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How to Unleash Your Best Ideas and (Possibly) Turn Them Into a New Business

How to Unleash Your Best Ideas and (Possibly) Turn Them Into a New Business
People say your best ideas come when you least expect it. When you don’t squeeze your brain to think.

And they’re right. It does.

Nick Woodman invented GoPro after he went surfing and realized he couldn’t take pictures of himself.

    Photo Credit: Pitchi

    J.K. Rowling got the idea of Harry Potter as she sat on a 4-hour delayed train from Manchester to London.

      Photo Credit: Legion of Leia

      Ingvar Kampard launched Ikea after becoming frustrated at a table he bought and couldn’t fit into his car.

        Photo Credit: Jobstreet

        I’m not suggesting you should drop everything you’re doing to do whatever the heck you like (e.g. skip work to hang out with friends or watch TV instead of polishing up your resumé), to be like these successful entrepreneurs and hope that you’ll come up with a million dollar business.

        Overnight success doesn’t quite work like that. And it might be awhile until you do come up with a brilliant idea.

        So in the meantime:
        Focus on work and build a safety cushion against a crummy life. BUT whenever your mind is not “at work”, think about your current situation and how you can improve it, or how you can make an impact in this world.

        Because when you do, you bump up your chances of creating something that could be the next revolution. You may just think of something people might absolutely love that nobody has thought of, or has yet managed to push out in public. Something that could make you insanely famous.

        You could be the first.


        Now you might not feel motivated to do some extra thinking, especially when the bigger things in life demand more of your attention like your job, your customers, your body, your partner, your kids. But let me ask you, is this how you want to live the rest of your life, day after day after day? Abiding by society’s rules on what it takes to be successful?

          Probably not.

          The truth is, most of us get too caught up working at companies that only want us to perfect 1 or 2 skills, (Possibly 3 if your boss really believes in you). The longer we push ourselves towards this path, the less we care about uncovering our hidden talents.

          Don’t let yourself sink into this pitfall. Learn how to get out of it.

          If you’re told to keep a record of people you meet for business, don’t just ask for their phone number. Snapshot their business card and jot down notes.

          If you’re told to create Facebook ads (even though there’s no increase in profits for the past few months), learn to market on Instagram or Medium.

          If you’re told to answer customer support calls, create a FAQ page on your company page that tackles the most common questions.

          There’s always a better way of doing something, and sometimes thinking outside the box could lead to a newfound strength and eventually a full-fledged business.

          “You can’t have a million dollar dream with a minimum-wage work ethic.”
          ~Stephen C. Hogan

          Remember, our brains weren’t designed to master a few things. They were designed to expand, to become sharper and give us the edge to outdo everyone else.

          Because of that, you can still discover your hidden talents. Just keep thinking about how to improve your current situation and the world — it’s the first step great creators take to build their empire.

            Photo Credit: Funders & Founders

            So if you want to make an impact like these successful entrepreneurs, don’t just blindly work for a salary. Realize what you could do better at. And make it happen.

            Because one day, it could change your entire life. 

            Featured photo credit: Startup Stock Photos via startupstockphotos.com

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            Tiffany Sun

            Aspiring Writer

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            Last Updated on October 13, 2020

            How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

            How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

            Have you been stuck in the same position for too long and don’t really know how to get promoted and advance your career?

            Feeling stuck could be caused by a variety of things:

            • Taking a job for the money
            • Staying with an employer that no longer aligns with your values
            • Realizing that you landed yourself in the wrong career
            • Not feeling valued or feeling underutilized
            • Taking a position without a full understanding of the role

            There are many other reasons why you may be feeling this way, but let’s focus instead on learning what to do now in order to get unstuck and get promoted

            One of the best ways to get promoted is by showing how you add value to your organization. Did you make money, save money, improve a process, or do some other amazing thing? How else might you demonstrate added value?

            Let’s dive right in to how to get promoted when you feel stuck in your current position.

            1. Be a Mentor

            When I supervised students, I used to warm them — tongue in cheek, of course — about getting really good at their job.

            “Be careful not to get too good at this, or you’ll never get to do anything else.”

            This was my way of pestering them to take on additional challenges or think outside the box, but there is definitely some truth in doing something so well that your manager doesn’t trust anyone else to do it.

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            This can get you stuck.

            Jo Miller of Be Leaderly shares this insight on when your boss thinks you’re too valuable in your current job:

            “Think back to a time when you really enjoyed your current role…You became known for doing your job so well that you built up some strong ‘personal brand’ equity, and people know you as the go-to-person for this particular job. That’s what we call ‘a good problem to have’: you did a really good job of building a positive perception about your suitability for the role, but you may have done ‘too’ good of a job!”[1]

            With this in mind, how do you prove to your employer that you can add value by being promoted?

