Collin Slattery believes “There’s no such thing as a bashful entrepreneur.” The key, he finds, is to ask yourself “What would Donald do?”
Starting your own business is frightening and exciting. There are few things in life where success and failure are entirely on your shoulders, but being an entrepreneur is one of them. One of the most important things when you are starting your own business – something I still have difficulty with – is shamelessly promoting yourself. Every new business owner needs to have a gold-plated diploma from the Donald Trump School of Marketing.
Donald is the definition of a shameless self-promoter. He is not a particularly adept businessman and a huge percentage of his ventures have failed spectacularly; however, he is one of the best self-promoters in the world. Whether you love The Donald or hate him, you can agree that he gets his name out there.
This is, in my opinion, the most important aspect about getting your business off the ground. When starting out, no one is going to know about your company unless you tell them about it. This can be particularly difficult because most people will doubt you. “You can’t start a business.” “Why would anyone pay money for this?” You will hear all sorts of reasons from people as to why the company won’t work. The simple truth is that you can make money doing ANYTHING. If you can think of something, it is possible to make money doing it. The key is getting it out there.
It will feel incredibly uncomfortable to most people to talk about and promote their company endlessly. I have a great deal of difficulty promoting my web hosting company and other ventures to many people I meet. But the question I always ask myself is, “What would Donald do?” He’d talk about himself and his venture until people wanted to take their own lives they were so tired of hearing about it. This works.
The more you talk about your company, the more comfortable you’ll be talking about it. Carry business cards and be ready to hand them out. I am a strong believer in having a nice, professional business card. A flimsy business card projects a flimsy business. Perfect your elevator pitch. “Why would I host my website with you and not someone else?”
“We understand that most people don’t have the time, energy, or expertise to deal with the technical aspects of getting a website up and running. Where other hosting companies tell you to read a tutorial, we will do it for you. Need an e-mail address set up? Done. Need WordPress or another CMS installed? Done. Need any sort of technical assistance? Done. The answer is always ‘no problem.’”
It is your business, and you’re the expert. You need to have the answers to the common questions people will ask, and if you are shamelessly promoting your company, people will be asking questions.
There is no such thing as a successful, bashful entrepreneur. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to constantly be asking yourself one simple question: What would Donald do?
photo: AP Photo/Alex Brandon