It’s become difficult to find anyone who thinks “No Child Left Behind” turned out well. We expected our kids to become proficient.
The payoff to the school was so important that subjects not on the proficiency tests were dropped from the syllabus. In at least one local high school in Toledo the physics class deleted the chapter on simple machines like pulleys, cranes and wheels. I didn’t know you could learn physics without that!
But, alas, it’s not on the test. Art and music? Why waste time on something so tangential to real learning?
Mark Edmundsen’s piece in the New York Times The Pink Floyd Night School is a reminder that we need to do other things than simply increase our facts base.
Are you learning more and more tactics for your particular niche? Are facts and figures your stock in trade? Is the information you’re sharing with clients findable elsewhere online?
By themselves these tasks are fine. But how are you adding to the knowledge base? That requires original thought. The ability to synthesize unrelated parts of the world. A tremendous amount of looking at things other than your specialty.
Pass the proficiency test and you’ll find clients who need your services. Get a reputation for creative problem solving using your technical skills and clients will find you.
Is that one of the greatest phrases ever written or what! Thought provoking on so many issues and levels. I wish I had made it up but the credit goes to Montessori International founders Mark and Elizabeth Clare Prophet.
How many times have you repeated something without questioning? Passed it on to others? Realized when it was way too late there were other perspectives?
Shoot. We’ve all done it.
I’m looking at the different areas of my life this week in order to discern where I have fallen victim to the law and where I have enforced it. It will probably take a lot longer than week. Self examination is funny that way.
“The unexamined life is not worth living” said Henry David Thoreau. Here’s the good news and the bad news about that: Once you start you will never be able to go back.
It took me a long time to stop focusing on potential clients. I mean the clients I met, had a meaningful conversation or two, sent the proposal, considered the project a slam-dunk. Like a summer camp romance I never heard from them again.
Oh my gosh. It’s demoralizing to think how much time I spent waiting for someone to call. Or I would call and leave a perky message.
Yes it would have been better if the other person said, “I’m just not that into you/your company/your offer”. Actually the silence was deafening but like most entrepreneurs I thought it nearly impossible to get turned down or they were busy or they needed to get the cash together. Sigh.
So I took the advice of a member of my Mastermind group. He never has more than two meetings with a potential client. Then it’s go or no go. He doesn’t spend any time worrying about it.
I am not doing this perfectly – one characteristic of an entrepreneur is eternal optimism.
Why does he have such success? He closes a large percentage of these deals.
His ability to sit down with the people who will really benefit from his expertise and to close the deal makes all the difference.
I’m working on that too.
The peonies my mother-in-law planted in what is now our front yard are shooting up. All the information these spectacular flowers need to grow is completely contained in a seed the size of a pea.
I am obsessed with that. How can all the necessary information be there? Especially the part about moving up through hard soil…against the rules of gravity.
What is it about flowers and grass and trees that they grow against all odds? That once they start it takes extraordinary measures to stop them like a complete lack of water or an extreme wounding?
We all know people like that. Nothing stops them even when the extraordinary intervenes. How is it some continue to move upward even against the gravity of circumstances that stop others in their tracks?
Why isn’t it more common?
Over the next few months I am going seek out these amazing people and tell their stories. Won’t it be wonderful to learn how to do it ourselves?
We seem to be moving into a new era: Accountability for everyone in the business world. No longer are we allowing advertising and marketing to take our dollars in exchange for hope.
I love internet marketing, search and social media optimization. I take the greatest pleasure in helping business owners increase their exposure →their business→their sales→their profits. If I can’t do that I am just another consultant, another person who took money in exchange for nothing.
I can’t work like that. I have a pay for performance philosophy now. I am going to start demanding it of the vendors and suppliers who work for me.