            From Miller’s insight, she talks about building your personal brand and becoming known for doing a particular job well. So how can you link that work with a position or project that will earn you a promotion?

            Consider leveraging your strengths and skills.

            Let’s say that the project you do so well is hiring and training new entry-level employees. You have to post the job listing, read and review resumes, schedule interviews, make hiring decisions, and create the training schedules. These tasks require skills such as employee relations, onboarding, human resources software, performance management, teamwork, collaboration, customer service, and project management. That’s a serious amount of skills!

            Are there any team members who can perform these skills? Try delegating and training some of your staff or colleagues to learn your job. There are a number of reasons why this is a good idea:

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            1. Cross-training helps in any situation in the event that there’s an extended illness and the main performer of a certain task is out for a while.
            2. As a mentor to a supervisee or colleague, you empower them to increase their job skills.
            3. You are already beginning to demonstrate that added value to your employer by encouraging your team or peers to learn your job and creating team players.

            Now that you’ve trained others to do that work for which you have been so valued, you can see about re-requesting that promotion. Explain how you have saved the company money, encouraged employees to increase their skills, or reinvented that project of yours.

            2. Work on Your Mindset

            Another reason you may feel stuck in a position is explained through this quote:

            “If you feel stuck at a job you used to love, it’s normally you—not the job—who needs to change. The position you got hired for is probably the exact same one you have now. But if you start to dread the work routine, you’re going to focus on the negatives.”[2]

            In this situation, you should pursue a conversation with your supervisor and share your thoughts and feelings to help you learn how to get promoted. You can probably get some advice on how to rediscover the aspects of that job you enjoyed, and negotiate either some additional duties or a chance to move up.

            Don’t express frustration. Express a desire for more.

            Present your case and show your boss or supervisor that you want to be challenged, and you want to move up. You want more responsibility in order to continue moving the company forward. Focus on how you can do that with the skills you have and the positive mindset you’ve cultivated.

            3. Improve Your Soft Skills

            When was the last time you put focus and effort into upping your game with those soft skills? I’m talking about those seemingly intangible things that make you the experienced professional in your specific job skills[3].

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            Use soft skills when learning how to get promoted.

              According to research, improving soft skills can boost productivity and retention 12 percent and deliver a 250 percent return on investment based on higher productivity and retention[4]. Those are only some of the benefits for both you and your employer when you want to learn how to get promoted.

              You can hone these skills and increase your chances of promotion into a leadership role by taking courses or seminars.

              Furthermore, you don’t necessarily need to request funding from your supervisor. There are dozens of online courses being presented by entrepreneurs and authors about these very subjects. Udemy and Creative Live both feature online courses at very reasonable prices. And some come with completion certificates for your portfolio!

              Another way to improve your soft skills is by connecting with an employee at your organization who has a position similar to the one you want.

              Express your desire to move up in the organization, and ask to shadow that person or see if you can sit in on some of their meetings. Offer to take that individual out for coffee and ask what their secret is! Take copious notes, and then immerse yourself in the learning.

              The key here is not to copy your new mentor. Rather, you want to observe, learn, and then adapt according to your strengths.

              4. Develop Your Strategy

              Do you even know specifically why you want to learn how to get promoted? Do you see a future at this company? Do you have a one-year, five-year, or ten-year plan for your career path? How often do you consider your “why” and insure that it aligns with your “what”?

              Sit down and make an old-fashioned pro and con list.

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              Write down every positive aspect of your current job and then every negative one. Which list is longer? Are there any themes present?

              Look at your lists and choose the most exciting pros and the most frustrating cons. Do those two pros make the cons worth it? If you can’t answer that question with a “yes,” then getting promoted at your current organization may not be what you really want[5].

              The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. —Mark Twain

              Here are some questions to ask yourself:

              • Why do you do what you do?
              • What thrills you about your current job role or career?
              • What does a great day look like?
              • What does success look and feel like beyond the paycheck?
              • How do you want to feel about your impact on the world when you retire?

              Define success to get promoted

                These questions would be great to reflect on in a journal or with your supervisor in your next one-on-one meeting. Or, bring it up with one of your work friends over coffee.

                Final Thoughts

                After considering all of these points and doing your best to learn how to get promoted, what you might find is that being stuck is your choice. Then, you can set yourself on the path of moving up where you are, or moving on to something different.

                Because sometimes the real promotion is finding your life’s purpose.

                More Tips on How to Get Promoted

                Featured photo credit: Razvan Chisu via unsplash.com

                Reference

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