It is 4:00 pm on Thursday and I receive an email from my boss: Can you please come to the office tomorrow at 10:00 am? Immediately I say, “Oh my gosh they are going to let me go.” Marketing is always the first to go, but does it have to go 16 days before Christmas?
This was ‘my thing.’ Everyone has ‘a thing.’ Mine was to get let go, start my job hunt, land a job and get let go by clients–clients that I was never able to sell on my ideas, those without a solid foundation and those who have no idea how to run a business.
I realized maybe I am just not capable of working for someone else. It was time for me to create a ‘new thing.’ I decided to create a solid brand of who I am, but who is that? I now questioned myself. What is wrong with me? Am I bad at marketing, terrible at sales, do I need more experience, do I need a masters degree or am I too expensive?
Now that my rant is over! I would like to thank all the incompetent clients I worked for and those I have done business with. Those who offered terrible customer service, did not capture data, paid their employees terribly, hired un-trained people and those who would not put their customers and employees first. You have shown me that I can and have to be an amazing business owner. Who knew that giving all of me would increase my bottom line so much! Thinking of my customer’s needs and wants made me stick out amongst the noise of these terrible business owners. I was now not the norm. I made it all about my customer’s needs, not mine nor my employees. That is going to be ‘my thing’ …I am just going to be seen as amazing.
I was without a job yet again, January 2014. A very dear old friend of mine said, “Nikki, I wish you could just find a job.” I wished that as well! Why does this keep happening? I thought about what he said and wondered what does he really think of me. What brand had I created for myself? Did he think I was too picky, hard to work with, incompetent or do I just make poor choices when joining a company? What does the rest of the world see? I then had a flashback of a sales job I landed. I loved the product and company so much, so much so that I was going to pitch it to three friends and if they didn’t buy I was going to look for something else. I asked all three to meet with me and they said yes. Only one out of the three really treated me like a sales rep. I was able to pitch it and he bought. The other two didn’t really give me the time. So I didn’t pitch it to them and they didn’t buy. I am now blaming them not treating me like a sales rep because of the brand I created and how I made myself appear. It was time to create a new brand. It was time to create a new me.
For the next four months I looked for a new job. I spent time marketing my 7 year old side business so I wouldn’t have to waitress while I was interviewing. I landed a job and was so pleased. Monday morning, I am in orientation, and my phone was inundated with orders from my business. So it begins. Three weeks later, I explained that my business was taking off and I have to take a chance. The Regional Sales Manager called me and asked for half of my efforts. I said, “half”? He said, “half of your efforts, we think, are equal to the full efforts of our seasoned reps”. It was that very moment that I knew I made the right choice in pursuing my business. He saw the new me – the new brand.
I decided to run my business with a brand that is going to “Wow” people. I put my customers, employees, vendors and mentors first. I made them feel like they were the only ones and responded to them very quickly, as well as providing an amazing product. I started getting amazing reviews not only on the product, but on me. I made sure to have all of my systems and processes in place by acquiring 14 mentors to help me round out the areas I am not skilled in. The concept of creating an amazing brand is working. I hired people and paid them extremely well, and guess what, they didn’t leave and they really loved their job and the environment. I then started getting kudos from mentors and partners, “You’re one of my favorite clients,” “I have always been impressed with you,” “You’re an angel from God and I will never forget this. I am so glad we met.” These last few praises and the customer testimonials made me see how important it is to really go above and beyond.
As we were building this site, I knew Nancy and I have to share our stories. I told a PR/Marketing firm about this new venture of how not to run a business and how a business doesn’t need marketing to increase sales. He said very skeptically, “Implying that marketing is not needed is a tough sell.” UMMMM…YEAH IT IS! I know this first hand. That is exactly why clients fired me, because I couldn’t sell them on why we don’t need marketing to increase sales. What I really needed was their humility!
***I have worked for some amazing companies and I want to thank you all. You know who you are. If you are unsure if you are one of these amazing companies, well, you might want to pay attention as this is going to get good. EVERY company, service, product and name have been changed completely. The story line will always be accurate and not fabricated or changed. Go ahead and breath again it will be okay.