Haute Tips: How to Increase Your Chances of Entering the Fortune 500 Club

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Ever wanted to be rich (and maybe famous, too)? Here are five tips from a pro: John M. Hawkins, the author of “Building a Strategic Plan for Your Life and Business.”

Hawkins, who has 17 years of experience helping Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and individuals achieve their short and long term business goals, tells Haute Living: ” Many people appear to be successful, but inside a nagging voice, the same nagging voice that got you where you are at today, is saying that your success is not enough. You may have found a nice position in the Fortune 501+ Club, but can’t break the 501 mark. You didn’t start climbing the proverbial ladder to sit at the halfway point; you want to excel to the top.

“Successful entities are constantly evolving. You may have grown your empire on one business model, but a new or augmented business model will be useful to help continued growth. Getting to the next level might require going beyond your comfort zone, adapting your strategies and taking calculated risk. With a sound vision, foundational strategy and a solid action plan, breaking into the Fortune 500 club might be closer and easier than you think.”

Here are John’s five tips for entering the Fortune 500 Club.

  1.  Assess Your Empire’s Current State – Fortunes, like companies, can ebb and flow due to a number of factors; economy, overspending, taking improper risks, misfortune and other events. Loss can happen to even the best of the best. To keep on top of your empire you need to constantly evaluate the entity. Don’t just focus on the negative; include positive aspects as well. Determine what is working and what is not working. Complete a SWOT analysis by identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats of your personal empire. The net result of this activity should be a holistic view of the entity as it stands today.
  2. Update Your Vision, Validate & Define New Goals – When you started down the road to success, you most likely had a vision of what you wanted to become. This vision drove you to the success you are today, guiding your activities, helping you identify and take necessary risks and networking with the right people. Have you updated your vision to reflect new desires and wants? If you’ve been running on autopilot based on the old vision, you will accomplish the old vision and nothing more. Create and update your vision. A vision should embody your values and goals. After defining the new vision, identify the qualitative and quantitative goals that are required to help you realize your vision.
  3. Identity Gaps, Risks, Pain Points and Opportunities – After you’ve assessed your current empire and reevaluated your vision for success, you can now compare the two. The difference between the current and future states should provide enough information to create a list of all the gaps. The gaps need to be addressed to realize your vision. Gaps also help you identify and anticipate risks and pain points along the way. The result of this step should be a better understanding of what’s keeping you from achieving the vision you defined.
  4. Build Your Strategy, Engage Your Power Network – Being a strategic thinker, you’ve likely figured out what strategies have worked in the past. The goal now is to identify strategies to close the gaps and solve the pain points. Strategies have a lifecycle and need to be altered from time to time. If your goals have changed, the strategies you are using may be wrong for you new goals. Determining strategies might be something that you can do on your own, but remember it never hurts to engage others who have solved similar problems. Seek out the power brokers and trusted advisors in your network to help you come up with strategies to close the gaps, mitigate pain points and expand on market opportunities identified in both assessing the current state and those aligned with your vision.
  5. Create an Action Plan, Your In Control – With a good understanding of what strategies can be used to accomplish your goals, you can now create an action plan that defines the activities required. With a limited number of hours in a day, it is important to have your focus and attention on the highly leveraged activities. Focus on the strategic decisions that need to be made and delegate the tactical activities to your team. Of course there are some details you need to be involved with, but limit the non-strategic activities that could usurp all of your time; time that would be better spent growing the empire.

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