Q: My industry used to have a monopoly. Now technology is exploding and we've got lots of competition. How do you keep an edge in a world...

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Q: My industry used to have a monopoly. Now technology is exploding and we’ve got lots of competition. How do you keep an edge in a world that never stops?

A: Believe it or not, the same problem is affecting every company and everyone who works for a living. Even the national television network, CNBC, which specializes in teaching people how to maintain an edge in business, has been challenged by a competing channel launched by the FOX Network and by the explosion of the Internet.

I went to the leader of CNBC, Mark Hoffman, because I figure if it works for the most respected resource for business information, it’s worth trying in the rest of the business world.

I heard three tips for maintaining an edge in a world that never stops.

1. Hire the best people you can find.

2. Make sure your customer can trust you.

3. Build a solid history with your customers and bring your “A” game every day to create your business future.

Hoffman agreed that change is challenging but also pointed out that these challenges bring opportunities. For instance, the Internet is forcing change in the way everyone does business, but it opens up ways to connect in real time with your customers as well.

Another challenge/opportunity for business people is worldwide communication. Hoffman said, “Given the global nature of the economy, the world gets smaller every day. As a result, business people need information from everywhere in the world and customized solutions that help them communicate with their customers.”

He also emphasized that it takes psychological savvy to build a profitable future in any industry. Hoffman observed, “Our audience needs fast, accurate and actionable resources that help them navigate the tension between greed and fear. We deliver unbiased information to help them decide what risks to take.”

I frequently give tools in this column for building an interpersonal network that supports your work and makes work worthwhile, financially and emotionally. During the interview I noticed Hoffman also thinks carefully about how CNBC an support and advise their viewers and customers.

He said: “We want to be a resource to our viewers throughout each day. If you come to work with the scrappiness of a startup and don’t let your ‘muscle memory’ prevent you from innovating, you’ll keep your edge.”

The last word(s)

Q: I have a co-worker who is after my job. He’s got me so paranoid, I can’t concentrate. How can I focus on my job?

A: It’s very hard to get ahead when you keep looking behind. Your job is in more jeopardy from your fear than from your co-worker.

Daneen Skube, Ph.D., is an executive coach, trainer, therapist, speaker and author of “Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, About Anything” (Hay House, 2006). She can be reached at 1420 N.W. Gilman Blvd., No. 2845, Issaquah, WA 98027-7001; by e-mail at interpersonaledge@comcast.net; or at www.interpersonaledge.com. Sorry, no personal replies. To read other Daneen Skube columns, go to www.seattletimes.com/daneenskube