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Open Wider

Open Wider

Starbucks doesn’t sell coffee. They create an experience with an environment, complete with accessories, lifestyle choices, and culture.

Home Depot isn’t a hardware store. It’s a solution to your improvement projects, a trusted resource for your redecorating needs, and a supplier for your new home.

There are dozens more cases that come right to mind. If you twist my arm, I’ll list many more. But the point I’m illustrating is this: if you look beyond the basic element of what it is you do, you’ll find a larger playing field, with more options, and more opportunities. But how is this a life hack, Chris? I’m glad you asked.

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See Yourself as a Solution, Not a Role

Do you go to work? Do you have a job? Answer this next one honestly. Do you define yourself by the title you hold?

If you answered yes to these questions, the hack is this: you will go much further in your career if you turn that thinking upside down and view yourself as a finder of answers, a solution to problems, instead of whatever the title is that you hold.

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Are you a customer service agent? What are the boundaries of that role, versus the boundaries of someone who guarantees the satisfaction of every customer you come in contact with? How does being a software developer change when you consider yourself the owner of the end user’s experience? Would you treat your position differently if, instead of a systems administrator, you thought of yourself as the woman responsible for ensuring everyone else’s day went smooth?

Servants of a Cause

The very best implementations of this seem to come when you view yourself as a servant. Someone responsible for every aspect of your masters’ (your customers, your boss, your colleagues) experience, it’s a humbling and yet empowering thing to perceive things through that particular lens.

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How does your current role change when you consider yourself the servant of a cause? Not the servant of a specific individual, but the entire cause. What if you’re a project manager? How can you make everyone you serve happy with their experience under your care? What’s the greater cause you serve? Bringing your projects in on time, under budget, and without defects is great on the books, but not especially rah rah to you or the team. What if you raised a different flag on your project, and instead challenged everyone to complete the project such that things were better all around than when you started the project? How would that be received?

Even in Your Head

Another trick of this is all internal. If you told absolutely no one about your change of thinking on this, but instead, went about your way with all this change of heart inside your head POWERING what you do, I think you’ve already won. It’s all in how you perceive the situation that everything comes around to the way you see it. Open your head wider, and you’ll find solutions that have always been there.

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It works for me.

Chris Brogan is Community Developer for Network2 a guide to internet TV, as well as coFounder of PodCamp. He keeps a blog at [chrisbrogan.com].

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Last Updated on October 9, 2018

How to Write a Personal Mission Statement to Ensure Peak Productivity

How to Write a Personal Mission Statement to Ensure Peak Productivity

Most of you made personal, one sentence resolutions like “I want to lose weight” or “I vow to go back to school.” It is a tradition to start the New Year with things you want to achieve, but under the influence resolutions are often unrealistic.

If you’re wondering when will be a good time to write a mission statement, NOW is the time to take a personal inventory to make this year your most productive year ever. You may be asking yourself, “How am I going to do that?” You, my friends, are going to write personal mission statements.

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A large number of corporations use mission statements to define the purpose of the company’s existence. Sony wants to “become the company most known for changing the worldwide poor-quality image of Japanese products” and 3M wants “to solve unsolved problems innovatively”. A personal mission statement is different than a corporate mission statement, but the fundamentals are the same.

So why do you need one? A personal statement will help you identify your core values and beliefs in one fluid tapestry of content that you can read anytime and anywhere to stay on task toward success.

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For example, Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire came to the realization that he had lost track of what was important to him. After writing a personal mission statement, we saw him start his own business and he got the girl, Renee Zelleweger. Not bad, wouldn’t you say? A personal mission statement will make sure that, through all the texting, emailing and constant bombardment of on-the-go activity, you won’t lose sight of what is most important to you.

Mission statements can be simple and concise while others are longer and filled with detail. The length of your personal mission statement will not be determined until you follow this simple equation to create your motivational springboard for 2008.

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To begin your internal cleansing, you will need to jot down the required information in the following five steps:

  1. What are your values? Values steer your actions and determine where you spend time, energy, and most importantly, money. Be specific and unique to yourself. Too much generalization will not be as effective. It is called a “personal” mission statement for a reason.
  2. What are three important goals you hope to achieve this year? Keep your list of important goals small and give them a date. It is better to focus on the horizon and not the stars. Realistic goals are keys to ultimate success.
  3. What image do you hope to project to yourself? How you see yourself is how the world will view you. Think about this carefully. Your image should encompass what you look like and feel after you have achieved your goals.
  4. Write down action statements from each value describing how you will use those values to achieve your three goals. Start with “I will…”
  5. Rewrite your statement to include only your action statements. Make portable copies for your wallet, car or office.

If you followed the steps above, congratulations! You have just written your first personal mission statement. Your personal statement will change over the years as your goals change. You can have more than one statement for the different compartments of your life such as your career, family, marriage, etc.

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Writing a personal mission statement is an effective method to ensure your productivity is at its peak. It is an ideal tradition to start so that when next year rolls around, the outdated practice of resolutions will be something you permanently left in the past.

Featured photo credit: Álvaro Serrano via unsplash.com

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