Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Red Velvet Rope

As an entrepreneur running a visual-thinking company, I meet other "creative types" who often whine to each other and say, "I'm just not into marketing. I want to do what I love. I wasn't put on planet earth to be a salesperson" (And yes, in the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit that I also find myself whining about this once in a while!)

My advice to myself is,"Suck it up wussy!" When you sign up to be an entrepreneur, you sign up to be a salesperson. Not the sleazy kind who arrives at your doorstep unannounced and insists that you need a new carpet shampoo or a new night cream or a new religion. I'm talking about a salesperson who is a master at understanding needs and demonstrating real value.

Anyhow, as a first step in my journey towards becoming a master value-demonstrator, I'm working with Michael Port's best-selling book, "Book Yourself Solid." When I set up my business, I had a fuzzy idea of where I wanted to go. My strategy was to take small steps in the general direction of my goal. And with each step, I get more confident and more clear. Clear about what I love doing and clear about clients I love working with. 

Here's a small visual summary from the first chapter of Michael's book where he talks about the importance of having a Red Velvet Rope Policy when you choose your clients.  

The first step in implementing the Red Velvet Rope policy for your business is envisioning your ideal client. What are the filters you want to run your ideal client through? I looked at my client list to determine the characteristics and values of the clients that really made my eyes shine - and developed my own set of filters.

Just having this filter well defined helps me move past the uncertainty that often comes with decision making in the a new business. I've been very fortunate so far to have collaborated with clients that constantly energize and inspire me with their work. Here's to them, and to many more!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hello you!

Hello World, (yes, I am conscious that at this point in time, "world" is just me!) and welcome to my first blog post. 

Right now, I have "Thinkertoys", one of my favorite books on creative-thinking techniques open on my desk. As I read, I imagine author Michael Michalko sitting across me sipping on a cup of green tea and saying, "Your business attitude determines your potential for innovation, creativity, even genius, and success in your field. There are two basic attitudes, which I call the "kitten" and the "monkey", because of how each animal deals with stress and change"

"If a small kitten is confused or in danger, it will do nothing but mew until its mother comes and carries it to safety. By contrast, a baby monkey will run to its mother and jump safely on her back at the first sign of trouble. The baby monkey then rides to safety, hanging on for itself. Thinkertoys is designed for the "monkeys", who are willing to work on themselves, work to develop their business creativity, and work on coming up with innovative ideas"

This blog is an ode to the "monkey" in me! It's a space for me to learn, think, experiment, share and grow. Also, because I'm a passionate visual thinker, this blog is a space for me to push my boundaries and experiment with new visual techniques to make learning more sticky. So here's to my sandbox - and if you're interested, this is my little desk from which I'll be playing!