A framework is a way of thinking, a point-of-view, a perspective on something. Here are the 15 frameworks of the successfully self-employed professional. You"ll find some of these to be radical and foreign. Don"t let that stop you! Try them on; see what you learn from them.
1. Marketing is more important than mastery.
Being a master of your craft, skill, or talent doesn"t ensure the success of your business. You can be the greatest at what you do, and if nobody knows about you, you"re quickly out of business. Yes, it"s important that you deliver a quality service. But it"s even more important that you consistently and appropriately promote your business.
2. Risk is always reducible.
Everyone faces risk -- in life and in business. And risk is always reducible. You may find that at times, even after you"ve reduced the risk, it is still too costly. Great! Just find another path to your goal. Make sure your clients know that you"re also helping them reduce risk -- it makes you more valuable.
3. There is usually an easier or better way.
No matter what strategy, process, or procedure under consideration, there is usually an easier or better way. Think beyond the traditional ways of solving a problem, creating a deliverable, or accomplishing an outcome and you"ll find a new, better, easier, faster, less expensive, or less risky way.
4. Delay is unacceptably expensive.
Today the windows of opportunities open more often and shut more quickly than ever before. Delay lets those opportunities pass by without you or your client being able to take advantage of them. Reducing or eliminating delay in your business and your projects reduces costs, increases your perceived value to your clients, and gives you more opportunities for success.
5. Self-confidence can be arranged.
You don"t need to rely on yourself to create your confidence. Nor do you need to wait until you have attained mastery of your services. You can arrange for support structures and encouragement, and can design situations that feed you the confidence you need.
6. The answer is somewhere.
Do you have the answer? Does your client have the answer? Does a competitor have the answer? Is the answer on the Internet? The point is that it doesn"t really matter where the answer is, but that there is an answer somewhere. And it"s up to you and your client to find it. Knowing that the answer is somewhere, but that you aren"t the only source for the answer, releases you from needing to be the "answer person." This, in turn, frees your energy for collaborating with your client in finding the answer.
7. Problems don"t exist.
Okay, this one might require a shift in your perspective. Especially if you think of yourself as a problem solver! Flip it over and what you have is an opportunity, not a problem. An opportunity to showcase your magnificence. An opportunity to challenge your knowledge, perceptions, and beliefs. An opportunity to really get creative! Stop seeing problems and start finding opportunities.
8. Everything is a project.
Regardless of what service you provide to your clients, you are a project manager. Running a business, whether for one person or 500, is a series of projects. Creating your business identity is a project. Creating your web site is a project. Upgrading your technology is a project. So is creating and implementing a marketing plan. Use project management tools and techniques to save time and keep your business on the right track.
9. The client is always right, or you must say "No!"
Enter the paradox. Don"t "go along to get along" with your clients. As the hired-gun professional, your client wants your expertise and needs your insights. Although the client is always the final decision maker, she doesn"t always know what"s best. Tell her, gently and gracefully, when you see her going down the wrong path, misusing her resources, or being unreasonable. Your Ideal Clients will love it when you say "No!" in this way. Your Clients from Hell -- won"t, but then these clients will receive your ultimate refusal -- not to work with them again.
10. It"s all solvable, or it"s not.
When you approach your business, your clients, and your projects from the perspective that it"s all solvable, your options open up. Determining that it"s not solvable, for whatever reason, releases your energy and resources for more appropriate action.
11. Success requires mistakes -- lots of them!
You won"t stay in business long if you hide your mistakes or blame them on others, the system, or the processes. Your best growth and most important lessons come from making mistakes and then correcting them. Embrace your mistakes! Then fix and remember them. Fail your way to success!
By the way, your clients will be amazed at this attitude. They aren"t used to experiencing it. Most people avoid even the possibility of failing(because they don"t understand that failure is a requirement for success)!
12. Creeping excellence beats perfection.
You can"t afford the luxury of being a perfectionist -- and neither can many of your clients. Adopt the habit of creeping excellence in which you ensure that everything you do is just a bit better than it was the last time you did it. Leave everything better than when you found it. Creeping excellence reduces the time and costs racked up by perfectionism. Perfectionists spend 80% of their time and resources perfecting the last 20% of everything. Do what you do best and hire others to do the cleanup. Give your clients the choice between perfection and excellence.
13. Focus is power.
"If you chase two rabbits, both will escape." Chinese Proverb
Being a Jack-of-all-trades is a sure way to fail as an independent professional. You can"t market your business to the entire world -- you don"t have the time, money, or energy for that. Narrow it down to one market segment of Ideal Clients for whom you provide one primary service. That"s not only doable, it"s powerful!
And stop multi-tasking! Did you know that each interruption, no matter how short in duration, steals up to four minutes from you? That"s how long it takes for you to return to the flow of thinking that was interrupted. And switching from task to task is just another interruption. Get in the flow and stay there!
14. The goal"s the thing, not the plan.
To what do you commit? The plan or the goal? If you find yourself getting the same unacceptable results over and over, you are committed to the plan. To change the results, get a new plan!
15. Independent employment is joyous!
What good is owning a business if it doesn"t bring you pleasure? When you come from joy in your work, your clients find you easier and happier to work with. And that increases their enjoyment in working with you, which enhances your chances for a long-term, profitable relationship with them.
Copyright 2003 Rose Hill
Rose Hill, Founder and Owner,of Biz Whiz Expert (http://www.SoloBizVille.com) and Team Member of Solo-E.Com (http://www.Solo-E.Com) has been self-employed since 1990 - first as a technical writer and publications project manager, and now as a business coach for solopreneurs.
Knowing how to run corporate departments and how to market corporate entities, products, and services did nothing to prepare her for successfully running and marketing a one-person business. That is why Rose created the SoloBizVille and SoloBizU community - to specifically to help solo entrepreneurs jumpstart their business success without all the trial-and-error learning.____________________________________________
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