Don't Count On Anyone Discovering You

There are thousands of supremely talented but "undiscovered" greats in this field that you and I love, and maybe you're one of them. Sometimes I wonder why I'm not more well-known, and sometimes I think I'm fortunate that no one has (yet) discovered that I'm a fraud. But you can't do the sort of stuff that we do without a certain amount of confidence, which at times can tip over into disgust that we don't have a bigger stage.

You and a co-worker step away from a meeting with three people on the client side. You make sure you've actually signed out of Zoom to prevent a hot-mic moment, you look at each other knowingly, and one of you says: "Was that really as incompetent as it seemed, or was I just imagining that?"

Or you go to an event and you see how certain firms seem to slide into success, without much effort, and you wonder when your firm will have the same opportunities.

Your website makes silly claims about listening better, a stronger "proven" process, and better strategy. But the opportunities and the profit just don't match the hype, and you don't yet see any strong evidence that things are going to turn.

I've got some news. There will be a few exceptions to this, but generally speaking, no one is going to discover you. I thought I'd been discovered many times, and bupkis came from it. The mentions in national media have been flattering, and I've crowed about them as if I earned them, but they haven't really moved the needle much.

Nope. The safest assumption to make is that no one is going to discover you. With that assumption, here's how I'd think about this instead:

  1. Concentrate on the "owned" portion of the PESO Model. That means creating your own content and disseminating it on a platform you own/manage, deemphasizing your "shared" social media presence, embracing the "earned" accolades that come your way without assuming they'll be a substitute for your hard work, and thinking of "paid" as a stopgap until your own stuff rises to the challenge.
  2. Start caring more about living rent free in your prospects' minds than being adored by your peers. This one is easy to test, too. Would you be more excited about the opportunity to keynote a conference of your peers or the community that makes up your client base? Be honest, now! This puts a different spin on award shows and your networking efforts, too.
  3. Quit counting on shortcuts. I can think of a lot of things that fall in this category, too, but having someone else write your content may be at the top of the list. You'd especially want to skip the shortcuts that anyone can do. Any fool can hire a ghostwriter to write their "insight" or get a subscription to Jasper to noodle out an article or hire someone with to run your LinkedIn account.
  4. Cherish your perspective more than your work. First of all, most of your peers think their great work is good enough, and you can whiz by that belief while they get stuck working later nights to over-service clients who won't notice the difference, anyway. Having a point of view, clearly articulated, can cover a multitude of new business sins.

Stay hungry. Do the work. Be the unknown band that kicks ass for the small crowd.

MYOB 2023

I'm still on a high from our sold out conference in Atlanta last week. The engaged attendees descended on Monday Night Brewing from seven countries, and they showed up at 7:30a and stayed until late every day, learning and making connections. Next year it'll be at the same place, on Oct 16-18. If you are getting this email, you'll hear about it when we open registration.

Meanwhile, here's a complete list of the other seminars we have planned next year, all at Monday Night Brewing it turns out...all on Monday:

  • Understanding and Benchmarking Your Firm's Financial Performance (January 30)
  • The Role of Account and Project Management in Higher Profit and the Client Experience (March 13)
  • Surfacing and Monetizing Your IP (June 26)
  • Landing the Plane: Valuation and Succession (December 4)

We'll let you know when we begin accepting registrations, but here's hoping you can make it.

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