Aug
6

… read a client’s newsletter.

 

For about the 10th time.

By the time we publish it next week, I’ll have read it 10 more times.

I’m not complaining; I never seem to tire of rereading and tweaking something I wrote. It’s almost a bit of an obsession.

If what you sell is an activity you are naturally – and happily – drawn to, chances are you’ll both enjoy your work and be pretty good at it.

Aug
3

… heard a “red flag.”

 

I asked a prospective e-newsletter client: “Why don’t you just do this yourself?”

He said: “I don’t have the time.”

Uh oh.

People who hire you because they don’t have the time are not the same as people who hire you because they don’t have the capability.

Those in the former group don’t particularly value your work (and they never will). To them, you’ll always be just an extra pair of hands.

The latter group, however, sees value in the work itself, above and beyond what they could do on their own.

I pay someone else to wash my car because I don’t have the time to do it. That’s not why I go to the doctor.

Which profession would you rather be a member of?

 

P.S. Is it possible to actually hear a red flag?

Jul
28

… sent emails to a bunch of people.

 

All people I “know,” defined as, “If I ran into them in the supermarket, I wouldn’t have to introduce myself.”

No agenda, no sales pitch, no can-you-refer-me-to-x-types-of-companies request.

Just keeping in touch.

First, because it’s nice to have work colleagues, especially when you work solo.

Second, because word of mouth only works to the extent that people remember you are alive.

It’s up to you to keep your connections warm.

Jul
23

… did not get hired.

 

I had a call with a prospective client, someone referred to me by a mutual friend.

He definitely could have benefited from my specialty – an email newsletter, but after about ten minutes on the phone, it was obvious to me that we just didn’t click.

In short, I didn’t want to work with him. So I never mentioned a newsletter and we went our separate ways.

Two things:

1. You get to choose.

Getting hired is not simply about the prospect wanting you – you have as much choice in the decision as they do.

2. You don’t have to wait.

You may think you’re not yet “successful” enough to turn away business. Of any kind.

But here’s the thing: If you want to work only with clients that you really like, you need to stop working with clients that you really don’t.

It won’t happen until you start walking away from the wrong companies and people.

Jul
14

… celebrate 100 years.

 

In 1912, my grandfather traveled by himself from his native Lithuania to New York. Eight years later, on this very day in 1920, my grandmother arrived at Ellis Island with their four children.

Nine months and approximately twenty minutes later, my dad was born, making him the first domestically produced member of the family.

Milestones are important in your business, too, whether that means commemorating anniversaries, framing important accomplishments, or taking a day off to acknowledge reaching a particular goal.

Big companies love to celebrate. It helps make things feel more real. There’s no reason we shouldn’t too!