Sharpening the Axe

axeAbraham Lincoln once said: “Give me 6 hours to cut down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening my axe.” He knew that proper preparation improved performance.

Education and preparation are the keys to performance today. If one wants to perform one’s duties better, faster, smarter, one has to learn from the best in their profession.

Last week, I attended a workshop given by Cliff Quicksell, a man recognized as one of the most creative and effective people in my industry. Cliff has received more awards for creativity than anyone else in the industry and he has a long track record of building successful promotional campaigns for his clients.

I spent a day with Cliff, learning about his successful approach, his attitudes towards serving his clients and sharing marketing ideas with him.  The day was a great experience and I came away with new ideas and attitudes about  how to better serve my clients. I was sharpening my axe.

The surprising and disappointing aspect of the day was how few of my colleagues in my industry attended. There were only 25 people in attendance and only 15 of those attendees are actively involved in the business as promotional consultants (sales). My professional organization UMAPP, has a membership of about 1000 individual members, which represents about 25% of the total companies involved promotional products. It is estimated that there are over 1000 people in Minnesota selling promotional products.

My questions (and concerns) are these: why were there only 15 of us trying to sharpen the axe? Why are only 1.5% of the people in my profession out in the field calling on customers interested in finding new, better ways to serve their customers?  Those are questions for them to answer.

Here are couple question for you to answer. Is the person you work with for promotional products one of the 1.5%?  How would you know?

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Filed under Professionalism, Promo Ideas, Responsibility

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