Larry Adusei Writes- Seven Tips For Getting Ahead In Business
Let me share with you what I’ve experienced so you can assess what works for you when it comes to getting ahead in business. As my brother and friend Benjamin Kumbour always say, to start a business is not easy but you will win if you don’t give up.
MANY PEOPLE “GET ahead” in business for a variety of reasons. The two most common seem to be generally good business acumen and common decency. The challenge is, the definitions for these two may be different depending on where life took you to date.
I can share with you what I’ve experienced so you can assess what works for you when it comes to getting ahead in business.
1. Do Your Research
Prior to meeting with someone, look at their website and what they say online via social media and figure out what would be a win/win for both of you. Meeting new people and building relationships is great. The question is, are you a right fit for each other? If not, be courteous and move on.
Recently, someone came up to me at a business awards gathering and asked me questions that are easily found on my website. What was a bit off-putting was that these questions seemed to be leading up to them trying to figure out whether they should stay until the end (when the awards were given out). Be respectful of a company’s mandates (ours is that awards are announced during the ceremony only). As long as they are not doing anything illegal or hurting anyone, it is their business running in a way that works to get you what you need.
2. Be Grateful
If someone invited you to something — a meeting, an event, their house — you are their guest. It is not a time for personal opinions unless asked, nor to touch or move anything that is not yours. Thank them for including you. Think about that, it means they want to work/be with you. It’s so much better than cold-calling someone to pitch a win/win or other projects.
3. Think On Your Feet
If you see a potential issue, ask — do not complain. For example, if you’re at a trade show registration and there’s a cord across the floor, ask, “Would you like me to move that cord?” instead of saying, “That is a safety hazard!” If there is an issue (i.e., your name is not on the list), trust that it will get resolved but maybe not just at that moment. I know, we all want to be on time with no traffic and get a parking spot really quickly. It is not the business’s job to do this — it’s yours. Give yourself time to be the best person you can be when you arrive.
4. Think Before Reacting
Airing grievances online is a constant in this age. It is showing the world that when you do not get an immediate response, you will share it out loud and negatively online. That tends to say more about you than who you are complaining about. What’s online essentially exists forever. Consider that if and when you want to be hired, to be helped, people will search for you online to see who you are and how you communicate. Do you think someone will give the complainer a position or the person who is kind and understanding and actually helps to figure out what went wrong? See below, because it takes a village.
5. Choose Wisely
Recently, I received this response from someone regarding a distribution offer: “I wanted to follow up and let you know that I am grateful for this kind offer. It is an honor to hear that you believe my film is deserving of distribution.”
From someone else, I received an email with words I am not comfortable sharing other than they had expectations of being able to retire immediately. Distribution is long and arduous. A simple “no, thank you” would have sufficed. No one can give that person the value they feel the world owes them.
Each person had a choice to respond and did. Which person would you want to work with, refer or do a favor for?
6. It Takes A Village
When you want to do business with someone/a company, there is a village around them and that includes friends and family. When you are cognizant of that, you have an understanding of the larger goals—win/win and we are all in this together.
A festival, for example, takes sponsors, speakers, judges, staff, performers, rental companies, venues and more. If you want to do business with them, listen when you pitch—because they will understand how the rest of the village functions. When you speak with a new business, ask what they need, how can you help, or say, “I have this, thought you would be perfect for it, are you interested?” Then the conversation can begin if there is mutual resonance.
7. Show Up
We had an online event and tried to cater to all time zones. Even so, it was 1 a.m. for one person and 3 a.m. for another. All online were impressed that they showed up to support fellow creators and share in their Q&A. If you request a meeting, show up. Changing that meeting, although understandably needed at times, can be off-putting when it happens more than once. How serious are you if you keep changing? How does that feel to the person being asked to change the time/date, again?
Teamwork equals best practices for people working together harmoniously for the greater good of all.
By Larry Adusei