You've also got to be continually alert to those ways in which you must embrace change--or invite extinction.
That truth comes to mind as 2010 draws to a close and I reflect on what was happening in my professional life five years ago.
In the January 2006 issue of North Shore magazine, I bought an advertisement for Your Front Page. It was part of my big promotional push for a personalized writing service that until that point had been a fun sidelight to my journalism career.
I hoped the ad would trigger a deluge of business from folks in places like Winnetka, Northbrook and communities all throughout the Chicago area who wanted a distinctive way to commemmorate birthdays, wedding anniversaries and other celebrations.
Alas, the placement sparked a grand total of one phone call. And here's the kicker: it was from a salesperson hoping I'd buy an ad from his publication.
|The "Your Front Page" ad|
in North Shore magazine
Despite my grand ambitions, Your Front Page has attracted a mere three clients in the past five years. And while enthusiastic responses to the pieces have been gratifying, it's obvious that on a commercial level, my blueprint of how I'd shift from journalism has been a resounding flop.
Fortunately, I wasn't hung up on the exact nature of my value to the marketplace. As a result, YFP's failure has opened the door to the success of what has become Inside Edge PR.
Like a quarterback who spots a coming blitz and calls an audible at the line of scrimmage, I have been open to market feedback and carved a niche as a Chicago-area publicist who uses a journalistic sensibility to help small- and medium-sized companies and organizations.
Over the next five years, where will it all lead? Will I continue along this path of helping mostly Chicago-area businesses connect with, and expand, their market?
Maybe--though I wouldn't bet on it coming via some orderly trajectory. New wrinkles continually emerge: over the past few years, for example, Inside Edge PR has jumped feet-first into the use of videos for PR as well as developing a strong social media presence for clients.
Through it all, one thing is for certain: nobody, least of all me, can afford to stay stuck in any preconceptions about how they can best serve the marketplace.