How to Succeed in Business (With Trying, but Not Too Hard)

I received another “reverse cold call” today — a call from a potential client who got my name from someone and is interested in working with me. Someone asked how do I do it. Positive attitude has something to do with it, but these are the things I’ve noticed that seem to help me manifest work…sometimes more than I can handle.

Step one: get a reputation.

No, not like the one I had in High School, although that certainly does get you calls. Just not ones that make you money. Reputation means keeping the right people happy, making sure you are reachable and responsive, and that you know your shit.

Step two: specialize.

If you can’t fit everything you do on a readable business card, you’re doin’ it wrong. Specializing in two or three specific skills also makes it easier to know your shit, which helps with your reputation. Stay on top of these things.

Step three: network.

Don’t drink more than one at networking events. Be memorable for the right reasons. You don’t have to chatter on about your work, but you want people to remember your name. Be friendly, don’t make a goal of getting a business card in every hand there, focus on making key connections with a few people who can be really useful.

Step Four: share the wealth.

Since you specialize in two or three things, when you get a call for something you *don’t* do, pass it on to a networking buddy who *does* do it right away. This helps to build goodwill among your peers and with any luck they will do the same for you. It also helps with reputation if you point people to good resources when you cannot help directly!

Step Five: get an awesome assistant.

There are some things you’ll have to get done that you just plain suck at. Find someone to help who doesn’t suck. This will help immensely with reputation, and free you up to do what you do best.