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Step Right Up Ladies and Gentleman, Let’s Talk about Service in Your Business

by Blaze Lazarony on February 25, 2014

Being of Service in Your BusinessCome one and come all, today we’re going to talk about service in your business! Don’t be shy there are plenty of seats available, choose your favorite seat up front and let’s get started…

I’d like to invite you to close your eyes and go back to a time in your memory when you were young, perhaps even in first or second grade. And remember some of the large concepts like reading, writing, and arithmetic; as well as the important life skills like truth, honor, and integrity. What were some of your key learning points from this time?

For me, I learned very young that lying, cheating, and stealing were wrong, inappropriate, and unethical.

First Footing

When I flash back to first grade I remember how I loved to listen to rough pencil lead as it scratched across the wide ruled green newsprint. I could practice letters full of ascenders and descenders of the alphabet for hours. So one day I decided to fill my tote bag with a hefty stack of green pages from the supply corner and take them home.

I vividly remember emptying out my bag in front of my Mom as she put away clothes in her bedroom dresser drawers. I waved the paper high in the air and shouted with glee, “Lookie what I’ve got!” My Mother smiled and said something about what a wonderful gift that the teacher had given me that day. I remember furrowing my brow and saying, “She didn’t give them to me,” with all the innocence of a child. My Mother coldly stared, “She didn’t? How did you get them?” To which I replied something about wanting to practice my letters and numbers, so I just took a few pages and stuffed them in my tote bag to bring home with me. To this day I can hear my Mother saying in a very stern voice, “Young Lady, that is stealing…and cheating!”

I was shocked and scared to death all in one moment.  I knew that both stealing and cheating were wrong, but I hadn’t grasped the real meaning of the act until that exact moment. When I stopped crying over my terrible deed; my Mom coached me about how I would return every last piece of paper to my teacher bright and early the next morning, and apologize for my behavior too.

And I did.

Connecting the Dots

So what does cheating and stealing have to do with being of service in your business—EVERYTHING!

Men are rich only as they give. He who gives great service gets great rewards. –Elbert Hubbard

I strongly believe that if we’re not showing up with our entire bag of gifts and talents, first and foremost for ourselves and our businesses, and then for our clients–we are cheating them and us out of a rich experience.

Every day I talk with potential clients, clients, and even colleagues who want to keep some part of their unique values, experiences, and especially their skill-sets hidden. It’s not that they knowingly do this, it’s that they think their clients don’t care about the fact that they know how to peel an orange in a single roll, how to diaper a baby in three easy steps, or how to plan out all of their marketing for month in only two hours.

Okay, so maybe your client really doesn’t want to know exactly all the things that you know, but maybe in some cases they do.

What your clients really want to know is the result or the outcome of you of having those experiences, or learning those skills, and how they apply to their unique business. For example peeling an orange can be all about speed and grace, diapering a baby is about dealing with messy stuff and staying sane, and getting all of your monthly marketing completed in two hours–are you serious?

Identify Your Top 30 Skills

Grab a pen, and a piece of paper (no it doesn’t need to to be wide ruled and green) and simply start writing down ten experiences you’ve had in your life, just the first ones that come to mind. They can be wild and crazy experiences, or practical and pragmatic, and everything in between.  Next write down three real and tangible skills that you learned as a result of those ten unique experiences. Then review your list, impressive right?

I already knew that about you…you’re Brilliant!

Let’s Talk About Service

So here’s the third and final step, ask yourself how many of these skills are you using in your business today with your clients? 20%?  50?  80% or more?  I invite you to start showing up in a bigger way, and bring as much of yourself into your business using as many of your unique skills as possible. Don’t cheat or steal the situation, rather give them great service simply by showing up and being all of who you really are!

Please share one or two of your skills in the comment section below, and then also tell us how these skills help you be of ultimate service to your business clients.

Are you a Conscious Women Entrepreneur–Coach, Consultant, or Healer, who has been in business 2+ years and is ready to take your business to the next level of profitability and success? Let’s talk, I can help!

 

 

Photo credit: O.F.E. via photopin cc

Elephant in the RoomThis blog post is part of the Word Carnival. Each month, expert business owners get together to share their strategies, wisdom, and insight on unique topics. This month’s topic: Service: Acknowledging the Invisible Elephant in Your Office. Be sure to read all of the other thought-provoking articles too!

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Blaze Lazarony is a Transformational Business Strategist, CEO & Founder of Blaze A Brilliant Path, Host of the Blazing Women Entrepreneurs podcast, Best-Selling Author & Speaker. For 20 years, Blaze held high-level positions in Fortune 500 companies, including Macy's, Inc. Today she works with Conscious Entrepreneurs who are frustrated and confused with how to take their business to the next level of profitability and success. Blaze helps them create a strategic and custom-fit business, so they can make all the money they want and live a soul-based life that lights them up!

