Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Lesson Learned. Communication is King!

Oops! This is what I said when I opened my email from my new (and only paying) client. I didn’t even realize the magazine was my client until three weeks ago when I was asked for my social.

Last month, my client (a local magazine publisher) found my business card in my non-paying client’s office and was excited to find someone local who can write. I was also elated, since I have begun my writing business this year I have not received any compensation, unless you count free lunches as being compensated.

I was approached by a coach for a local swimming team which has produced an Olympic trial qualifier. The coach wanted to have a story published that would boost the benefits of organized youth sports namely the swim team. Also he wanted me to contact the newspaper to pitch the article. I told him my rate. No problem.

I was given phone numbers of several different coaches and after numerous attempts to contact someone, no one was calling me back. In the meantime, my new client called to ask me if I had been contacted by this coach and I told her my experience. She had also received several emails asking her magazine to do an article.

I asked her, “Are you going to do the article?” She laughed and said “That’s what I’m asking you to do?” Great.

Three weeks have passed without any communication between me, the swim team or my client until today. I received two separate emails . One asked me to send the swim team article to them by Friday, July 13 and the second one was asking for the CEO article (which I ghostwrite) by Friday as well. Feast or famine. I am new to all this but I find it quite exciting. Also, I feel I am being taken seriously as a writer by someone other than my family.

Nevertheless, communication skills are king and I have learned an important lesson. Do not assume any thing and it is a good idea to become an astute listener.

Write it down,


Paradoxical Commandment #3

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

This commandment alludes to positional success. For instance if you become a department head or an elected official, you will meet two kinds of friends: personal and positional and true enemies. Positional friends are good for business. This type of friend is loyal to the cause, ideology, issue, etc. and who ever fills the position will gain their support. In other words, they are on the payroll. A personal friend does not need an explanation. For the most part, true enemies will attack anyone who fills your position. In many cases it is not always personal.

A successful person is also vulnerable to public criticism because somebody else wants your success. They don’t want it so that they can be in your shoes, rather they are resentful of anyone who succeeds. You become the target because the attack on you is not about you it is about them. However, other people attack because they are upset you do not agree with them. Does this sound familiar?

I was the target of unkind personal attacks not too long ago. However, I hung in there and completed my term of office anyway. Therefore, I know the difficulty in practicing this Paradoxical Commandment. Succeed Anyway. In the end you are better for it.

Write it down,