Industry Research: Business Lesson #8

How to Get From Here to There

When my business coach, Steve Sobel, asked me to do this industry research, I had no idea how huge it could be.  The ‘aha’ for me was that when you get ‘there’, it becomes another ‘here’.  The only difference between someone just starting in this industry, and someone who has achieved the top, is that the person who has reached the top has done whatever was necessary.  To find out what’s necessary – ask them!  Here are the steps.

1.  Choose at least three people who are leaders in your industry, or who have achieved a level to which you aspire.  Acknowledging the level of success they have achieved, ask each if they would consent to an industry research interview.

2.  Develop a questionnaire to solicit the answers you require to make decisions about your career.  Include questions where the answers are not already available on their website on in their brochure.  Ideally the person you are interviewing will have an ‘aha’ moment.  Here are some ideas.

•  How and why did you choose this field?

•  What types of skills have you found to be essential?

•  To what do you attribute your success?

•  What one thing (person, event) made the biggest difference in the success of your business?

•  What was your biggest obstacle, and how did you overcome it?

•  What does the industry currently look like for you?

•  What does the future of this industry look like to you?

•  What advice would you give to someone who is starting in this industry?

•  What preparation would you suggest for someone who is interested in entering this field?

•  What are some issues that might hold me back from reaching my career goal?

3.  Conduct the interview in person or on skype; being able to see each other helps build the relationship, and facial expressions and body language add to the message.  If you can, record the interview so that you can play it back for more discernment.  A positive interview can build an ongoing relationship between you and the leader.

4.  You may choose to incorporate the interviews into an article to be submitted to your industry paper.  If you do this, use pictures of the interviewees, and allow them to see the article prior to publication.  Your name is now associated with industry leaders.


“When you reach ‘there’, it becomes another ‘here’.” ~ Karen Brunger

Karen Brunger is President of International Image Institute Inc., and a Past-President of the Association of Image Consultants International

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