Growing Within a Declining Industry
Given technological advancement, external competition, and industry stagnation, a number of industries are in decline. Some of them, such as the newspaper/print, DVD, and computer game rental industries have been well documented. Within each of these industries are highly competent people who have amassed tremendous experience in all facets of business. Many of these people wake up at night wondering what they can do to prevent themselves from being dragged down by the declining industries in which they feel so entrenched.
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In the middle of last year, I met a fine woman who was very passionate about what she was doing within the print industry. The joy that she gathered from helping her clients to put their brands on paper and make them visible to their ideal clients was written all over her face and body language. However, she was worried about the future of the industry and how it could impact her career progression.
As we dug deeply into her life stories and how she had come to be where she was on that particular day in 2015, I helped her to see her own personal journey and the skills that she had accumulated.
I helped her to see that what lay in front of her presently was an imaginary barrier that she had concocted through her creative interpretation of how the state of the industry would affect her.
By “creative,” I mean that she had made it up.
I helped her to see that she was bigger than the industry in which she presently operated and that her passion for serving others was her main asset. From there, I assisted her in laying out a roadmap for her to help others.
Your passion for serving others is your main asset.
The number one thing that an individual can do today to ensure that they advance—even within a declining industry—is to grow his or her own personal brand.
I like to use the analogy of the apothecary’s scale, a scale composed of two bowls hanging by chains from the pendulum above. One bowl is labeled 'Service' and the other is labeled 'Rewards.'
To obtain the most rewards out of life, one must simply pile on the service. The rest will take care of itself.
Within a month of our meeting, my new friend began to write about client service. She relayed her key messages by sharing her personal stories. She started an e-newsletter and began to publish her articles on other platforms as well.
Her primary audience became people who had passion for client service, completely independent of which industry they operated in. She is learning just as much as she is giving, and her network of connections is expanding. She truly is growing, despite her connection to a declining industry.
Yesterday I received an email from her. She just accepted a job as a vice president of sales in an industry about which she had known very little. Clearly, her new employer sees her skills as highly transferrable.
The number one thing that you can do today to ensure your continued growth is to share yourself and your story with others.
Are you an example of putting yourself and your story out there? Or, do you know someone who is doing this effectively? Please share a brief story in the comments below.
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