The Entrepreneurial Spirit

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I’m right in the middle of starting a new business.  One month in and it’s intoxicating, rewarding, and scary all at once.  No doubt, none of this is a surprise to you.   In fact, I’m quite certain you could share far more interesting “lessons learned” from your own experiences.  Here are a few of mine that I initially found hard to accept, and yet, they kept popping up as if to say, “pay attention”.

Building a “Personal Brand” Takes Time

My wife and I have been fortunate this past month.  We’ve had a lot of opportunities to work with great people who are excited about doing business with us.  It took years reaching out and connecting with others to earn the right to be heard as more than a cold call or an empty advertisement.  Years spreading a message I believe in, helping others anyway I could, and working very long hours.

It will always be a process, and those looking for quick fixes will find empty promises.

Your Services Aren’t Much Different Than Your Competitors

This is one reason why building a brand is so critical.   Features, benefits, and credentials are not the game you want to be in.  Someone will always be there to compete with you at a higher level.  What your competition cannot touch is your authenticity, your credibility, and the belief people have in you because you continue to pleasantly surprise them time and again.

Your Visibility and Trustworthiness Are More Important Than Your Ability.

I was speaking with a colleague of mine who has been a successful psychologist in private practice for many years.  We were talking about distinguishing factors for businesses when he stated that, “skills and quality of service are all great, but the reality is that when I refer to a hospital or another provider I am really looking to see how genuine and caring they are as people and professionals.  Those to me are the prime distinguishing factors.  Are they passionate about what they do, and are they someone who truly cares.”

It’s All In Your Head

There is a great Hindu saying:

“Who sees it all? Varuna has but 1,000 eyes, Indra 100, you and I…only two.”

Once you understand that you operate from a very narrow point of view, you can test your assumptions, and find better solutions to the challenges that arise.

It’s Easy To Accept Mediocrity

Why?  Often times you don’t know it’s mediocre, or you simply aren’t willing to go further.   What people say they want and what people are willing to work incredibly hard for are often two completely different things.  I have fallen prey to this many times.

There is a new restaurant in my hometown that my family was excited to visit.  They had a great menu and we heard the food was good.  We walked in with our two children to a room full of lawn furniture.  We had to move our own “picnic” table around to fit all the lawn chairs, and my oldest son fell backwards in his chair during the meal.  The food didn’t quite cut it after that.

Going beyond mediocrity is hard work.  For example, if you’re looking to grow your practice beyond its current level there are no miracle solutions.  You’ve got to be consistent at all levels.  This means you need to re-launch your personal brand in a way that is compelling and engaging.

  • The great deal you got on business cards using one of the discount company’s stock images is not going to get you there.
  • The website your cousins’, friends’ brother built for you…ditch it.
  • Your attempt to create a brochure for your business using a Word template? Not good enough.

Commit to creating consistent “wow” experiences in all you do, and remember, in a sea of choices that is today’s marketplace, no one is picking “good enough”.



  1. Thomas Burke Heath  April 12, 2011

    Wise words my friend… Don’t settle for anything short of “Wow!”

  2. Rachael  April 12, 2011

    That’s right David. I went the extra mile on the business cards and website and such because I like things to be amazing. ALL my clients get an “intro folder” to my services when they come in, there is bottled water (rarely asked for though..), chocolates, candles and one of those water fountains. I have added other services to my list and people buy them (to my fascination) as they are a complement to therapy. My name has been getting around. I’m happy and proud and best of all – helping others and loving it.

  3. David Diana  April 12, 2011

    Thanks Thomas!

    And great to hear your choices are paying off Rachael!

  4. Krylyn  April 16, 2011

    I really needed to hear this after the week I just had. Thanks for the reminder. There is always someone who has been doing it longer, who has more credentials, who is more of an “expert” but I have to remember no one has the experience and personality I bring to the table. And no one can deliver the information or service the way I can. Here’s to consistency and the WOW factor…

  5. David  April 25, 2011

    I’m glad you found it! Keep on keeping on. You will find your own space!

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