Recently, I was following a discussion on my favorite LinkedIn group, Sales Playbook, and the question for the group was; If you can’t serve more than one master. . . who do you sell for. . . the company, yourself, or the client?
Per usual, I put in my two-cents worth, (which was consistent with over 90% of the comments) in that the customer comes first. But for several days following, I couldn’t get one of the posted comments out of my mind. It was from an author in Florida that wrote, “Having integrity, ethics and honesty, when you are the master of you, you will also service the client in their best interest.”
“The Master of you” phase stuck with me and made me think that you should Treat Yourself as a Business.
The idea that you’re a business isn’t new in the world of ideas. But for many, it may be a new concept. If you take it to heart, it has the potential to change your approach towards work and your life. Believe it or not, we’re all entrepreneurs. We all run a business. Think about it for a minute. You make executive decisions about YOUR life every day, right? Bottom line (no pun intended) you are a business, treat yourself as a business, and be thinking like a business.
The hardest and most difficult decisions are left up to the person at the top. The CEO, The Big Kahuna. As the CEO of the Business of YOU, it becomes your responsibility to define and direct your mission, course of action, and choices – not someone else. All successful CEO’s know not to neglect key functional areas. The areas below are critical for your business’s success:
Research & Development
This area is one that as the CEO of You, must not be neglected. It is imperative for the future. Figure out where you want to go and go for it. Start doing the things now to get you there. Research what it is you need to know and develop a plan to get there. Try to figure out what is possible? Develop your skills that you know you will need. Develop the network that you will need to establish yourself and kick your R&D department into overdrive.
Take an assessment and determine your worth. What is your value to your customers, future prospects, future organizations. Manage your expenses and your time. Spend wisely. Invest in you, and in technology to make you better. Some of the best technologies available to help you are free. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, You-tube, Blogs and many websites, are, you guessed it, FREE!
Some people say that they aren’t sales people. That they can’t sell anything. Well, I disagree. We all sell ourselves in one way or another. Whether or not you know it, you are selling in one form or another every day. We sell our ideas at work and at home. All great sales people network. Some of the best opportunities come from someone who knows someone who is looking for something. Everyone you network with can be shareholders in your future so sell yourself first and Network, Network, Network.
Yes marketing. If you want to be known as successful business then you need to market. You need to be in the business of Marketing yourself. Your personal brand. Create the brand that you want then market it! Be out there with you and your brand. Join various groups that you are interested in on LinkedIn. Market yourself through the use of a blog. Create that website that is special to you and the message you are trying to communicate. Above all, participate. Somebody famous once said that the biggest part of getting what you want in life is showing up!
Board of Directors
Behind every successful CEO is a strong Board of Directors. Your directors can be close friends, mentors, leaders you admire. These individuals can keep you going and help define your path for success. Find and create a team that is invested in you.
You may not consider yourself as much more than just a common person working to make your way in the world. But if you shift your perspective slightly, and treat yourself as a business, you will provide value beyond what is expected, and give customer service that is beyond reproach. Develop a mindset of running the business of you. Remember, in your business, YOU are your biggest asset! Be “The Master of YOU”.