I recently received an e-mail from a New York-based executive search firm with a note that they received my details by an outside talent source firm, stating that they are looking to fill C-level positions for one of their client´s recent acquisitions, and if I possibly would be interested in learning more.
Since the e-mail was sent to one of my many e-mail addresses, and not my primary e-mail, it took me a week before I even noticed it. Instead of sending them my resume and based upon my earlier experiences, I sent a response by e-mail asking them if they could give me details about the talent sourcing firm that had referred me, who their client is, and where these roles would geographically be located. Within only a few hours they got back to me, per e-mail, stating that they cannot give any details about their client until a non disclosure agreement has been signed.
As a response, I sent them the links to my website, my LinkedIn and Twitter profiles with a brief note that they can find my resume there. I have grown aware of recruiting firms and headhunters collecting people´s CV´s and resumes, many of whom lack the effort of doing their job well, i.e. fail in ever getting back to their customer/s. Be really careful/selective about who you send your CV/resume/other personal data to, since many recruitment firms seem only to be interested in gathering people´s personal data rather than actually having a purpose of really filling out a position. Which is why I am, these days, extremely selective about sending out my CV/resume to anyone, if at all!
I know loads of professionals in the headhunting/recruitment industry and have inside information. With the professional networks that I have online, I could even start my own headhunting/recruiting firm but quite honestly, I have seen too much in order to be willing to do so.
In Finland, most jobs get filled either through sourcing internal candidates or by other means, rather than through online/offline announcements. Most of the work announcements online and offline have mainly a purpose of serving the recruitment firm as an advertisement. In Finland, the vast majority of all roles are filled in other ways than sourcing candidates through job announcements. In Finland there is also a legislation that says that recruitment firms cannot keep applicants data for no more than six months in their data bank, but who checks this?
Moreover, referring to the New York-based executive search firm that approached me, I have gathered many experiences in dealing with professionals from around the world, including New York. Many of those that I have dealt with from New York seem to use an elbow tactic, so if you ever deal with them in business, make sure that THEY first deliver their part of the possible deal, before doing anything for them.
Further on, in 2015, I was contacted by a NY based recruitment industry startup on LinkedIn. They basically had an expectation of me to a) make PR for them for free b) find a way of transferring my LinkedIn data (the professional details of 30.000 individuals) to their database, sending me a non disclosure contract trying to offer me WARRANTS as a payment. I was smart enough to consult an international lawyer at that stage. Shortly after having installed their software on my computer, it broke down. I still have no idea why, but I suspect it happened due to their software. I never found out, just brought my broken laptop to recycling and bought a new one. I also blocked these people from my personal online networks. Whether they installed a virus/malware through their software on my computer is still unclear to me.
Be really careful about what you do online, and who you trust. It is not paranoia to use common sense in business. I have personally learned some very valuable lessons through my online business activities.
The True Entrepreneur is a Doer. Not a Dreamer. (Nolan Bushnell)
There is no lesson greater in life than learning from entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurship. Being an entrepreneur signifies so many different things to so many different people, and there is no entrepreneur like another, because despite of the many characteristics and personality traits shared by (successful) entrepreneurs, every entrepreneur is still unique, a courageous but most definitely not fearless individual who has chosen the exciting, and often rewarding road of entrepreneurship due to one reason or another.
Entrepreneurs are often dreamers, but more than dreamers they are doers, and people with vision and strong will-power, dedication and a willingness to change things for the better, to improve the world, and to influence people around them and society with their activities. Nevertheless, before making the leap and before jumping into the unknown, every wanna-be-entrepreneur should take into consideration a number of very important things. Many of these lessons, unfortunately, are often learned only through experience, especially if the enthusiastic entrepreneur does not take time to listen to sound advice given to them by people who have already had the same experiences. Many failures could be avoided by listening, and by engaging with valuable mentors. Yet, every entrepreneur also ought to listen to their inner voice, i.e. their intuition before and when making decisions.
60-80 % of all new jobs come from small business. (US Small Business Association)
This is true not only in the United States, where already 30 % of total workforce are freelancers, according to successful entrepreneur Tony Robbins and his team: 7 Finance Tips for Freelancers, but also everywhere else in the world. Self-employment and small businesses, in fact, are the lifeblood of any society. An additional fact that every professional ought to understand is that every economy does rely very heavily upon entrepreneurship, micro-, and small businesses. And, every large-scale business has begun small – it is only a matter of studying the history of any large organization, and see where it once has started, how it has evolved and developed throughout the decades, and where it stands today.
The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create it (Peter Drucker)
Listen to the naysayers. Also listen to the optimists.
Definitely – do listen to the naysayers – but do not let them discourage you from realizing your plans. The naysayers often have important lessons to share that we can ultimately benefit, and learn from. However, make sure not to let the pessimists sway you away from believing in what you do. Every naysayer has a reason for their behavior, and their attitude is 100 % about either negative personal experiences, or fear. Every entrepreneur has to listen to, and learn from, naysayers and pessimists, but most importantly, focus more upon, and learn from those who have gone from failure to failure, yet never given up – those, who ultimately are the real optimists, and who have achieved success despite of the many ups and downs that their entrepreneurship may have involved. Know What You Love. Know What You Want. And, go for it!
