You. The Individual

It’s been 12 weeks since Ben asked me to help with his individual ‘offer.’

He has worked hard in the transition from back-room support act to become Managing Director of the family firm, the organisation that had earned his mum and dad a reputable business, a healthy clientele and a good living.

We had just left a brand new prospect for business. ‘Smithy’ and his board, are now asking for more. More on prices, more about deadlines and more about styles from Ben’s bespoke product range – always a sign of good things to come.

So I thought.

No regrets, no more looking back Ben?

‘I do understand the legacy I’ve inherited Charlie although I’m all too aware that I’m not my father! I feel inadequate that I can’t deliver his depth of knowledge, his connectivity or the rapport that I feel I need to deliver on behalf of those prospects looking for more.’

Ben, who was that in there? Smithy and his team don’t even know your father, they know the family reputation and now it’s all about you! Just have faith in the follow-up and your abilities.

Bring the individual offer to the table, be prepared to make stupid mistakes, do boring stuff, make idle conversation and be the difference that separates you and dad.

Self-confidence comes with the qualification of success Ben, you are certainly not your father (a strong character with an overriding presence) and although you should, of course, follow his example … it’s equally important to develop your own persona – clients like ‘Smithy’ are indeed asking for more, that’s great – more from Ben, no-one else.

Your existing customers already know the company, right?

The exciting thing is, after three short months they’re starting to get to know you now Ben – just as you are finding your feet, your own network is learning too. Be different … please … try NOT to fit in, you don’t have to ‘fit in’ everywhere, right?

It’s ok to be individual Ben, don’t compare yourself to anyone else, they just don’t come close.

People buy from people, be the change you represent and people will love you for it.

Time tells …

It was one of those clear, crisp Autumn mornings … so wife, father-in-law (George) and I took some time to walk down through the gardens to the church yard. We crossed the old ‘falling-down’ bridge and up, through the gates leading to our destination.

We were here just last month. George had wanted to show us the grave of his own grandmother, laid to rest some 80 years past and a headstone still offering a surprisingly easy read to the stone inscription. George had a question regarding ‘Stephen,’ the family member mentioned and accompanying, ‘Harold’ who had been killed at the Somme …

Stephen had been unaccounted for.

George could identify with certain stories his mother passed on about Harold over time though had he not heard anything about Stephen. It was clear he wished to learn more.

So I’d asked a friend (genealogist) to spend some time and research George and his part of the family and it was just a short time later he returned with news. Stephen had been formally listed as missing in action (MIA) although our current investigation tells us now … Stephen had survived certain wounds in hospital, outlasted the war and after a time he’d been traced living in southern Europe with his adopted family!

What would ‘they’ have thought!

A bemused George led us away past a mature ‘Wingnut’ tree spanning some 18 metres and which was looking all of it’s 25 years … clearly more than a little past prime time.

These get-away too fast, they’re bonnie trees but just too keen to tak a hold and lose their way in the soft earth n the ‘clarts.’ That’ll be felled afore lang.’ stated George.

Thats canny good ower there ‘ George directed our gaze to a ‘Cypress,’ the same age as our Wingnut though not as tall at just a little over 3 metres. Straight and strong.

Added George, ‘that’n will be heor long affta that big-un is gone, these tyek thor time te establish yee knaa.’

I continued to mull-over (interpret?) George’s view, taking time to dwell over insights to the headstone, those long overlooked facts uncovered, laying hidden until now …

Aye, yee could write a book aboot tha un.’ says George wistfully.

‘Now there was an idea.’ I thought to myself … half listening and thoroughly pre-occupied with our trees. While George pondered his own questions, I observed my own relationship with colleagues throughout our regular business referral group …

George, I thought … I’d much rather understand the advantages time spent building solid foundations than the results the alternative may bring…