Business And Financial Wisdom You Can Put To Work


Personal Growth
  Organized Links to Powerful Resources  
Escape Commoditization, Frustration And Boredom

From time to time, we hear an entrepreneur say something like, “I get bored selling the same things to the same people. I want to come up with new things and meet new people.”

Entrepreneurs as a group tend to thrive on change and novelty, which explains this reaction in some cases. Also, increasing complexity and frustration can cause entrepreneurs to lose their sense of excitement about what they do.
Perhaps it costs more this year to get a sale. Maybe the rewards are being eroded, and the business isn’t as profitable. Maybe there’s been an increase in the number of competitors in the market. All these issues, and many more, can be summed up with one word: commoditization. For many entrepreneurs, commoditization saps all the fun and excitement out of activities they used to enjoy.

The trick is to transform this situation into one filled with a sense of excitement and freedom without undermining or abandoning everything you’ve achieved so far. To do this with the least amount of pain and suffering, you need to be able to strategically build on your existing strengths to escape the trap of commoditization.

Deepening Your Value Creation.

One of the greatest assets any entrepreneurial business has is its client base. It’s generally much easier to increase revenue by focusing on existing relationships rather than trying to build new ones with people who don’t know you. One of the best ways to escape commoditization is to ask:
How can we create more value for our existing clients/customers based on the relationships we already have with them?
It’s important to remember that this game is not about you. Every success in your business comes about because of value creation – some solution you deliver that addresses your clients’ and customers’ D.O.S.™: their dangers, opportunities, and strengths.

The relationships you have provide you with the foundation for creative responses to others’ needs. However, entrepreneurs often get caught up in thinking about themselves the way their industry thinks about them, solely in terms of the products and services they deliver. If you do this, you buy in to a point of view that commoditizes your capabilities, in addition to the products or services you offer. The way to escape this is to think of yourself in a slightly different manner. Here’s an example: If you’re a financial advisor, rather than identifying yourself by that title, say instead:
“I am an entrepreneur with a specialty in financial advice.”

This subtle shift can liberate your thinking, freeing you from the limitations of your industry or market and giving you room to use all your skills, experience, and talents. Businesses based on packaging the entrepreneur’s wisdom and charging for it provide endless opportunities for growth and differentiation, and have the agility to escape industry dangers. Their value rests inside the business, not in industry products, processes, or affiliations.
What else can you do for the people you already know? How can you package and sell your abilities, and strip away all the other activities that encumber you and aren’t profitable?

When you start to look at what you’re already delivering, the ways your business creates value, you have the opportunity to take your organization and your relationships to the next level. This, for many entrepreneurs, offers the greatest challenges, rewards, excitement, and long-term stability – all of which are better than starting from scratch.

Thinking Like An Intellectual Capitalist.

Instead of identifying yourself by the products you sell or the title your industry gives you, you define yourself as an entrepreneur with a specialty in a particular area.

This shift allows you to come up with creative responses to others’ needs — opening you up to the possibility of doing anything that will create value, not simply acting as a channel for industry goods and services. It also allows you to shift your focus to your biggest asset: your existing relationships.

From Wisdom to Intellectual Capital.

All the things you’ve learned from your experience in business and all the things you know about your clients and customers represent a great body of wisdom. The first step — thinking of yourself as an entrepreneur — lets you capitalize on that wisdom to create value.

For many, all that wisdom is a loss-leader, the thing they give away for free in order to sell an otherwise undifferentiated product. Unfortunately, this still leaves them at the mercy of a commoditized marketplace where competitors can undercut them based on price.

Thinking like an Intellectual Capitalist is about seeing, valuing, and charging for that wisdom as your primary business activity. Only at this level are entrepreneurs truly able to free themselves from the constant pressures of commoditization and competition. This is because, instead of selling a commoditized product, they are now in the business of selling a Unique Process™ of their own creation.

What do we mean by a Unique Process? Just as ordinary capital is property that can be leveraged, intellectual property is a specific thinking process with demonstrable value that you can sell. Your wisdom creates value by responding to your clients’ and customers’ dangers, opportunities, and strengths. The trick is to package what you do that’s unique and turn it into a product that you can sell.

Packaging gives others a way to perceive, expect, and value the experience they have with you. You can turn this experience into capital by naming it, offering a graphical overview that demonstrates how it creates value at each stage, and ultimately giving this Unique Process a life that’s independent of you. Once your process is packaged, you don’t necessarily need to be present at every sale because the packaging helps others understand, communicate about, and refer your process. Eventually, you may even choose to license this process to others. Clients in The Strategic Coach Program™ are doing this in many different industries. Without exception, those who have chosen this path end up feeling more in control of their futures and more energized about the possibilities for growth and innovation that a Unique Process opens up.

The Intellectual Capitalist Statement.

Thinking like an entrepreneur begins with a statement: “I am an entrepreneur with a specialty in ...”

Thinking like an Intellectual Capitalist starts by being able to say, “I am the creator of The [X] Process.”

