Career Success

Ask five people who know you (but not too well) what the first words are that come to mind when they hear your name. If you were one of my five people, I would ask you, “When you hear my name, Victor Cheng, what’s the first word or words that come to mind?” Then listen. [...]

Most new entrepreneurs are enamored with product ideas. “I have a new idea for a product,” “a service,” or increasingly, “an app.” You hear this at cocktail parties all the time. When someone says they have a new business idea, they are almost always referring to a new product idea. But, those who actually run [...]

When it comes to building a personal brand, many people get confused about how to do it right. There are two ways. The first is to tell people how amazing and awesome you are. Here’s an example. “Did you know that I’m an amazing human being?” “I’m so awesome…” “I’m smart, good-looking, and successful.” “Here’s [...]

I once heard somebody say that Leadership = Selling. It struck me as odd because I had never heard somebody say that before. While the reverse is not true (selling is not always leadership), I’ve come to the conclusion that leadership is very much about selling your ideas. If you want to build a great [...]

In mathematics, there’s a concept and symbol known as delta. It is represented by the following greek letter Δ that looks like a triangle. In this context, delta = change. If sales were $100 million last year, and $110 million this year, we would say the delta is $10 million. Management consultants will use the [...]

Whether you’re the CEO of a company or the CEO of your career, it’s your job to create value for others and to capture some of the value you create. In the case of running a company, you create a product that customers value. Customers are so excited to receive the value your product provides [...]

Fault = You created a problem due to an error you made. Responsibility = It’s your job to fix the problem. For most individual contributor roles, it is your responsibility to fix any mistakes that were your fault. I call this 1:1 responsibility to fault ratio. You clean up any messes you make. However, as [...]

You can be one of two kinds of employees: 1) A person who can follow rules; 2) A person who can follow rules of thumb. The second type of employee is infinitely more valuable. A rule is a specific set of actions to be taken in a specific set of situations. “If this dial exceeds [...]

In industry, a person’s skill set can be described using one of two metaphors: the letter “I” and the letter “T.” A person with “I-shaped” skills has very deep skills in a single domain. This vertical line in the letter “I” represents this depth in a single area. In contrast, the person with “T-shaped” skills [...]

There are two types of jobs in this world — task-oriented jobs and outcome-oriented jobs. A task-oriented sales position might require you to do the following in a single day: Make 120 sales phone calls Deliver 12 phone presentations Write 2 proposals Get 1 contract signed If you reliably do these proven tasks, you will [...]

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