That question keeps popping up. In fact, it’s often on my mind, but I have never really asked it exactly like that. I’ve asked in the typical ways:
- What is my purpose?
- Am I doing what I am supposed to be doing?
- Does what I do make sense?
- Am I investing my time, talent and resources appropriately?
Ask the same questions, get the same answers, implement the same plans and … you get the picture … right? You get the same results. Instead, how about a new approach?
LISTEN, OBSERVE, IMPLEMENT!
But this question came across a bit differently over this past weekend, and perhaps it was related to the timing. I had the privilege of serving as chair of the planning committee for the 2013 National AWC (Association for Women in Communications) National Conference. The event took place Friday and Saturday. Part of the privilege of serving as chair is that you get to sit with the speakers, have an audience with them, talk with them, LISTEN to them, even before they share their stories, wisdom, inspiration and/or experience with the group.
There are way too many nuggets for me to share in one blog post, so I am going to do multi-part blog:
What is your promised land? Listen, Observe, Implement:
You are Worth Every Penny! Sarah Petty of Sarah Petty Photography and Joy of Marketing is someone I already know. She lives right here in Springfield, IL., same as me. I have known her since she worked for a local ad agency and I was the managing editor of the Springfield Business Journal … back in the mid ’90s. She kicked off the event as the opening luncheon speaker. What a way to begin!
In fact, the title of her (and co-author Erin Verbeck’s) New York Time’s best-selling book, “Worth Every Penny,” served as our conference theme. Petty reminded conference goers how valuable they are … their experiences, family, businesses, relationships, hopes, dreams, time. Women, especially, even today, tend to sell themselves short. But we don’t have to!!
Guilty … in the day job and in my own start-ups, I’ve spent time wondering how to structure the prices to either gain clients or keep clients. What do so many tend to do first? Look to see what discounts can be offered. Sarah Petty says don’t do that!
In one of my roles, I sell print advertising. I had a prospect a few years ago who continued to be unhappy with the price I quoted, even though I had offered a number of discounts (it’s expected, right?). Finally, frustrated, I looked him in the eye and asked – “Would you give your product away?” He grinned, said no, and signed the contract that day, without the last discount he was trying to get.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I like a good deal as much as the next guy. But sales and discounts should NOT be offered on a just-because basis. Sarah is absolutely right … she says, “Discounting products and services that you want to get full price for tomorrow doesn’t make sense, unless you have a good reason.”
Be sure you are getting what you are worth. Be sure you are your own brand champion! That’s what I am going to do. I’ve already observed Sarah’s incredible success. I listened to what she said at the conference and have read her blog posts, reviewed her websites, etc. She practices what she preaches. Now, I’m going to re-read with more attention/intention and implement action steps found in “Worth Every Penny!” Will you join me?
Check out http://www.joyofmarketing.com for more tips on marketing your business or on photography … oh, yeah, she has that gift, too!
Stay tuned … I’ll also share what I learned from talking with, listening to, learning from and observing in my time with:
Debbie Halvorson, former United States Representative, Illinois State Senator and first female Majority Leader of the Illinois State Senate.
Bonnie St. John, the first African-American to win medals in Winter Paralympic competition as a ski racer. She recently co-authored, with her teen-age daughter, Darcy Deane, “How Great Women Lead.” They interviewed women leaders, including Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia; Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State; Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook; Geena Davis, movie star; Cathy Sarubbi, mother of five; Rishika Daryanani, high school junior and many others. Bonnie was so much fun to get to know in the brief time we had together.
Margery Krevsky, owner and CEO of Michigan-based Production Plus – The Talent Shop, dubbed the “Queen Bee of the Car Show Models” by Forbes. She believes in beauty, inside and out!!
and so many others …
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
“Write down for the coming generation what the Lord has done, so that people not yet born will praise Him.” Psalm 102:18