Yourself to Success
by Burt Dubin
The secret to a successful career is to sell yourself. Whether
you are an employee, self-employed, or a business owner, you
must sell yourself to succeed. Here are four things you need
to know to sell yourself to success:
Know your subject
When I was 17 I lied about my age to get a job at RCA. I
was the sole support of my mom and two kid sisters. I quit
high school because there was no one else to support them.
I quickly worked my way into the electronic test group. I
studied my task, just as I recommend you to do. My love affair
with the CRT and the alignment process yielded new, original,
previously undiscovered ideas to shorten a procedure from
45 minutes to 15 minutes. Standing firm against the non-believers,
I prevailed. I got the process I conceived made the new standard,
thus tripling production in my department. I knew my subject.
I made the sale.
Know your subject inside out, upside down, backward and forward.
Study it tirelessly, endlessly, relentlessly. Make your expertise
your other intimate other. Love your passion. And make
it a passion that knows no bounds and has no limits. Devote
yourself to your field resolutely -- and make yourself its
master. Dedicate your energy, your time, your resources without
limit and without reserve to your chosen discipline. Yes,
have a love affair with your career and it will produce both
satisfaction and wealth.
Know your market
Years ago, way before I dreamed of becoming a consultant,
a mentor, or a speaker, I represented the Pepsodent Division
of Lever Brothers to retailers in the Greater Los Angeles
area. I found retailers who didn't know that they craved to
carry my line, to display it, feature it, promote it. I identified
dozens and dozens of stores, targeted them and won them over.
Not just as customers, far more than that. I made them advocates,
believers, disciples. Amen, brother! This passionate devotion
to the cause of that brand carried me to recognition, awards
-- and much more. I knew my market.
Know your market. Know exactly what people, companies, associations,
groups, and industries are most likely to appreciate you and
your mastership -- and to reward you handsomely for your insights,
your views, and your recommendations. Know their demographics.
Know their psychographics. Then stay on top of events that
matter to leaders in your subject. Be a restless, hungry,
greedy seeker of every crumb of data, knowledge, and wisdom
that impacts those at every level in your market. Include
all, from the shareholders to the Board to the CEO to senior
management to every level, every specialty, every group and
sub-group. Leave no stone unturned.
Know your values. Know your value -- and don't settle for
less. Know what you stand for. Know what matters, truly matters,
bone-deep, to you. Know where you've been. Know where you're
going. Know why you do what you do.
Know your life story
Hey, I've lived this stuff, I don't just teach it. Years
ago, when Pepsodent didn't reward me adequately, I quit. After
Pepsodent, I joined Cole Steel Equipment Company -- and in
5 years tripled their sales in the Greater Los Angeles area.
This went on and on until I started to awaken others to their
potential. And to how to actualize their potential. I have
demonstrated how my life story helps you understand life and
create your life story. Concentrate on YOUR life story...and
how you can write future chapters you'll be proud to show
Knowing those four things – your subject, your market,
yourself, and your story – are the essential ingredients to
selling yourself and developing a career or series of careers
and ventures that will sustain you for your life.