Sunday, August 3, 2014

Key to Success: What award do you win? (How are you memorable?)

Do you want to be a success in business?  As a person?

The formula for success is complex (I’m pretty sure.), but if we keep finding definite pieces—even one at a time—we can slowly inch ourselves closer to success.

(Of course, we have to implement what we find, but our chances of “implementing” anything we cannot identify is putting our success chances in serious jeopardy.  Sometimes we hit targets without trying, but that’s never a good “plan.”)

There is one question that puts it all in perspective, at least to someone focuses on success.

What award would you win?

There is one thing that I notice about people and business who succeed and those who never seem to come close to sniffing success.  Successful people are MEMORABLE…for SOMETHING.

People who are “good enough” at everything never really separate themselves from the pack.  It’s the same thing with companies.

These people (and companies) do things well enough to avoid offending anyone, but nobody seeks out these people (or companies) for anything.  These people or companies might win bids for being the “most affordable,” but—with the exception of Walmart—that seldom presents a solid business or success strategy.

When we REALLY want something, who do we try to find?


We might not always “get it,” but we first look to get the best.  Maybe we find we can’t afford the best, or it might not always be available to us, but getting the best is ALWAYS OUR FIRST CHOICE.

We seek out the “best” person or company who does whatever we really want.  It only makes sense.

It all surrounds an unasked question, “What award would you win?”

Here are the keys:

1. Know Your Strengths: What award do you win?
2. Take Pride: How do you make sure you’re a repeat winner?
3. Determine How People Benefit: Why do people care about your award?
4. Figure How to Monetize: How can your prize get you paid?

Honestly, I struggle with some of these myself, but let’s take a closer look at each piece:

1. Know Your Strengths: What award do you win?

None of us are “the best” at everything, but each of us is probably the best…AT SOMETHING.

Do you know what that is?

If not, then why would someone give you money to do something?

Would you rather pay someone who is “okay” or someone who is “the best?”

If the price and availability is the same for each, the smart person picks the best…EVERY TIME.

At what are you the best?

Figure out this, and you’re probably closer to tasting success than most other people.

My Personal Example: Classified Ad Campaigns
One example “award” for me that I would win is that I am one of the world’s best at constructing Craigslist and classified ad campaigns.  I’m a persuasive sales writer, and I understand how to get the prospective customer’s attention.  It does not matter whether my sales copy is good…IF NOBODY EVER SEES IT.  I make sure I get in front of eyeballs.  There are lots of eyeballs looking to buy, but posting is boring, and many people do not write well.  I am one of the world’s greatest at this, and I make sure that the right businesses or people know this.

2. Take Pride: How do you make sure you’re a repeat winner?

Now that you know WHICH award(s) you would win, how do you make sure you keep getting that award?

If you have any pride, you take your “award” seriously, even if nobody ever gives you a piece of paper anointing you for it.  People know you for what you can do, and you (probably) want to make sure it stays that way.

Are you resting on your laurels, or are you taking steps to make sure that you WIDEN the gap between you and your potential competition?

My Personal Example
Since I see myself as one of the world’s greatest at constructing and running Craigslist campaigns, I make sure that I am always testing and measuring to see what works.  Something that worked yesterday only MIGHT still work today, and there is never any guarantee that it will work tomorrow.  I even take on extra jobs on a volunteer basis to check to see how things work within different industries.  I take pride in being the best at this, and I want to make sure that I don’t lose that spot.

3. Determine How People Benefit: Why do people care about your award?

Once you find an “award” that you would win, and you’ve found a way to keep dominating that “award ceremony,” it’s important to explore why people should care about your “special” skill or talent.

To cite an extreme example, maybe you eat more potato chips in one sitting than anyone else you know, and you keep practicing to make sure that nobody can beat you later.

The problem?

Okay, is there any reason that anyone would care?

In this case, probably not, but even in this case, if we focus on the right goal, this “skill” could work in your favor.  Perhaps, you are trying to become the “supreme potato chip tester.”  Maybe potato chip manufacturers want someone to test the health effects of their newest chip creations…but not likely.

So it’s important to figure how people will benefit from your “award winning skill.”

My Personal Example:
Even if nearly everything is posted for sale on Craigslist, not everything actually sells on Craigslist.  If there are legitimate buyers for what you are selling, I know that I have a great chance of having them find what I post.  They will find my post, and they are likely to respond to it…meaning a better chance of you landing a sale.

4. Figure How to Monetize: How can your prize get you paid?

This is always my biggest challenge.

I have a lot of skills that few people can match.  For instance, I can sniff places with good food within a 2 hour radius of me.  I have a really good sense of what you really like to eat.

However, I do not have a restaurant.  I don’t own or work for any companies that sell food.

Therefore, this “award” of being one the best in the world at finding really good places to eat is simply fun.  I don’t make money from it.  (Maybe one day I will.)

The key to success is understanding what you have to offer, how people can benefit from it, and how you can GET PAID.

Having a skill for fun is okay, but to be successful, we need to find something that people want that we do so well, people are willing to PAY US FOR IT.

My Personal Example:
I work with salespeople who get a commission for selling something with a high price tag.  Since I know how to get their message in front of tons of eyeballs—and keep their attention—the smartest of these salespeople (or companies) pay me to help them make it happen.  My world-class service costs less than the commission they get paid.  So it’s a win-win.  I’m one of the best in the world at creating and running classified ad campaigns, and I have a model that generates value for my client…while putting money in MY pocket.

So, you want to get closer to experiencing success?

What are you one of the best in the world at doing?  How do people remember you?

What award should YOU win?

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