“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us” Albert Schweitzer
Think about that, this Thanksgiving week.
About all the times that your light went out—work evaporating, the loss of a dear one, addiction, a creative wasteland, illness.
Remember how you came out of it?
Chances are, someone—maybe even a relative stranger—saw something in you that you were unable to recognize right then. Continue reading
“A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea.” Seth Godin
Building your tribe is a critical part of success in the modern age.
The best tribes reject the status quo—they crave something more. By engaging their minds AND their hearts, you can win them over to become apostles for your ideas and, well, you.
So how do you stir them up? Continue reading
What’s a Negotiator? SO glad you asked. It’s that client who always wants a deal–it’s as though bargaining is in their DNA.
So unless you want to put yourself permanently “on sale”, you have to nip their negotiation attempts right up front. Here’s how. Continue reading
Ah, clients—we need them, we crave them. Consultants, coaches, advisors and freelancers mostly live in attraction mode, constantly building a vibrant roster of sweet-spot clients.
But not every client is a good client. So while you’re courting new relationships, beware of five types of clients almost never worth the trouble.
The Negotiator. The Negotiator gets a thrill every time they get a deal. They ask ”is this your lowest price?” or “I know you said this will cost $20,000, but I’m only prepared to spend $15,000—when can we start?” Negotiating prices makes sense for hotels, but since when are you a commodity? Sure, there may be times it makes sense to make a deal—you have idle staff or it’s a project you’ve been itching to do—but the classic Negotiator will ALWAYS want a deal. So unless you are ready to put yourself permanently on sale, keep a wide berth from these clients. Continue reading
Last week I met “Kathy” a brilliant thinker and compelling speaker wrestling with where to take her still-young business. When she first left her big kahuna job to start her consulting firm, she was a whirling dervish—speaking (for free) on every industry panel she could talk her way onto, intent on setting herself up for lucrative consulting assignments.
The feedback from her speeches was always stellar—her comments were tweeted and retweeted, her sessions were highly ranked and she was consistently invited to present again (and even scored a few referrals to speak at other events).
And yet, after six months, not even a nibble to discuss consulting, much less an actual assignment. She KNEW she nailed her content and was highly respected in the industry. She couldn’t understand why her phone wasn’t ringing. Continue reading
When it comes to Brand You, the prevailing wisdom is that the I-must-be-obeyed warrior always trumps the let-me-help-you-learn-maven.
I once worked with a quiet, meek even, accountant. Let’s call him Lester. He labored daily in an isolated cubicle—friendly, but a true introvert. He spent his days quite happily filling out arcane government forms for big corporations.
When he overheard me frantically trying to fill a last minute speaker cancellation, Lester volunteered to talk about his specialty. Continue reading
You’ve seen George Clooney. Handsome, debonair, quick-witted. Everything he does is tinged with almost impossibly easy-going glamour.
His appearance at an event—say the New York Comic Con in the midst of his honeymoon—instantly takes it up a notch. Or seven. The crowd around him moves like a wave, trying to ensure they are close to a power source.
And yet with all that wattage, he still manages to come across as a real guy, humble and grateful, while swashbuckling around the globe. He uses his power to shine the light on the causes and projects that matter most to him. Everything he touches seems infinitely brighter for his presence.
The George Clooney effect. Continue reading
Think about that for a moment.
Your greatest differentiator is what you might very well be taking for granted.
Let’s be clear: It’s probably not about your technical prowess, even if that’s what you think you’re selling. It may be the way you build relationships. How you break down the complex and make it simple. Your special talent for translating ideas into images.
Is Richard Branson’s true talent building companies or how he connects with people? Is Malcolm Gladwell a staff reporter or a collector/writer of stories that intersect with intriguing research? Is Twyla Tharp a choreographer or a translator of streetwise wisdom into movement? Continue reading