I am wearing out some shoe leather. Ever since I started on my own I have found myself tramping the streets, walking between appointments with people I need to talk to. My feet are hurting and I have lost pounds.
When I talk to anyone who has ever been in the same predicament they nod their heads and say that this is something you have to do. Business is not going to come to you. It is hard work yet I am sowing the seeds of future prosperity.
It reminds me of my early days as a salesman, driving along the byways of Oxfordshire, selling parts and paint to garages. My first visit to a new customer would usually be met with enthusiasm yet it would take many more visits and a lot of perseverance to build a trusting relationship. Some customers would test your metal before they would place an order with you. They would see if you were going to give up. It was a survival of the fittest.
When I started on this venture, Simon told me that the local business community would be very supportive and he was right. Everyone is happy to make time to talk to me and every contact is worthwhile. Some tell me that this is a line not worth pursuing while others suggest future opportunities. Nearly everyone however gives me a list of names that I should talk to. I am slowly ticking them off.
At Thinking Digital this year, one of the speakers talked about how he looked for people with detail – an acronym for the talents he was looking for in an employee: determination, energy, talent, attitude, integrity, life experience. I have all of these in spades.
It was Linus Pauling who said ‘if you want to have good ideas you must have many ideas’ and if I want to meet the contacts that are going to give me what I am after then I have to make lots of contacts. It is the price I have to pay and I just need to keep going.
I’m back off into town, to meet more people, perhaps I will go to the cobblers.