Entrepreneurship, at its best, is all about doing what you really love, and fulfilling your passions. Entrepreneurship, like life, is not about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself, and the world you want to see around you. Being a successful entrepreneur is not a part-time, or even a full-time job. It is a lifestyle. Be brave enough to take the leap, especially if and when you want to fulfill your personal life mission instead of living someone else´s dream, in a 9 to 5 job. To become, and to be a successful entrepreneur is about believing in yourself and in your dreams regardless of what anyone else may have to say.
Plan Your Business (Activities), but also be prepared for changing your plans and goals along the journey.
Planning one´s activities is one of the most important aspects of successful entrepreneurship. If this is one of your weaknesses, make sure to learn how to plan, both short-term, and long-term. And, find someone who can help you with the planning if you personally are a lousy planner. Entrepreneurship is not a hobby – it is in fact hard work, and no matter if it is a lifestyle, planning your dream lifestyle with all necessary activities included, does require careful planning. Value your personal time much enough in order to take the necessary time, and make the effort to plan your activities. Otherwise, you will be unfocused and risk burning yourself out.
Get a(n) experienced mentor/mentors. Value fruitful relationships. Network.
Every entrepreneur needs at least one mentor, perhaps several. Make sure to find mentors with whom you have a respectful, honest, and objective (business) relationship. Seek mentors who are entrepreneurs themselves. And, make sure to focus upon building long-term, mutually beneficial (business) relationships. Network. No entrepreneur survives alone, and every successful entrepreneur seeks advice from a number of professionals – choose wisely.
Choose Your Partners Carefully
Many entrepreneurs go solo, while others prefer partnering up with other people. If you partner up with someone, make sure the professional in question is sharing your enthusiasm, vision, but most of all, that you can rely upon him/her. Business is always business. Make sure to have everything on paper, and make proper agreements/contracts (not only in spoken form). Many entrepreneurs have stated the fact that they wish they had signed that contract. Do not take anything for granted, or trust anyone but yourself.
A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship. (John D. Rockefeller)
The 10 Myths of Entrepreneurship (published on YouTube by HSGUniStGallen):
No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. (Robin Williams)
If you are a focused, creative talent working hard at generating fresh ideas and turning them into profitable action to improve the world around you through your business activities, it may occur to you that other individuals, or organizations, are quick to implement ideas they think may be profitable and useful.
Has it ever happened to you that you get the feeling that people around you are making use of exactly the same idea that you had, and perhaps even expressed in some form or another? How did you react to that? What were your thoughts? Did it cross your mind to walk to the closest patent office and get your idea patented?
Nothing else in the world is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.
I am very sorry to disappoint you, but in many countries it is impossible to patent ideas. At least this is the case in Finland. And, if you are openly spreading your thoughts and ideas online, please be prepared to face the fact that you will notice people, and organizations, making use of them.
Instead of questioning whether or not someone has borrowed your idea(s), focus upon following:
REALIZE THAT THERE IS SOMETHING CALLED COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS.
Collective consciousness can be interpreted through the fact that all human beings, regardless of cultural background, share a set of beliefs and values, even awareness, about what is morally and ethically correct.
REFLECT UPON THE SOURCE OF YOUR IDEA(S)
How do you come up with your ideas? Do you carry a pen and notebook with you at all times, and do you sleep with the same utensils on your bedside table in case you come up with excellent ideas during sleep? If not, you definitely should do so. It is worth noticing that since we human beings are “products” of our environments and societies, our perceptions about the world surrounding us are very much based upon a number of facts such as our personal knowledge and experiences, and how we manage to transform our ideas with the help of mental schemes in our brains, as well as using our previous experiences to generate new ideas.
ARE YOU SURE YOUR IDEA IS UNIQUE?
Referring to the previous two headlines, true innovation is often the masterful sophistication of existing ideas/products into a new creation rather than coming up with something genuinely unique. You cannot reinvent the wheel to explain it simple, but you can either refine the wheel or come up with other forms of travel (have we come up with everything possible on that yet?).
EXPRESS POSITIVE EMOTIONS WHEN YOU NOTICE PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS USING SIMILAR IDEAS TO THOSE YOU HAVE.
Either people/individuals do have exactly the same ideas as you do, and put them into practice in various ways. If you feel someone is really using YOUR ideas, take it as a compliment that people in fact value your ideas so much that they are acting upon them, especially if your objective and/or profession is to influence society around you.
USE YOUR CREATIVITY TO CREATE PERSONALIZED SERVICES AND PRODUCTS!
The global market is full of individuals and organizations, businesses of all sizes and in all industries that operate and offer their customer exactly the same products, many with exactly the same quality, and even with the same price. Creativity is very valuable these days, especially if you can come up with and brand ideas and products offering your customers something different, something unique, something spicy, and something creative.
REMEMBER: You will never be capable of protecting your ideas because you cannot even be certain whether the idea truly originated from you personally. Yet, be mindful about spreading your ideas in public since you may want to focus upon turning your ideas into new business models designed to attract clients, and helping other individuals/businesses in a profitable manner.
If you want to find the real competition, just look in the mirror.
The desire for success should be greater than the fear of failure.
Girls compete with each other. Women empower each other. The same applies to both genders.
Life is not a competition. Life is about helping and inspiring others so we can each reach our potential.
Trust your crazy ideas, especially when it comes to changing the world into a better place.
WHERE GOOD IDEAS COME FROM by Steven Johnson on YouTube:
Thank you for believing in the power of your ideas, and for utilizing them in order to drive sustainable economic development.
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