Running my own business brings many opportunities and rewards. Along with atypical daily snafus, and the more typical longer-term challenges, comes inspiration. One reward is that I’ve grown acutely aware of what excellence in practice looks like; whether it be in brand identity, web design, event and project management, network marketing, content marketing, social media strategy, PR, sales, professional services, and support.
Here’s a thank you letter I wrote to a key business leader that I work with, who is moving onward and upwards in her business. We were at the corporate headquarters of LinkedIn on a business outing when she took a picture of this handsome guy-me.
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We have similar interests, ambitions, as business owners. We recognize the importance of the right attitude, being prepared to capture the victory, being aware to learn the lesson and grow. Never the victim. Becoming someone more capable to deliver valuable service to our customers, expanding our influence. In our time together you’ve shown me your unique characteristics of success, and a willingness to take risks. I like that. Thank you. Other items:
- creating an online presence and an attractive brand
- seeking new contacts, making evergreen networking activities, hosting a networking event open house, accepting my invitation to get involved in my sphere of networking business professionals
- offering unsolicited introductions, generosity (sending me an unsolicited referral)
- forming complimentary team of specialists (producing an event, with a great speaker lineup)
- engaging your audience, building a community through dialogues off-line and in social media
- thinking strategically, and creatively solving tough business challenges
What A Business Breakout Looks Like
These activities clearly demonstrate a business owner breaking out, on the move, ascending in her business by helping herself, and others along the way. She is building social currency through her volunteer efforts, raising her hand to lead in organizing events, and contributing in several communities, being diligent about the details, looking out for her event guests to make sure things are right, being an example, setting expectations, standing by her customers.
Quarterly Review and Commitment
If you have been on the sidelines, and you’re ready to take a leadership role in front of your peers, prospects, it’s time to work on your Quarterly Plan. Spend some time with it. Celebrate the successes, gain insights from the setbacks, find encouragement if you must, make way for new promises, share them with esteemed associates. Remember who you’re doing it for.
Tomorrow, we get a fresh start on a new quarter of the year. Here are ten considerations I used recently at my quarterly review period. Thanks to Susan Strong for this fine list. Business owners and sales professionals who believe it’s vital to step up, reach out, make a difference in your marketing results will write out answers to these questions and similar ones.
1. How am I demonstrating leadership to those who matter?
2. What is my financial posture? Improving, getting worse, do I even know?
3. What do my sales look like? Does my boat float? Where is it leaking?
4. About my technology, is it working to streamline and leverage my value proposition, or frustrate me?
5. Are my operations smooth, or ragged? How can this be improved?
6. Have I created 10 lead generation methods? What additional ways can I create leads?
7. How is my Team and the Culture? Is it congruent with my values, my purpose, mission, vision? What can I do to make it better?
8. What kind of customer experience am I delivering? Each touch point in the life cycle of customer engagement.
9. What is my brand doing for me? How well defined is it?
10. Have I been working from the latest market intelligence, or have things changed so much that trouble looms at various corners in my execution? What is my optimal positioning?
I’m curious what you come up with in your quarterly review. Feel free to share your wins, challenges, lessons, and commitments in the comments below.