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Best Business Advice Ever

In the month of November, in the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite national holiday because it’s simply about being grateful.

In that spirit, I’m giving thanks and sharing “the best business advice I ever got” because it can open doors and spark new relationships in your career and life.

When I was moving along in my TV news career, I was looking for a reporter’s job in New England and interviewed at WFSB in Hartford, Connecticut. The News Director was Dick Ahles. He’d developed a solid newsroom with a talented team. After he looked at my demo reel he said, “I like your work, but we don’t have an opening.”

Back then, when it came to jobs, I thought “No” was the final answer. So, I said, “I understand. Thanks very much for the interview.”

Later that day, I called Ron Shapiro, who was one of my Champions. Ron is a “Negotiations Expert” and has been a top Sports Agent with clients like, Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken, Jr., who are both in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

I said, Ron, “No luck at WFSB. They don’t have an open reporter’s spot.”

I figured Ron would say, “Ok. Go back to the drawing board.” Instead, he said, “OK. Go back to that News Director and tell him, “I’ve watched your newscasts and I’m impressed with your team, and I don’t want to miss the chance of working for you! What if I work half-time in the newsroom as a producer and half-time on the street as a reporter?”

Nothing like acting bold, when you don’t feel bold!

But, I gathered up my confidence, practiced my pitch, and I called Dick Ahles back.  To my surprise, he said, “Hmmm. We’ve never done that before. I’ll let you know.” Two weeks later, he called. “We figured it out. When can you start?”

Ron Shapiro gave me language to practice, so I could go back to that news director with a compliment, a creative solution, and confidence.  And, here’s what made the biggest impact: “I don’t want to miss the chance of working for you.”

Since that day, Ron’s “creative counsel” has had a ripple effect because I’ve offered that “power phrase” as advice for many people to use, when negotiating, applying for jobs, or promotions, or who simply want to connect with another person.

Here’s how YOU can use it.

I don’t want to miss the chance of. . .

personally inviting you

letting you know about

recommending you

introducing you

working for you

thanking you

This phrase is compelling because you’re telling people that they’re “special enough” that you don’t want to miss the chance to honor them, or work for them, or thank them.

Even though it may be something that YOU want, like a job, it’s also a way of making other people feel as if it’s about them. And it is.  You both benefit.  And aren’t the best opportunities mutually rewarding?

For the next 30-days,

Practice this “power phrase.”

Pass-it-on to someone else.

And, in this month of Thanksgiving, think about who you “don’t want to miss the chance to THANK.”

A few months ago, I called Ron Shapiro, to thank him for giving me, “The Best Business Advice I Ever Got,” 30-years ago! He was surprised, delighted, and didn’t even remember saying it to me!

And, now, “I don’t want to miss the chance of thanking you” for being a part of the Confidence Project.

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