I have decided that it has been long enough I have meddled around in the business and entrepreneurship world. It is high time for me to buckle down on what I love to do and focus 100%.
In the past 8 years since 2nd year of uni (2009), I have started and run a total of 6 businesses. They have earned me some cash and taught me a number of lessons.
I learnt about running a business (graduated as an Electrical Engineer) and the importance of
- business relationships
- communication skills
- public speaking
- digital marketing
and a hell lot of more that I didn’t get taught at uni.
The skills and connections I have gained have not only been helpful in business but also at my day job as a Project Engineer at Water Corporation. I really enjoy doing as it gives me the variety of projects plus a chance to grow my people skills but is not where I see myself in the next few years.
Being a young professional myself, I quickly realised that what I learnt at uni for the four years wasn’t going to cut it. If I wanted to be good at my job and make a difference I needed to rely more on the essential work skills (communications, people management, team building, relationship building, leadership and more).
Luckily I was already working on them while at uni through starting my business, reading numerous business + personal development books, attending a number of courses/workshops and conferences and practicing them in AIESEC – a youth leadership organisation. Also as part of the graduate program, professional development training courses were provided bolstering what I had learnt so far.
If it hadn’t been for the experiences so far, I would have struggled in doing a good job to my true potential. A number of my friends have great ideas and skills but lack in the so called “soft skills”. They get disadvantaged when it comes to communicating those ideas effectively, leading teams, applying for a new position or going up the ranks to make a difference. It is this problem that I would like to tackle with my set of skills & interests (engineering, entrepreneurship, people skills, podcasting & digital marketing and future thinking).
The Plan Forward
Recently Gihan Perera gifted me the book “The Thought Leaders Practice written by Matt Church, Peter Cook & Scott Stein” after his talk at the Professional Speakers WA chapter meeting in May 17. After having read the book and considering the advise from mentors and friends, I have decided to focus on building a practice around my thought leadership and authority.
I am not exactly sure what the practice would look like. The aim is to help develop leadership skills among young professionals and fuel their career growth. Along with creating a community for support among each other.
The practice will be set up as “Road To CEO” as it encapsulates the journey required to reach the top. I plan to interview CEOs of various organisations to capture their journey and advice for a podcast. The aim of the podcast is to inform, inspire and entertain young professionals in taking positive steps for growing their careers. It will also help develop my expertise and authority in career development.
Road To Authority will serve a dual purpose; digital marketing service provider for professional speakers and accountability and tracking tool for my journey.
3 Main Goals For Next Three Years
1. Young Professionals Helped/Impacted
The 3 year goal is to help atleast 1,100 young professionals unleash their potential and make a difference through their careers. That works out approximately to 365 each year. I am still working on how the impact will be measured.
In the book Matt Church talks about annual income levels and compares them to martial arts belts, he mentions that typically the journey from zero to black belt is three years. At the moment I am at $0 with Road to CEO. There is no message, keynote or an audience. So it is pretty much starting from scratch.
By 30th of June 2018 I will have earned $120,000+ for the financial year 17-18 and achieved my white belt.
By 30th of June 2019 I will have achieved the green belt ($360,000+) and by 30th of June 2020 the black belt ($720,000+).
This is a goal that I believe is achievable but also does scare me a little bit (I guess it is a good thing). This will also help me achieve my CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) with Professional Speakers Australia
3. Recognised as an Authority/Thought Leader
Either my name or Road To CEO is considered when the topic of career development, leadership skills and future proofing your career comes up at conferences or organisations in Australia.
This goal will be a tricky one to measure but will try to figure it out as I go. It maybe number of corporate clients, speaking engagements etc.
Accountability & Tracking Progress
With this journey of becoming an authority and a thought leader, I would like to make you my accountability partner.
Every Sunday I will post a blog post highlighting
- my plans for the coming week
- what I was able to achieve the past week
- lessons learnt and any challenges faced
The first one will be out on 4th June 17. Inspired by Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income, every month I will also publish my income reports till I achieve the Black Belt level starting from income earned in July 17.
Support + Training
I realise that this is a task I can’t achieve with support, advise and training. Though I have learnt a lot if things in my business journey so far, there is a long road ahead. At the moment I have Ron Gibson as a mentor and am part of a couple of mastermind groups. After having achieved the white belt I will most probably enroll in Matt’s program The Thought Leaders Business School.
I also plan to interview other speakers and thought leaders for the grow your speaking business webinar series. Also being a member of PSA it will give me great insight into the business of speaking. Then there are always books + courses/workshops to assist me further in this journey.
I am really excited to embark and share this journey with you, would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below about what you think of the plan and any advice you might have.