I typically visit with clients every other week at their offices, and one of the details I observe is the status of my client’s office whiteboards.
A whiteboard that does not change from meeting to meeting reflects your state of mind – inflexible, boring, and inactive.
I attended a team coaching conference in Washington D.C. for four days this past week. When I got to the conference, I realized I had forgotten to bring business cards. It was a big miss!
Even business leaders who talk about the importance of raising your visibility can forget business cards now and again. Keep in mind that business cards are not for you; they are for the other person you are meeting. Even if you hate having them, business cards are the most professional way to share your contact information with a new colleague, prospect, or business acquaintance.
There are two simple things you must do to ensure that you always have business cards for every meeting and conference you attend:
- Ensure you have business cards in your wallet or purse. Regardless of what you wear each day, you almost always have your purse or wallet. Prior to my trip to D.C., I removed my business cards from my wallet as I was interviewing a handful of people for a client’s 360 assessment and I wanted to give each of them a business card. I forgot to put them back in my wallet. Big miss!
- Ensure you have a supply of business cards in your car, luggage, and briefcase. Since you almost always travel with one or more of these, you will always have a back-up supply of business cards when you need them. You should keep them in a small plastic sandwich bag to keep them clean. I did not do this prior to my trip to D.C., even though I used both my luggage and my briefcase. Another big miss!
So, avoid these big misses. Ensure you always have access to a supply of your business cards and you will never be empty handed.
Raising your visibility and value is about being bold and taking steps that you may not normally take within your organization and industry.
To that end, I recently signed up to have myself video-taped during a presentation in Concord, New Hampshire, where I chatted about a number of leadership experiences and lessons I have learned from my clients.
In my practice of leadership coaching, I strive to be two things. I work to be experiential – learning from my own behaviors and the behaviors of my clients to help everyone with whom I work. Secondly, I work to be action-based. I believe progress comes from taking action and I work hard with my clients to move closer and closer to their goals.
I’d love to invite you to view the three videos that you can find on YouTube by clicking here. The topics you will find are:
Take a moment to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you will be notified when more videos arrive. Start raising your visibility and value today!
During my tenure as an author, speaker, and leadership coach, many of my colleagues are curious how I got my practice started. Many of you may not realize that I started my business from “square one.” I did not know I was going to be laid-off from Iron Mountain and I had zero plans to start an independent practice.
When I think back on how I got my practice started, I share the following thoughts with my colleagues:
- Ensure your significant-other supports your transition. One of the two things that will end your transition from corporate to consulting is your significant-other, looking at you across the breakfast table, telling you that he/she needs you to get a job.
- Have a strong financial foundation. The second thing that will end your transition is a financial crisis. Anyone transitioning from corporate to consulting needs to have a strong financial foundation for at least three to five years. You will need it!
- Be transparent about your wins and losses. Hiding how you are doing (or not doing) can be a very easy behavior. This only leads, however, to others believing you are achieving more than you are. Always be transparent with your significant-other regarding how you are doing, what is working, and what is not working.
- Create best-in-class materials. Great artifacts of your work will lead others to believe what you are doing is great. Second-class materials (generally created to save money in the short-term) will lead others to believe what you are doing is second-class.
- Always be optimistic and persistent. I started my practice during our most recent recession in 2008. It would have been easy for me to blame the economy and quit. Yet, because my wife supported me, we were financially sound, I was transparent with her, and I invested in best-in-class materials, I was able to make the turn.
You are more likely to be successful if you have a strong foundation and start with your house in order.