Redefining professional success is the topic of today’s segment. You would think that professional success would a subject that’s on everyone’s mind in this day and age given the uncertainty of the world’s economy. However, almost no one ever searches for it.

Welcome to the Subscription Maker Podcast. This is your host Zachary Alexander, Enterprise Architect at The go-to resource for people who want the benefits of a creative lifestyle and the security of recurring income.

Let’s start by saying that the reason redefining professional success is important is because people identify with their jobs. So if they are a manager and they manage people, then they are a success. However, if they are a manager and they don’t have anyone to manage, then they are a failure.

What is professional success?

You could make the case that professional success is more of an industry standard than it is a life choice. If you choose a certain profession, then you expect to receive a certain amount of compensation.

A lot of very serious people believe that pursuing a certain career entitles you to a number of privileges. And that these privileges are also conveyed to your family members. Take, for example, the executive’s wife who exudes an air of regal entitlement even when she stands in line at the grocery store.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for the gig economy. As you can imagine, contingent professionals may at any time be waiting on standby for the next big gig to start. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that the person is no less a professional. That’s why redefining professional success is important.

Why must you define professional success for yourself?

Everyone has a unique way of approaching the world. You can call this their worldview. For the sake of conversation, your worldview is shaped by your unique combination of talents or skills. As an aside, we’ve talked about the CliftonStrengths Assessment as a means of identifying your specific combination of talents.

In a perfect world, your specific combination of strengths would match those defined by the industry standard for your profession. The reality is that this may not true. You may, in fact have none of the natural strengths that match the industry standard. However, you may still be successful.

For example, your strength may lie in your personal discipline.  You may enjoy routine and structure. And you may thrive in positions where performing the same action over and over again is valued, like surgery. However, the industry standard suggests that you need to be a developer. This is someone that recognizes the potential in others and helps them maximize it.

Redefining professional success for yourself will save you a lot of time and effort. And it could create a host of competitive advantages. Cultivating a different worldview often opens up new opportunities. For example, your discipline could help you identify productivity enhancements.

Why redefine professional success for remote workers.

In past segments, we’ve talked about Workforce50/50. This is the point in time when fifty percent of the US workforce is engaged as contingent workers. We’ve also talked about the fact that both Australia and the UK have already reached Workforce50/50.

You can think of remote workers as having one foot in both the traditional full-time work economy and the gig economy. The reason is that companies pay for semi-exclusive rights to the services of highly skilled professionals. Remote employees win because they can be more productive and take on additional work as long as it doesn’t interfere with their primary employment.

Refining professional success for remote workers has a lot more to do with quality of life issues. The main benefit of remote work is your ability to take better care of your value-producing process. It’s a way of decoupling your location from your economic situation.

Redefining professional success for subscription makers.

A lot of very serious people like to say that nothing prepares for life in the gig economy. No one talks about the isolation of working alone as a remote worker. Nothing prepares you for the additional risk, especially if you are not a natural marketer.

In the future, a gig could make you an employee without benefits or social structure. In fact, California just passed a law that states that temp employees should be treated like permanent workers. We’ll see if this stands up in court.

Subscription makers are different. They want the freedom of a creative lifestyle and the security of recurring income. They don’t need or want a paycheck from a single employer. They would prefer to have recurring paychecks from a number of employers.

Redefining professional success for subscription makers must include acknowledgment of their life choices. For the record, all professional engagements in the gig economy are creative. This means that all engagements require that you create new value on demand. Otherwise, your job will eventually be performed by robots.


Redefining professional success must take into account that all work in the gig economy will someday be creative. This means contingent professionals must create value on demand for multiple employers. Thank you for listening to this episode of the Subscription Maker Podcast. This is your host Zachary Alexander. If you like to continue this conversation, join us in the Subscription Maker Group on Facebook.