Thursday, March 21, 2013

Are You Prepared for Success?

The synonyms for success are luck, achievement, and triumph.  It is defined as "the accomplishment of one's goals." And we have all heard that luck, blessings and opportunities of success is when "preparation meets opportunity." This applies to your business or personal successes. So, are you prepared?

You can only measure your success against the goals set. When marketing to your clients (opportunity), are you prepared to understand their goals, able to embed them and package them into your product or service, and open the door to success by presenting a goal-filled plan? Do you have personal and business goals (preparation)?


Recently, I was approached to assist a business from failing. Even after surviving for several years with one  major client and without a defined business plan, the lack of a marketing strategy was nipping at the bottom line. Well, actually threatening the sustainability of the company. Why? Because the approach of desperation does not yield sales. Prepare a win-win marketing plan, supported by print and social media and meet opportunity with confidence. That will lead you to the road of success.

Kathleen Brandt

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pro Bono Work and Marketing

Library of Congress Website
Recently saw a cartoon on Stu's View that says: "Need cash to support my Pro Bono habit."  

Have you heard professionals claim they have done extensive amounts of Pro Bono work? Although it sounds altruistic we need to determine if the work is actually pro bono or is it a volunteer effort (also valuable) for the purpose of marketing (or due to the lack of a marketing plan.)

When you accept an opportunity for $0.00 profit- are you strategically positioning yourself and business, volunteering your time or talent, or offering your services as an advocate for a cause. The latter case, may be true Pro Bono work.

Volunteer efforts can definitely get you recognized in a community. I volunteer for quite a few not-for profits, the Lung Association, Stephens College AAB Board, the Midwest Genealogy Center, just to name a few. But when I teach at the Midwest Genealogy Center, void of pay, it contributes to my volunteer effort. That is not Pro Bono work. Let's look at the difference. 

What is Pro Bono Publico? 
Pro Bono is often shortened for Pro Bono Pubico (Latin). This phrase is used for professional work offered with little or no pay as a "PUBLIC SERVICE". Yes, it is volunteerism, but the "public" benefits (at minimum a community). 

So before using the term "pro bono" when offering your professional services for no pay for the purpose of being noticed for future opportunities perhaps you should accept that your volunteer efforts is really smart marketing. (Or is it?) You may ask yourself are you devaluing your skills and your profession?

Whereas, offering your services to support a fundraising project that will benefit a public project is a generous use of your volunteer hours,  in the case of true pro bono work a company or entity is not increasing their bottom line by not paying you. It is not pro bono if you should be getting paid for the work or if you are subcontracted for free.

Kathleen Brandt

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Path of Success According to R.U.T.H.

Many of us subscribe to everything, but rarely have time to look at the posts/mags/articles. I guess subscribing to peer sites is polite. And we all know networking is good. But what are you achieving? Is it quality. Do you follow the  R.U.T.H principle?  Do you have the balance?

Grandma Ruth used to spend an hour or so in the evening on her front porch in Lyons, Kansas (Rice County) and read magazines. There was the Avon catalog, the new cookbook, the gardening magazine, the knitting and crocheting projects and for 2 days a year she and Pappo would go through the Rice County phone directory and make notes of the deaths and the people who moved to the big cities of Hutchinson and Great Bend (KS). 

With one hand she swatted flies, and killed mosquitoes  With the other she sipped her tea, and turned pages. It was a symphony of sort. There was a rhythm to her swinging, swatting, sipping, turning and reading. But in the end, her goal was to read. (She would say she was "reading in peace"). She chose her reading materials carefully.
She considered R.U.T.H. in her reading selections: 

·         Her finances (Riches), 
·         Her benefits (Usefulness), 
·         Her chores (Time), and
·         Her choice of relaxation (Happiness)

Riches, Usefulness, Time, Happiness

Grandma Ruth's choices were made based on quality, not quantity. Then again, she didn't have a computer, or social networking. Her friends were carefully handpicked; but she was neighborly: "No time to waste on foolishness." I wonder what she would say about all this online chatter. I'm sure she would wonder "with everyone talking, who's listening?"

Social media is filled with chatter, lots of rumblings, and white noise, a few tweeters scream louder and can be heard over the others. Some people even unthinkingly follow the facebook icons or Google+ gang, but who's listening; who's reading?  Are you a listener/reader or writer? Maybe all three! Either way, the balance of our life, as Grandma Ruth knew so well, was important to our quality of living. 

Find the pioneer in you!
Kathleen Brandt