At what point do you separate your professional work from your business?
There is no such point. Your profession is your business.
It is common when one is asked the question, “what do you do?” and the answer you hear is “I’m into business”. The next most common follow up question people ask is, “what do you sell?”
The common thought is that a businessman sells only products. Professionals also sell. But what they sell is different.
As a professional, you are a businessman. Your time, services, and skills are your products.
The essence of a business is to make profits. Gone are the days when people work to earn salary alone. It is not enough.
In this age of specialisation, every worker is a professional in the business. Especially now that there is so much knowledge overload in this information age.
Knowledge is only a click away and anybody can learn to do things by downloading the ‘how to’ material from the internet.
When you mention business, what comes to the mind of a person is having products to sell. People always think business is all about buying and selling goods.
Some of you don’t do buying and selling. What you do have is the service you render. You have skills which you use to render service.
It is a statement of truth when it is said that we all live by selling something.
Selling is not all about peddling products. You also sell your self. You are the product.
The value you place on your self is what people pay for. And of course, you have to be good at what you do.
The service business, as well as the product business, is a buying and selling activity. A service rendered is more or less selling of your time.
If I spend 30 minutes of my time rendering a service, I have sold 30 minutes of my time. Why do you think they say time is money?
In advanced countries, you are paid for the amount of time you put into your work. Your time is your product.
What do you do in your spare time?
You invest your time in developing yourself. You read a book, you attend a seminar, you acquire certificates, you listen to and watch educative videos, etc.
No knowledge is wasted. Every knowledge should have marketable value.
A professional footballer spends his time training for the next competition. Why? Because he must be very skilful to profit from his skills. You know how much footballers are paid these days right?
Your spare time is meant for training and preparation. It does not mean you should not have time for fun and rest. All rest time is for recovery of energy and growth.
What I am trying to say here is that everyone is in business, and you profit from what you do with your services.
What is your profession?
Are you a doctor? You are in the business of treating the sick. If you are a lawyer you are in the business of litigation and legal practice. You are an engineer? Your business is building and construction. Musicians and comedians are in the business of entertainment.
The point is your profession is your business and you must do it to maximize profit.
There is a business in every profession. You only need to think like a business man and carry out your profession as a business.
If you know that you are in business, you will do your profession with a sense of quality service delivery and efficient performance.
For professionals who are doing pro bono or humanitarian service, you should put the same dedication as if you are rendering a million dollar service.
Carry out your profession like a business you don’t joke with because you have invested so much time for your self.
Once again, you are the product.
Thanks for reading.
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