Once upon a time I stood up in front of a referral networking group to introduce myself and started my presentation by announcing that my career was all about me. The responses I received were looks of shock, guffaws and a few snickers. I’m guessing they thought I was going to say my customers. What kind of megalomaniac is this woman? When the words came out of my mouth, I had to agree. This was and wasn’t what I was trying to say. It only got worse from there. These folks were about getting new customers; I was talking nonsensical philosophy. Well, that was the end of my participation in referral networking groups. As a speaker, I suck. But as a writer, well, that’s my thing.
The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique. ~Walt Disney
Bruce Kasanoff‘s article, Be Quiet, Have a Purpose, and Make Friends reminded me of what I was trying in my inept way of saying: If it isn’t about me, then who? If I don’t know the “Quiet Me”, if I don’t know what I’m about, what drives me, what I’m passionate about, what my purpose is, then how can I convince customers to buy my products? Lots of people have the same products as me so why buy from me? Right?
Simon Sinek’s concept of start with why and work out from there is a good one. I remind myself on particularly difficult days: Why did I get into this business in the first place? I can’t speak for other entrepreneurs, but if it was about the money, I would have made more at McDonald’s the first couple of years. Quitting a good paying position, draining my bank account, taking on student loans – I must have had a good reason. I did and I still do.
So before I got up to speak at said networking event, I should have reminded myself of my own questions. Why am I the right person for you to work with? What do I have that others don’t? Answer: My enthusiasm, my curiosity for the world around me, my genuine love of the game – that’s what buyers are attracted to. Remember that word GENUINE. It makes all the difference. Don’t you prefer doing business with someone whose enthusiasm inspires you to take action?
So there it is in a nutshell. There is no one like me. I need to know who that person is before I can expect others to listen to me, trust me, like and work with me. Customers are buying me, not my products. I’ve heard that before and although it makes perfect sense, sometimes it’s hard to wrap your mind around.
So here is my philosophy. When things get complicated, life gets busy and stress levels rise, and you are no longer having fun, you absolutely must take the time to go back to quiet your mind, a little self-analysis, and remember it really is all about you.