Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
I like autobiographies. It’s reassuring to know that people have grafted and paid their dues on the way up to success. They’ve learned their craft and made mistakes along the way …same as we all have. No one has an easy ride in life and it’s the same with business.
We see a successful business and it’s tempting to think we can emulate them and yet we don’t see their struggles. Raising finance, launching products and finding customers all happened before they were successful.
We don’t see the long hours, the setbacks and the doubts that they endured along the way.
Sir Michael Caine is a great actor and a good teacher. We can learn from him and I’ve been listening to his most recent autobiography, called ‘Blowing the bloody doors off’ …which of course is a reference to his famous line in The Italian Job.
His determination to succeed is remarkable and what impressed me is his clear sighted view to be professional.
This might sound obvious, but so many people fail to deliver when it counts and he has made a career out of turning up on time, knowing his lines and being nice to people.
Knowing he wasn’t the best actor, when he started out, he focussed on being the most reliable actor. So much so, that several directors would call on him to replace more fickle actors.
He had a clear sense of what people wanted and he delivered. No fuss, no drama, just honest and reliable delivery.
He also has a great phrase ‘use the difficulty’ to keep himself grounded and motivated.
Maybe the film shoot wasn’t going well, in which case he would enjoy the location, or get to know his co-stars and crew.
When he realised that he was told old to play the leading man and get the girl, he used the difficulty and reinvented himself as a character actor.
This is the man, a double Oscar winner and knighted, who had one line to say in his first film and who was so nervous that he forgot it.
He had to start at the bottom and work his way up, and keep going even when a famous director gave him a piece of advice – ‘quit, you’ll never make it.’
His belief in himself and his clear sighted unique selling point, to be reliable, enabled him to keep going long after other actors had stopped being offered parts.
A producer friend of mine told me once that all actors are the same …you can guarantee that they’re unreliable. So being reliable marks you out as someone who is easy to do business with.
This week we can ask ourselves…
1. How reliable are we in our business? Do we really deliver what the customer wants, on time and to the right standard?
2. If we have a difficulty, how can we use it to our advantage? Maybe we need to visit a difficult customer, so how can we find a positive in this and turn it to our advantage?
Ten years ago we had a recession and coaching work was thin on the ground for me. Well, it was locally, so I added Skype Coaching to my activities and then had the whole world to market myself to and picked up new clients in five different countries. I used the difficulty and turned it to my advantage.
By the way, Skype Coaching is just as good as face to face and it cuts down on travel time and costs. If you’d like to experience it then please say hello.
And if you want to learn about how to become a successful actor (or business person) then seek out Michael Caine’s book.
As we say in radio, other books are available …but there’s only one Michael Caine!
Next week: The Sales Activity Log
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Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in
Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish
Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the Modern Age
Published 2010 Marshall Cavendish
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