Be Good Or Be Good At It


Lose your pride, Grit teeth and go for it

The Composerworks

Daniel Kahneman is a Nobel Prize winner, an influential economist and psychologist. Asked of his favourite equation he said this:

Success= talent + luck

Great success = a little more talent + a lot of luck.

Let’s then assume you really have the talent to do whatever it is you do: compose, write, act, animate or sing. That’s got to be a given. Let’s also assume that serendipity does play its part: right place right time. It happens.

I’d argue there’s something else in between the talent and luck stage to increase your chances at success.

Which brings me on the title of this blog, in particular the ‘be good at it’ part in relation to the media industry.

Perhaps those who succeed again and again do so not just because of the skills and experience they bring to bear, but because of the processes they apply to get people to spot their talent in the first place and give them a chance; in other words, creating your own luck. They get noticed. And they’re good at it.

Persistence (that fine line between perseverance and annoying prospects), risk taking, approaching something a bit different (that often used word, being a ‘disrupter’) may all play a part in being good at it and getting a foot in the door.

Let’s take what they glamorously call in the US ‘reaching out’ to new leads.

Of those people I’ve contacted to try to generate leads over the last 3 years, you have the:

(i) immediate write-offs (5%);

(ii) barely-responsive (30%); and

(iii) always friendly and genuinely happy to hear from you (65%).

But whichever of those your prospects fit in, here are 4 things which I’ve found useful and which may help get you noticed:

Be confident: If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price. If you believe in what you have to offer, think of the message you want to create (script it out and learn it if you have to) and get out there. Confidently. 

Lose Pride, Grit Teeth: Work will, I’m always reminding myself, never happen if you sit still and wait. Proactivity is so important. If you’re embarrassed to lift up the phone and take the plunge ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen? I don’t think of my cold calls as cold calls in the call centre way. I think of a phone call as asking a question to a prospect who may require our valuable service (and as you’re calling them, you’re in the position to take charge of the phone call).

Give Respect: never, ever be rude. Especially not in an email either (it’s there to see for evermore…). If you don’t receive a response from trying to generate a new lead, follow up with a phone call or email to ask if they received the email. They may have done, but think how many emails are received by busy people on an hourly, let alone daily, basis.

Persist: “If at first you don’t succeed…” There are countless sayings about it. It actually works: they say it takes 7 ‘touches’ to get a meeting. Touches could be phone calls, email, postcard, newsletter etc. Eventually you’ll more often than not get a reply if you keep nudging every so often.

There are probably 100s of other ways to get noticed. And there’s probably no one size fits all approach. Chances are though, if you work on being good at getting noticed in the first place, the luck and the ability to show your talent will follow.