Orange County Advertiser welcomes today’s guest blogger, Susan Placek. Owner and designer of The Creative Idea Shop, Susan Placek markets her endless creativity through her unique gift product lines for promotional uses, fundraising and gift giving.
It was a beautiful late afternoon in Southern California and I was invited by one of my brokers to a small gathering, a business mixer bringing together people of our industry. I was very much looking forward to this event, hoping to meet a new customer or some promotional angel, who would bring a change into the misery of my business situation.
As I nibbled on a piece of delicious but smelly cheese and enjoyed a glass or great wine, I was introduced to a businesswoman of the group. We started off with the usual small talk before asking the inevitable question during a business mixer: “And what do you do?”
Describing my efforts to get my business
vehicle moving, my pains and aches of feeling stuck on the road to financial reward and success, my face must have shown total desperation and frustration. I expected her to eventually express some kind of compassion and understanding and maybe even an offer to help.
Instead the lady fell into a seemingly never-ending monologue of self-promotion. With my own unpaid bills and hard work so far in mind I listened to her, telling me about her sickening increase of income, her awesome services and grateful clients, her latest PR articles in a major L.A. paper, and how good life is for her.
Suddenly my wine seemed to taste a little sour. As she went on and on praising her business success, the cheese wasn’t smelly anymore but became rather stinky. And before my face got a chance to turn green of envy, she looked at me and finished our conversation by adding “No pity for you”.
Great, that’s just what I needed to hear.
Well, actually it took a rude comment for me to wake up and face business reality – help yourself to success, because nobody else is going to do it for you. I thought by having a great and unique product with tons of overwhelmingly positive feedback, opportunity would knock on my door sooner or later. But most of us can’t wait for later.
And so I learned how to help opportunity find the way to my door. Taking baby steps, I discovered the huge potential, which social and business networking offers, how to connect and join groups, how to become an active part of discussions and how to market my business through the Internet, for the costs of my Internet connection fee, without spending an extra dime.
I did research on how to write press releases and how to submit them. Before I didn’t even know press releases existed.
I am now a member of more than 55 social and business networking
groups and founded two of my own. I have met so many incredible people through networking, I found new sales reps and customers, but most of all, I don’t feel stuck anymore. I know, I haven’t heard it all and there is so much more to learn, in fact I just begun. We never stop learning and if we do, that’s when we get stuck.
Bill Meyer once said: “If you plant Crab Apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious.”
Yes, it takes a lot of effort, positive attitude and time, but it is well-invested time and the seeds you plant today will grow Golden Delicious Apples for you tomorrow.
Now, and what do you do? Still waiting for opportunity to knock on your door?
No pity for you.
** For a quick snapshot of the Welcome Express Family of Products: http://www.facebook.com/WelcomeExpress **