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Business Is Bad? Yes . . . It's YOU.

Once a month, I go to an incredible meeting of 100+ successful executives who get together to talk business. The person who runs the show is an incredible personality — full of vigor, experience, and knowledge. His ability to speak in front of the group each month is a pleasure to watch. Unfortunately, his ability to put together a professional looking presentation is clearly missing and he also doesn’t know how to work his own laptop for the presentation (he consistently runs into mishaps and problems).

This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. There’s a lot of competent professionals and executives out there with ugly, cheesy, and just plain awful logos, images, and presentations. And to top it off, they have no technical experience to operate their own machines.

Their excuse is they’re not competent with the tools at their disposal, they ‘just don’t have the eye’ for design, or they don’t have the money to hire someone who has the ability to make their stuff great.

Guess what? You Are In BusinessEverything about your business needs to not only be great, but look great too. It also needs the ability to communicate effectively to your audience. Stop hiding behind the old and antiquated belief ‘you’re above all that mundane stuff’ — you’re too important/elevated to have to know/understand your own technology. Or the phrase I love, "It's worked for me for many years."

Here are some excuses I run into:

“I don’t need to know how to run my laptop...” — Yes you do. It’s your business. If you look like an idiot in front of an audience because you don’t pre-plan and ensure everything is working fine, it’s YOUR fault. Grow up and learn your tools inside out. It’s not an overhead projector, it’s a laptop.

“I know we need to make our website look better...” — Yes you do. You should have done it YEARS ago. It’s almost 2011, not 1998. Your site is the first location most people encounter your image and information. Screw this up and you cut your sales dramatically.

“I have to have my logo/business cards redone...” — Yes, they suck. You look like a hobbyist, unprofessional, and you are wandering through business with an unprofessional image for all of us to endure. Hire a competent creative to redo your entire look. Today. See this post.

“It’s the best I can do or I was too busy to get it done right...” — Are you an idiot? Would you say that to a client? I’m giving my time and energy to meet, greet or go to your presentation — hire someone who can do it for you or take the time to do it. Stop acting like a child.

I know I’ve been a little harsh about this topic, but I meet/greet many people in my day-to-day business. Many have their act together. But there is a wide swath of professionals and executives who are damaging their image and business (and hurting my eyes) when they don’t fix what is clearly and apparently wrong with their image and business. And their attitude is they are ‘too above’ this issue to worry about it — bottom line, YOU’RE NOT.

This is not rocket science folks. Hire a competent creative or designer (I know many great ones) who can help you look INCREDIBLE. Don’t hinder or hurt your message with bad design, tools or planning.

How To Be A High-Performing Person.

“If you’re not continually reinventing yourself, your company, or your brand, it’s only a matter of time before you become obsolete, irrelevant, and end up in the bargain bin.”

This is my own mantra that I provide for my clients. If your not looking towards the future on a regular basis, the present will arrive faster than you think and you’ll be behind your competition. If you want to be a high-performer, here are some suggestions I deliver during my keynotes:

  1. Refresh your brand every 2-3 years. Can you tweak your logo? Maybe change a color or font? Keep it FRESH.
  2. Update your website every 2-3 years. Does it work/look good on mobile devices? How old does it look? Look at your competition. It has to be clean, uncluttered, and easy to navigate. Don’t fill it up with shit.
  3. Change your business card yearly. Today, your card is your brochure. It should not only deliver contact info — it should sell you and your business. Use quality card stock, use color, images, etc. Why yearly? Something always changes with the info/logo/title/location — only print small runs so you don't feel bad chucking out 1000 cards. Check out Moo.com.
  4. Make your voicemail message SELL. If it’s you with a tired voice, you’re probably losing business. Hire a professional to help you craft and voice your new voicemail message and outgoing on-hold systems. You could even take a look at using something like this ringless voicemail drop if you want to help promote your business more.
  5. Change your signs frequently. If you have a physical location or a fleet, ensure all signage is clean, new and visible. Old signs that are dirty/faded will LOSE business for you. Have signs made so they can modify messages frequently to attract interest. Keep it FRESH, CLEAN, and SHARP.
  6. Upgrade your email signature (at the bottom of your emails). Most people don’t have one or if they do, it doesn’t sell their business. Make it look professional, give them additional info, point them back to your site, and make sure it works on most email systems.
  7. Get a .com domain name. If your email address has aol, yahoo, gmail or another provider, it immediately telegraphs to me that you are not running a ‘real’ business AND you don’t know what you’re doing. Get one today.
  8. Clean up your digital act. If your voice mailbox is full or you never return emails, you have a problem. Set aside time to regularly clear out your voicemail and develop a system to help with email overload.
  9. Get comfortable with technology. I run into so many people in their 50/60’s who act like little children when it comes to tech. Listen — it’s here to stay and if you catch yourself not embracing it — you look old, antiquated, and lazy. It’s not an irritant, it a part of our lives.
  10. Hang out with people who AREN’T like you. We get lazy and commune/collaborate with our own age groups and social status. Get out and hang with millennials, seniors, and most of all, play tennis with tennis players who can kick your ass. You WILL play better tennis.

If you need help with any of these items, call me anytime - 203-500-2421. I can recommend highly competent people to help you. Even me.

Thank you.

richgeephoto I'm overwhelmed by your enthusiasm!

I've received 200+ responses over the past 24 hours from friends, colleagues, clients, and strangers (who are now friends) on my new site launch.

Not only congratulations, but sincere, precise, and constructive feedback - the backbone of any website launch. Over the next few weeks, my team and I will be integrating many of your great ideas into my site, my newsletters, my tweets, my facebook updates, and linkedin profile. WOW.

It's pretty evident that there is change in the air business-wise. Your massive response reinvigorates and redefines my beliefs on Connecting.

Thank you - Rich