Using Your Core Values to Find Your Niche

I’m an expert at complicating things, particularly if they’re to do with my inner world!  And I’ve found one of the reasons that causes me to take this route.  Taking myself too seriously!

For instance, I’ve been working really hard (there’s a sign that something’s amiss!) at finding a simple way of describing how I can help people through coaching.  Everyone (I know, this is a major generalisation!) says that it’s best to have a niche.  And this niche is best described so that it addresses either a problem a potential client has or a solution s/he wants.

Along the way I listened to various marketing experts, and by the end of it all I had so many things to consider, including Cialdini’s 6 principles of influence – reciprocity, consistency/commitment, authority, social validation, scarcity and liking.  Oh yes, and James Lavers’ 6 principles of Distance Persuasion to this – belonging, envy/emulation, ownership, significance, status and validation (go to http://www.nlpconnections.com/nlp-business-sales/13327-free-report-reveals-6-principles-distance-persuasion.html to find out more).  Then add onto this my beliefs etc about how I need to be in relation to this all – and in comes taking myself too seriously!

However, after struggling for over a year, it just fell into place.  Just in case you want to know the words, they are that I want to help individuals and organisations make work an enjoyable and satisfying experience!

And what helped it fall into place?  First of all, reminding myself to lighten up!  This fits with one of my core values, happiness.  Within this value I include fun and enjoyment.  So this helped me live this value more truly.  Then I played on another core value, well-being, which includes openness.  For me to be open I still my mind and let my intuition come to the fore (another part of well-being).  I asked myself “what is the common theme in my work with people and organisations?” and up popped the thought “well you want people to be happy at work”.

Now within positive psychology research indicates that happiness is made up of four components (I thank Lucy Ryan for this information from http://www.positiveinsights.wordpress.com):

pleasure (the fun stuff in life, emotional, delight, momentary)

passion (engaging activities, in flow, fully absorbed, challenging)

purpose (meaning beyond self, gives you fulfilment, bigger picture)

people (relationships that nourish, interest and fulfil you, giving and nurturing friendships, people you love who love you back)

I believe this summarises what I want work to be for everyone.  However, not everyone would know about these components – hence replacing the word ‘happy’ to give a bit more clarity yet still simply stated.

For a person who espouses living your values, I was a bit slow on the uptake to use my own!  This is just proof that strengths and core values are NOT interchangeable!  And I’m finding new ways all the time.

 

 

Richard Branson’s 5 secrets to business success

Here are Richard Branson’s 5 secrets to business success: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/217284.

If you want a job in an organisation, rather than set up your own, these secrets may help you look at any recruiting organisation and check what culture they have. In so doing it helps to know what’s important to you – what do you value? This includes a variety of matters (in no particular order):

Firstly, what personal values do you have that need to be present in the organisation? For instance, if you value teamwork and you find out that the company seems to stress individual contribution, with competition between colleagues being encouraged, you are unlikely to flourish in such an environment. Your values are part of what motivates you – if your core values are not in align with the organisation it will certainly be at best neutral and at worst a real de-motivator and energy sapper.

Secondly, which type of organisation appeals? For instance, a relative of mine knew he wanted to work in non-profit organisations as that fits his values – indeed that’s what he has always done and he’s really enjoying his work. I knew I liked working in the private sector, yet knew I wouldn’t want to work for a company that is involved in producing and selling cigarettes because I didn’t want to support something that is detrimental to people’s health.

Thirdly, what sorts of role interest you? One client of mine was pondering about being a nurse. However, once she knew more about her own working style preferences, she recognised that she would find the relative level of similarity in what takes place each day and limited opportunity to use her initiative would mean she would quickly become bored – not good after investing time and money to train!

Fourthly, where do you want to work? This includes options like town/country, different parts of UK, another country, no set location, etc. You may appreciate that for a period of time to get your career up and running, your ideal location may not be possible, but later on it will. I found that it was fine to work in a city as long as it was feasible to live in the countryside. It could be the opposite for you!

Finally, under what working conditions do you wish to work? I was reading a discussion on the Guardian Career Forum (http://careers.guardian.co.uk/forums) and one person liked her existing working conditions as it gave her so much flexibility yet her job was not what she wanted – and she had the opportunity to apply for internal promotion into a job she’d really enjoy but the terms of employment meant she would lose the flexibility. In that situation she needed to look at the picture as a whole and include the longer term too.

This summarises what people, who are looking for work they’d love and enjoy, need to do too!

Being Positive and its Impact on Success and Happiness

One of my values is around being positive. It’s great to read an article about leading people who are prepared to give examples of the power of being positive. Here is such an article on Times Online: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article5432837.ece