Archives For linchpin

Selling Yourself Short

September 23, 2011 — 1 Comment

Queenstown NZ

Seth Godin, writes in his book Linchpin, “The moment you are willing to sell your time for money is the moment you cease to be the artist you’re capable of being.”

What a great summary of the T&M (Time and Materials) approach to conducting business.  This goes not only for yourself, but for everything you represent when you take your offerings to market.   I was meeting with a very successful salesman yesterday, talking about his achievements in selling to major retail accounts.  At one point in the conversation he made the astute comment, “Sometimes I think sales people think to themselves – I’m just a sales guy.”  He followed up by commenting, “I never want to be just a sales person.”  Seth Godin’s comments are directed toward this very attitude – I’m just the sales-guy.

Don’t waste your time being the average sales person, hocking products at your local account.  The alternative is to do something great.  Become an innovator.  This is not something some are born with and others can’t be, but rather something each one of us cultivates as we read, exchange ideas with others, think, and improve each moment of each day.  Don’t sell yourself short, start building the skills that move you to that adviser position, a position of great value to those you market and sell to.

© 2011, David Stelzl


Creating Business

July 20, 2010 — 2 Comments

Tomorrow I’ll be presenting the opening Keynote at Ingram Micro’s vertical symposium – health care and finance, in Dallas.  As I’ve prepared for this, I’ve recounted numerous conversations over the past year concerning the economy, cloud computing, business struggles, and managed services.  What’s working and what isn’t.  The majority would say, not much is working…

Creativity might be defined as approaching a task or idea from a different or unique perspective.  It’s a simple concept, but often misunderstood at the deepest level.  We have creative teams, creative people, creative software, and Adobe’s creative suite…but what’s so creative about these things?  Most of the time, nothing.  I see thousands of websites, data sheets, and even resumes sporting the same meaningless esoteric language.  I love how Goden, author of Lynchpin describes the education system of our country – we learn to use #2 pencils, dress the same, write the same, follow instructions, take notes, take tests, forget the material and move on.  Failure is not an option, and so the idea of creating and trying new things is not permitted.  Being a home educator I can really see this in the materials offered to us.

Instead, I’ve opted to largely ignore traditional books in place of creative problem solving, team oriented learning, and building entrepreneurial enterprises with my kids.  Business is getting harder to conduct, competition is greater, and price pressure is killing us (and of course taxes will finish us off).  Going the traditional route is not going to succeed on average.  In fact, history shows us, of the thousands of companies that start, only about 4% (according to a recent business conference I attended) make it to ten years, and this says nothing about profitability.

So what are we going to do differently to stay in the game?  Creating business has to to be part of it.  Understanding how to build effective messaging and move people from prospect to client, is fundamental.  Finding more efficient ways to buy and sell, and delivering greater value through discontinuous innovation, is needed.  Intellectual capital is important, but those who tend to be risk adverse are destined to fail – the entrepreneurial spirit has been stripped from us.

I’m just coming off of a 4 day planning and strategy sabbatical with lots of ideas and enthusiasm.  Hopefully you’ll be in Dallas tomorrow to hear about it.  Either way, start thinking outside the box – start practicing creativity.

Seth Godin

April 22, 2010 — Leave a comment

I just finished reading Seth Godin’s latest book, Linchpin, and I find myself quoting some of his thought provoking comments as I am encouraging sales people to be proactive in their businesses.  There is an urgent need refocus on learning and studying the business, the market, and the trends that are driving our industry.  He has some great thoughts here on what differentiates the average from the spectacular “linchpin” employee.  This audio link came in this morning with Godin’s permission to pass it on – it’s Seth talking about the Linchpin.  I hope you find this helpful as you build your business…