I have been reading a book, titled “The brand called You”, it is a highly recommended book for anybody who wants to go into business. It is authored by Peter Montoya and Tim Vandehey. Interestingly I have not read any other of their books before, but I have read a book by Al Ries who forwarded their book.
The thought above is an excerpt from the book, interestingly though it was one of my first discoveries in business. This runs contrary to the non political belief system of an employee, afterall isn’t visibility politics? Reading through the book the statement struck me again, and thoughts flashed to mind, truely, visibility is more important than ability.
In business, the skills required for coming first are not the conventional skills used in most schools. There is a statement I came across a few years back that still rings interesting whenever I recall it. The statement is, “The skills you’ll need to be successful in life, are the same skills that made you popular in secondary school!” While your can rationalize this statement to the shreds, the key concept is whatever gave you visibility then is capable of making you visible now, and will ultimately be responsible for your success.
People will do business with you for 3 reasons.
1. They know you
2. They like you
3. They trust you
How will they know you, like you or trust you if you cannot be seen? Your visibility is more important than your ability. Irrespective of your training, education, experience or skill, if you are not being seen in the right way by the right people, you will consistently loose jobs to less competent people. Does that sound unfair? Learn it, and live with it.
I remember my first few months in business, I had high hopes that I would be able to get great opportunities once I convinced business leaders of our capabilities. The time rolled by, and nothing happened. Eventually jobs started coming in, today I look back at all the opportunities we have had, and being visible to someone who could recommend us, is common to all of them
When getting into business, the most important first thing for you is to be considered by your prospective customer. If you are selling shoes, the first step is that when your customer thinks about buying shoes from someone, your name comes to mind as one of the names to consider. You will not find yourself in this set because you are so good at what you do, no! You will get listed among the numbers because you are visible – online, in the mails, in the news, on TV, every avenue! Your visibility needs to be as important as your ability to deliver. It takes visibility to get it, it takes ability to keep it, the superiority of visibility however lies in the fact that you cannot keep what you don’t have!
What investments have you made in making yourself and your business visible? This doesn’t apply strictly to entrepreneurs it applies to people who want to move up the career ladder as well. Are you visible? Are you writing articles in the dailies? Are you on radio? Are you on TV? Are you online? What are you doing, what is your business? You need to be visible to those who need your product. Visibility is a self fulfilling prophecy, when a product gets to be seen on TV for long, after a while people begin to think it’s a good product.
One of the cheapest means of being visible is your personal site. Do you have one? Go to google and search for your full name, how many times did your feature? I’ve been online for 8+ months now and my name features 15,200 times. For some people it’s being vocal here that guaranteed you the little mention you had. Quit saying you are better than all those people, you are not! The factors to consider are not your intelligence, smart or skills, visibility is also a factor and it’s critical.
A little caution however is that if you are incompetent, visibility will be your undoing. So, ensure ability is guaranteed before pursuing visibility.
“He that gets gear before he gets wit, is but a short time the master of it” – John Plowman