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The American dream is alive and well, and thanks to many business professionals who are serious about their work, we have a guideline on how we can achieve the American dream ourselves. About 2 years ago I started my career in freelance writing. Nothing I have ever done, not even college or my college cycling races, has been as hard, cold, and fast paced as jumping into the world of starting a business. So why on earth would someone get into a profession where you face fast talkers & movers, cold rejections, and long nights of pounding away at your keyboard? Because this is the pathway to becoming one of the elites in America, one of the people lucky enough to have created a seat for themselves in the wealthy class. You have to get into a position of ownership in a company or be in a selling position to get ahead. You will never get ahead in a technical role. Period. That is just you working for someone else, making their dreams happen. You can have your cake and eat it too, so get out there and go get your worth.
Part of my freelancing is sales, operations, and marketing.The nights are long, and every minute of every day requires special attention. I have distanced myself from those who do not support me, and encircled myself with supportive people who have become my team. I know many strong women who have been leaders and mentors to me in life, but the truth should be told that many of the skills I have learned about building a business has come from the men I work with and the men who mentor me. I strongly support women in business, but admit I am way too emotional at times.
The men in my life have influenced me to use my time effectively, be logical in my operations, and to be fearless when closing a sale and asking for business. Through all of this knowledge I have acquired, I have learned to build my own company here I have began to become somewhat of an expert in digital marketing. In layman’s terms, I get clients pages to rank higher than competition, by strategic marketing on social media and SEO content writing that makes their Alexa ranking increase.
None of this would be possible without the guidance of some of my closest mentors and business partners. How can I create results for a client if I do not first have the approval to work with them? It is all about carefully negotiating what you can do, and then proving it. A lot of skills I have learned from men in business have helped me to become the person I am today, and for that I am thankful. Here are 11 things you can learn from men in business:
Cut the fluff.
You can beat around the bush and not get anywhere, or you can get straight to the point. Make mini-closes and see if a client is qualified first.
Don’t waste time
When you work, work furiously to get your projects across the table and out to the client in a timely and quality manner.
Professionals are confident about their services, especially men who are in sales. When you are confident in yours services, your clients will be too.
Do what you say you are going to do.
Seriously, when I make a promise, I give the clients exactly what they want and keep my word.
Provide more in value than what you receive in money
Always go above and beyond. You want to wow your clients.
Remember the time, quality, and price matrix
You can only have two and one will be compromised. Make sure you are clear to your clients about this on each project.
Don’t waste your time.
If someone is beating around the bush, ask closing questions. If they don’t want what you’ve got, they do dirty business, or operate on a different level that you are not yet on, or have moved up from, then move on. Your time matters, and it’s important to make the most of it every day
Don’t waste other people’s time.
People have only so much time to allocate to you, so when you catch their attention make sure you are effective and efficient in talking to them. Do not waste their time, and make sure you bring something of value to them.
Leave emotions out of the mix.
Business can be personal, but you cannot ever take it personally. Be professional.
Always be genuinely interested in other people.
This should actually be the first principal for anyone in business. Before you can ever do business with another person, you have to get to know them. You have to learn about them, and to see if what you have is something they actually need. You may become an alliance, and partner with them for business development. If you do not have the conversation of getting to know him or her, you have already started off on the wrong foot. Get to know the person.
Learn the art of follow up, and get good at it.
People are not going to call you, you need to call people. Leave the ball in the other person’s court, and make sure you follow up using a method that works best for you. Pace with the client, and adapt your follow up accordingly. No method fits all clients, so be open, be aware, and be adaptable.
Of course I have learned a lot from women in business, but these are just some of the things that the influential men in my life have taught me. If we leave men out of the mix we are missing out on learning from ½ of our society’s knowledge. The same if we are only women-centric. Learn from men and women, and allow them to teach and support you along your journey. Rock what you got, and go after your goals, make sure you learn as much as you can from others while believing in yourself. You can do it!
Danielle is the founder of econtently.com, an online blog and digital marketing company based out of Denver, COlorado. She empowers women everywhere, and serves her clients on time with quality, care, and professionalism. Learn more at www.econtnetly.com.