By Robert Middleton - Action Plan Marketing
Right now I'm revisiting a few books by one of the few business geniuses I know of - Lawrence J. Peter.
In his first book, "The Peter Principle," he revealed his discovery of a rather startling principle: "In a hierarchy, everyone tends to rise to the level of their incompetence."
In his second book, "The Peter Prescription" he outlines 64 strategies for avoiding the Peter Principle in your life and business.
These books, written in 1969 and 1972 are still available used on Amazon for practically nothing. I suggest you get them as soon as possible, read, and be enlightened.
Don't think that because you're self-employed that you've escaped the Peter Principle. The truth is that it abounds in epidemic proportions amongst Independent Professionals.
Many Independent Professionals excelled as employees and decided to go out on their own. They became very good at performing their services but hit their level of incompetence when it came to running their businesses.
Marketing, selling, delegation, keeping the books and a thousand and one other things that were handled by others as an employee got added to their already full plate as an Independent.
Some of these they found easy to integrate, but nine out of ten are incompetent at one or more things that make self-employment a struggle, if not a living hell.
If you can't attract qualified prospects and turn them into paying clients, you will suffer the most.
The first insight of the Peter Principle should be, "OK, I'm incompetent, but I'm not alone. This is nothing personal. This is the case for everyone with few exceptions."
If you are brave enough to tell the truth about this instead of making excuses for your incompetence, you actually have a chance to increase your competence.
It's a funny thing. Most people, not realizing their incompetence, blame external circumstances such as the economy, lack of time, and unresponsive prospects, will do nothing whatsoever to increase their competence, give lip service to it, or try only halfheartedly to make changes.
A few may wake up and realize, "Ok I'm incompetent at marketing, I will take some action. I will get more knowledge, assistance, coaching, and support to increase my competence. After all, my business, my life, in fact, depend upon it.
If you find this insulting, demeaning or just plain silly, please don't blame me, blame that rascal, Lawrence J. Peter. He made me say this!
Recommendation: Get these books, take them to heart and then do what you can to increase your competence in building your business before it's too late. By the way, these books are not only filled with pithy truths on every page, they are fun and easy to read. No doubt his style was the sugar that made it possible for his readers to swallow a rather bitter pill. Genius.
The More Clients Bottom Line: Incompetence in marketing and selling for Independent Professionals is not the exception but the rule. If you are self-employed, your incompetence in this area approaches 90% or more. The only question that remains is: "What are you going to do about it?"