Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Don’t Short-Sell Yourself on Success

I recently attended a golf outing with my husband’s 1973 high school friends (OK, I’m dating myself). While having breakfast in the club house, I listened as my husband engaged in conversation with a young woman servicing our table. Listening to the interaction, I was reminded how so many individuals are moving outside their career paths and finding new ways to market their skills.

Our 30ish aged waitress, Jamie, was very attentive to our needs, Her communicative skills were well beyond the average wait person. I remarked to my husband that she seemed out of place in her surroundings. This was not to indicate she wasn’t doing a great job or providing great service. The comment was prompted because she demonstrated a mindset that definitely added a sense of value to our dining experience. Her demeanor and verbal skills alone made us believe that the product and services being received were well worth the cost. In a nutshell, she sold herself and never once devalued her service.

My interest was piqued and I casually asked about her background. Jamie shared that she had recently relocated to Northern Michigan (there is not much in Northern Michigan except golfing and skiing) about a year ago from West Bloomfield Hills (sidebar: this is a very exclusive suburb of Metro-Detroit) with a law degree. She had been a State Mediator and decided it was not for her. She opted to forego a steady and secure income and translated her mediator skills into the hospitality world.

What I love about Jamie is that she never sold herself short. She never undervalued her abilities, capabilities, potential, and worth based on a change in her career strategy. She identified reasons why she could succeed; then started taking the necessary steps to reach her goal. She refused to short-sell herself even in the midst of a major career change.

What ways could you be short-selling yourself?

1) Are you short-selling yourself by reducing rates for customers that say they can’t afford the product or services your offer?

2) Do you volunteer time and expertise when you can’t really afford to?

3) Do you let the market rates limit you?

4) Are you moving in the directions of your dreams?

5) Are you selling yourself short by coming up with reasons why you can’t do what you want?

6) Are you short-selling your business because you want a steady income?

7) Do short-sell yourself by pricing yourself or products considerably lower than your competitors?

8) Are you promoting your product or service in such a way that customers are convinced what you provide is “worth” what they are paying for it?

When asking Jamie for a defining “ah-ha” moment between managing a restaurant and banquet facilities versus her law degree, she stated,

"As a State Mediator, I had to negotiate terms for some pretty difficult situations and deal with irate individuals. The restaurant business is no different. A meal or drink order, unruly guests, or event scheduling can go awry at any time and people get angry. It’s my job to negotiate a deal that works for all parties. "

You can sell yourself short and come up with reasons why you can’t do what you want. Or, you can identify reasons you can succeed. Then start today taking the necessary steps to reach your goal. Either way, you will meet your expectations. Don’t sell yourself short!

1 comment:

ctemommy said...

Love it! I am a person who is always worried whether people will pay a certain amount for my crafts. This made me really think about things. Thanks :)