Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher. If you could turn back time, what would you do differently in your career? In this episode, Jeff presents 5 things he would do differently if he was just starting in his career.
1. I wouldn’t be afraid to fail.
People avoid taking on difficult assignments because
1) They don’t want to risk failure.
2) They don’t want to look like a know-it-all or a brown-noser.
It is better to take risks than to sit on the sidelines.
Taking risks sets you apart from your peers and sets you up to succeed more quickly.
Nothing can grow in your comfort zone.
If you are concerned about what your peers will think about you, always remember that whoever is trying to bring you down is already below you.
Q: What fears keep you from taking on more responsibility at your job? What do you think will happen if you try to do something new? What rewards are you missing out on by not even trying?
2. I would dream bigger.
Focusing only on what is immediately in front of you will keep you from moving forward.
When you start dreaming bigger, you will begin to anticipate and get excited about what will happen next.
Dreaming allows you to overcome your limiting beliefs.
Having big dreams will help you develop new habits.
You will realize what you need to do to get where you want to go.
Your anticipation and desire will give you the inspiration to take action.
You will more clearly see the connections you need to make to accomplish your dreams.
Q: What is an example of a limiting belief you might have? Why is it so important to deal with limiting beliefs? If you could do anything you dreamed, what would it be? What limiting belief, if there is one, keeps you from pursuing that dream?
3. I would have invested more in my personal growth.
Invest in yourself.
Buy books or online curriculum, webinars, classes, conferences or even personal coaching.
This has proven to be a huge return on my investment and a significant source of my growth.
Q: What resources have been the most valuable to your personal growth so far? How would your life look different if you had not made that investment?
4. I would have focused more intensely on my personal brand.
Corporations are not the only ones that should be focusing on branding themselves.
A personal brand will help you stand out from your competition
Regardless of your tenure, do not wait another day to begin working on your personal brand.
Get very clear on your unique value proposition, your strength, and then polish it until you master it.
Q: When you are looking for someone to be a mentor, boss, or colleague, what characteristics do you look for? What do you think it would take to build your brand to reflect characteristics as well?
5. I would have found a mentor more quickly.
If your company has a mentorship program, take advantage of it. If it does not, actively start building a relationship with a potential mentor by taking them for coffee or lunch.
The right mentors will use their experience to supplement what you have learned in the classroom and in trainings. They also can help you network and build your personal brand as well.
Be prepared for every meeting with questions and an update on how you implemented the advice they gave you in the last meeting.
If you are not meeting with a mentor at least once per month you are missing a huge opportunity.
Q: What questions do you have that could be best answered by a mentor? Why do you think it is more beneficial to get advice from a mentor than to try to figure things out for yourself? What, if anything, has prevented you from getting a mentor? What do you think could be different in your life if you had a mentor from the time you were in high school?
Make a vision board or a vision book for your life. A vision board/book is a place where you put all of your big dreams so that you can easily review them. Don’t rush through this process. Divide your vision board or book into three sections and label one section “professional,” one “personal,” and one “financial.” Put at least one big goal in each of the sections and start a practice of reading those goals out loud to yourself every day. As you do, take some time at the beginning of the week to consider what you need to do that week to move you closer to your goals.
You are going to need a mentor for every stage of your life. If you have a mentor already, think ahead 5 years. If you accomplish your goals for the next five years, what kind of mentor will you need to reach the next level? Find someone who matches those characteristics and do something this week to start to nurture that relationship. It could be simple as reading a book they wrote or studying an initiative they started and writing an email sharing one way that their work has impacted you so far. Doing this will put you on their radar and set you up for success when you decide to ask them to mentor you in the future.
Get together with some of your close friends or coworkers and have an honest brainstorming session where you give each other feedback on your personal brands. Have each member of the group ask the following: What am I well known for doing? Which of my skills stands out? What are my values? Encourage group members to give both positive and negative feedback so that you can see the part of your character and image that you need to work on.