Think about a time you were out at an event of some sort, having fun, without a care in the world. You were just a participant in everyday life…trying to maximize your enjoyment while you still possess time. Then something odd happens; you run into someone who you are having a really great, business-related, conversation with. As you dive into the conversation a bit more, you find out this person is the CEO of a company that specializes in your particular area of expertise/passion. You ramble on and on, but when he says he’d love to see your work…you have nothing to show.
The one thing that stuck out in my mind during this week’s readings was this: always being prepared, no matter what. When Mr. Schussler mentioned that he carried around a 4-foot by 4-foot T-Rex display in the back of his car, just in case, I was taken back. This reminds me of so much in my day-to-day world. In the aforementioned scenario, there are a multitude of ways you can keep your ideas handy in times of need.
I think that using tools like LinkedIn and any cloud server can help alleviate this problem. If you have examples online at the ready, you can be prepared for any situation. LinkedIn can provide easy access to your resume or CV, accreditations, certificates, licenses, experience, “know-how” (as evidenced by projects), and so-on. Cloud services can provide photo, video, or interactive previews of what you may have to offer an investor or potential employer.
In my current position at the company I work for, I am responsible for all new-hire on-boarding. While it is not in my job description, I like to look for cues that signal quality employees versus poor ones. After I have determined high-quality candidates against low-quality candidates, I like to see how long they stay employed. In some cases, I will even make recommendations against candidates who display extremely poor working characteristics and habits. When scouting for the high-quality candidates, I am always looking for those who have things that I need, before I need them. If I ask for something, the person who give me a little bit more than what I need always stands out in my mind. They know what they need to do and they were prepared before the situation ever arose. This is one way that always being prepared works to someone’s favor.
The same can be said for those I advise, in my weekly blog and podcast, about getting promoted within the company. We have an online learning tool that will keep track of all the e-learning you’ve participated in, all the quizzes you have taken, and all the extra learning modules you have viewed. It even has a section where people can join an interest group and make suggestions on how to make our company a better place to work. I encourage all new-hires to participate in this opportunity as it will be a resume that is, quite literally, downloaded into our company’s computers for all to see. When that employee decides to ask for a promotion, they will be able to pull all of this up on the computer (which can be verified by their manager) and give proof as to why they are the best candidate for the job.
I give these examples because in the world of entrepreneurship, it is very important to be ready and to be able to prove why you are the person someone should buy from, or invest in. Having examples at the ready is a great way of being able to back up your claims…or even to impress a new client or investor. There is no substitute for being prepared for any and every situation, and proper planning can lead you to that goal.