Are you with a one-track pony? Recently I have seen someone who is clearly focused on chasing certain people, reading this book and that book, following certain people in hope that they would engage with them, going through groups/forums and when they get a response they sing and dance about to highlight “look how good I am X, Y or Z have messaged me to say I am right”….oh please……
Whilst it may be good to be working with someone who is a specialist (and I use this term loosely!!) to help you in one area, just step back and look…..who are you, how big is your Toolbox and what complete advice can you give me?
With more and more people leaving work (or the world of medium, big, national or corporate work) to either work for smaller companies where you will feel more comfortable, appreciated and wanted or even working for yourself, you need to effectively manage both your finances, training and advice effectively.
Yes, it can be good joining others on a few hours, half or full day’s training/overview on services and or a product or maybe even having one-on-one training — but are you looking at this the right way?
I recently spent some time going through with someone who had been working for themselves for 10 years plus and had started a second business around 18 months ago. They had listened to a few mates, people at the companies where they did sub-contract project work and other sub-contractors they worked alongside with for advice on what they need to be doing, should be using and buying books/attending courses. Yet most of the advice they were given, were focused around doing things freely, using free App’s, reading on-line or buying books/training sessions that had no real relevance as they didn’t focus them or weren’t really specific/relevant to their industry.
(Note:- I am not knocking FREE applications as within my Toolbox, I do share many free App’s that you can use as a foundation to get going with and even some, that you can use long term as they are a great help).
If you have less than 50 employees, work for yourself or looking to start out on your own, step back and look at what you need and want? Yes you may need some training here and there and assistance with certain things, but what do you really need?
It maybe good to go a specific trainer or advisor to seek help & advice or get in a coach/trainer looking at certain service/sector but why? Have you asked them about their Toolbox and what is inside it?
The toolbox is a very key component you need to look in and discover what is in someone’s Toolbox when you are looking to spend any money on your business with them.
9 times out of 10, the people you will be speaking too, will have little knowledge outside of their trusted faithful Applications/Services/Products — which whilst maybe good for them, could be limited or totally wrong for your business, but without you realising this!!
The key thing is that you need a raft to look at. Stand back from their Toolbox, observe what they have and how they describe why they have it, what it does and MOST importantly, how which items will fit in to your business now, short, medium and long term??
The shocking answer is that their answer will be a few items and that can’t really give you comparable answers to why they have them….
If you step back look at certain major Key Influencers, they have their hand in most avenues and know which is the best out of all the items in that avenue to use offer you. So if you ask them about A, they will say look here at Avenue A and they will say yes but what about B, C,D, E, F etc….. these people know and understand the Toolbox principle — does your advisor, coach or trainer?
Take for example Robert Scoble
and one area of the many he talks about, the world of cameras and videos. Robert
has been playing around with the taking of photos and videos for ages whether by phone, camera, or video camera. He would tell you what the best camera for what you are trying to achieve or point you to someone else. Then it would be the best smartphone to take photos/videos, so you could do this and that with them. Then it would be moving on to portable cameras/recording devices like the GoPro which Robert
has mentioned a lot recently. Yet now, because of what is coming and how this can really help you lay the foundations for both you and your business in many areas, Robert
is talking of as well as the benefits of 360 Degree Cameras! You may think what has this got to do with my business, but that is the main key point! Robert has an understanding of what is happening with technology, what is coming and how photos/videos can help you and your business — hence why his foresight and forward thinking is allowing you the chance to stay ahead of others by creating and laying the right foundations in this arena…..
Another example is Brian Fanz
. Whilst along the lines of the above, the key point is that Brian
takes the same approach as Robert
and has many avenues too and doesn’t always take sides but is giving you a bigger overview of the whole avenue and what it contains. Quite some time ago, both Brian
and I were using a platform called Movy which enable you to take and record video messages and show/share them with others in the Movy community. This was (and I think still could be) a great facility yet IMHO, lacked investment and vision as has now been superseeded by the likes of Meerkat and Periscope. If you look at Brian’s
avenue, he jumped on board with Meerkat right at the very beginning at SxSW and then you had the announcement that Periscope would becoming (many others ignored Meerkat and we telling people to wait for this) but Brian
stuck to his principles and wanted to see the whole picture for his audience. Thus now, he uses three — Meerkat, Periscope and Snapchat — and is now able to demonstrate the plus’s & minus’s of each one, to what it can offer you and your company with both live and recording streaming for various applications within your business.
So, with both the examples of Brian
above, this clearly highlights that whilst they talk about a specific product/service/application, they also know not just one item in this avenue but about the wider arena of what’s available in that avenue and how they compare and/or are right for your business.
Thus,when you are seeking advice, make sure you see that person’s Toolbox to understand what the market is offering. Whilst I’m not using everyone every single day, I have over 100 items in my Toolbox to allow my clients to understand what is happening and how they should be using them.
Once we have discussed the merits of each and everyone that we both think should be in their newly created Toolbox, we make a final list of when and how these items should be brought into their business. Once the list and time frame is created, I then make some suggestions as to how they should pay for them and at what level (i.e. free or paid subscriptions/App’s). I will then, help them to choose books to buy, webinars to watch, possibly share my library with them and if required, who they need as a trainer for this item.
This may seem confusing from the start above when I was saying you don’t need a specialist who focuses on one thing, i.e. like using someone who only focuses on LinkedIn YES you need them BUT only later after you have spoken with someone who has the right Toolbox and can suggest a few names to you!
(Note:- I don’t provide one person, I will offer you between 2 and 4 names, so you can speak to each one and decide who you feel is the right person you can work with to train you).
So, STOP — step back and look at who is training/advising you ask them to show you their Toolbox and explain to you why they are pushing you down that avenue and ask why they haven’t mentioned other items from the avenue like I explained with Brian and Robert earlier.
Please, make sure you are seeing the Toolbox of those offering you advice and training/coaching you as this is one of the most valuable parts of your business and something you need to have in place from day one!
If you would like to see my Toolbox — then click through here
to learn more and see what items we have in The Toolbox.