Updated: Feb 13
We've all done business, received goods or services from someone who clearly did not put 100% of anything into what they offer. More specifically they didn't give 100% effort, care, attention, etc. But, then I am sure we have all received some really good service, so much so that we went on to tell others about it or even better we become regulars at that particular location. This brings us to the topic of this article, "Why giving 100% on your Journey to Success is Important!"
A motto that I adopted from Jeff Johnson, "you want to project the life that you want to live and not the conditions that you are currently enduring". For example, if you want to be a successful business, then start operating like you are a successful business. I'll always preach that it is important to keep your word, be present, and complete tasks that you sign up for. Not only is it important to complete those tasks, but it is equally important to do a good job. Word of mouth and network marketing have been the driving force for successful marketing campaigns, but if the serviceman/woman isn't putting their all into the work they are providing it could lead to terrible reviews and a domino effect of bad press for your brand/business.
If you have already established your business or brand, then you may or may not do much trade/FREE work. But most of us still run into issues with people wanting to pay your full rate or vendors not meeting deadlines for projects. For the everyday Entrepreneur, Creative, or Artist - some of our business comes in the form of trade-work or favors. This is primarily due to relationships already built or an effective way to exchange services with little capital upfront. Moreover, what happens is that one person values their business and the other has a bit of entitlement built up and half-ass' the process. So, we get one person who is giving 100% and the other giving 50% (maybe) because there is no money involved (could be other reasons). Another example of 50% is procrastination, poor production quality, poor service quality, lack of communication, flaking/ghosting, unreliability, missing deadlines, etc. -- sometimes when we work with our friends/family or do things for Free/Discounted rates, we still have to remember the value of that experience for both you and the other people involved. Always give 100% and if you realize that you were dealt a bad hand or had a bad experience, then re-assess the business details and make better decisions going forward. But, let's not agree-to certain tasks and then waste everyone's time. At the end of the day, your name is on it someway or another.
How do you protect yourself from offering services to someone who is a percent-er?
This one is tough, but I'd say to get clear about all related details before taking on a task. Then the next step from that, is to learn to say NO. Also, take into consideration all reasonable experiences with the individual in question and then ask yourself. 1) Are they reliable? 2) Are we both gaining something here?
3) Do they respect my business. It is important to mention that there is no set way to go about this, so figure out what values matter most to you and then build your checklist from that. But taking the time to gather information by researching and asking questions, is a great start. Be clear about deadlines, revisions, and the work required to complete the task. Just cause it is work for FREE or for TRADE, does not justify it being unimportant. And if someone declines your business offer, don't take it personal. My suggestion then, would be to re-address the terms, pay the listed rate, or move-on. Let's not create the space, where we are challenging established brands and businesses to lower their rates or to meet us where we are. There are plenty of businesses around, all at different levels. Find one that connects to what you are trying to do and where you are on your journey.
Be More Clutch!
The future of good business depends on it. I've witnessed so many people miss out of opportunities and relationships, by feeling entitled without actually doing any work to deserve the entitlement. Many of my past friends and some associates hold this "Get to the Bag," mentality, which has been coined by the Hip-Hop Community at large. I think it is admirable, but longevity, wealth, and true happiness require much more. In order to leave a long lasting impact in the culture, you'll need more than money. If every task, has to have a dollar amount attached to it, in order to motivate you to do a good job, then chances are it's not your passion. But more of a catalyst to something that gets you excited.
In closing, I want it to be known, that I am not writing this to advocate for people "Selling themselves short," or not charging what they are really worth, but I want people to understand the power of their worth and how to use it for things beyond money. And when we use what we have in exchange for other goods and services, then it is important to treat the business surrounding it, as if money was exchanging hand. If we continue to do good business, build great relationships, and repeat -- then we'll be around far much more money then we'll ever need. If we take a more greedy approach and a less empathetic one, then we'll have more cut-throat experiences in the business life. I give 100%, no matter what the bag attached says. Reliability, Quality, and Inspiration is apart of who I am and what I'd like my brand to represent. So really, how inspiring can I be to others, if I am conducting bad business on a daily? -- not very!
Thanks for your time, go out and do good business!