We live in an increasingly crazy world with more responsibilities, distractions and a never-ending to-do list. Staying current requires more time. Staying relevant is more complex. And not getting left behind is more important. Because of this, it’s necessary to be systematic and disciplined about how you manage your assets.
While equity management and strategy is typically aligned with the financial and investment community, we, as the advertising industry, can greatly benefit by thinking of ourselves as equity managers and borrow a few simple practices they use for success. And just like our friends in finance, a healthy balance and mix is required for best results. The ultimate goal is to increase the value of your assets, which leads to good things for you in terms of success and happiness.
The advertising business has three core equities that need to be managed. Equity in yourself. Equity in your company. And equity in your client/customer. The first asset is hopefully obvious to you—but I’ve seen too many people in this industry not realize—or have reckless disregard for—the other two. So my philosophy is actively managing a balance of all three.
I’m sure most of you are doing reasonably well at managing your own equity. You maintain active professional profiles in social media. You stay current and relevant in industry trends. You don’t rest on your laurels and push to change. But the advertising profession is like an endurance sport. After hard, long hours and grueling days, other activities competing for time outside of work and just plain old-fashioned burnout, I’ve seen too many smart and good people start to mail it in. They lose the swagger in their step. They get too confident in their next presentation and not do the required work. They start to cut corners and settle for good instead of great. That’s a slippery slope that ultimately leads to mediocrity and decreases your personal equity value.
Don’t let this happen to you. Remind yourself on a daily basis that you need to constantly improve the value of your personal equity. Take an inventory of your assets—literally write them down and rate the activity and performance of each. Like any good equity manager, you need to monitor, measure and manage yourself. Include social media, networking activities, continuing education and seminars, and of course, attending industry events (hey, Ad Fed is a great resource for this too). Keep track of “your product” —what you’ve done and how you do it. But don’t just stop with your professional development—focus on your personal growth too. This in an important “equity management activity” that most lose sight of. What are you doing to grow yourself outside of work that makes you an interesting and relevant individual? Do you volunteer for a worthwhile cause? Have you traveled? Are you taking time to work out? What about art? Cultural contribution or activities? Whatever your chosen activity outside of work, managing yourself to a better, well-rounded you will yield big returns in your profession too. So remember–monitor, measure and manage your activities.
If you’re doing well with your personal asset management, It’s critically important to align yourself with your organization and client/customer value as well. Take a similar approach to daily reminders and inventory of activities that grow your company and your client/customer relationships. Remember to monitor, measure and manage activities for your company and client/customer in the same manner and format as you do for yourself. This approach will ultimately help you foster deep and trusted relationships with your clients. And ultimately, make your career advancement within your company happen by design rather than default (you can even use this monitor, measure and manage construct with your self-evaluation at annual review time).
So please make this simple. A basic list that helps you first take inventory of your activities within the three sectors, then an honest assessment and measurement of the impact, which then leads to you managing and modifying what you are doing with your time. And just like our finance friends, do quick monthly snapshots of your progress, hold a quarterly meeting with yourself, and finally, a year-end assessment of the change in your value will help drive success.
Manage your assets! Increase the value of your assets!