My company,it’s all marketing started off with a bang. Roughly a dozen clients came on board with me when I asked them if they saw value in having me as a resource much the same way they would having their very own marketing department. I wrote marketing plans for them, coached up sales departments, and organized their advertising and promotions strategies”¦Some more than others. I also acted as a gatekeeper for reps calling on them. I was not an ad agency. They thought of me more like their corporate lawyer or CPA. I was paid a retainer so they could budget my time and account for me more easily.
The clients I asked to do business with were primarily family owned. At the time I wasn’t even conscious of that, nor realized the importance of it. All I was focused on (wanted) was to get some momentum going, income coming in, all while trying to help them.
In part 1 of this blog I told you about what I did leading up to this. Basically I had 3 highs and lows in my career that shaped me.First, an ad agency account manager that managed about 50 clients. I saw first-hand, behind the curtain so to speak, how different types of companies made their money. Second, a franchise director that started up a”first ever”national jewelry franchise. I discovered the work behind rolling out a new product, branding, and what it meant to be national, create a “want” and follow through. Lastly, I experienced the life of an importer of products into the U.S. That was the culmination of everything I knew, taking a start-up, trying to brand it, market it, and make a living from it.
All three businesses were approached the same way”¦
I was ALL IN. I looked at them as if they were the last job I was ever going to have and was totally vested”¦emotionally, physically, financially, and intellectually. I even tied my persona to each project.
Being vested in that way(emotionally) took courage. And it showed me what it was like to really feel the risk and the fear of losing it all. It taught me that “feeling it” was a gift. I realized on a very deep level that I was out of my comfort zone and being out meant I was vulnerable and open. Being vulnerable was NOT being weak, it was strength! A strength because the vulnerability led to my authenticity. That combination made me unique.
An authentically vulnerable man is rare in today’s day and age. Being so helped me stay conscious to how I was “showing up”. My “presence” when I walked into a room stirred the energy. Consequently I learned that if you lead with fear, you will beset fear. Anxiety transfers to the next person as much as confidence transfers. I knew I had to be confident in every step I took if I wanted to transfer the confidence. I had to actually believe what I was selling. After all, that is the definition of selling”¦the transference of confidence.
So doing each of these projects helped me lean into the fear, and not let it drive my bus, but to use it as a motivator and tool.
This became the “high” in my personal growth as a business person, leader, and entrepreneur. The contrast was I had to experience the “lows” of the outcomes I did not want to have happen“¦Then and only then, could I grow beyond it.
This is what people buy when they hire me, “My authentic belief in the now, my presence, experience, and willingness to inspire others into their own Leader within.”That is my purpose.
That clarity would not have ever been possible if I had not “failed” in those three projects. And in reality, I didn’t fail”¦it just felt like it.
Another gift that happened was it helped me “stay” with the family dynamics that show up in 2nd and 3rd generation family owned businesses I work with. And when I say “Stay” I mean stay. Family dynamics contribute to the demise of 90% of all defunct generational companies. Look up the stats some time when you get a moment. Most generational businesses do not make it.
I now can tell a family owned business of the success I have experienced “leading” them into their own desired culture, and how not be caught up in the “Way we have always done it“ that all 2nd+ generation companies experience.
Company’s morph and change. My company is morphing. I find myself morphing right along with it. If I don’t, I won’t be relevant.