What we can learn from Jessica Ennis
August 05, 2012
Sheffield’s golden girl, Jessica Ennis, did herself and the nation proud yesterday when she scooped the gold medal in the 2012 Olympic heptathlon, winning by a mile. So good was her performance in the 100 metres hurdles that it would have won the gold medal in the individual event in four of the previous five Olympics. Jessica really is an example of a multi-talented sportswoman, not just good at one discipline, but brilliant at several.
That brings me to another famous person, Wayne Hemingway. I attended an event several years ago at which Wayne was the keynote speaker. Wayne asked members of the audience to volunteer what they did for a living. The answers given were very specific.
“I write brochures and leaflets for businesses.”
“I develop marketing plans for small businesses.”
“I adapt vehicles for disabled workers.”
Wayne was keen to impress upon the audience that they were so much more than just deliverers of one solitary service. Dig deep and there was more to give.
Are you benefiting from the fact that you too are a multitalented person?
Now whilst there’s absolutely nothing wrong in being a specialist and focusing on one product or service, there are benefits galore from expanding on what you currently offer whilst staying true to your experience and skills.
Having a number of services, and therefore income streams, at your fingertips protects you when times are tough and boosts you when the hard times pass over. It’s something I have bought into lock, stock and barrel with my own business and as a consequence it has grown significantly in the last few years. I don’t just pigeonhole myself as a marketer working with small businesses helping them with their marketing planning. I’ve also developed annual conferences, regular boot camps, telephone marketing mentoring and marketing troubleshooting – just a few of the services I identified a need for and where I knew I had the expertise to deliver.
Stand back from your business. Look at your products and services. Are there new income generating initiatives you can add? Are you really making the most of your expertise and knowledge or are you sitting with a solitary service or product without a plan B?
What you may discover after this exercise is that you have much more in common with Jessica Ennis than you could possibly have imagined.