As we continue our discussion on taking your business or career to the next level, let’s remember that the first thing we talked about was establishing and clarifying your Vision. We also understand that Visions can change over time. And so, it’s important to keep our eye on the larger Destination so that as the Vision evolves, it supports the grander journey we’re on.

Next, I talked about implementing your Vision and I identified three characteristics that, in my opinion, are critical to the process. Those are AttitudeFocus and Knowledge. Further I showed you how each characteristic is divided into three elements.

In the last post, I started a new discussion about Leveraging Your Knowledge. And remember, Knowledge as I see it here, involves its three elements, SkillsResources and Experience. So previously I got into leveraging your skills, looking at it from both an internal as well as an external perspective.

Today, I’m going to delve in the next element which is Resources. But first, you may be asking, how do I keep track of all these things? How do I make them work for me or my business? And those are normal and totally legitimate questions.

Part of the answer is, of course, practice. And if you play a musical instrument, you understand that principle well. And you know that you don’t become a great player, or even a good player overnight. And as you’ve heard me say before, incremental success is gradual, sequential and cumulative – an idea I learned myself from a good friend and teacher many years ago.

So that’s why I’m providing you with these foundational building blocks that you can, over time, integrate into your thinking.

So, let’s talk a little bit about leveraging your Resources. As a reminder, I’m referring to resources that are available to you to help take care of the things you don’t know how to do, don’t have time to do or just don’t want to do. And in this case, we’re just talking about knowledge-related resources here.

You should develop a comfortable understanding of the value relationship between the resource and the related outcome that it’s attached to.

First, we’ll look at the internal aspects and you’ll, of course, want to identify what those resources are in your particular situation. Some of the obvious possibilities would be people, such as employees, associates, interns, consultants, contractors or maybe vendors. In the non-people category, you can think of machinery and automation, information tools and applications. These are all things that function within the confines of your everyday work or business.

So how do we leverage those internal resources? First and foremost, and you’ve heard this before – Prioritization. You should develop a comfortable understanding of the value relationship between the resource and the related outcome that it’s attached to. You can do this in whatever way is most useful for you. I always like to create spreadsheets. But, writing it down in almost any format is generally better than trying to just store it in your head.

Once you have that understanding firmly entrenched, it will be much easier to make decisions on how to apply those resources to get the most out of them. This will also help you to determine if a particular resource is the most appropriate for the job or purpose at hand.

Now what about those external resources? And what does that mean anyway? Well, let’s think first in terms of companies and organizations. That could be vendors or suppliers, industry associations, media companies and of course the big one, social media. You may also find individuals outside of your business or personal career to be resources. Who might they be? Well, if you’re in a guitar-related business, it might be players who use your products. Or, it could be someone who has influence in an area that might be beneficial. And there’s certainly more to that which we can talk about in more depth later on, but again, how do you leverage these external resources.

At the risk of repeating myself, priority rules. Start there. Understand the value of these resources and where and how they affect your business or career. Believe me, organizing this information in a simple manner like this gives you great clarity of thought and empowers you to make better decisions about the usefulness and utilization of resources. You may even discover that some resources are not resources at all and can be eliminated. All of which is healthy management.

You know, there is so much information out there on all these subjects by so many different people. It’s difficult enough to want to make changes to the way we do things, even when we know we need to. Even if you do decide that you need to improve the way you operate in order to move the ball forward, finding the right course of action can be absolutely mind-boggling.

That being said, I want you to know that I am keenly aware of that challenge. That’s why I’m giving this information to you in this manner. Small digestible bites that can be absorbed and remembered easily. And while all these pieces are indeed part of a larger picture, like I’ve said before, you can pretty much use each one of them on their own in various ways.

Again, as you build this improved foundation, I’m happy to answer questions along the way to fill in some blanks if they exist. All you have to do is ask. And that’s easy to do.

Now let’s go on to the next post in this series.

Destination: Next Level Part 6 >>

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