There are four means by which we can bootstrap ourselves toward happiness through purposeful action. These include:
- Deep love and family commitment
- Meaningful work and career
- Social and political involvement
- Transcendency and spirituality
~ Alexander Green
“Without AMBITION one starts nothing. Without WORK one finishes nothing. The prize will NOT be sent to you. You have to WIN it. The man who knows HOW will always have a job. The man who also knows WHY will always be his boss. As to methods there may be a million and then some, but PRINCIPLES are few. The man who grasps PRINCIPLES can successfully select his own METHODS. The man who tries METHODS, ignoring PRINCIPLES, is sure to have trouble.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The bottom line (no pun intended) is that being generous is a habit that can be developed – and if entrepreneurs take the time to invest in it, it can radically transform their own lives, and that of the people around them.
Developing a reputation as a generous entrepreneur is a product of purpose, vision, character and conviction. If an entrepreneur is simply after building personal reputation without being truly generous, the chances of failure are numerous.
Put simply, generosity must be based on good intentions aimed at promoting the common good within the community.
An entrepreneur needs to clearly understand why they are being generous otherwise they risk being accused of manipulation. Indeed, many entrepreneurs engage in generous acts so that they can attract media attention in order to increase the market value of their company.
However, an entrepreneur needs to understand generosity alone will not provide enough fuel to make the business, no matter how well intentioned it is.
1. It’s a Habit
Generosity is a habit that needs to be developed. An entrepreneur must have a clear vision about being generous, and they must work hard to achieve it. As part of this vision it must be clear to the entrepreneur that generosity is not some sort of a media stunt aimed at boosting the fortunes of the business. Generosity must be practiced in its own right and not as a hidden agenda.
2. Make Money
Business exists to make money. An entrepreneur’s generosity must be a natural extension of the success of the business. There is no point trying to be generous when the business is going broke. Besides operating a profitable business only allows the entrepreneur to be increase the opportunities to be generous with wealth.
3. It’s Not All About Money
Even though the business needs to be functional, its important for the entrepreneur to recognize that money is not always needed to enagage in generous acts. The entrepreneur can dedicate their time to social causes. They can give of their time and knowledge for free.
Take, for example, a business person can start a mentoring programme program for young high school students to learn more about how to start a business. That, in itself, will increase the reputation of the entrepreneur as someone willing to sacrifice their time to share knowledge and expand the cake of opportunity.
4. Make It a Part of the Business Plan
Being generous must not be left to chance. Rather, it should be incorporated into the business planning processes. An entrepreneur must from the outset know what they are able to be genereous with in the evolution of the business. As entrepreneurs get lost in the money-hunt, it can be easy for the ideal of generosity to get lost. Making generosity a part of the business plan will force the entrepreneur to be obligated to the process of generosity.
5. Have a Cause
Undoubtedly there are loads of humans needs in the world, and no-one entrepreneur can resolve the problems. It is important for an entrepreneur to be passionate about a cause so that they do not appear like a hoax. An entrepreneur must embrace the cause with vision and courage, and be able to contribute time and resources to make sure that it is realised.
Many entrepreneurial endeavours have a latent value, something that they add to society, and when an entrepreneur can identify it, they can use that as a starting point for generous activities.
6. Start Inside
This is perhaps the important tip on developing a reputation as a generous entrepreneur because everything that a business does reflects the character and content of his or her life. When a paradox exists between an entrepreneur’s generosity and their private life, it can spell doom. The entrepreneur must always make a conscious effort to ensure that they are generous with employees and family.
As the old adage goes, if it doesn’t begin in the home, it will not go far. Generosity must begin within the entrepreneur’s own organization.
In essence, generosity can open up new opportunities for the endeavors of the business person.
At the same time, generosity has a boomerang effect which can help to propel the fortunes of a business.
The Samurai has long intrigued the world’s imagination.
While much of the writing about the samurai has focused mainly on bloodletting, the samurai’s strict adherence to a code of conduct is packed with many lessons that help to map a path to success.
As Terukeni Uki, a samurai teacher at a martial arts near Tokyo’s Imperial Palace, summed it up, the modern significance of the tradition is to teach the art of winning.
“Here we teach the spirit of winning, but it’s not so much defeating an opponent as overcoming one’s self,” Uki said in an interview with National Geographic.
“These days it seems everyone is looking for someone to blame rather than focusing on himself. We’re told to believe that unless you graduate from the best university and are somehow elite, you’re a loser. Our message is that if you try hard, you will enjoy your life,” he added.
Indeed, in modern times there is lot that can be learned from the ancient spirit of the samurai to cope with the demands of an increasingly harsh and fast-paced world.
