Business Model You: A One-Page Method for Reinventing Your Career
Book Review by Bryan Lubic
Clark, T., Osterwalder, A., & Pigneur, Y. (2012). Business Model You: A One-Page Method for Reinventing Your Career. New Jersey: John H. Wiley & Sons, Inc. 257 pages, including illustrations and worksheets. ISBN-13: 978-1118156315.
Business Model You: A One-Page Method for Reinventing Your Career is a creative and innovative career development resource helps people to create a compelling and adaptable career vision and plan by using and applying a unique business planning method and following a series of well-developed prompts and exercises to draw a “personal business model.” The result is a one-page visual representation of an individual’s career plan, presented using the “building blocks of business” and adapted to the individual. Highly recommended for anyone looking to or interested in visual models and tools for career development, and those interested in applying business concepts to career planning.
What this book is about:
Business Model You: A One-Page Method for Reinventing Your Career (BMY) uses the framework and analogy of business models to help individuals create and draw their own “personal business model” using the basic components of business--described as “business building blocks”--to ultimately create a personalized blueprint for their career. Subtitled as a “a one-page method for reinventing your career,” BMY presents a unique and highly engaging visual approach to career development.
You would probably like this resource if...
...you would like to use an interactive, visual and hands-on tool to help yourself or your clients to understand their unique interests, strengths, and value to potential employers;
...you are interested in using the metaphor of a visual business model to help yourself or your clients understand how to clearly and concisely summarize their value, skills, and purpose in career and life;
...you simply like cool tools for career development, especially ones that are based on actual models in other domains (like business) and effectively adapted to career development.
This might not be a good resource for you if…
...you are focused on resumes and cover letters. The purpose instead is to use a non-traditional or metaphorical approach to career development and planning;
...you want to use your MBA or technical business skills. Rather this resource offers easy-to-learn business model components, called “building blocks” as a way to adopt, integrate and formulate your own “Personal Business Model Canvas.”
A visual description of a visual method
Since BMY is a visual resource, and since one picture is worth a thousand words, here’s a link to the BMY overview video created by the authors: see for yourself what BMY is really like.
Business Model You Video Overview:
The Method of Business Model You
Business Model You is organized into four main sections, each with clear explanations, engaging illustrations, definitions and examples, along with effective exercises based in career development theory.
Section 1: Canvas
Introduces, defines, and explains the Business Model Canvas, the basic building blocks of business, and concludes with a practical exercise completing a business model canvas for your current organization as well as starting the first draft of your own personal business model.
Section 2: Reflect
Helps readers to “revisit [their] life direction and consider how [they] want to align [their] personal and career aspirations through active reflection and exercises designed to elicit ideas about self-identity and purpose. Especially notable: exercises were included based on extensive feedback from career development professionals, and life purpose is positioned as a central and ongoing, ever-evolving process. Holland’s RIASEC model, a lifeline event plotting and analysis exercise, and several other easy and effective activities complete this section, which ends by uniting individual purpose with the world of work.
Section 3: Revise
Helps readers “readjust or reinvent [their] work life using the canvas and discoveries from previous sections” (p. 158). Standout chapter in this section: “Redraw Your Personal Business Model,” which includes outstanding diagnostic process, tools, and prompts for readers to use to assess and adjust their personal business model. Also provides four “reinvention stories” from individuals who modified one or two of the building blocks in their personal business models to achieve greater career satisfaction and success.
Section 4: Act
Shows readers how to “make it all happen” (p. 206) through two unique approaches: “Calculating Your Business Value,” which shows readers how to calculate their worth/cost/value to an employer, and “Test Your Model in the Market,” which shows readers how to “contact and meet with potential Customers (employers), experts, or people who can introduce you to them, and discovering whether or not your model is workable,” (p. 228). Specific steps, standard in career networking, are provided, along with a simple script and more details on the process. A great, new take on the “meeting people” component of job search, made lively through the business model metaphor and framework.
Challenges and Limitations of this Resource
The full value of this book-- specifically, this method --is in the creative process of drawing your own canvas. By itself, the book is limited by the printed page to communicate the full and expansive power of this approach. Without additional explanation or examples, this resource may be challenging to understand, connect with, or use. However, simple internet searches for “Personal Business Model” will return many different examples, and the overview video is an excellent explanation.
Given the unique approach through a metaphor of business models, this resource may be too abstract for some learners, and it may take many others a bit more time to really “get” this approach. In my practice, those who do understand it really expand their career and business awareness, hope, and enthusiasm for themselves and their careers.
Conclusion: Highly recommended as a unique, creative and effective career management tool
BMY will help readers “treat their career like a business and create a business model for their career” by providing a structured way to understand, visualize and create their own personal business model canvas based on their unique interests, skills, strengths and goals.
Most important to, however, is how this resource deepens and extends the tools we can use for career development, and most importantly, how it provides an engaging and truly transformative process for readers ready for reinvention.
Finally, it’s fun to use! And when was the last time you used that word to describe a career development tool or process?!?
If you’d like to learn more about BMY, there are several great (and free) resources available; all are helpful for counselors as well as career changers for instruction and inspiration.
There’s a substantial preview available through Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature on their website;
You can get a 79 page preview in PDF format to download (no charge) from BusinessModelYou.com (“Book Preview” tab)
In your favorite search engine, search for: “Business Model You” to see what others have said, and find examples additional resources, websites, and images of sample and completed “canvasses” that people have completed and modified.
*Full disclosure: The author was an early (unpaid) reader and reviewer of this resource before it was published in 2012. He has not received any compensation related to the publication of the book or this review.
Bryan Lubic, M.A., CCMC, is a Professional Development Advisor at San Diego State University. He is also a law school graduate and a certified career coach. Career Convergence and NCDA appreciate his volunteer work as the Associate Editor of the Organizations Department. He can be reached at email@example.com.