Are You Getting What You Deserve?

April 27, 2012

Spotted in the i newspaper today:

“In life, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate” – Don King (the promoter).

Reflecting on some key moments in my career, this is certainly true and the times when things didn’t work out was because I didn’t negotiate (well), either through lack of knowledge or emotions.

Of course, it’s often hard to figure out quite what it is you ‘deserve’ (whatever that means anyway) and it’s often only really clear in hindsight (when all the uncertainties are removed).

My best recent experience was when I proactively adopted a well-thought out and confident win-win stance, so it’s something I’d definitely recommend –  some info on this approach here.


Who Are You Again?

April 25, 2012

I came across this quote in a review of ‘Never Eat Alone’ on Amazon UK:

I don’t know who you are.
I don’t know your company.
I don’t know what your company stands for.
I don’t know your company’s customers.
I don’t know your company’s products.
I don’t know your company’s reputation.
Now – what was it you wanted to sell me?

– quoted in the book as Harvey Mackay in Swim With The Sharks.

This rang a bell with me as some people I come across think that once you’ve thought up (and actually produced) an offering then the job’s more-or-less done.

Everything else will then (magically) take care of itself, especially in these globally-connected times.

It’s true that clever ideas can now be promoted far more quickly than previously (especially due to the plethora of free tools) but some people-oriented basics still remain the same:

Who are you and why should I do business with you?

How Do Your Customers Think You Spend Your Time?

April 12, 2012

I spotted the picture above in a recent Seth Godin post which commented (logically) on it’s implications regarding delegation and getting additional resources.

Interestingly my immediate take on it was actually rather different – customer perceptions – an example of how a picture can stimulate different thoughts with different people!

I’ve often found that, to start with, customers only have a pretty rough idea of what I do to achieve a given result. I’m sure that if you asked them they’d give all sorts of replies (although none as sexy as the ones above left). As customers become clients through developing a ‘mutually beneficial relationship’, clarification naturally arises. However this may be a rather slow process as it depends on building up trust and credibility and so on.

In addition, and more importantly, as mutual understanding increases so do additional business opportunities. This has happened to me time and time again and my reaction to this was that it was simply serendipity. However, on reflection, that’s not really the case – I encouraged my luck by being passionate about something else I was working on at the time and which my customer also got interested in.

How can I systematically improve on this?

The picture above reminded me (in broad terms) that it’s important to explain to customers the different things you’re doing (especially germinal projects), at an appropriate level, from the earliest stages and not to limit oneself to just the issue at hand. It may come to nothing but it may also sow the seed for something bigger and better.

This overlaps with a previous post on realising goals indirectly as well as to The Role Of Luck In Life And Projects.

Picture credit: here.

Business Startup Show – May 2012, London

April 6, 2012

The 27th Business Startup Show will be taking place in ExCel London on 17 – 18 May 2012. It’s a free event.

If you’re interested in some background, I’ve written a post on the previous show – the article also gives some tips for a perfect pitch. They’re obvious, but as with many ‘obvious’ things, not always done!

I was very impressed by Penny Power‘s charismatic and insightful presentation last time and fortunately she’s speaking again at this show – well worth trying to see her if you can.

The show is partnered by the Federation of Small Businesses.

The ‘Expert Enough’ Manifesto

April 2, 2012

A good example of a thought-provoking and eye-catching graphic – more info on the ideas behind the approach and picture credit here.