As Entrepreneurs (Consultants, Sales Professionals, etc.) we are constantly encouraged to hone our vision and be forward thinking. Rightfully so… but what happens when your focus is so progressive that you lose sight of the opportunities and lessons that are, literally, right next to you?
Don’t allow tunnel-vision (the evil twin of “focus”) to limit your options; stay in tune with the world around you…especially what’s going on “around you” in your own backyard.
The most effective marketing involves “direct contact” and this direct contact often happens in unplanned scenarios where your “elevator speech” simply doesn’t fit (or would be annoyingly formal in the grocery store checkout line…). This is where your “360 degree perspective” comes into play.
The ability to engage in conversation about news, events, and other “trending” talking points is uber-important to being a well-rounded “advisor” and someone who wants to be remembered as an intriguing resource to a potential client. Challenge yourself to stay up-to-date with news relevant to your industry and your community (not just what comes across your desk.)
How? This is what I do:
Read OFTEN. (I have a “resources” line item in my business budget for books, magazines, newspapers, etc. and I find time weekly to catch up.) Here are two of my favorite reading resources that you can access, as well:
- Next News Daily via HireAlexis: This tool generates an online “newspaper” that allows me the pleasure of reading through an organized presentation of tweets posted by the profiles I follow on Twitter. Since I follow a fair share of “locals”, this works for my “360DP” and provided bonus commentary from those with perspectives I respect. The paper is publically published for others to read and features certain profiles on each publication, but for the most part, I am probably the largest beneficiary for now. My paper keeps me in the loop. (You can set up, customize, and share your own paper, for free at www.paper.li)
- Baltimore Business Journal: My local business journal is an excellent resource. The news and event features are impressively diverse within its overarching relevancy for Baltimore-area businesses and professionals while it also features “industry-specific” lists and other resources according to a published schedule. Speaking of lists….as a tangible bonus to the featured articles… every edition of the Business Journal also offers multiple pages of contact information for leads in key categories. (Check out the Business Journal in your city at http://www.bizjournals.com/)
What resources do you use to maintain your “360 Degree Perspective” on life/work and stay in touch with your community?