As you begin the month of March, I want to challenge all of you. You may be small but note that there is glory if you demonstrate excellence in what you do. People are watching and any step you take is what they would use to judge you for engagements. There is no small or big job – every job is a job. You must put the best efforts to help your clients. It is always a great privilege that someone has hired you to offer services to his or her firm. It could be product supply, engineering design or even consulting services. Do not take it for granted: there is nothing you know many others do not have.
When I started my practice [the Advisory Services], I used to beg for speaking opportunities. I would even offer to cover my logistics. I needed platforms to reach out to people that would pay for my services. Those days, it was not straightforward. Then, the moments came: invitations to speak now come largely weekly. Instead of speaking for free, it is flipped that someone has to pay good money for my time [I give many free speeches in Africa but I charge fees in Europe and U.S.].
The message today is this: the best time to audition for opportunity is when there is no apparent opportunity before you. People are watching. And once those opportunities emerge, they know who to call. The best validation I ever got was when a potential client asked me to come over to discuss a project. At the end, I told him if we would need to send a proposal. He said “No, your prior works are enough proposals. I read what you wrote on this topic. Nothing needs to be added”. Just like that, we signed a contract and began the work. Of course, I am very happy that my client remains a fan.
Tenacity, focus and excellence will always win. And note that every job is a job – there is no small or big one. You must commit to absolute quality. Invest time to let people know what you do. That is the only way they would pay attention when the moments arrive.
Have a great profitable March.