Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

There is no predicting the markets or investments of other types these days. There are no “experts.” The gurus will tell you the market went up because of European fears and the market went down because of European fears. They have no idea, and certainly no capacity to predict it.

If they did, they wouldn’t all be soliciting our money for their advice, they’d be leading the good life with no cares whatsoever. But if you have to beg me for my money, then my inference is that your own investments aren’t exactly catching fire.

My advice to solo practitioners and boutique firm owners in the professional services business is to never cease increasing your value and seeking out prospects, while solidifying current client relationships. So long as you are in demand, have a highly respected brand, produce intellectual property and new offerings, you’re going to have a thriving business. The markets will do what they will, but you can’t control that. You can control your own business growth.

Keep expenses low. Don’t over-hire. Use contracted help on a part-time basis. Transfer work to the client. Use technology and viral marketing to inexpensively promote your business. Be shameless in the pursuit of people who can benefit from your value (note I didn’t say “sales” or “quotas” or “revenue”).

Beware of advice. (Oscar Wilde: Don’t believe everything you hear even if I tell you.) People have agendas. Gold is at 1700 as I write this, and was at 800 in the mid-80s. But the market in the mid-80s was at about 1800 and today is near 11,500. You’re not an investment expert, so don’t try to manage the market. You’re a consulting expert, so try to manage the growth of your own business.

Too many people are running around in circles, including government leaders. Those streaks you see through the circles are others who are running with a sense of direction, purpose, and confidence. If you want to run the straight and narrow and not bounce off the walls:

  1. Understand your value (how are people better off after using your assistance).
  2. Identify your highest potential buyers (who can write a check for your value).
  3. Create expressways for them to reach you and you to reach them (marketing).
  4. Focus on the growth and expansion of your business (don’t be scared).
  5. Charge for your value (reduce labor intensity and maximize profit).

Volatility is the new norm. Don’t worry about it. There are hundreds of thousands of people who can benefit from your help.

Stop hiding.

© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.


11 thoughts on “Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

  1. Alan, your business wisdom brings a “Calming” affect because of the reassurance we all need in business.

    When I worked at the big Aetna in Hartford back in the ’80s I watched them take their eye of the ball because insurance was always “Sexy”. Having all kinds of money meant they could buy satellite companies (for long distance telephone), hockey franchises, upscale home builders and other ways to loose money. But insurance was not their main interest.

    When I look at “Lloyds of London” (established in 1774) the 237 yr old company
    stuck to the basics but created new values along the way.

    Great Article. Keep up the good work.

    Thank you, Carl Slicer, Vernon, Conn.

  2. Alan, your business wisdom brings a “Calming” affect because of the reassurance we all need in business.

    When I worked at the big Aetna in Hartford back in the ’80s I watched them take their eye of the ball because insurance was not always “Sexy”. Having all kinds of money meant they could buy satellite companies (for long distance telephone), hockey franchises, upscale home builders and other ways to loose money. But insurance was not their main interest.

    When I look at “Lloyds of London” (established in 1774) the 237 yr old company
    stuck to the basics but created new values along the way.

    Great Article. Keep up the good work.

    Thank you, Carl Slicer, Vernon, Conn.

  3. Alan, I agree the markets will do what the markets will do. However there are “experts.” Experts who will tell you the correct asset classes to own and when to own them. I am an expert. Our portfolios went to 50% cash on May 5, 2011 and on August 2, 2011 100% cash.
    Did we miss the downturn?
    You tell me.
    I can tell you why the market is going down…. more sellers than buyers.
    It is simple Econ 101.
    Everything else is noise.
    I am not soliciting your money for my advice, eventhough you would benefit from my expertise. I do not beg for prospects or clients for business nor will I beg you for your money.
    Alan you’re not an investment expert, so don’t try to manage the market.

    The beacon in Avon, Ohio.

    Roger S. Balser
    Increasing personal and corporate profits.
    http://www.balserwealth.com
    440-610-3012

  4. My point is that I don’t try to manage the market and most “experts” hardly do better than people who sit and hold good stocks. I would not benefit from your advice and please don’t try to promote your services on my blog or I’ll delete the next post. If you didn’t need clients, you wouldn’t be doing that here, which means your personal investment are insufficient to sustain you without new business, which is exactly my point.

  5. Harking wares (unsolicited) on someone else’s website/blog is low rent. An expert or rock star is in the top 1% of their niche. Whenever someone says, “I’m not trying to sell you anything” – they’re in fact trying to sell us something. That’s sales and BS 101. Avatars shine light on people’s insecurities – hence the acidic blogging and tweeting from party crashers.

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