HELLO, my name is Scott!
We've never met, but I'll be the keynote speaker at ITC Agent Conference 2015.
I've been wearing a nametag 24/7 for the past 5,221 days. That's about 15 years. More importantly, I've also made a career out of wearing a nametag. What started out as a silly experiment has evolved into a profitable enterprise. I travel around the globe as a writer, speaker, consultant, strategist, songwriter and filmmaker, educating people about approachability, identity, commitment and creativity.
We'll talk more about that in April. For now, here are three strategies for competing and succeeding in the modern market:
- We have to be ready for the money that is waiting for us. Being religious about how you make your money is the quickest way to go out of business. Entrepreneurs need to give their little economic engine every possible advantage in the current postmodern landscape. A useful practice for doing so is conducting an ongoing product and portfolio analysis. Getting in the habit of constantly evaluating your personal buying continuum, always looking for new ways to create value for people. Because your clients will tell you how to sell to them. They will help you provide your craft with different avenues at different stages of your creative life. You just have to listen and let them lay track down in front of your train. If you were your own client, what would you just love to have from you next?
- Send it to the gallows. Everyone starts by throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks. In the absence of experience, that's really the only way to uncover which path to pursue. We try things, we experiment, we listen to what wants to be written, and we move forward accordingly. But the mistake many of us make is, we forget to go back and clean up the old, crusty noodles off the floor. And the kitchen starts to smell foul, scaring away potential clients. McDonalds recently simplified their product line, removing more than eight items from their menu. Naturally, customers got upset. Nobody wanted to see their favorite value meal sent to the gallows. Especially those bacon ranch chicken fajita wraps. Deelish. But business is business. And corporate representatives explained that the company had no choice but to discontinue a number of products in an effort to increase service speed. That's how fast food works. A confused mind never buys. My question is, how bloated is your menu? When was the last time you discontinued all of your company's superfluous, unsellable and outdated offerings?
- The polishing cloth atop a foundation of value. Uniqueness is an important starting point, but it can't be the only point. It has to be the polishing cloth atop a foundation of value. When I first started giving speeches and conducting corporate training programs, I received an audience evaluation I'll never forget. The comment on the feedback form put it perfectly. Great nametag shtick, but is there anything behind it? Ouch. I remember my stomach dropping the moment I saw those words on the page. Fortunately, that comment hurt my feelings just enough to light a fire under me and send me to work developing substance, not just delivering shtick. And now, more than a decade later, not a person in this world can look at my enterprise and make that same comment. I made certain of that. Proving that baseline remarkability isn't enough. Style might get your foot in the door, but only substance will keep you in the room. Are you remarkable but inconsequential?