I’ve worked with and have friends who are successful entrepreneurs. They’ve started from scratch and made millions. What they have in common is, they know from experience that how far they get and how fast they get there depends on 2 things. The 1st is contributing something of great value that other people want. The 2nd is communicating about it so it’s widely known.
They believe their destiny is in their hands. They have tremendous initiative when it comes to creating value and letting the whole world know about it.
When you ask them what it is they’ve created and why it’s good, they don’t shut up. They’ll tell you AND everyone else about it, including total strangers.
The other thing they have in common is they don’t wait. For anything. For anyone. They’re always looking for what they can do to move things forward. They’re always looking for the next person to talk to.
And so, they talk to MANY people about the value they create. They know this high level of communication keeps them alive.
I recently gave a talk at a conference on the power of truly effective communication. A woman who works in a large corporation came up to me and said, “I may want to come to you for coaching. I want to get promoted to VP.”
I asked her what she was doing to make that happen and she said, “I’m waiting for my boss to talk to his boss.”
I ran into her about a week later and asked how it was going. She said, “My boss talked to his boss. I'm waiting to hear, they haven't made a decision yet.”
I asked her what was happening during this time and she said she didn’t know. I asked her what she was doing to move it forward and she said, “I’m focusing on doing a great job on my regular job, and periodically I ask my boss about it. But I don’t want to bug him too much.”
About 2 weeks later she told me, “They were supposed to get back to me last week but I haven't heard anything yet. I don’t really know what’s happening.”
The difference between her and the successful entrepreneurs I know is, she’s waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
The dictionary defines “waiting” as “to halt progress, stay in place, and remain inactive until something happens”.
As far as I know, I haven't run into anyone who LIKES waiting. It drains your spirit, drains your morale, drains your optimism.
What she was doing is what I’ve seen many people who work in large corporations do that holds them back. They think they’ve done all they can, said all they can say, and now their initiative is REPLACED by waiting. They communicate once or twice about what they want to 1 or 2 people and then “leave the decision up to them”. They put their destiny in the hands of others. They stop communicating about it. And they wait. And hope.
This is the opposite of being causative and will very likely make you feel demoralized if you do it.
Communicating with the mindset of an entrepreneur, even if you work in a large corporation, can lift you out of this crazy waiting and give you the broad visibility and recognition you need to take your career to the next level.
It takes this mindset and also skill to keep the conversation going, to continue to create interest, to build enthusiasm from scratch for what you want. It takes intention, it takes knowing what to say and how to say it, it takes finesse.
One of my clients happens to also be one of my favorite entrepreneurs. Mary Clark Bartlett (picture above) is the CEO and Founder of The Epicurean Group, which provides fresh, local, organic, seasonal, socially responsible meals to corporations and private school campuses. This woman knows food, she knows how to run an outstanding business and how to make customers happy. She’s won many business and culinary awards, has over 400 employees and $30+ million in managed revenue. She started from scratch.
By the time Mary is done talking to you about their barbecued grass-fed beef brisket with sweet red onions served with old-fashioned potato salad, baked Mayacoba beans and homemade dill pickles, you are dizzy with hunger. She makes it sound irresistibly delicious, you simply feel you must have some, and immediately, please.
I very rarely hear anyone in large corporations talk about their own creations or their value that way. I've prepared many people for successful promotions and job interviews. When they first talk about themselves, it's unbelievably dry, uninspiring and corporate-sounding.
This isn't true about them as people or about their work, they are NOT dry or uninspiring. Quite the opposite! It's only true about how they DESCRIBE their work and themselves. And so their potential value isn’t effectively communicated.
If you really want your career to move fast, create the same level of enthusiasm for yourself and your work that Mary creates for her gorgeous Strawberry Dream Cake with creamy mascarpone cheese frosting, which is even more amazing when you slice into it, revealing rows of perfect strawberries.
I’ve often seen people in large corporations who don't feel they have the same freedom to communicate that an entrepreneur has. This belief is not true, it's an extremely limiting idea and it’s a career-killer.
Entrepreneurs know if they wait for permission to speak, they’ll be bankrupt in no time.
You can speak up as often as you like, provided you do it in a way that makes your communication always welcome. So when you show up, you are welcomed, not endured or tolerated.
It also helps you when you communicate effectively, in a way that makes your value real, creates enthusiasm about you, and inspires others about your vision of the future.
When you do that, don't be surprised if your career takes off like a rocket. I won’t be!
Just as I wasn’t surprised when the woman at the beginning of this newsletter changed her strategy, from waiting to Causative Communication. After watching her communicate her vision and value broadly and effectively, I wasn’t surprised when she received support for her promotion from MANY sources, nor when she went out to celebrate her big promotion and new future with her husband.
And, even if you don’t get the promotion or new job right away, at least you’ll see progress. You can even apply this to email. Here’s an example from someone I helped. He wrote me: “I’ve been emailing my boss (that I never see) more frequently with even my small accomplishments. After only doing this for 3 weeks, my boss is already talking about my work with her boss!”
The power to transform any situation or any person begins with your ability to assume a causative role in your communications.
Be the cause!