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One Career Path Leads to Another

tutors-on-tv.jpgToday on The Bigg Success Show, we did another installment of Tutors on TV. We love the sound effect so much we had to bring it out again!

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marylynnWho ever said you can’t learn anything from watching television? Today, we’ll pull out a syndicated show. We recently caught the Waterworks episode of The Cosby Show. In this episode, Cliff (played by Bill Cosby) decided to fix the tile in the bathroom.

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georgeWhen I was in the plumbing business, it seemed like just about every time someone called after trying to fix something themselves, it turned out to be more expensive than if they had just called us in the first place!

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Well, that’s exactly what happened! Cliff got in over his head. Clair (Cliff’s wife) and Theo (their son) began calling plumbers (without Cliff’s knowledge). In the midst of it, Sondra (their oldest daughter) called Clair, who filled her in on what was going on.

Sondra told Clair about some friends from college who had their own plumbing business. Cliff was perplexed – why would someone with a good degree from a good college become a plumber?

Jennifer (the head of the crew) said that trying something new isn’t throwing your field away. She went on to give some examples:

  • Gauguin was a stock broker before he became a painter.
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – was a doctor before creating his unforgettable character, Sherlock Holmes.
  • Shirley Chisholm had a Master’s in Elementary Education before she became a Congresswoman.
  • Gandhi studied law before he became … well, Gandhi. 

Is there a profession lying within you just waiting to get out?

For many people, the second time’s a charm. The second career is the one that leads them to bigg success.

So if you find yourself considering a career change, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, here are a few tips:

You are the entrepreneur of your life. One of the things that entrepreneurs understand is that change means opportunity. So don’t resist change, welcome it. Better yet, look for it.

Next, redefine yourself. Bigg success is life on your own terms. Don’t define yourself too narrowly. Broaden your terms to find your bigg opportunity.

For example, if you’re in sales, do you sell tangibles or intangibles? No matter which one it is, there are a lot of occupations and industries to which your skills are transferable.

You’re still going to the same destination. You’re just going to ride in a different vehicle. For example – if you find yourself out of work, think about what you loved about your last job? What were you really good at? Look for those same things in your next career.

Remember that where there’s growth, there’s opportunity. A rising tide lifts all boats, as the saying goes. So look for industries or sectors where the number of jobs is expected to rise in the years ahead. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a great place to research that.

You may find yourself going through a difficult time. You may find yourself longing for something better.

Think about Gauguin, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Shirley Chisholm and Gandhi. They found the second time was a charm.

Take all that you’ve learned about yourself and look for your opportunity for bigg success.

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Thanks so much the gift of your time today. Please join us next time when we think about school days. We’ll ask, “As adults, can we earn extra credit?” Until then, here’s to your BIGG success!

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Are You Fishing for Customers in the Wrong Hole?

“If you want to catch a trout, don’t fish in a herring barrel.” – Ann Landers

George said he’s been fishing at times when he would have been happy to catch any fish at all. He’s even had times when his friend a few feet away was catching all kinds of fish.

So he found out what his friend was using – what bait or lure – and changed his, but he still didn’t catch any fish. He concluded he was fishing in the wrong hole.
 


Fishing for business
Sometimes we experience the same thing when we’re fishing for business. We’re putting our line out but we don’t get any bites.

It may be that the customers aren’t where we’re fishing – they’re in another hole!

For example, maybe your customers are primarily shopping for your product or service online and you’re only marketing offline or vice versa.

People don’t use the internet for that

George remembers having a debate with one of his business managers. This happened to be a plumbing business. They were discussing how to allocate advertising dollars between various media. George thought they needed a bigger online presence. His manager insisted that customers wouldn’t go online if they had a plumbing emergency.

After surveying calls that came in, the manager reported back to George that an overwhelming majority of the people who had called with a plumbing emergency during that time period had found them via the internet.

Sometimes we think we know where our customers are, but our perceptions are clouded by our own biases. Fortunately, there’s a way to find out for sure.

Today’s bigg action item – survey your customers.

Find out how they learn about new things. The odds are your future customers are probably a lot like your current customers.

How one car dealer did it

One example of this is a car dealer. He had the employee who pulled the customer’s car into the service bay record what radio station was playing. He analyzed this information to determine which radio stations to use.

Is there some way in your business to naturally find out what media your customers use? If there is, develop a system to track the information so you know in which hole to cast your line.

Work with your direct mail supplier

Here’s another example from George’s service businesses. His mailing service was able to take his customer lists and ping the national databases to see where their existing customers fit in. Then they had a good profile of the people to target with future advertising – target people who are similar to your existing customers.

Survey them directly

You may just have a survey form that your customers fill out. Offer them some incentive to take the time to complete your survey. It may be a product or service you offer that’s relatively inexpensive …

… or cut a deal with another merchant – maybe even work a trade – to offer an incentive to your customers (e.g. movies, dessert, or gas)!

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