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19 2011

Love, Legs & Leverage

Syndicated from: The Essential Message

Love, Legs & Leverage. “Should I add another activity or revenue stream? Should I rework my entire business model or make a drastic change in my career to take advantage of an opportunity or a trend in the market? Or, should I just keep doing what I am doing?” If you haven’t already gone through a stage in your life when you’ve agonized over one of these questions, you undoubtedly will soon. We all come to crossroads in our careers and businesses — and yesterday a colleague friend called me up to talk through one of the questions above. We were talking about public workshops, product development, keynote speaking, coaching and consulting, but I realized that our conversation could have applied to just about any industry or business. The simple response would have been to ask which path best reflected his ‘Essential Message’, but I resisted that temptation in favor of looking more deeply into the issue. Truth is, all the activities he was considering were simply different ways to express or deliver his Essential Message, so they all met that criteria. So what to do? It came down to three things: love, legs and leverage. Love. This is pretty straight-forward; do you love doing it? As we explored in ‘The 7 Bets to Make in a World Where Almost Everything is a Gamble‘, you tend to get better at what you love doing, and you are more resilient through the tough times when you love what you do. Loving what you do is key to long-term success and satisfaction in any endeavour. If you don’t love it, don’t do it. Legs. If it’s got legs — and by that I mean it holds out the possibility to become a BIG opportunity — then it’s worth putting your time and energy into it. Purely from a business perspective, it makes no sense to throw a whole bunch of resources at anything if it doesn’t have ‘legs’. Leverage. Does it leverage a unique skill, ability or passion? Does it let you leverage your time? Does it leverage your existing network and contacts? The first kind of leverage gives you a competitive advantage. The second kind of leverage gives you the opportunity to earn more than an hourly wage. The third kind of leverage gives you advantages that may end up looking a lot like good luck. No leverage? No dice. In looking at these criteria, it became clear that all three had to have check marks beside them; it isn’t enough to score high in one department if the other two rank low. So the next time you find yourself asking yourself one of those major life, career or business questions, ask yourself about love, legs and leverage… Essentially yours, Michel Neray Chief Differentiation Officer The Essential Message

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