12 Questions for Career Mindfulness: #5 Write about the Book that Changed Everything

kotleronmarketingWhen you think about it, is there a book that you read, read again, and then again?

For me, that one book is Kotler on Marketing: How to Create, Win, and Dominate Markets by Philip Kotler. Before Beyond the Core: Expand Your Market Without Abandoning Your Rootsand Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant, I read and re-read this book. His simple and elegant approach, to building demand for markets, allowed me to think creatively about the products I managed, new offerings to consider, and new markets to go after.

I earmarked page 47, Identifying Market Opportunities and Developing Targeted Offering chapter, because I found the Nine Ways to Build Demand Model to be timeless. I always go back to this 3×3 matrix, when I need to brainstorm business strategy. Do you need to leverage your existing customer base, since it’s easier to sell to existing customers than new ones? Kotler’s model shows three options: market penetration, product modification, or new product development. Do you have the resources and experienced sales team to go after new customers? Then try segment invasion with existing and modified product(s) and diversify with new product development.


My second favorite page from Kotler on Marketing? I also earmarked page 49 of the same chapter, because I admired Disney’s Portfolio Evolution. Kotler used an excellent visual representation of the Disney timeline, from 1920 to present as they grew from animation into merchandising, music, and publishing; filmed entertainment; broadcasting; live entertainment; theme parks; and vacations, resorts, and property development.

This book changed the way I approach strategy as an entrepreneur and knowledge worker. While I may revisit Beyond the Core and Blue Ocean Strategy, Kotler on Marketing is the must-have book on marketing that also includes strategy. Is there a book in your library that changed everything for you? If not, then it’s time to find one that becomes the one tool you rely on in your black box of your personal brand.


12 Questions for Career Mindfulness Series

The 12 Questions for Career Mindfulness Series reflects on twelve questions to help you reflect about the course of your career. Perhaps once you see your answers, you’ll see patterns or maybe you won’t. These questions conjure up memories of jobs that may still create some undercurrent of discomfort. I hope some questions validate your strengths or your weaknesses, while some questions provoke a memory that you thought you forgot.

  1. How was the first day of your last job? How was the last day of your first job?
  2. If you wrote an email to yourself on attitude adjustment, how would it read?
  3. What things did you do or love as a child that explains how your work today?
  4. Write about a phone call that changed everything in your life.
  5. Write about the book that changed everything in your career.
  6. If you could ask a former boss a question you wanted to ask, what would that question be?
  7. Have you experienced a painful loyalty?
  8. What happened on a workday that was different?
  9. How did it all go wrong so fast?
  10. What if you didn’t get that job?
  11. What is the elephant in the room?
  12. What if you finally get to do what you always wanted?

I’ll post one question on career mindfulness per work day for the rest of June 2009. For previous entries in this series, click here.