I was sitting in my office one morning with a hot cup of coffee reflecting on the past 30 years of my career. How it came to be, what it has been built upon, and most important, how I have survived. The word “business” is inter-changeable with “relationships”. A business is built through the business of building relationships.
The changes during my career have been dramatic, to say the least. I used to work with old-timers. Now I’m the old-timer. It’s a role I’ve had to learn to be comfortable with. It hasn’t always been easy.
Every once in a while, you’re fortunate enough to get the dream client. They listen to you; they leave it in your hands and ultimately, you come through for them. Like I said, that does happen every once in a while. Then there are the relationships you really have to work at to make them successful – for your business and your client’s business. While these are the most challenging of relationships, they do make us better at what we do!
Back in the dawn of time, when Media Ventures was incorporated, there was no internet, no email, no Dropbox, no Skype, well, you get it. So, what exactly was our primary tool? There were two – the telephone and the face-to-face meeting. The telephone was used to set up the face-to-face meeting. We traveled more back then, either to a client’s office or to an industry trade show, where most of our potential clients would be in the same place.
Those trade shows were fun. We met great people. We looked each other in the eye and decided if we should do business together. If the answer was yes, then the details were hammered out. Then, as email and internet, et al, were added to the “tool” kit, here’s what started to happen. You sent the first email, then the follow-up email, and then you call someone who now had the option to glance at caller ID and decide whether or not to pick up the call. We all figured out how to hide behind this fast technology. And business slowed down.
Existing business, secured in the days before the hiding started, would continue to flourish as long as the customer’s business flourished. Businesses have closed, including MVI; others have been bought or sold and people have died. I’m friends with half a dozen or more of MVI’s original clients on Facebook or connected through LinkedIn, even after all these years.
It’s harder today to make that same connection that we were once able to make face to face. But I’m confident that opportunities will still present themselves and we can adapt and continue to discover new and better ways to attract new clients to whatever business we are in.
Speaking of that, are you looking for a writer, editor, proofreader or all around publishing professional to help you with that next project? Call me. We can set up a face to face.