Professionals Must Practice What They Preach
I grew up in the midwest where funny colloquial sayings abound. One such saying was, “never trust a bald barber”. Certainly, there are many good bald barbers out there, but the logic is that a bald person probably cares a lot less about their clients of whom still have a full head of hair.
Likewise, there are questions that come up about other industry professionals such as toothless dentists, pastors without accountability, obese doctors, and the like.
How about restaurant workers that can't describe the food beyond what is written in the menu? When I eat at a restaurant, I like to ask the opinion of the employees which items they like best. I find it more than a little frustrating when they tell me an item is “popular” but that they haven't tried it. Here is some FREE advice for restaurant owners: invest a little money and let your employees try every item on the menu for free. Let each person form an opinion so they can tell the paying customers what they like.
I worked in restaurants a lot in my college and pre-college years, and hands down the most money I made at any restaurant was a place that gave employees a free meal every shift. We knew what everything tasted like, we all had our favorites, and the cooks knew they would be cooking my favorite items all night long when I was working. Being cheap will always cost you.
Why I Pay For Consulting For My Consulting Firm
So, with that rant out of the way, I would like to add one more industry for you to consider: Consulting! Never trust an advisor or consultant that doesn't invest in advice and consulting for themselves.
The fact is, there are no lone rangers. The idea of a lone badass hero is complete fiction, and if you think you or an advisor you hire are exempt from that, then I would like to sell you a lovely bridge in Brooklyn. The fact is, that all of us as human beings, and the companies, churches, and organizations we run and work for, have strengths and weaknesses.
Sometimes, a prospective client wonders how a small firm like this one with one main full-time person can do so much. I am not a superhero; it's because I am not alone at all! I am more than happy to leverage my long-term strategic partnerships to serve my clients, because I can only do so much.
There isn't any shame in bringing in qualified help. Most small businesses can't get full time help and aren't sure who to trust for outside help. For instance, I have a strong background in both Church Ministry and Construction trades, so it's a natural fit for some of my church clients who need construction help to call me. They aren't calling me to fix the HVAC or pave the parking lot, but they know I have a network of trusted relationships that do that work, and will do it cheaper and better for my clients that a guy off of Google, and saves the headache of trying to use the guy in the congregation. My willingness to leverage outside expertise is a benefit to my clients, and it is the best way forward for you and your business also.
We are interdependent upon one another to achieve higher levels of success. My friend and client, Pastor Russell Johnson says all the time, “When the tides rise, all the boats float higher.” And it is the same for you and for me. I don’t have to trash talk my competition, I just have to play the game better.
Common + Unity = Community
Making a Difference > Making Money
Now I love to help my clients, but I also learn from them. One of them said something profound that I intend for all of my clients to know, because it takes business beyond transactions to exponential growth. “If we each give each other a dollar in business, we both walk away with a dollar. But if we each bring an idea, we both walk away with 2 ideas!”
Consider for a moment how your job could improve by being focused on a better exchange than just dollars. You see, there are those of us that go to work make a buck, but really successful people go to work to make a difference. Making a difference needs to become your core competency, and the natural byproduct will be making more bucks.
That is not just cheesy rhetoric to sound inspiring… it’s not just for inspirational jobs. Mechanics can decide to make a buck only, or they can make a buck while making a significant difference. Same goes for a retail outlet, a restaurant, a contractor, an investor, a cook, a stay-at-home parent, a pastor… it depends on your mindset.
Why This Matters
I know we have all done business with those that are just there to exist and collect on payday; but how much better when you make a human connection that works? And this is why it matters to you that you pick advisors to your business that will do more than just offer practical best practices and mundane mechanical fixes to your company. You want someone who believes in what they are offering to you, who practices what they preach, and who refuses to walk alone. Would you trust an investment advisor that doesn't invest? Then why would you trust a consultant that doesn't hire consultants?
Let me make it clear to you, I am one of those types that has tried and failed plenty of times, and I’ve succeeded plenty of times also. The core difference had to do with one thing: Investing in next-level help.
I want to ask you to consider how some good outside help, that also gets outside help, could make a difference for you. Sometimes, getting fresh perspectives, or being around someone that knows how to pull greatness out of you is all it takes. And it doesn't have to cost a fortune.
Yes, it does cost for quality help, but the payoff, just like a restaurant owner who feeds the help, is completely worth it!