{ 10 comments }

Sharon Hurley Hall February 28, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Love the list idea, Blaze, and the thought of bringing a whole bagful of skills to serve our customers better. Great read!
Sharon Hurley Hall recently posted..8 Ways Freelance Writers Are Leaving Money on the TableMy Profile

Nicole Fende February 28, 2014 at 7:25 am

Love, love, LOVE the list idea. I’m doing it this weekend. As Nick mentions when I bring in what seems to be random skills things go even better. I enjoy the project more AND my client gets even better service. Of course it’s a list, which totally appeals to my Type A personality!
Nicole Fende recently posted..Customer Service Shouldn’t Be Self-ServingMy Profile

Nick Armstrong February 26, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Blaze,

Your identification of the top 30 skills is a really neat thought exercise and one that I haven’t done before. I was thinking about the time I was “written up” at one of my last few jobs for being overly-direct and what skills came out as a result of that.

You’re absolutely right, though – when I work with clients the most seemingly random skills that start out out-of-scope become some of the best up-sells I can offer (creative marketing ideation leads to an increase need for systemization and project management, for instance). Website design and marketing often go hand-in-hand for startup businesses, and you rarely see content management without some aspect of website management attached too.

I used to call those “unicorn skills” because they’re a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B and expecting the same price for getting twice the bang for your buck is in the realm of fantasy.

Having an updated inventory of your own skills as well as a keen knowledge of their boundaries (are you a novice, intermediate, or expert at said skill?) can also help you determine, manage, and protect your own value.

Great post, and nice job of ringleading this month Blaze!
Nick Armstrong recently posted..What Good Is A Marketing Company?My Profile

Michelle Church February 26, 2014 at 8:18 pm

I pretty much have shared my best skills with my clients as well as those I have been of service too…It did take a while to really figure what that was and I love your suggestions about the list. I did not do 30 but I think I will try that again and maybe uncover a few additional skills I take for granted. Loved the post!
Michelle Church recently posted..Who says you only drink wine from a wine glass?My Profile

Melanie February 26, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Love your take on this topic, Blaze — good stuff!

I think it’s A-Okay and pretty darn saavy, too, to incorporate as many of your “life skills” into your business as possible. And I think way too many of us discount some of the really cool talents we possess. Maybe that’s because we oftentimes can’t see what others see in us.

Being of service means s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g yourself to meet the needs of your customers and clients by sharing and utilizing your greatest strengths.

Blaze Lazarony February 26, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Wow Melanie,

I couldn’t have said it better myself–you’re right, “being of service means stretching yourself to meet the needs of your customers and clients by sharing and utilizing your greatest strengths.

Thank you for generously sharing that phrase here.

Be Brilliant,
Blaze

Carol Lynn Rivera February 26, 2014 at 11:57 am

This is a great exercise to do even if just to remind yourself that you do have talents! It’s also interesting from the perspective of opening up your vision and extending beyond what you think is “right” to do in business vs personal life or how you “should” be behaving. I bet lots of us have skills we don’t even realize we could apply to our businesses. And to Tea’s point, especially in an increasingly social world, we want to work with real, whole people, not just categories of people. Good stuff!
Carol Lynn Rivera recently posted..Wear That Hat (And The Other One, Too): A Small Business Owner’s Guide To Staying SaneMy Profile

Blaze Lazarony February 26, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Right on Carol!

We all have so many skills and talents that we sometimes may even forget about them. Forget the “should’s” and just be in the now is my motto.

Best,
Blaze

Tea Silvestre February 26, 2014 at 7:54 am

You know me, Blaze. I don’t usually hold back the goods. At least the goods that are safe for sharing at work (LOL). And I have to agree with you — too many people are compartmentalizing their lives. Usually from a misguided understanding of what it means to be “professional.” We’re human, 3-dimensional (at least) beings — we’ve got SO much more to give. Thanks for the reminder!
Tea Silvestre recently posted..Find Your Purpose in the Tiny Details and Make a Big DifferenceMy Profile

Blaze Lazarony February 26, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Tea,

Maybe it’s getting older (and wiser), or perhaps it’s leaving corporate after being a high level executive for so many years, but it seems easier to let my freak flag–translation: share all of my skills, gifts and talents with the world. Three dimensional people are so much more interesting that flat cardboard!

Cheers to taking life by the horns!

Big love,
Blaze

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