In the sales world there is a big focus on Return on Time Invested (ROTI). In a nutshell it means that you should spend your selling time with the people that are going to generate your revenue … short, medium and long term. You should invest your time commensurate with the returns expected.
I decided to invent the term Return on Self Investment. This is basically a way to look at investing in your own success.
Many, many people want to be spoon fed their success. They expect their company to pay for their education, their tools and their time because of course the company will benefit from that success. They seem to downplay or even ignore the fact that an individual’s success can be for life, while the company’s return on their investment is only as long as the employee stays.
If YOU adopt a mentality that investment in your success, whether by yourself or your company, is very beneficial to you then you can differentiate yourself from your peers.
In fact you can measure your ROSI (a) in your own advancement over time; (b) your increased productivity; (c) your performance against your peers; or (d) your self satisfaction.
Here are some thoughts for you:
1. Lifelong Learning. I have written many blog entries on this subject, so for the sake of argument let’s say we are in agreement that continually upgrading your skills is good for your career. The progressive employee, looking to increase their ROSI will:
a. Take full advantage of every learning opportunity provided by their employer;
b. Always look for learning opportunities … even if they have to pay themselves (in dollars or in time invested);
c. Develop good habits for learning, including reading relevant articles, periodicals and books;
d. Will seek mentor ship and feedback.
2. Personal Branding: Again I have blog entries specific to this area, so the progressive employee will:
a. Invest in appropriate dress for work (looking a little better than their peers) and always be clean and smart;
b. Will seek to establish themselves as a thought leader in their field (get involved in associations, write thoughtful comments on blog entries, contribute articles, provide thoughtful feedback to management).
c. Will network outside of work … with industry colleagues, interesting organisations, charities etc.
3. Productivity. The progressive employee will:
a. Adopt and continually work at GREAT time management techniques & tools.
b. Set goals to measure themselves;
c. Monitor their ROSI to ensure they are investing in the right areas.
A couple of small stories from my own experiences. Twenty-five years ago mobile phones were not a common tool and as a sales person I thought that having one would make me more productive. My company did not supply them, did not see the value and was not going to finance mine, which back then cost close to $1,000. Of course mobile technology looked a little different than today (see picture for an idea of what my phone looked like). I chose to make that investment because it was an investment in me … I would like to think I have had a pretty successful career, and partly it is because of that type of thinking.
I grew up in a working class family in Liverpool that did not have much disposable income. We learned to make the most of what we had … but were always expected to look clean and “smart”. This meant I developed a habit of polishing my shoes (because kicking stones on my way to school as I pretended to be winning the World Cup plays havoc on leather). Our clothes were always pressed and clean. It was a good foundation for life as a sales person because like it or not you make an impression with how you look … be smart, be clean, be “put together” and project that “professional persona” in order to be successful! Some things you might want to “invest in” … shoe polish kit and clothes brush for the office, a suit press for your bedroom (for those who wear pants) so your pants are always pressed in the morning!
Be responsible for your own success!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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