Dan Buettner: How to live to be 100+. Watch this video. It's findings are fascinating and it contains good advice for all our lives.
If you Google "personal marketing plans," you get about 11,000 hits. Clicking through, many authors advise beginning with developing a personal mission statement, vision statement, and SWOT analysis. While this is fine advice, and likely preferable, I have found that the more complicated the process is on the front end, the less likely it will ever be started, much less finished.
Therefore, let's begin without the mission, vision, or SWOT analysis. Let's make it easy. Take out a sheet of paper. Write these questions down:
Let me continue excerpting:
"The sole practitioner who cannot sell will lose his independence and have to go back to work for someone else. At most large firms, to make partner, you must be able to bring in business. The underlying economics of the firm make it so.
Even if it is not stated, the professional within a firm who does not market and sell has a far higher probability of seeing his career plateau than one who brings in new business. When times are tough, a firm will hang onto those who bring in business longer than those who provide technical support. ...
The professional career path is strewn with the bodies of those who meant to get around to marketing someday. ...
... professional firms do a poor job of training their employees to market and sell. If you do not take responsibility for your own development, no one will." (pp. xiii - xv) [emphasis mine]
One of your goals for 2010 should be to become a student of business development in order to become a rainmaker. Start with Ford's book.
This is an excerpt from What Matters Now, Seth Godin's collection of thoughts, ideas, and opinions from several leading thought-leaders. The entry below is from Howard Mann, speaker, entrepreneur, and the author of The Business Brickyard.
There are tens of thousands of businesses making many millions a year in profits that still haven't ever heard of twitter, blogs, or facebook. Are they all wrong? Have they missed out or is the joke really on us? They do business through personal relationships, by delivering great customer service and it's working for them. They're more successful than most of those businesses who spend hours pontificating about how others lose out by missing social media and the latest wave. And yet they're doing business. Great business. Not writing about it. Doing it.
I'm continually amazed by the number of people on Twitter and on blogs, and the growth of people (and brands) on facebook. But I'm also amazed by how so many of us are spending our time. The echo chamber we're building is getting larger and louder.
More megaphones don't equal better dialogue. We've become slaves to our mobile devices and the glow of our screens. It used to be much more simple and, somewhere, simple turned into slow.
We walk the streets with our heads down staring into 3-inch screens while the world whisks by doing the same. And yet we're convinced we are more connected to each other than ever before. Multi-tasking has become a badge of honor. I want to know why.
I don't have all the answers to these questions but I find myself thinking about them more and more. In between tweets, blog posts, and facebook updates. (emphasis mine)
As the CMO of a professional services firm, I and my firm faced many challenges during the "Great Recession of 2009." My firm, Mercer Capital, which provides business valuation and investment banking services, was not immune to the economic realities of the year. As I was debriefing the year, I tried to identify some lessons learned.
So, here a few of the lessons I learned from the year that was 2009:
Mercer Capital ended the year profitably. We had no lay offs. In fact, we hired during the year. The year turned out remarkably well given the economic turmoil. In addition, 2009 was a pivotal year strategically. Through hard work, strategic decisions, and a bit of luck, we enter 2010 on a strong footing - hopefully remembering the lessons of 2009.
I am interested in your comments. What did you learn from 2009?
Photo credit: Kenny Weng www.moodaholic.com
Ford Harding's blog is a must read for any serious professional who is currently a rainmaker or is on his or her way to becoming one. A recent post talked about missed opportunities when we wait or what he calls "slippage."
I know that for me the word "later" is the bane of my existence. I can rationalize why I will do something "later" when I can easily do it right now.
In the post, Ford relates "slippage" to missed opportunities to ask the client for help you in return for excellent work:
The client’s desire to help you in return for the excellent work you did ebbs as she gets absorbed by other urgent matters. The prospective client loses some of the enthusiasm generated at your meeting. The network contact also forgets the conversation you had as the days go by.
This is one of the reasons that rainmakers feel a sense of urgency about following up. No matter how busy they are, they find time to follow up on such opportunities, recognizing that all their hard work to produce them loses value as time slips by.
Do you have that sense of urgency? Read the whole thing here and bookmark his blog.