1. Know what you want.
Famous for their exploits in battle, the samurai always knew what they wanted, and they went to all the lengths to get it. The samurai knew the danger of dilly-dallying, and that’s why they gave their all to a chosen goal. Like the samurai, you define and refine what exactly you want out of your life. Your purpose must be crystal clear in your mind that you turn neither to the left nor to the right in your quest.
2. Get the right tools.
Before going into battle the samurai always checked his tools, that is, the weapons that he would use to conduct the fight. In the same vein, you must fashion yourself properly in your chosen field. You must do a check on the tools that are required in the battlefield of your chosen contribution to humanity. Without the right tools, you will not be able to get what you want. That is why the samurai always took an inventory of the weapons that were required so that he would not be found wanting at the battlefront.
In addition, you must enhance your skills and competencies before you head out to the playing ground. Preparation is a key ingredient in your quest for achieving your deeply cherished goals.
3. Give it your all.
On the battlefield, the samurai sacrificed everything, including his life. Not to say you have to commit suicide as the samurai did but you must give your all to your chosen path. You have to put in the time and energy to be able to reach your goal. The way of the warrior demands that you stay fully committed and determined to undergo the arduous journey that will lead to success. You absolutely have to give all your mind, heart and soul. Like the samurai, you must refuse to allow obstacles to deter you from following your dream.
4. Stay true to the code.
Values are the lifeblood of success. They help you to determine and even predict the choices that you make especially in times of crisis. You need to define a code that will guide you like a compass on the journey. You must never, never compromise your principles.
5. Be at your best.
The samurai teaches that you cannot do battle when your spirit is half into it, otherwise you expose yourself to the wiles of the enemy. Excellence is not a given, it’s a function of the decisions and choices that you make.
6. Conquer your fear.
When the samurai went to the battlefield, they threw fear to the side, and jumped into battle like a fish into water. Fear is like a virus. It slowly infects, then ravages your whole system, and stops you from going after what you want. But why did samurai throw themselves so wholeheartedly into battle? It is because they were crystal clear about the path they had chosen.
The first thing to know is that we are never born with fear. Rather, our life experiences inject fear into our spirits, little by little, until we become immobilized to take action.
But fear is also a product of having no cause in your life, not dedicating yourself wholly to that which you really want. Hesitation becomes the order of your being.
7. Get out of your way.
Habit is the greatest cancer in the world. It is very to atrophy and yet still get an impression that you are alive. You can be “dead alive,” so to speak. Thinking that you are enjoying your life but in reality you are simply slipping into a cesspit. The way of the warrior is to get out of your own way. Self-sabotage reduces your chances at advancement. In everything that you do, you must strive to choose what really matters.
8. Improve your soul.
The soul is the key to all the world has to offer. There is something in life bigger than the reality of being. Being in itself is a small, non-significant speck of the whole that defines existence. In the beginless, wherein it is begotten, being makes no real choice. Something other than being is responsible for defining factors of the beginless that eventually gives birth to being. The samurai knew that sojourning in the dark valley of being yields no results. That’s why he dedicated to consistently improving the state of the soul.
The philosophies of Buddhism and Zen, and to a lesser extent Confucianism and Shinto, influenced the samurai culture. Zen meditation became an important teaching due to it offering a process to calm one’s mind. The Buddhist concept of reincarnation and rebirth led samurai to abandon torture and needless killing, while some samurai even gave up violence altogether and became Buddhist monks after realizing how fruitless their killings were
9. Dedicate yourself to the arts and nature.
Take a cue from the samurai, and put a spark in your imagination by dedicating yourself to the arts. The arts and nature teach us that there is an endless world outside the miniscule reality of being.
10. A sword never rules.
The best of the samurai knew that real power lies outside the sword but in the spirit — the spirit to conquer self. Nothing can ever be achieved without conquering self. Self is perhaps humankind’s greatest enemy in today’s world. Everyone looks outside self to attach blame for failure in his or her life. They do not realize that they are equally played in contributing to the position that they find themselves in their life.
Conquering self is a life mission. It is something that has to be practiced all the time. The best of the samurai knew that to be able to really and truly master the sword they had to go deeper onto their spirits to master the energy of controlling the sword.
10.1. Be a servant.
The word “samurai” is derived from the archaic Japanese verb “samurai,” changed to “saburau,” meaning “to serve”; thus, a samurai is a servant, that is, the servant of a lord. You must absolutely change the way you think about making a contribution to whatever cause stirs your heart. Being a leader means zero if you have nothing to offer. It’s not about position. The samurai were content to serve their master to achieve a cause, using their skills and competencies. The applied what they knew to the mission that they had identified.
