I've been terrible about consistent blogging, so I apologize - it's been a busy 2 months! I do want to finish out this series on the worst business advice, though, and these two go hand-in-hand....how do you balance benevolence with making a living and making a profit on top of that?
Just recently I received a phone call from a very excited possible client (prospect) who wanted a fun memorial video created for a celebration of the legacy of this Northern Colorado business that her family operated together. As she described the party and her vision for the video she wanted to showcase, I got excited with her. The challenge was that her budget for this was awfully small due to relying on donations to fill in that budget. Not a problem – we’ll do it at that small budget because she can (and agreed to) do most of the research work and asset gathering (people for interviews, photos, voice-over person, etc.).
Two days later we had an hour-long phone conversation that contained a LOT of questions for me, and we were able to settle them all. There was almost an awkward situation that came up which I was able to diffuse because I was ready for it. It’s the age-old question that takes many forms, but goes something like this: “Is there any way we could move some of these items out of your way in order to reduce the amount of work you do?” On the surface, that sounds like a concern for my stress level, but you can see what she’s really trying to ask, right? – How can I spend less money on this project?
“The worst advice I’ve ever received was from an early mentor who told me, ‘You need to act, look and behave exactly like your competition because they already are successful… so why re-invent the wheel?’
After years of trying to be like someone else, I slowly discovered that being yourself and being authentic is the greatest advantage of all.”
– Derek Devore, Founder of Duvora.
Well, Derek…I disagree with you a bit, there. Yes – of course, you aren’t EXACTLY like your competition so there are going to be some things you do differently. Be real. Be authentic. But… if you are selling the same product/service to the same type of clientele in the same market area, but your Colorado competitor is beating you in sales….they may have struck a gold marketing idea that you need to glom onto, as well.