“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”
This is a quote I originally found amusing, yet it proves true over and over again. Before PR & communications, I spent 20+ years as an interior designer. Success in either career has required I first sell myself to a client, then pull together the confidence to take on each new project that I encountered.
I still recall the Woody Allen quote sometimes and repeat it in the car on my way out to meet and greet potential new clients. I typically return from time spent at social affairs to schedule two or three appointments with networking members in attendance. A majority of these meetings turn into office visits, and opportunities to present proposals.
I recently attended a charity fashion event for a friend, and guess what? I met three business owners while trying on dresses and all three turned into meetings for PR work. And yesterday I simply sat at a sushi bar for a quick lunch and decided to put my phone down and chat up a woman who asked if she could sit next to me. Now I have an invitation to experience dinner in her new restaurant and meet her husband, who is ready to launch a marketing campaign and will need some PR and social media. You never know from where your next lead may come!
In this industry, there’s simply no way around the fact that you have to put yourself out there. You may not have heard of motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, but his advice still rings true: If you are in front of a superior or a client, then sales is already a part of your job. The best advice one can offer to someone fresh out of school and starting a professional career is to dress up, show up for work, sign up for networking events, accept new job assignment opportunities fearlessly, and become active within the community. Because you never know who you may meet, when or where an opportunity will present itself, and what you’re truly capable of if you don’t make yourself available. If you are a seasoned player and want to remain a success, then the same thing is true. If you think you are too busy with current projects and clients, then you will be scrambling to find similar work when the jobs are complete and immediate repeat business disappoints you. A focus to stay active and approachable is an integral part of continuous business flow and promotion.
Before I signed on with Alchemy, I was invited to meet George Regan while he was in Palm Beach. We had a conversation about me and then he asked me to interview him. I wanted to know how he started out in the PR and communications business. And he shared how he wanted to work at The Boston Globe, so he took a job running coffee. He dressed up and he showed up and when an opening turned up for a reporter on the night shift, he was there to accept the assignment — and soon enough, a breaking story occurred on his shift.
So, work that eighty percent, and aim higher. There is another motivational post spinning on Facebook lately that reads, “Dress up, show up, and don’t give up”. I am not surprised by the amount of likes and shares in agreement.
– Lori Herrala