Recently, I co-created a concept called MojoLife as a response to the economic downturn and the swathe of redundancies sweeping the nation. I’d like to know what you think.
MojoLife is a philosophy and a mechanism for helping people find their purpose, re-ignite their spark and move their life forward. We’ve all lost our ‘mojo’ from time to time, and through redundancy a lot of people end up feeling flat, under-valued, disengaged and pessimistic.
At the heart of MojoLife is the notion that we ALL need to think more entrepreneurially in the 21st century. That means CREATING opportunities, instead of putting our destiny in the hands of others. It doesn’t necessarily mean starting a business, but it DOES mean starting to think like a self-employed person.
Firing off endless CV’s in a world of fewer vacancies and more job seekers is a soul-destroying task. It’s the equivalent of ‘push-marketing’ in the business world, and the continual rejection takes its toll. MojoLife takes a different approach – a PULL approach to marketing YOU.
The advent of social media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, etc) means it’s never been more within our reach to find and dominate our own preferred niche. We don’t have to wait years for someone else to move us up the ladder. The key is to re-discover who we are, the value we can bring, package it, and communicate it really, really well. Easy? No. Possible? Most definitely, but not without some help. Let me show you how.
Case Study: Geoff
Geoff is 53 years of age and has worked as an IT project manager in the financial services industry for 12 years. He was made redundant 6 months ago and has had very little success finding employment since. He’s received some guidance on putting together his CV and some help on job search/interview techniques, but to no avail. He’s fired off at least 350 CV’s, had 6 interviews and still no success. Needless to say, his confidence is low. His relationship with his wife and kids has suffered, he doesn’t go out with friends any more and he’s beginning to resign himself to a future of shelf-stacking and economizing.
An alternative scenario?
Geoff comes along to a MojoLife group and meets other talented, but under-employed people. He’s introduced to a new way of thinking about creating opportunities rather than putting his life in the hands of others. He’s asked to put together a ‘manifesto’, rather than a CV. He starts to reflect on who he is, what he can do, how he’s helped people and the value he can bring. He’s asked to consider what he really loves doing…what he’s really interested in…can he recall a time was he at his best?
He remembers an occasion 8 years ago when he organised a wine-tasting trip for some friends to France. He’s always loved wine and he wrote up a diary of the trip at the time and shared it with his friends in the form of a short, self-published book. They loved it and to this day still talk about the experiences they had.
Geoff re-reads the book and gets in touch with those friends again.
They ask him if he’s still doing that kind of thing. “Not sure,” he says, explaining his predicament. They all encourage him to do it and it gets him thinking. His fellow MojoLife members encourage him too and he starts reading up on the wine industry – people who are making a living from it. (He never knew there were so many people involved in so many ways). He reads the Oz Clarke story, takes a greater interest in wine journalism and attends a few events in his region. It seems he’s not alone in having an interest in this area.
He attends a MojoLife workshop on personal branding and using social media, and starts writing a blog about wine. He enjoys writing, especially about something he’s interested in. His (middle-class) friends start asking him which wine they should serve at dinner parties. He starts to circulate and begins to enjoy himself. The editor of the local newspaper asks him if he’d write a short column about wine. A local restaurant opens and the owner asks Geoff if he’d like to come along as his guest, and talk about the wine list.
He discovers Meetup (an on-line platform for encouraging get-togethers for like-minded people) and forms a wine appreciation club. He attracts followers from throughout his region. He does the same on Facebook (more followers, some overseas), starts a YouTube channel and does a few videos, showing him and the same restaurant owner discussing what varietals are in or out this month. He starts to engage in on-line conversations about wine – on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. He writes more articles. He’s starting to get noticed.
Then, out of the blue he gets a call from one of his old friends, someone who came on the original wine trip he organised. It turns out his friend runs a corporate hospitality company. Wine trips are on the agenda and he asks Geoff if he’d consider running one to South Africa, and maybe writing some materials for their blog.
Now I could go on, but you get the picture?
Even though Geoff has IT project manager all over his CV, he wasn’t getting anywhere because his sector was contracting and more people are chasing fewer jobs. His age probably counted against him too.
But through the pursuit of something he’s passionate about, he’s:
- Become pro-active, purposeful, energetic and enthusiastic
- Created a reputation in a niche market
- Widened his network
- Shown he can write, speak and build relationships
- Shown organisational expertise and a willingness to collaborate with others
- Developed some skill in using social media to develop his new ‘brand’
- Started to PULL IN opportunities
In short, he’s a great deal more marketable in every way than he was before. But it’s not just that. He’s also a much happier and more fulfilled person than previously. And of course that has huge implications for those around him – friends, family, etc.
This is an imaginary scenario, but it’s entirely achievable. It’s the MojoLife way of doing things, an entrepreneurial response to redundancy or simply being dissatisfied with your current situation.
That doesn’t necessarily mean starting a business. But in a way we ALL need to think like a self-employed person in the modern age. It’s the most effective response to economic ups and downs, and helps US keep control of our destiny instead of putting it in the hands of others.
The interesting thing about Geoff’s example is that although he really got into something he loved, he reached out to others and communicated his passion and expertise. This is a mistake people often make when they find solace in a hobby after a fruitless job search. They enjoy it but don’t monetize it.
Lauren Luke stayed in her bedroom and showed how to put makeup on, but because she video’d herself doing it and shared it with others via YouTube, her expertise became MARKETABLE and she’s a terrific internet success story.
Tom Peters, the god-father of management guruism points out that linear careers are a thing of the past. It’s all about projects now, and the beauty of the internet age is it’s never been easier to create and nurture your own project.
Whether it’s wine tasting tours, makeup tutorials or building windmills, our advice is this:
MAKE THE FIRST PROJECT A SIMPLE ONE…YOU!
Invest in this process and see what happens, but don’t do it alone. Come and speak to us at MojoLife.