Being in business brings with it daily challenges and lessons learned from those challenges. I often reflect on how all of us strive to meet our goals on a daily basis. All around us are great minds and businesses whose lofty goals involve making life better for our fellow man. We offer up our wisdoms and devour the wisdom of others. Once the day begins we can only wish to make an honest contribution and close out the day on a high note.

 
The opportunities we strive for manifest themselves in countless ways. Being in business for myself virtually my whole working career, places the responsibility of generating income squarely in my lap. One of the more interesting ways I’ve accomplished this is to develop my own opportunities and watch them grow. Or not as the case may be. Currently I’m working with an American colleague of mine on an educational product aimed directly at the graphic design industry. It is our intent to train graphic designers the proper way of guiding their customers through our proprietary branding process and certify them as part of the overall deliverable. The training is done both online and offline. Online through a 3-day course that starts the branding conversation and offline culminating with a 3-day live workshop at a high level resort in San Diego. This is our second round, the first having wrapped at the end of January this year (2014). January’s success spurred on this latest incarnation. From it we learned and tweaked the coming event.
 
We find this self-administered adventure quite invigorating. When we did the January workshop, it was exciting to see that we were able to attract 14 graphic design firms from across the United States to learn from us. From this effort we gleamed some fantastic testimonials. You could not have asked for a better response. The most exciting thing was it was an absolute gamble. At the outset we had no idea if we could attract a quality audience that were willing to fly half way across their country to take instruction from the two of us. It was quite a compliment to see it happen before our eyes.
 
We believed it was success because of a number of factors including these:
 
  • We aligned ourselves with a respected industry publication. We piggy-backed their cachet with our target audience.
  • Everything was done on a first-class level. The promotional materials were full color. Even our name tags were full-color pins, not those “hello my name is…” stickers.
  • The venue was a 5 star golf resort in San Diego. The meeting room overlooked the gardens.
  • Our course materials were awe inspiring.
  • We encouraged interplay among the guests.
  • We gave as much information as we could to make sure they got more than they were expecting. 
 
The tone was set, the attendees took to our presentation immediately. We did it right and were benefiting from that effort. Any time you put your brand in front of an opportunity you created, the worst thing you can do is to cheap out and encourage attendees to question your expertise. It’s surprising how little more it costs to make the proper impression. It’s all a risk anyway, so I’d rather flame-out looking fantastic than regretting what could have been, and second guessing our efforts. 
 
Before today ends, what can you do to generate an opportunity you can grow with and benefit from? It’s time you started out on an exciting new adventure of your own making. It’s an opportunity for your brand to show it’s stuff. Our adventure has opened an entirely new revenue stream with terrific potential earnings. 
 
Who knew? Give it a shot!
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Ed Roach
For more than 25 years, Ed Roach has worked with hundreds of successful small businesses by helping them develop unique brand positioning strategies that differentiate them from their competition. Ed appreciates working with companies who see the value of going beyond mere slogans and have a desire to sell from compelling positions, and consults predominantly with businesses facilitating his proprietary process, "Brand Navigator." This branding process effectively focuses a company's brand, delivering a positioning strategy that can be taken to their marketplace. He is the author of "101 Branding Tips," a book of practical advice for your brand that you can use today.

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