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Truckin’ On Down the Road

Truckin’ On Down the Road

I’m talking to a lot of people in my Community who are having very good years. Some patterns have developed, which perhaps may be best practices for everyone:

1. They seek opportunity. They figure that “there must be a pony here someplace” (you have to know to rather poor joke). That is, they don’t see the world conspiring against them but simply see trends developing which should be examined for opportunity, not threat.

2. They are resilient. Instead of “What am I doing wrong?” after a few rejections, they say, “This industry is backward, I should try others,” or, “I’m dealing with the wrong level in this organization,” or “Just a bad day, it happens.” If you think you have a great deal yet to learn, then you have the advantage of improving and dealing with problems. If you think you already know it all, then there’s nothing much left for you to do if you’re being rejected.

3. They continue to invest in their development. I’m pleasantly astonished at the correlation between success and planned learning. My Six to Seven Figures workshop in March of 2009 is already sold out with a waiting list. The Million Dollar Club in November is replete with early adapters, despite high air costs and the adventure of traveling to Nevis (from Germany, Australia, and the U.S.). I’m constantly surprised at how stupid I was two weeks ago. Learning is growth.

4. They don’t cave. They are willing to walk away from business if they are not treated like a partner, if the buyer tries to negotiate silly issues, and if the buyer has an arbitrary alternative that clearly won’t work. “The customer is always right” is one of the stupidest bromides of all time. If that were true, why would anyone need a consultant? (By the way, speaking of buyer alternatives, any RFP—Request for Proposal—is simply an arbitrary alternative that is going out to bid and will be evaluated by low-level people using the wrong criteria.)

5. They balance their lives (and this may be the toughest for them). They suggest alternative scheduling, delay initiating projects, and don’t conform to every client shrug and moan in order to have quality time with family, friends, and private interests. Let’s face it, 99.9 percent of the time, the client doesn’t need something in the next hour or even day.

6. They have a great sense of humor. They laugh at themselves the most, but also at the conditions of the client, this crazy profession, and the daily surprises life offers. The never take themselves too seriously. (I told someone to stop whining once. He puffed up and said, “I happen to be a CMC® [Certified Management Consultant]!” I said, “Okay, I’ll speak more slowly.”)

If you’re having problems in this profession, it’s not the economy, not global warming, not the administration in power, not Bill Gates (he’s retired), and not your search engine ranking.

It’s YOU. What are you going to do about it?

© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Comments: 2

  • Michael Temple

    July 9, 2008

    Very timely post. I am sure this is all relative, but I am on track to have a record year for my business. I hear so many people around me complaining and yet I have more work than I know what to do with at the moment. I don’t do all these things perfectly, but I do many of them well. I plan on sharing this with the next person that tells me they are having a tough year.

  • Kevin Dubrosky

    September 25, 2008

    So true. We are for the most part in control of our business path. We have the power to shape our business future, too. Taking responsibility is a crucial first step.

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