How much of a hypocrite are you when it comes to walking your talk?
Most of us have probably heard the expression, “Do as I say, not as I do.”
Kind of stinks, doesn’t it?
That’s because its implicit message is, “What I’m telling you sounds good and I think you should do it, but I’m not willing to do it myself.” It’s like a cardiologist or a respiratory therapist being a heavy smoker. (And, yes, I’ve know people just like that.)
How often have you been guilty of sending this same mixed message to your clients? And what does it cost you when you do?
When you fail to “walk your talk”, you:
- Destroy your credibility. If the recommendation is not good enough for you, why should it be good enough for the client? And if it’s not good enough for the client, why should they bother paying you?
- Betray their trust. They expect your best work, and it’s hard to convince them they’re receiving it if you don’t apply those same principles to your own business.
- Create suspicion. If you can’t speak to your own experiences with the tools you’re recommending, it’s easy to assume that you have no real-world experience with them, that you’re just making things up without any idea whether they’ll actually perform.
Can your business afford any of those consequences? I doubt it.
So how do you ensure that your words and your actions are congruent, that you walk your talk? Here are some easy (though not necessarily simple) ways to keep yourself on track and operating with integrity.
- Set aside time during your next business-development day to review recent client recommendations. Determine if the client’s situation is similar to yours and, if so, check to see whether you’ve fully implemented those recommendations in your own business. (You do have time scheduled to work on your business as well as in it, right?)
- Review the high-value product you offer to website visitors as a bonus for opting in to your mailing list. Evaluate whether you’re doing everything recommended in that irresistible free offer.
- If you use a particular process when working with clients, run your own operations through that process to see how you can tighten things up.
Unfortunately, I can speak from personal experience about the lousy results you get when you fail to apply your expertise to your own situation.
When working with clients, I show them how to use the five-step Take Action Now System™ to strategically, calmly, and effectively deal with the zillion and one tasks clamoring for their attention. It works great for them, so you’d think it would be a no-brainer for me to use this system for myself. For some reason, however, I found myself getting away from it; maybe I thought I knew enough to short-cut it. However, I realized I was losing momentum, confidence, and sanity by failing to approach my work in a systematic fashion. So I basically started treating my situation like I would a client’s, and I got back on track.
Please understand: When I encourage you to avoid the hypocrisy of not applying your knowledge and skills to your own business, I’m not coming from a position of preaching the high moral ground. Rather, I’m talking about what works. After all, don’t you deserve to apply your skills and expertise on your own behalf at least as much as you would for client?
By the way, thanks to frontriver for the smiling graphic and to jonny.hunter for the angry one. I found both in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.This entry was posted in productivity and tagged commitment, productivity. Bookmark the permalink.