seriously just right. In a sea of employees, all seeking out the same opportunities I was, creating a strategic resume was key to standing out.
20 years later and I find myself doing the same thing. Owning my own business has been a dream filled with hard work, relentless activities and finding opportunities to evolve. It has been researching new service lines, doing market analysis of client preferences, hiring staff and partnering with strategic alliances. It is meeting people, finding a brand and building systems that allow it to run seamlessly. Over time, I have had success and failures. Finding more success and fewer failures, has allowed the business to grow beyond me, beyond its employees and into a stratosphere in which it now satiates itself.
My business has a resume the biggest of leaders of the world would covet.
Your business is no different than your working self. It has a brand and reputation that has to be developed, nurtured and protected. It has needs, such as financing opportunities, acquiring staff, finding lending options and building strategic partnerships that depends on its resume. Have you been as concerned with that as you need to be?
Being a leader isn’t easy. You make daily decisions that could attribute to a valuable resume or one that you don’t want to show your closest of confidants. Are you leaving these decisions up to chance or using key strategic documents that ensure you stay on course?
Vision: When I ask business owners what their vision is, most can ramble on about it, that over the course of time, I can pull out the viable pieces that give me a picture of what they are trying to create. It shouldn’t be that hard. It should be easy to sit down, read a vision, declare the pieces and parts and implementation follows easily. It should be quick and simple and not just for your listeners, but for you. When making life or death decisions that could impact your business resume, it should be easy to reach for a document that reminds you, even its creator, what you are creating.
Brand Commitment: If you don’t stand for something, you will become everything. It is easy to spot a lost employee from their resume; you know, those ones that have done something in every industry possible. The employee that has tried everything, found success in nothing. Bounced from here to their, only to continue looking for who they are. Don’t let your business have no heart, which is exactly what will occur if you don’t find your brand and commit to it. Having a seamless story represented on your business resume, will give partners and lenders confidence that you are clear on who you are..and not. Making a commitment to this will lead to synonymous decisions that build experiences in a general theme. I love the story of Tom’s Shoes. There is a business that found their brand commitment, stuck to it and continues to this day making decisions that stay consistent with it. Never wavering from it, has allowed the decisions and opportunities to build the reputation its founder desired from day one.
Annual Plan: Knowing where you want to ultimately arrive, does not tell you how to do it. An annual plan is your day to day plan for what you should do and by when, that will lead you to achieving your vision. It will also ensure you stay on course, in a sea of opportunities that could build your resume or confuse it. A business that makes intentional decisions is one that people want to attach themselves too, invest in and help develop. Creating an annual plan ensures that the yearly actions and implementation is organized strategically, taking advantage of the right opportunities in the right years.
Financial Reports: Truth be told, numbers can make me bonkers. I am one of those people that has a really killer story for every number imaginable. I can’t stand having a singular thing, such a number, represent a story of words that creates a better understanding of truly what is going on; the good or ugly. Whether we like them, loathe them or avoid them all together, numbers are a part of business that is not going away. Proper financial forecasting, reports and audits will ensure that your numbers represent the story you want them to tell on your resume.
I want my business to live with me or without, beyond me and with someone else; which is only achievable by creating it as something outside of me. Having a resume that deeply represents its strengths and successes, its triumphs and partnerships will do just that.