10 Things Everyone Should Do to be Treated Like a Professional

What is a Professional?  A Professional is someone who a.) gets respect, b.) does not get micro-managed, and c.) usually gets paid more.  Here are 10 things you can do to get treated like a professional (the a. and b. part… where the c. part [higher pay] follows closely behind).

  1. Never, ever, be late.  
    • It’s a small thing, but it’s #1 for a reason.  A Professional is not late, ever, for any reason.  Period.  A Professional might “reschedule”, but they would never be late.
  2. Be where you are when you’re there, and be doing what you’re doing when you’re doing it.
    • This idea is essential!  Never ever multitask.  If someone wants to talk to you, STOP what you are doing, take off your headphones, close your laptop lid (maybe not all the way), and talk to them, eye-to-eye.  Take notes about your discussion, then when the talking is done, resume what you were doing.
    • If you are in a meeting, be in the meeting.. do not check email, do not work, be in the meeting (or not, leave if you must).
  3. Deliver Results, on-time, every time.  
    • Professionals get it done.  NEVER turn it in late or incomplete.
  4. Under-promise and Over-deliver. 
    • Don’t under-promise so low that it’s not useful… but promise only what you are SURE you can deliver.. then do way, way more, every time.
  5. Become an Expert at Personal Time Management.
    • Use a To-Do List System (I like http://toodledo.com & syncs to my phone).
    • EVERY task you are assigned gets put on the list ASAP.
    • Use a Fool-Proof Calendar System (I like http://calendar.google.com & syncs to my phone).
    • EVERY meeting you agree to, gets put in to the calendar ASAP.
    • MANGE YOUR TIME to ensure that #3 and #4 happen, for every thing you commit to, every time.
  6. Never Blame Anyone for Any Mistakes, Ever.  
    • Simply take responsibility to fix it ASAP… and then fix it. (or improve it).  
    • Professionals don’t blame, even when it’s not their fault… it’s moot.
    • Professionals simply recognize the problem, announce it, and then put in place a plan to fix it.  Period.  No blame required.
  7. Be Humble and Share Successes.
    • Professionals “have it”, and they know it.  So they can share it when they succeed.
    • Shared Successes makes you look better.
  8. Be “an Expert” in your field by simply being the most current.
    • Read, read read.  Read blogs, articles, and magazines in your field every day.
    • Go to conferences and be the most current in your field.
    • Be the person people can go to when they want to know what is the latest and greatest in your specific area.
  9. Dress 1-level above your current job.  Every day.
  10. Do not look to others for your validation.  
    • You don’t need other people’s approval, you only need to know you did your best.
Here’s a snapshot of my current Top Priority tasks in Toodledo!

How to Market a Bad Product

There are Classic Bad Products, such as “New Coke” and “Ben-Gay Aspirin”.  There are also horribly bad Tech Products, such as “RealPlayer” and “SoftRAM”.  There are few things they have in common:They often “borrow” from another brand (Brand/Line extension), such as Ben-Gay Aspririn.

  1. They often “do not perform as advertised”, or are otherwise misleading such as SoftRam
  2. They sometimes are just so annoying to use and so invasive that they are not worth the hassle, such as RealPlayer.
  3. Often, they are all 3!
So, can you market a bad product?
Can you get someone to buy it???
Yes.  All you have to do is figure out “who” the product is really meant for… and a ‘fair’ price for the product delivered (not dreamed).
Is it ethical?  Yes.  You have to change the price (to what is truly delivered), and you have to choose the market (to those that actually need a solution), and if yo do those two things, and make a sale, it is fair.
Can you make a lot of money?  Probably not.  Depending on how bad the product is, you will have to narrow the market to be quite small and reduce the price to where it may not make money (and may actually cost you money to sell it).
How do you market a bad product?  You tell the truth.  Be what you are.  Know who you are for.  And HIDE NOTHING.
Ironically, some people may find that refreshing and buy your product anyways… certainly if you can “find the niche” that the product has some use for.
Here are some examples from some Classic Bad Products:
  1. New Coke.
    1. this is a ‘brand extension’…  and uses the new coke brand…. unfortunately Coke tried to make “ALL MARKET” accept this as a brand replacement. (Bad Idea!)
    2. As a brand extension though, New Coke, could have been marketed beside “Coke” as a different flavor, a flavor targeted at younger folks, or targeted at Pepsi lovers.
    3. Given that kind of target market, it might have found a niche.
  2. Microsoft Zune.
    1. Microsoft COULD have carved out a DIFFERENT target market or audience with Zune.  E.g. perhaps Zune was an MP3 Player for Senior Citizens?
    2. Ironically, marketed like that you might have charged “more” for the Zune.
  3. SoftRAM.
    1. Yes, it mislead folks about that it was… but… it also kinda-worked!
    2. SoftRAM could have priced itself as a $0.99 utility to tweak Windows.
    3. They might have sold Millions!  (and not been the target of FTC investigations).
    4. The could have targeted people with extra HD capacity…. or perhaps Housewives… or ‘old PC owners’….
    5. Being HONEST about what they are and are not would have been key
So, my top list of “Bad Products”…  here you go… 
  1. Canned Chicken  –  It’s disgusting.  I am not in the target market.
  2. Windows Mouse – It was terrible, and required a driver install.  Utter fail.  Not worth the price.
  3. Thin Black Socks – They are uncomfortable and do not last long.  Hate those socks  (I’m not the target market)
  4. Playstation 3 – Horrible quality.  Breaks so easy.  Not worth the price.
That’s just a few…. but every one of those DOES have a market somewhere, and a price.
(you just may have to PAY ME to wear those thin black socks).