"You need to work "on" your business, while working "in" your business." -Michael E. Gerber, E-Myth.
"...while working on yourself." -Michael Port, Beyond Booked Solid.
Recently, I received a pre-release copy of Michael Port's book, Beyond Booked Solid. Brilliant timing for this read. CA is two years old and has been stuck in a rut since the beginning of this year. Port outlines the best methods to reconfigure (NOT destroy) your business while employing lean production principles and cultivating curiosity and ambition. Though the book is aimed at an entrepreneurial service professional audience, the concepts are easily transferable to the sole PR practitioner and to the inner workings of virtual teams.
Port (a reader of this blog) was gracious with his time and chatted with me about his newest book, Beyond Booked Solid.
What advice would you give to an independent public relations practitioner about his/her business in this economy?
Redesign the business model. There are so many tools now available on the Internet allowing business clients to cut through the clutter to the end user without a pr person. Why is a pr person necessary? Question the business models and environment. Always be on the lookout for change. Deliver ROI on other ways of delivering service outside of traditional means.
What social media tools have you employed while applying lean production principles outlined in your book?
There is quite a lot of waste in social media. The key is finding balance. The essence of social media is being available and transparent. These concepts are not new, but have been forgotten. Being available is what made me successful from the beginning. For a short time I lost that personal connection behind gatekeepers. Employing social media, I have recaptured the elements of connection. Recently, I conducted a Facebook experiment. It is remarkable no one has abused my transparency.
As I read this book, I found many subtle similarities of Port's methodologies to my yoga/12 Step studies. While preparing for my talk with Port, I noticed in his bio he holds a Black Belt in Aikido. When I asked if his martial art study influenced his writing, Port shared that writing a book is a piece of cake compared to the discipline and long term commitment required in Aikido. This grounding of character is evident in the life lessons and stories Port shares in his book.
I encourage you to pick up a copy of Michael Port's Book, Beyond Booked Solid, and be inspired. It was a pleasure to chat with such a grounded and open-minded professional.