I spent last week as a volunteer range officer at Cub Scout Camp Wakpominee and relearned some valuable lessons for all professionals, especially those who gain new clients via word of mouth in creating an Introduction Based Business.
First and most importantly is the Scout Motto: Be Prepared. How many times could you have done a better job for your client if you had allocated a little more time researching beforehand? How many introductions have you lost because you didn’t take the ten minutes to create an agenda and prep a feeder list? What business have you lost because you were not mentally ready to ask for it? As Lord Baden Powell stated when asked “prepared for what?”: why, for any old thing! A true professional has planned for all contingencies. Be Prepared!
Secondly, you must aim for something. On the archery range, we don’t just fire arrows randomly. We have a target, with a bullseye. Same with sling shots or bb guns or .22 caliber rifles. We know what we want (to hit the target, hopefully the bullseye), and we aim for it. We focus on the goal. If you aren’t aiming you won’t hit your target, or worse yet hit something you don’t want to. Visualize, then shoot!
Thirdly, progress is to be celebrated. We had twin five-year old girls on the range. Both the bows and the bb guns were as big as they were. But they listened intently and focused, and even though their first attempts missed the targets they didn’t give up. By their second rounds they were close, and by the end of each session they were Annie Oakley. They listened to instruction, believed they could do it, and continuously improved. Is a 3 foot tall five year old more committed to improving than you are?
And fourth, stay hydrated. As poet Alexander Pope proclaimed:
Keep watering your soul, be it by volunteering to help kids or with your local foodbank or your professional association. Give of yourself freely in an environment where you can learn from others (even if they are five years old) and you will grow professionally. Drink deep of the springs of learning and life, and quench your thirst often.
My week at Scout Camp was like most things: harder than I expected and more rewarding. Take the next week and put yourself in that mentality, and see how prepared you are to start hitting the bullseyes in your career.