The 5 Ps of Conscious Success

I live in the mountains of Colorado at about eight thousand feet in elevation. When it snows in Colorado, it really snows. There is nothing like looking out the window and seeing a world blanketed in snow. When it’s really deep, everything has a smooth, shapeless quality. Unless you know what lies beneath, it all looks the same.

I have always been told that each snowflake is unique. The crystalline structure forms in different patterns each time the water vapor freezes in the atmosphere. Likewise, each of us is unique in our make-up, but we can all seem the same from a distance. Sometimes the distance is being part of a large organization or a group. We become part of an unremarkable landscape. How can you stand out? How can you entice someone to look at you close enough to see your uniqueness?

This is not about vanity or pride, it’s about necessity. Like the theory of survival of the fittest, your road to success (however you define that) may be more about choices you make that link consciously to your success. The cards can be stacked against you; consequently, you need to be conscious about where you stand among your peers. We cannot float around like some ubiquitous snowflakes, relying on fate to be noticed. You have to be more proactive, more deliberate and consciously aware. This is conscious success.

In the job market, you are the product and the company trying to sell the product. Like any other product, you should consider the Five Ps. These are your personal keys to conscious success in the job market:

Presentation. What package are you presenting? You can’t make a second first impression so, put your best foot forward the first time. You want the entire package to make others think you are professional. Sloppy and smelly are differentiators, but not good ones.

Proper placement. How are you placing yourself in the market? Is the job you have currently going to put you into the position you want in the future? Do you have the necessary skills and education to leverage yourself? These are just some of the questions you should be asking yourself.

Active promoting. Networking properly is a skill to learn. You don’t want to come on too strong, but on the other hand you don’t want to be a wallflower. Seek opportunities to meet and connect with people. Remember, when leaders need someone to fill a position, they will consider those they know and are familiar with first.

Profit/value. What value do you offer to others? To your company? To your department? Knowing your value is also important when considering your salary. How much are your time and skills worth? In order to project that to others, you must know what it is yourself.

Perceived gain. What will people gain by working with you? This is not always about what you will gain; if you start off with that, you could turn off others to your real worth. If you want a position or a contract, you want those considering you to perceive not only your value, but why you are the best choice.

One of the most powerful lessons my dad - a member of the “Greatest Generation” - taught me was how to show up in life. I remember being quite young, maybe six or seven, when he began teaching me how to introduce myself. He lovingly but firmly told me, “When you meet someone, look them in the eye and shake their hand with a firm handshake— and with a clear, strong voice, tell them your name.”

I’ve never forgotten that advice, and it’s served me well. How you introduce yourself is the start of how people experience you. We’ve all heard the expression “You only get one chance at a first impression.”

Whatever you choose to do in life, do it the very best way possible.

6 Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. How am I really showing up?
  2. How am I selling myself?
  3. How am I presenting myself to others?
  4. How am I differentiating myself?
  5. How do I stand out in a pool of applicants for one position?
  6. Am I having the impact I really want to make?
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