I am studying strategic management principles. If we think of ourselves as “the business”, it is so easy translate these principles to managing ourself.
Strategy is about creating and delivering the future. Strategy is about leading yourself to a future in which are able to compete more effectively and to achieve sustainable prosperity. How does one achieve a sustainable competitive advantage?
Location–very important in retail, but if you can be where the need is, then you have an advantage
Size–this is difficult, because as individuals we have limited time and resources
Knowledge–what do you know that no one else knows?
Resources–this might be quantity, but also quality of resources. Do you have access to resources that competition may not have?
Relationships–who do you know? What is your capacity for building relationships with other individuals who can build your sphere of influence?
Brand–what differentiates you from the competition? How are you perceived by others?
Of these, knowledge, relationships and brand are the ones over which we have the most control. These are mechanisms in which we can differentiate ourselves from the competition (segmentation, for example), by which we can attract the right kind of customers (those that can pay what we deserve, those that can enhance your reputation, those that bring you new challenges).