Defining Success

tree-in-palmAs a marketing professional I would have previously defined success as my ability to bring work in the door. Several years ago, I came to the conclusion that success did not come down to winning projects, but rather, it came down to relationships (through which you can also greatly increase your ability to win work). However, as I grow, I continue to learn and dig deeper into this idea of success.

Success for me
A light came on a couple of years ago when I was reading the networking chapter in Ford Harding’s book Rain Making. In that chapter he reminds us that networking is really just about helping other people. From this simple concept I have developed an approach to networking and life that I believe yields success. I summarized these thoughts in the post, Why Help Other People, when I wrote that “I believe that the best way to succeed in life, and business, is to help other people.  A life built around helping others will yield not just the joys of relationships, but also the sweet success of achieving your own goals.”

Your turn
My real question here is for you; how do you define success? I am working to refine my own thoughts on this topic and would appreciate your insights. At the top of this post is a link to the “comments” section. Please use it to let me know how you define success, so that I and hundreds of others can learn from you.

Rain Making – 2nd Edition

I posted recently about Chapter 3 of the book Rain Making by Ford Harding.  It was great to hear directly from Ford (see the comments to that blog) about the second edition of Rain Making.  After a thorough read let me first emphasize that the revised chapter on networking (now chapter 8 ) is in-and-of itself worth the purchase of the book.  Below is a review of Rain Making – 2nd Edition I wrote for the SMPS DC book club:

Rain Making
Attract New Clients No Matter What Your Field – 2nd Edition

Rain Making is a book for professionals who are interested in learning how to develop their career. Its easy to understand focus on marketing tactics and strategies makes it an excellent tool for developing successful marketing strategies for an individual or company.

The term “Rain Maker” has been around for years. It is often used, rarely understood, and almost never implemented properly. Rain Making addresses the fundamentals of what makes a rain maker, from building business and developing relationships, to creating new jobs. The focus is not simply on understanding how to become a rain maker, but how to clearly identify a path for implementation.

The 2nd edition of Rain Making is divided into four sections: Marketing Tactics: How Professionals Build Reputations and Generate Leads; Building a Network: How Professionals Develop a Sustainable Source of Leads; Sales Tactics: How Professionals Advance and Close a Sale; and From Tactics to Strategy: What Works and What Doesn’t.

The first section on Marketing Tactics is a ‘must read’ for individuals looking for a fresh and relevant perspective on building business. It clearly articulates the various types of marketing tactics, their purpose, and their proper use.

The second section on Building a Network contains simply the best chapter I have read on Networking. If you have time to read only one chapter in a book this next year, this is the chapter I would recommend. It provides an easy-to-use approach to networking that is worth the purchase of the book in and of itself.

The third section on Sales Tactics gives a great review of the basics of sealing the deal, including presentations, writing a proposal, and quoting a fee.

The final section, Strategy: What Works and What Doesn’t, carefully articulates plans for both individuals and corporations that are intertwined with a sense of purpose and strategy. The section is written towards what can be done today, not simply lofty plans for the future that will be forgotten in a week.

So, if you are looking for a book that will motivate and educate you on the tactics and strategy for becoming a Rain Maker, and provide you with useful tidbits that you can start the day you finish reading, I highly recommend Rain Making by Ford Harding.

Chapter 3 of Rain Making by Ford Harding

In the past year I have bought and given away over two-dozen copies of Rain Making with one condition to the recipients: They had to agree to read chapter 3.

The term “Rain Maker” has been around for years. It is often used, rarely understood, and almost never implemented properly. Rain Making, by Ford Harding addresses the fundamentals of what makes a rain maker, from building business and developing relationships, to creating new jobs. The focus is not simply on understanding how to become a rain maker, but how to clearly identify a path for implementation.

Chapter 3, devoted to networking, (a personal passion of mine) is by far the best read anywhere on the topic. To give you an idea, I have read literally hundreds of articles on the topic, I have studied the topic as a Fellow at Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business, and I have read numerous books on building business. Ford Harding simply writes an easy to understand and implement approach to a topic that has long been misunderstood.

Beyond chapter 3, Rain Making is divided into three sections: Generating Leads, Advancing and Closing a Sale, and Strategy: What Works and What Doesn’t.

Generating Leads
The first section on Generating Leads is a “must read” for the marketers, engineers, and architects that are looking for a fresh and relevant perspective on business development. It clearly articulates the various types of marketing tactics, their purpose, and their proper use.

Advancing and Closing a Sale
The second section on Advancing and Closing a Sale, while not as sexy as the other two sections, gives a great review of the basics of sealing the deal, including presentations, writing a proposal, and quoting a fee.

Strategy: What Works and What Doesn’t
The final section, Strategy: What Works and What Doesn’t, carefully articulates plans for both individuals and corporations that are intertwined with a since of purpose and strategy. The section is written towards what can be done today, not simply lofty plans for a future plan that will be forgotten in a week.

If you are looking for a book that will motivate and educate you on the tactics and strategy for becoming a Rain Maker, and provide you with useful tidbits that you can start the day you finish reading, I highly recommend Rain Making by Ford Harding.