“The real winners are not just those at the top but those who have come the farthest over the toughest roads. Your victory may never make the headlines. But you will know about it, and that’s what counts.”
~ Ernest A. Fitzgerald
In a corporate world that is increasingly over-crowded, highly competitive and ever-changing, getting a promotion can indeed be a hassle. But, through deliberate, well planned steps, and a willingness to take initiative, you can put yourself at the front of the line for a promotion.
First things first: If you keep yourself sheltered away from the attention of your bosses, you will always miss the opportunity to climb up the corporate ladder. A promotion typically means having more responsibility.
So you have to position yourself as a person that has the aptitude, value and capability to meet the requirements of a potential promotion.
Develop career goals. You must be absolutely sure about where you want to go. Start maintaining a career journal where you write down your career goals. It’s important to make sure that the promotion is in alignment with both your credentials and personal goals. Develop long-term, medium-term and short-term goals that will keep you grounded towards a career upgrade. If you find it difficult to envision, consult a career coach to help you develop a clear perspective of what you want to do. A coach will help to expand your vision and push you to function at your peak.
Do your current job well and more. If you want to make it to the top of the corporate ladder, do your current job well. Demonstrate honesty, empathy, trustworthiness and an ability to be a team player. See every challenge and responsibility as an opportunity to shine, and to sell yourself to your organization. Always review what you are currently doing and identify gaps that can allow you to do more. The surest way to get promoted is to do more and better than is expected of you. Show the value in yourself and create a demand for your abilities.
Make a contribution. Start right away to contribute ideas and suggestions to improve processes, practices and profits of your company. To grant you a promotion, your company has to be satisfied with your value. Get all the facts about your ideas. Having more information will increase chances of your ideas and suggestions being accepted, and put you in favor to get promoted.
Keep a portfolio of your work. You must maintain a portfolio of work contributions that are directly connected to the position that you seek. Never make an assumption that your bosses know what you’re doing. Without being big-headed about it, let your organization know of your accomplishments. Gain visibility with your current job successes.
Review job descriptions. Be clear about the additional responsibilities involved in the promotion as well as the salary level. In your career journal, keep job advertisements that underline the major duties or responsibilities of the job you want to promote in. Make a note of the qualities, attitudes and outputs required for that upward career opportunity. After you have identified these attributes, the next step is to put them into practice to prepare yourself for a promotion.
Update your resume. Take time to review your current skills and accomplishments, including what you’ve learned in your current position. Update your resume so that it reveals your talents and hidden skills. Make sure your resume is specific to the potential career upgrade. Remember: Highlight unique qualifications and background. A well-written resume can significantly improve your chances to landing a promotion.
Develop your skills. Identify areas that need improvement: don’t just focus on your strengths. In your career journal, make a note of areas of weakness and strive to improve in those areas that are critical to your promotion. In an ever-changing business environment, you must constantly update your skills to enhance your chances to get promoted. Consult and learn from experts in your field. Find out what they did to succeed, what they would do different, and steps that you can take to improve your chances of a promotion.
Take Courses in Your Field. Many companies require a potential candidate for promotion to have an advanced degree. Like it or not, having an advanced degree exponentially increases your chances to move to the front of the promotion line. Target unique qualifications. Read books, join a professional association, attend seminars and do courses that will build your knowledge, skills and abilities.
Market yourself. Make full use of every opportunity to sell yourself. If you’ve got it, flaunt it and don’t wait quietly for someone to acknowledge you. Make sure that you demonstrate your ability to hold a higher position with flair and confidence. Also, show how your past achievements have contributed to the growth of the organization. When it comes down to the selection process, make sure to put your best foot forward, just like you did when you were first hired.
Get networking right. If you want to fly like an eagle, then you have to stop taking lessons from chickens. Avoid co-workers and people that will pull you down through negative talk, and fill you with frustration over your desire to get a promotion. Associating with winners will fill you with a positive outlook on life and your career opportunities. Surround yourself with people that are success-oriented, and will encourage you to take the big leap forward towards a promotion.
Make yourself outstanding. There’s no doubt that polish and presence are critical ingredients for a promotion. Be open to new inputs and ideas. Become an expert in your field. Write articles or a book. Develop a dress sense that shows you are headed for the top.
Positioning yourself for a promotion at its most fundamental is an inside job. It’s a matter of finding what you want, and expressing that essence and character in everything you do.
With hard work and an effective strategy, you can raise your stakes to get a promotion.
So don’t let anything stop you.