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The other day my friend Alison posted a link to a blog and I was leery about reading it – the language was a little bit harsh. Okay the language was more than a little bit harsh but I pushed past it and I have to say the message was more than a little refreshing. (Read the original post here, but I warn you the language is not for the faint of heart).
David Wong basically drove home the point that its not about how kind or nice or interesting you are, it’s about what you have to offer that makes things happen in your life. His analogy was that if you have a loved one bleeding after an accident and someone is ready to help by performing a medical procedure on the spot you don’t care if he’s a nice guy, kind to his mother, remembers his girlfriend’s birthday, does his own laundry. What you care about is whether or not he has the medical expertise and skill to perform the medical procedure. All the other stuff doesn’t count.
Hmmmm, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in our personal development that we forget to develop our skills and let’s face it, no one pays you to be nice. You get paid because you bring a skill to the situation that can fix a problem. The better your skills the bigger the problems you can help fix. The bigger the problems the more you get paid to fix them. Yes, of course if you have great inter-personal skills (you’re nice and play well with others) you have an even bigger winning combination.
In my industry (direct sales or network marketing) not long ago you could come in with a basic set of skills and be wildly successful as long as you were persistent and consistent. Today the industry is changing. It’s not only becoming more main stream (Harvard and Yale teach courses on Network Marketing I’m told) but with the novelty of direct sales/network marketing wearing off if you come with basic skills you will create a basic income. To create a great income you need great skills. To be wildly successful you need to create superior skills.
The good news is this is still one industry in which you can come in with basic skills and with a willingness to learn, grow, and develop them you can create superior professional skills and become wildly successful. There is no other industry that I know of where you can truly get your professional training on the job and succeed at such a quick pace. After all you can’t start on the job training as a doctor with just a first aid certificate.
The challenge is if you don’t have professional skills yet are you willing to learn?