Being a self-employed business owner has its advantages. Having the flexibility and fluidity to partner with some amazing people with similar mindsets is incredibly rewarding. I am blessed beyond words to be in a position to provide for my family and have a job that brings me overwhelming joy each and every day.
Being self-employed is also incredibly challenging. You have no one there to make you better but yourself. In order to keep my day to day in check, I constantly strive to operate with one resounding theme: Be Different!
Being different means many things to me, and I wanted to share some of my thoughts and philosophies behind this concept.
Being different means doing things my own way. I do not answer to anyone beyond serving my clients and myself. I know that delivering results and providing world-class customer support – before, during, and after the immediate partnership – is a key component that makes me stand out in a very crowded, noisy industry. I am not in competition with the gurus and the slick salesmen out there.
I see it all day, every day: the constant noise in this space from solutions providers claiming to have that magic overnight secret formula that can help absolutely anyone double and triple their profits. It makes no difference to me how loud someone is barking, because what I offer is so different to the sad reality that you see being sold as “the norm” out there right now. These high-volume acquire, acquire, acquire customer acquisition cycles are not something I am interested in.
Being different means being old-fashioned in a cutting-edge market. I was born and raised valuing the golden rule and firmly abide by it. I value truth and transparent communication. Never in the history of business has there ever been more CHOICES for companies to get out there and find a hundred solutions to their problems. I respect a client’s power of choice, whether or not they work with me.
I am a premium results-oriented 100% custom solution that requires a lot of work from my clients, and that is one thing that I make clear up front. It’s not for everyone and I won’t work with just anyone. I don’t make a high-pressure sales pitch. I don’t make outlandish claims and drive irrational time-sensitive buying sequences based on the fear of missing out. I have a very aggressive focused determination to deliver results for my clients, but not at the cost of my reputation, my client’s reputation, or risking my integrity.
Being different means having the integrity and mutual respect for my clients to never question whether or not they need to hear certain information. From the first introduction through completion of a partnership agreement and long after, I do not hesitate to keep my clients tuned into the good, the bad, and the ugly. The reality is this – clients are not paying me to withhold information from them. They are not paying me to do whatever it takes to keep my methods and strategies a secret from them. Truth dictates everything that I do.
In this world of shiny objects, bigger is better… being different means staying true to my core beliefs. While I have personal and professional goals in place, I know that at the end of the day, my reputation and my clients’ reputations are on the line. I do not overextend myself at the risk of not being able to deliver on my word. I do not charge ridiculous fees and then send invoices with surprise charges on top of them. I like to put things down on paper to help with clarity, but a handshake and a promise means more to me than any contract ever will.
Being different means trusting that if you take care of your customers, they will take care of you. I am here for the long-haul. I am here to build and maintain powerful, mutually beneficial relationships where we absolutely WIN.
I am here to be different. Are you?
Gary Vaynerchuk has recently become a motivating force for me. His latest offering, “The Airplane Project” is a mixtape of rants on a variety of topics in which it’s him and his phone’s camera, uncut and raw. Throughout each topic, I keep hearing a theme of how valuable being different is in everything you do in life. As he states, “Everyone has something” – whether it be your skills or your problems, everyone out there is going through their own battles. Your job is to focus on your own ‘something’ and not get caught up in the noise. Please visit and share his project if it resonates with you. It will provide you a lot of introspective insight and encouragement. Below, here’s one of my favorite in the series, his final video – “The Power of Guilt & Gratitude.” If Vaynerchuk is new to you, or even if you’ve heard him speak before, prepared yourself for a raw, honest, uncensored and blunt narrative that includes some choice language. In a professional environment, I would advise headphones. *Shout out to my pal Phil for turning me onto Gary.