Monday, January 30, 2012

It's Not About You

Is your value to your customers defined by how much inventory you have, how many warehouses you own, or what your latest earnings report showed?

Does your value proposition or mission statement talk about your strength, your assets, your history, or your people?

It's not about you, it's about the customer.

Your customers don't care how long you've been in business, that you just acquired a small competitor, that  you're on version 11.1 of your awesome website, or that you're proficient at using buzz words.

They care if their business will be here tomorrow, and if it will profitable enough to be here next week, next month, and next year.

Show your customers how you will help them endure and grow.  After that, it becomes about you.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Big Customer Blues

It happened again: your biggest customer caused you to spend your whole day digging out of a mess.

Just like many other times, they failed to plan correctly or bring you into the project at the early stage, and now your paying the price.

Sometimes the entitlement that comes with being a large customer leaves a lot of damage, including late payments, draining resources, and unreasonable expectations.

No one customer is worth you sacrificing your integrity, or draining all your energy for your other accounts.

Trust your instinct and go to the edge of the cliff with that customer.  Reinforce your value to them and re-set the expectations of the business relationship.  You're in this together (I hope), and if you truly are, your customer will respect you more for it.

If they don't, and nothing changes, let them go.  The energy formally spent on them will now be focused on creating new profitable business relationships.  I promise you, you'll never look back.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Just Showing Up

There is an avalanche of new ideas out there on how you should approach your job and career.

My concern is that people new to the workforce are being bombarded with the art of finessing the best out of the workplace before they actually have the fundamentals-- such as looking presentable, carrying yourself in a way that exudes a sense of purpose, and learning the rules before breaking the rules.

The most important one: just showing up.

The problem with just showing up is that its not sexy.  Its not groundbreaking.  Its not outside the box.
It is, however, the foundation of being a dependable, trusted, and reliable employee--traits required before you start questioning and rocking the boat. (if you want to be taken seriously)

We get so wrapped up in what we think we deserve out of our work environment that we sometimes forget the value in showing up for work consistently.  When you don't feel great, or you have things you need to get done, or you're just tired, you need to press on and show up.

Your baseline for approaching your work must always be just showing up. Just showing up is never enough to separate yourself from your peers and advance your career, but I can guarantee the effects of taking opposite approach.