Are you an entrepreneur hungry for sustained success and professional growth? Do you dream of reaching the pinnacle of your niche field? If you are to achieve these heady aspirations, it is imperative that you resolve to push your career forward at all times.
Want to find out what you must do to unlock your full potential in the competitive world of modern business? If so, be sure to read on.
Enroll in an online MBA course
Enrolling in an online MBA course is one of the best things that you can do to maximize your entrepreneurial potential. The lessons that you learn via your master of business administration program of choice will teach you all about the intricacies and nuances of leadership. With this knowledge in place, you will be much better placed to step up to the executive level in the future in your career.
Like any other business-related degree program, your online MBA will help you fortify your entrepreneurial foundations. In this course, you will cultivate a practical managerial skill, learn how to lead strategically and ethically, be taught both operational and technical capabilities, and refine your critical thinking core competence. Unlike traditional business programs, however, as its name suggests, your online MBA will take place solely via the web. This means that you will not have to bend your schedule too much to enroll in this program simply because you will not have to travel to an educational institution to attend your lectures. You will be afforded complete control of when, where, and how you study, and this will ultimately help you remain focused on the day-to-day challenges you face in your workplace. When you enroll in an online MBA, it is a win-win situation!
Build your personal brand
The accredited qualification that you obtain from your online MBA program will allow you to apply for higher-paying, authoritative roles in the world of business. However, you cannot afford to rest on your laurels at this incredibly delicate time in your career. Yes, you may have worked hard to obtain your degree, but that does not automatically mean that you will unlock your full business potential any time soon. If you are to take your career to the next level truly, you need to lay solid foundations for your career in the months immediately following your online MBA graduation.
Getting your foot in the door is one thing… smashing that door down and leaping over the threshold is another thing entirely. If you want to solidify your position in your niche industry for years to come, you must set about the all-important task of building your brand right away. To achieve this crucial feat, you must:
1. First and foremost, figure out who you are
What areas of your industry do you excel in? What motivates you? What qualities do other people often see in you? Which jobs/roles drain your energy and leave you feeling fatigued? Are there any tasks that you can perform for years on end without feeling worn out or overwhelmed? These are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself as soon as you graduate from your online MBA, as they will help you paint a better picture of what type of businessperson you are. With this image in your mind, you will find it easier to create a personal brand that truly represents you, your strengths, and your values.
2. Determine what it is you want to be known for
Your personal brand does not just reflect your current self; it is a roadmap of your professional projection and where you want to take your career in the future. It is for this reason why you must take some time to consider your end goal. Determine what it is you want to be known for, think about where you want to be in a decade, and consider the legacy you want to leave behind once you retire. This will benefit you in two ways: it will show you to be an incredibly career-minded and professional individual in the current day, and it will future-proof your personal brand for ongoing scalability and development.
3. Define your target audience
Building a personal brand is a lot like putting together a company marketing campaign. First, you need to consider the wants, needs, and specifications of your audience if you’re to appeal to the right people at the right times in your career. Of course, before you can start appealing to a specific audience, you need to define who this audience is. There are many individuals and entities that you could target in this instance — industry thought leaders, particular recruiters, companies of a certain stature. No matter who your target is, you need to promote yourself in a way that appeals to them.
4. Find yourself a role model
When you take on the challenge of building your personal brand, it is highly recommended that you find yourself a role model. Somebody that has been where you want to be, done what you want to do, and achieved the success that you wish to achieve. With this mentoring figure in mind, you should find it easier to create an ideal persona for the type of businessperson you wish to be/become. If it helps, you could even ask your role model to discuss some tricks of the trade with you. Should your mentor be gracious enough to grant you this opportunity, be sure to ask him/her the following questions:
1. How did you break into the industry?
2. What steps would you recommend me taking in the current climate?
3. What direction do you believe the industry is heading in?
4. Do you recommend any specific trade associations or professional committees?
Once you have answered these questions, then you should have an idea of who else in the industry fits this idea, and you can study them to see how they’ve achieved their position.
5. Perfect your elevator pitch
Your elevator pitch is a 30-60 description about who you are, what you want to achieve, and what ideas you have. This short statement will offer you the opportunity to make a great first impression on the leading figures in your industry, which is why you must take some time to perfect it. For advice on how to perform this crucial task, click here.
