The Principles of Business and Career


The principles of business and career are the same.

I once had a Polaroid national sales manager say tell me that the only way to measure a company’s  success were sales and earnings.

His statement is true up to the point that sales and earnings are why the company is in business.  However, if a company’s reason for being in business is to feed, clothe, and shelter the needy, the company’s success may be measured on how well the company feeds, clothes, and shelters the needy.

The one common element of a successful business is excellence in meeting expectations based on the business plan.

Once a company has defined its mission, the company can determine and implement all the other elements of operating a business according to plan:

  • Who they are (executive team, management team, total payroll)?
  • What do they do (services and products)?
  • What they do plan to accomplish and by what methods in one year, two years, three years, and forward?
  • Who are their competitors?
  • What are their finances?
  • What financing do they need to add from investors?
  • What are their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats?
  • What products, equipment, or skills do they plan to add to support their expansion?
  • What is their marketing plan?
  • What is their sales vehicle (field sales, telemarketing, e-commerce)?

The same principles apply to having a career.  First ask yourself what you want to do.  If you want to make more money than most other people and do not want to spend years in a classroom, you might start looking for sales jobs.  I got my first job as a door-to-door salesperson when I was seven.  I found an ad for a Christmas card company.  They shipped me the samples for free.  I walked around the neighborhood and knocked on doors and sold Christmas cards.  The people who placed orders helped me with the order forms.

The value of having a career plan works in your interest as well as the interest of your company. Even if the company where you are working is not where you want to be, you can use your career plan to see ways that you can best contribute to the success of the company and perhaps place yourself in roles you most enjoy.

When I graduated from high school, my career goal included two parts: I wanted to work in an office where I could learn some interesting things and I wanted to stay in college.  At the time, I was working at Weingarten’s Grocery Stores as a clerk.

I got a new job working in the print shop at Shell Oil Company in downtown Houston.  I was not crazy about operating a printing press, but I was learning new skills, and I was working in an office near a downtown college campus.

Every business and career plan must be flexible to stimulate vision and creativity. I began to adjust my career plan to look for things that would allow me to contribute to the business at Shell Oil Company and do things I found more interesting.

The print shop had a photo shop for making printing plates.  The photographer walked passed the printers and printing presses on his way to get to his camera and the darkroom.  Now his job was interesting.  During breaks, I chatted with the guy about his job, and he took an interest in showing me what he was doing.  Before long, I was chipping in for his gas, and he would pick me up on his way to work. I learned his job through our chats, and I became his relief when he went on vacation.  As the print operations grew, I became his assistant.  I loved the job.  I worked for Shell Oil Company until I needed to transfer to another college campus that was too far from the Shell office.

To go from the business plan above to the career plan:

  • Who are you (education, places you have worked, accomplishments in your career and education, patents, copyrights, publications)?
  • What you do (sales, marketing, analysis, skills)?
  • What do you plan to  accomplish and by what methods in one year, two years, three years, and forward?
  • What new resources will you need to add to support your career growth?
  • Who are their competitors?
  • What are your finances?
  • What financing do they need to add from investors?
  • What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats?
  • What is your marketing plan?
  • What is your sales plan (field sales, telemarketing, e-commerce)?

How do you create a career plan? Start writing. Just write what comes to mind.  Write what you would like people to say about you in twenty years. Create your vision. Use what you can of the information from this post and research other resources.  You will do a great job.


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