500 words: Speculation part 2
Full disclosure: this may not be 500 words. We’ll see.
One of the things I left out of that other post that I’d like to go back and pick up is Insights come from Work. We’ll call it Kyle’s Third Law of Entrepreneurial Thermodynamics. This is really a rephrasing of “data”- except in the business world, “data” comes from customer interaction and closed deals. As a budding freelancer, I don’t have enough client interactions to evaluate that part of my business. It’s just gonna have to be okay. I drive myself crazy wondering what the protocols are for business lunches or project meetings. All I can do is ask experienced people and take their word for it.
When I look at savvy business people, I listen to them talk about the insights that led to their distinctions. I can think of Steve Mauldin, a career arranger/orchestrator here in Nashville. He can tell you how to write music so that session players can sight read it, reducing studio time and his overhead as producer. Why does he know that? He’s done a boatload of sessions, and watched what worked (or didn’t).
I think about my father-in-law who has walked his way from po’dunk speaker rental to top-flight event production in 15 years. Why does he know that xyz cable can’t be laid next to abc cable? Or which audio products are bs?He’s been running 20 events a year (now over 50) for 15 years. He didn’t have those insights before he ran cable at the first gig. Yes he’s smart, and he’s kept his eyes and ears open (and brain on) at all those events. He’s savvy, sees clearly, and makes good decisions, but all of that was in the context of a crap-ton of work.
So, back to my (and your) clients. The way to get a better process in place (or better pricing, or better marketing, or …) is TO GET MORE CLIENTS. I really do wonder how pitch meetings are supposed to work; but the best way to have great pitch meeting is NOT to obsess over the etiquette and protocol.. it’s to have 20 pitch meetings (or 40).
I think any emphasis on process needs to be weighed against the Volume of work. The processes can only really be perfected (innovated, etc) in the context of real, actual work. In my case and, I think, millions of others, chuck your search for the next breakthrough industry idea and go get more clients.