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Your Personal Value Proposition


Think about developing a portfolio career, but, before you do, craft your personal value proposition and get out of the office to test and validate it.

Every business model starts with a value proposition-the promise the business makes to the customer to create user-defined value, solve their problem or do the job the customer wants the product of service to do.

Your user defined self-assessment of your value is the difference between the tangible and intangible benefits of what you are doing now less the tangible and intangible costs. What you consider as your prime value factors, e.g. making money, creating meaning, leaving a legacy, helping others or something else, is up to you and will vary from person to person.

There are many ways to state your value proposition, but here are two convenient heuristics. One counterintuitive idea about how to cope with burnout is to do more, not less, but spread your bets by creating a portfolio career, composed on many different roles and jobs, not just one. The risk, though, is spreading yourself too thin, and, like a lot of businesses, losing focus.

To avoid making things worse, not better, you need to create a personal value proposition that clearly articulates the direction you intend to pursue. Try filling in the blanks:

For (insert your name here)Who is dissatisfied with ______________My product is a portfolio careerThat provides _________________________Unlike what I’ve been doing up to this pointI have assembled a series of activities and roles that will provide me with the following features and benefits:_____________

NB: Features that don't add value as benefits are a cost to the producer and subject your model to disruption.

You can't be all things to yourself, any more than a doctor or a healthcare organization can be all things to all patients.

Think about developing a portfolio career, but, before you do, craft your personal value proposition and get out of the office to test and validate it.

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Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice
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