John Carlton \\ The Marketing Rebel Rant
John Carlton’s article is packed with advice for new business and marketing graduates. He lays down the law with his main piece of advice about launching into anything new:
Stop being a wuss. Everyone is scared. The successful ones acknowledge that fear, put it aside, and just get busy taking care of business.
He stresses the importance of self-education, emphasizing that we live in the information age, and more resources at our fingertips than any other generation. He emphasizes the importance of learning from experts and teaching yourself the things that are relevant to your success.
However, he does not guarantee success.
Will you still fail? Maybe.
But you will NOT fail because you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. If knowing how to persuade and influence can make your business sizzle, then learning salesmanship means you’re armed to the teeth. Like everything else in life, having the right tools for the job at hand is the best way to put the odds in your favor.
Barrie Davenport \\ Pick the Brain
Everyone needs to pay their dues when they enter an industry, but there’s a limit to the point where you can be taken advantage of. Barrie Davenport lists 12 things that are simply intolerable at any stage of life.
The most universal, I think, is this one:
Accepting Ignorance and Inertia
We use both of these as excuses not to do something. We talk ourselves into our own inability to accomplish or change because we are afraid. We are afraid it will be hard, we are afraid we might fail, we are afraid it won’t work. You and everyone else knows [sic] these are just excuses to avoid. Don’t accept them anymore.
Janine Popick \\ Vertical Response
People often consider “not knowing” to be the same as “not smart enough to know.” Even within a specific field with years of experience, it’s impossible to have your fingers on the pulse of every new trend and development. Learn the power of saying “I don’t know” and put yourself in a surprisingly positive light in your clients’ and superiors’ eyes.
Popick describes a scenario in which only you are brave enough to ask for clarification during a meeting in which everyone appears confused but none are willing to admit they don’t know:
The leader then elaborates and you see a sign of quiet calm come over all of the people that now know what a TPS report is, because you asked. They wouldn’t risk looking like an idiot or risk showing a sign of weakness, but you actually showed a sign of strength.
In today’s ultra competitive work environment, many people feel the need to be “super workers” and have an answer to every question. But, it’s not always a good thing if you have people who work for you that are afraid to admit they don’t know something, and it’s the kind of behavior that can ultimately get you in trouble with potential clients.
Susan Weinschenk \\ What Makes Them Click
100 Things You Should Know About People
Psychologist and author of Neuro Web Design: What Makes Them Click?, Susan Weinschenk compiled 100 cognitive and psychological tendencies and explained them in an easy-to-read format. Even better, she ties many of them into marketing and business.
Although you should eventually make your way through all 100, the two that jumped out at me for being especially helpful to marketing and sales were Brand Names Talk To Our “Old” Brains and Even the Illusion of Progress is Motivating.
One of the best, though, was when she discussed how mood affects whether you rely on instinct or logic to make a choice.
[When] you are in a happy mood you rely on your gut instincts more, AND the outcome is that you make better decisions. When you are in a sad mood you rely on your logical decision making AND you make better decisions as a result.
By matching the decision making to the mood, you have a better chance of a good outcome. Neat, huh?
Jon Morrow \\ Copyblogger
I saved the best for last.
Jon Morrow’s article is all at once a resume of his professional, personal, and spiritual life. He explains exactly how he accomplished the three objectives in the title of his article despite having some pretty serious obstacles in his way.
I would hate to spoil his effective writing by giving you a play-by-play of the structure, but the turning point in his life came after a painful car accident:
For the next three months, I had nothing to do but endure the pain and think about my life. I thought about my childhood. I thought about my dreams. I thought about my career.
And overall, I decided I didn’t like the way things were going.
So I quit.
He presents this as simply as if he were choosing cereal at the grocery store, but his reasons were sound and his drive unstoppable. He wants anyone who wants to pursue seeming impossible dreams to do it and leaves the reader with these stirring words:
At some point, I guarantee you’ll want to quit. I guarantee people will treat you like you’re insane. I guarantee you’ll cry yourself to sleep, wondering if you made a horrible mistake.
But never stop believing in yourself.
What do you think of these articles? As new graduates, what kind of guidance do you hope to get as you transition into your career As seasoned veterans, what kind of advice would you give to your younger self? Sound off in the comments below!
Until next time, keep expanding your brand!