Each of us is a business of one, whether you are a business owner or work for an employer. In the book, Business Model You, the authors Tim Clark, Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur make the point that we need a personal business model in much the same way as a company does. Our personal version needs to be continually reinvented, just as any business does, as the environment changes.
A key component of a good business model is the value proposition that the business provides. It solves some problem that the customer faces and is adjusted as the market changes. Similarly, if you think of yourself as a business of one, you will continually refine the value you provide for your customers or stakeholders.
Sandra* is a good example of someone who successfully reinvented her value proposition. In the early part of her career, she was known for her ability to get ten things done in the time it would take others to do just one thing. She was highly sought after because she could be counted on to get a difficult job done in quick time.
But as she moved into leadership, she realised that her strength was also her weakness. She would often tell herself, “It’s just quicker to do it myself,” rather than explain it to her team. But now the scale and complexity of the problems was dramatically larger. Her employer needed her to solve the strategic problems the business faced, not the tactical issues.
She redefined her value proposition from prodigious ‘doer’ to a leader who could ‘cause’ big results through others. To move up the influence curve, she set herself the objective of gaining stakeholder endorsement for a strategy to capture a new market for her company. She aligned her team and was successful in developing and executing a game-changing strategy. Her unique approach was modelled elsewhere in the business.
Sandra is still seen as a reliable results producer. But importantly, she is now known for producing game-changing results. She has recently been appointed to a high level executive role, to open up a new market in Asia Pacific. The reinvention of her personal business model has given her the satisfaction of making a bigger difference. It has also relieved her from running harder and harder trying to do everything herself.
Is it time to reinvent your personal business model?
Download a one-page personal business model canvas from Business Model You to help you get started.
Best regards, Brian
*Name changed to protect the innocent
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