Chapter 5. Do What Companies Do

Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice: It is not to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved

Williams Jennings Bryan

The CEO of Your Career

Look at this list of powerful names: Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobile, Chevron, Jessica, General Electric, AT&T, Michael. . . . Wait, what? Did a couple of those names jump out at you? No, Jessica and Michael aren't actually two of America's largest corporations. But don't be shocked to see the names of individuals alongside company names. Although it may not seem obvious at first, you have a lot in common with today's companies, whether they are global giants or fast-growing start-ups. Whether you know it or not, Table 5.1 includes you; even if you are employed at a company, you are also in business for yourself.

Table 5.1. Similarities Between Corporations and Individuals

Companies . . .

You . . .

. . . choose which markets and geography to operate in.

. . . choose which industry and geography to work in.

. . . find customers who will pay for their products or services.

. . . find an organization that will pay for your services.

. . . want to grow revenues and profits each year.

. . . want to grow your paycheck each year.

. . . compete against other companies, some of which are in emerging countries that offer lower prices.

. . . compete against other workers, some of whom are in emerging countries that offer lower wages.

You will not be engaged at work if you allow your career to drift aimlessly, rather than ...

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