6. Get yourself organized
If you are not naturally an organized person, you are going to need to cultivate this all-important quality — pronto! Unfortunately, you are not going to get very far with your career growth endeavor if your day-to-day workflow is consistently hampered by poor planning, which is why you must resolve to get on top of your schedule once and for all.
When you decide to take on the challenge of optimizing your organization skills, you should start by managing your dedicated workspace. Keeping a tidy desk will benefit you in so many different ways — in both a physical and a mental sense — which is why you should ensure that all of your resources have their own individuals’ homes.
This will help you pinpoint your documents/tools whenever you need them, which will help you remain productive, efficient, and on schedule throughout each working day. What is more, keeping your desk clutter-free will be sure to have an energizing effect on you. Ultimately, this will have a positive impact on your mental attitude, your motivation to work, and your overall focus.
To find out how today’s top business owners organize and manage their daily schedules, be sure to check out Entrepreneur.com.
Set yourself some SMART objectives
Are you the type of person that thrives off of focus and direction? Do you want to improve your skills as a decision-maker? If you answered yes to both of those questions, you should set yourself a number of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) objectives as soon as you submit your final online MBA paper. Once you take this goal-setting route, you will inject a much-needed sense of purpose into your day-to-day professional life. You will have something to work towards at all conceivable points, which in turn will provide you with the motivation you need to take your career to the next level consistently.
Not sure what SMART goals should be setting yourself? Here are just a few examples that will be sure to have a positive impact on your career progression:
- Attain a promotion that allows you to take on more managerial responsibilities in your place of work
- Find a new job that better utilizes your specific strengths and provides enhanced learning opportunities
- Complete a career progression task at least once a week (this could entail you sitting in on meetings, shadowing certain people, attending specific networking events, etc.)
- Identify your biggest skill/knowledge gap and figure out a way to fill it
- Push yourself out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself in as many different workplace scenarios as you can (these scenarios could include leadership, strategic planning, and cross-departmental collaboration)
Enhance your online presence
In today’s competitive digital age, you must cultivate an optimized online presence for yourself. Once you perform this all-important task, you will make it easier for clients/employers to find and contact you, you will have the capacity to reach and engage a wider range of people, you will build a stronger personal brand for yourself, and you will increase your credibility as a service provider in your niche industry.
There are a whole host of things that you should be doing day in, day out to enhance your online presence. These important tasks include completing your social profiles, linking back to your work samples, producing engaging content via your own blog platform, signing off each message with a professional email signature, and taking full advantage of LinkedIn recommendations.
Most important of all, work hard!
No matter which pieces of the above advice you put into practice, you need to work incredibly hard if you are serious about unlocking your full potential in the world of business. However, your talent will only get you so far in your personal development endeavor. If you fail to dedicate time and effort to your daily tasks, you are not going to obtain the promotions you need to take your career to the next level.
Quite simply, you must work hard at all conceivable points if you are to reach, engage, and retain the attention of your superiors. Of course, your motivation to operate in a highly dedicated fashion will waver from time to time. Do not beat yourself up when you lose focus in this sense — at the end of the day, you are only human!
However, fear not, as there are things that you can do to free yourself from the stuffy grip of procrastination. Here are five things you can do to motivate yourself to work hard when you’re not in the mood:
- Think about how proud you will feel when you complete the task at hand
- Compartmentalize your tasks and break them down into smaller, bite-sized chunks
- Never be afraid to take a break, as this will help you to refocus your mental capacity
- Set yourself deadlines and make sure you enjoy some downtime (this means turning your work phone off while you are at the dinner table!)
- Celebrate your little victories and reward yourself whenever you work particularly hard (make sure that your celebrations do not impact your workflow/schedule in the future)
Are you ready for that next all-important step in your career? If so, be sure to heed the advice and guidance laid out above. Then, enroll in an online MBA course, build your personal brand, get yourself organized, set yourself some career goals, enhance your online presence, and work hard — if you do all of that, you will be sure to unlock your business potential in no time.
[Editor’s note: This article has been produced by one of our trusted partners.]