The way we’re working isn’t working and we know it. Employees all over the world aren’t happy and are consequently causing employers and states an enormous cost. Not to mention the human price we pay in terms of employees’ mental and physical state as a result from an artificial, one-size-fits all and ancient system.

Are we collectively behaving as morons? Making career decisions and mistakes against our better judgement? No, we’re not, we’re all smart enough to see the problem, but standards conventions, advocating us on how we’re supposed to live and work, are limiting our vision and preventing us to see the real solution. Today it’s more than obvious that something is wrong and innovation of the workforce is imperative.

So why are we so unhappy about the way we work – and what can we do about it?

At the root of our unhappiness we can distinct five needs in which this common feeling is manifested:

  • we don’t feel aligned with the way we’re making a living
  • we miss purpose and meaning in what we do
  • our work is lacking an overall positive impact on others people’s lives
  • we don’t feel valued for who we are
  • we’re not working productively or sustainably.

The key to solving this problem is to do what you love, exploit your own natural talents and hard learned life lessons, invest in yourself, make the kind of difference you really care about and respect the lifestyle you want to pursue in the first place.

The good news is: finding the right mindset, ideas and approach to make this happen, doesn’t have to be that hard.

Finding out what you love

Doing what you love is basically the foundation of a life and career worth pursuing. Despite a few lucky bastards getting paid to do the things they love, most of us are still stuck finding out what that actually is. If you don’t know what you love, ask yourself these questions. What makes you happy? Don’t think about things you own, but deep-dive into the moments when you felt really happy. What topics do you feel deeply and emotionally connected to? The list may be long, mine for example includes passions you may not initially see interlinked, such as healthy food, body and mind exercise, future of work, technological innovation, but aren’t those exactly the pillars on which I found my own lifestyle business? When I’m asked: what are you passionate about? It’s never just one. So look for how to connect your multiple passions or times of happiness. Any connection to your passion, be it small or large, can greatly enhance and optimize your life.

Exploit your own natural talents and life lessons

Let your own individual experience, what you managed to achieve in your life and the personal best practices you developed on the way serve as inspiration for developing a solution to other people’s problems. What comes naturally to you may come as a huge problem for someone else. The things you can do, the things you know well and the tasks you’re able to manage are an easy leverage to creating your own personal product. Focus on how you solve problems for someone else and you will end up with a viable service, an opportunity for growth, both personally as well as professionally. It’s the right foundation to build a package of offerings that people actually want. And if done properly and strategically, you won’t even have to sell, people will naturally find your solution instead of being pushed. Ultimately what you do will make your customers happy to pay.

Invest in yourself

Living self-sufficiently is one of the most determining factors to feel satisfied and stay committed to the work you’re delivering. A lot of people are insecure about leaving their safe and stable employee environment, but forget that stepping outside their comfort zone is exactly what their minds needs in order to breath and find the space to figure out what they really want. Starting your own business, whether it’s full time or just a side hustle, is not a joy ride, it’s a daunting, scary and challenging experience, but if you’re really committed to finding more purpose and meaning in what you do, it’s definitely and possibly the only way to go. Moreover, how much can we, the workforce, still rely on the safety net of social security or government assistance? The system is failing and we all know it. If you want secure your future, think of something better to invest in than a useless saving account, a house that might not still be here in 50 years (who knows what will happen in the times ahead of us). A business build on your own experience, life learnings and best practices for instance.

Make the difference

Using all your unique aspects as a leverage will not only help you to create an authentic business, it will also allow you to identify the difference you want to make. What’s the change you want to see in this world? What are today’s frustrations, struggles or problems you could tackle? What trends are you’re dying to pick up on. For me it’s wanting to create a new perspective, it’s changing the way we live and work and it’s making an overall impact on our health and happiness. If you don’t know what’s yours, dig into your personal environment and start inventorying the topics you find yourself most talking and reading about. What are you looking and searching for? What are you curious for and eager to learn about? Create categories and lists, pinpointing and describing the most important challenges and opportunities in your environment. Try to identify the patterns, the trends you care most about and want to impact. 

Pursue the lifestyle you want.

Last, but not least, innovation and technology are making it possible to go-to-market with a business concept involving all aspects of you. They’re paving the way for an optimized workflow, allowing you to work when, how and where you want. Any aspect of a purpose-driven business is now entirely self-manageable thanks to technological innovation. You’re perfectly capable of creating online touchpoints, find an audience, reach out to customers and automate your sales operation in order to work exactly how you see fit. Whatever the solution you want to offer, being it a coaching service, organizing classes or workshops, writing about your experience, … anything is possible.

Now you’re up to speed, it’s time to wrap your head around a personal product of your own. Follow the 5 key needs I listed above and put them into your own product/market framework. If you have issues pinpointing some of the key elements, you can download my free workbook here.

Need help framing the result of your soul searching? Book a free short-session with me to get an outside perspective on your approach and I would be happy to help you move forward. 

Not what you’re looking for? Drop your comments or questions below. 

2 thoughts on “Personal Branding is dead, long live your Personal Product = a business inspired by five forgotten needs.

  1. Thank you for the good, structured reminder of why we went on the journey in the first place. The short session offer is tempting but the link is not working. Could you please check it out?

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