A reading over some notes on private-professional duality, and considering whether more could be done to help in the general case, I came across an article about being professional; but I am making up my own list based on what I often find lacking.
- Say “no” as quickly as possible. It causes a domino effect when people are expecting that a maybe, or even a discussion, is the same as a contract, or a mutual agreement. Break these connects as soon as possible, to free up resources on both sides. For this reason, you also need to:
- Consult with your “back office”. This is especially true if you work alone, for the most part.
- Know the differences between a hustler and a provider of service. A hustler is more interested in having your attention and assets, but a provider is interested in improving your living experience in some way. The provider makes themselves worth the money, but the hustler is too focused on the money to develop relevant skills.
- Show up to key places. Distribution is key. This is a whole topic, but every sale involves service (human subjective experience), availability (distribution), and creation (manufacturing). Distribute your own attention according to what is key for your business process.
- Revenue is made by skill, and won by fortune, not earned by effort. Thus, focus on the application of skill and accept that fortune can be influenced, but not controlled.
- Don’t force yourself to do ten things, when you can only do five ;).
It may sound strange to heard the advice to basically talk to yourself, as a solo actor. However, every firm has limited resources, and explicit management of them is the responsibility of the firm, rather than the potential customer. Customers may always request more for less, but the “back office” has to thus pre-set the asking price and activity schedules to prevent that from draining resources.
If the main resources is a single human being, then keeping the drains low is the most important thing. This requires planning, refinement, and building skills of environmental influence.
Secondly, As a representative of your firm, you need to ensure that the image isn’t tarnished by entangling with the “wrong” opportunities. Whilst pushing for sales or creating opportunities, you’ll often forget that resources are always limited, and might get caught up in the “potential” rather than the “practical”.
So, make a routine of consulting with resource management, and confirming that things can go as you hope. Then confirm or cancel as soon as possible, to keep customers in the loop, and raise your Goodwill with them through politeness.
Drafted: Sat. 19th Nov. 2016.
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