Here’s an illustration: Imagine two people sitting beside each other on an airplane. One asks the other a typical question: “So what do you do?”

The other answers, “I’m an independent financial advisor.”

“Ah,” answers the other passenger.

But what if the answer were different?

“I’m the creator of The Money Simplification Process.”

“Oh?” the other passenger asks. “What’s that?”

It’s a more open-ended answer, and as the entrepreneur explains the various steps in the process and the value they create for participants in the process, the listener could very easily imagine what it would be like to be in that process. They may even enroll themselves in the idea without the entrepreneur ever having to do any “selling.”

Questions about what products are sold and who provides them don’t even come up, because, really, these are not things most people genuinely care about. What they want are solutions for their problems, not specialist industry information. The value in this exchange on the airplane is all about the entrepreneur’s wisdom and the relationship between the two people.

When your unique, packaged wisdom is your primary identity in the marketplace (with commodities as secondary by-products), you become an Intellectual Capitalist, not a salesperson. You enjoy a special distinction.

The first step is to identify how you create value. The second step is to package and sell this value creation. And next, we’ll talk about the third step: making your process so unique that you ultimately transform your entire industry

From Entrepreneur to Intellectual Capitalist.

To briefly recap: Thinking like an entrepreneur begins with acknowledging the wisdom you’ve accumulated as a specialist in your field — as someone with a set of talents and a special insight into the lives of a certain group of people — then focusing your career on that, rather than on industry products and services.

When you package this wisdom, making it distinct and easy to grasp, you move into the realm of being an “Intellectual Capitalist.” You are the possessor of a Unique Process™ that consistently produces repeatable results, and you’re able to charge clients for each step in that process. You sell products merely as part of this larger problem-solving method.
This process becomes the most valuable capital in your business. And it’s yours.

From Capital to Transformation.

As you use this packaged process to create results, people will notice — not just your customers, but others within and even outside your industry. They will see the value in what you’re doing.

This is how most Industry Transformers come to be: accidentally. They’re just focused on creating a solution in their own specific area, then discover over time that they’ve tapped into a larger principle that can be applied across a variety of situations. Rewards start flowing their way — far beyond what they imagined or could create on their own — because others appreciate that this new method generates better results with fewer of the obstacles they’re used to having to deal with. The entrepreneur’s former competition may even wind up becoming their customers as they adopt this new working strategy.

Dissemination Is The Difference.

What sets an Industry Transformer apart is his or her ability to disseminate Intellectual Capital. They’ve come up with a new way of doing things, then packaged it in such a way that it’s easy to communicate and understand. But the package also allows it to move away from the entrepreneur while retaining all of its original quality. Others can be trained to do exactly what the entrepreneur does, then go out and apply these principles on their own.

This exponential outward movement is what causes an industry to be transformed. Effectiveness is the proof of the value of Intellectual Capital: Its worth is evident when it’s applied. This demonstrable difference draws in others who want to participate in what you’re doing, either as clients or customers, or as distributors or promoters — many of whom would never have noticed you or met you before. Since Intellectual Capital gains more distribution channels this way, it has more of an impact, and the whole endeavour becomes more and more lucrative.

For the most successful Industry Transformers, their impact and the rewards it generates are merely by-products — though often highly motivating and enabling ones. Their primary focus always comes back to their original audience and to finding new ways to create value for them. The activity, then, can be sustained indefinitely because it always cycles back to a solid foundation and a clear purpose.

Of course, this is a long process that takes place over a period of years. It involves a great deal of experimentation along the way, with the help of an audience that gives constant feedback about what works and doesn’t — usually by writing checks for what works and not writing checks for what doesn’t. The wisdom of the Intellectual Capitalist constantly expands throughout the process until they eventually find that they have actually become an Industry Transformer due to the impact their Intellectual Capital is having.

A Lifetime Endeavour.

The path from entrepreneur to Intellectual Capitalist to Industry Transformer is one that The Strategic Coach Program supports, for those who are interested in pursuing it. Not everyone in the Program has this as a goal, though many find that the evolution begins to occur naturally over time as they continue to focus and refine their business activities. Some also, undoubtedly, become inspired by the experiences of the other entrepreneurs around them who are creating remarkable results through this kind of transformation.

Building a business on your growing wisdom can keep you, as an entrepreneur, from ever becoming bored. It allows your business to give you opportunities, excitement, direction, and rich results — and never run out of potential for more.

© 2007 The Strategic Coach
The Strategic Coach

Corporate Memory Builders
Smart Taxonomies
Communities of Practice
Powerful Questions
Insights and Know How
All Personal Growth Material Is Courtesy Of The Strategic Coach. All Rights Are Reserved. Used With Permission.

         TeamStart Publishes Trusted Business and Financial Wisdom

TeamStart is a registered trademark owned  by Info L inc. Copyright to articles indicated in article. The rest is copyright © 2016 Teamstart and Info L inc.