“If I’m the smartest guy in the room, that’s a problem,” he says. “When you have a big ego, it can hurt business because people are afraid of you, so they aren’t telling you information you need to get ahead. They’re afraid to tell you messed up with a customer. If you don’t know, you can’t correct it.”
Secret #3: Optimism
You may be shaking in your loafers and heels as you watch the stock market wobble, but you can still cultivate a positive outlook that reassures current clients and attracts new ones.
In fact, a positive outlook might make your business nimbler, says Maurice B. Tosé, founder and CEO of multi-million dollar TeleCommunication Systems, a Maryland-based provider of wireless data products and services to the public, government, and carriers.
“The world could be crumbling around me, but how am I doing? Never better,” he says. “When you’re positive, you’re looking for the answer, not worrying about the mistakes.”
Aba Kwawu brings a “sunny disposition” to The Aba Agency, her seven-year-old boutique public relations firm. She specializes in high-end beauty, fashion and entertainment brands including DeBeers, Cirque du Soleil and Fashion Week Miami–brands that might be tempted to cut publicity until the economy stabilizes.
But Kwawu has retained clients by explaining how they can use this economy to promote their brand. For luxury brands, that often means reminding consumers that high-quality outlasts shoddy, cut-rate products.
“The way I see it, this is a great opportunity for many of us–not just my clients but myself,” she says. “What’s happening in the market now is a return to what’s really valuable and high-quality. That’s what consumers are looking for and that’s what the client is looking for.”