Doing the Right Thing

Finding the line between being respectful, and calling someone out can be tough. When the two involved are of different class or rank, the line can be even more difficult to determine. 

Here's an example. You and a few of your peers are doing your jobs, and on this particular scenario, your boss is present and lending a hand. Because he's everyone's boss, he is naturally looked to as a leader in the scenario. As you all finish up, he does something out of place or out of protocol. What do you do? 

This short scenario paints a picture of the factors at play here. Do you speak up? Of course you don't want to embarrass him or disgrace his rank in front of your peers. However, if you walk away silently, your peers will accept your bosses actions as appropriate going forward. It could be a safety issue, it could be an expensive issue, it could be any number of wrongs, but what's important is to set it as a right before it gets set in stone. 

Anyone from Andy Griffith to Beaver Cleaver could see the right thing to do here, it needs to be called out. There should be no doubt there, where the finesse comes is how you go about it. 

Unfortunately, in the culture of some organizations, it's unforgivable to question the leader, at all. In some large corporations or military scenarios, this isn't possible. Ideally however, you could set the organization in the right direction by being the example in this scenario. 

Set it straight, do so respectfully, and ultimately teach everyone in the circle a whole series of lessons. We don't do things wrong around here. Our leaders are ok to be challenged. We treat each other with respect. We speak up. Experience is valued, not just rank. 

Hopefully, you'll have such class that your leader will respect you even further. Your peers will look to you as a leader. The balance here is the difference between happily ever after with your boss and peers, or the rise of a renegade revolution. Don't divide, unite. Do it with respect. 

Starting avad3

I love to serve. I couldn't find anywhere I wanted to work who served like I believe in serving so I started my own company. Now we serve people like nobody else, because we're like nobody else.

What do I do today? I serve those who serve. 

My role has changed over the years. I believe my purpose is to serve others. If I want to maximize the impact of that, I have to enable others to serve alongside me. Today instead of doing the serving myself, I founded and operate a team of people who go and serve. My role is simply to enable them to do greater than I ever could as one person. 

What to Provide

Here's an old video I used to introduce myself to a cohort of folks I traveled out to Mountain View to see a few years back.  Shoutout Stillmotion EVO 5.0! 

I am very needs-aware, and when someone asks me to help with something, I have a tendency to say yes first and ask questions later. But, how does that translate from my personal personality into business and product/services offerings? 

For instance, avad3 does Event Production. That could encompass just doing A/V for events, or it could mean we also do Lights. We in fact do, and that's where I choose to draw the line, but, why not include bounce house rentals, tables and chairs, silverware, everything? 

That is the question: What to Provide? 

I like to view things in terms of value. For instance, a McDouble at McDonalds is valued at approximately $1. A filet at Outback is more like $15. Neither is outrageous in terms of pricing, because they each provide the appropriate level of value for their price tag. If you swap the price tags like Bob Barker on THE PRICE IS RIGHT, then you have a value mismatch. $15 for a McDouble is absurd, and upon hearing that price point, everyone who heard it would steer clear. $1 for an Outback filet is also absurd, and upon hearing THAT price point, everyone who heard it would go screaming in the streets spreading the word that Outback has lost their minds, they're serving filets for $1, and you should all hurry quick before they realize the glitch. 

In looking at what to provide, ask yourself, where do I provide value? Perhaps my Audio, Video and Lighting is viewed as serving up a Filet for only $5. A true value. Great quality, at a below-average price. It is VALUABLE because of that word "quality." We provide quality work. However, if I don't know the first thing about inflatables, how to store them, how to set them up safely, and we rent you an inflatable bounce house for any price, but set it up unsafely with weathered spots from being exposed to yesterday's rain, we're not providing a value. Meanwhile another local provider my know everything there is to know about inflatables, but be a poor AV provider. 

Where we all get into trouble is when greed comes into play and the Inflatables providers begins offering something he knows nothing about, or visa versa with us providing something we know nothing about. That greed for the revenue dollars leads many to offer products and services they have no business providing, plummeting the customer experience. 

What to provide? Provide what you know. Offer what's valuable through the customer, through your expertise and knowledge, and provide it at a valuable price. 

Unfair Advantage

Everywhere in life there are unfair advantages. What matters is discovering your personal advantages, and placing them in environments where they are truly greater than their surroundings.  

In the movie THE MATRIX, Neo could move so quickly he could dodge bullets. In fighting one on one with others, his movements were so swift he could place one hand behind his back and still have the upper hand. Think of what you are best at, a skill, gift, or craft that you are abnormally, or unfairly, great at. Now picture yourself in a room full of people who are also very skilled in this way. The advantage you have is irrelevant. A skilled carpenter at a carpenter's convention doesn't have much to contribute. Place that same carpenter in a small town where he is the only local craftsman of his trade, and he is suddenly in a major unfair advantage. 

The same is true in relationships, especially in business. If you are an average local production company who can provide basic concert services, and you're placed in a high stakes NYC corporate environment, you don't have much to offer. However, place that same production company in a rural Arkansas town for the day, and that town will rave about how great of a show they put on for their community. 

Where are you? Are you average, and placing yourself amongst average others? Or, are you average and placing yourself amounts above-average others? If so, chances are, you're not going to receive a lot of pats on the back. 

Lastly, in some rare instances, you may be well above average, but existing in a below-average environment. Picture a seasoned NYC corporate production company, trying to offer it's services to an African village. Not only is the company going to be cripple by the lack of essentials they're used to having to perform their best, the customers aren't going to be able to afford to respond the same as NYC. 

Place yourself in an environment where you have an unfair advantage. Discover what you're strengths are and find a place to serve where those areas are weak. The value you'll be providing for those you serve will be undeniable. Undeniable in their satisfaction, undeniable in your outlook, and undeniable in the lineup of referrals they send you to of others in their networks looking for a value provider such as yourself. 

American Freelancer Podcast

Excited to be working on a personal project, "American Freelancer" Podcast.  

Over the years I have learned a lot, mostly through trial and error, in what it means to be a freelancer and operate a business here in this wonderful country.  

My desire is to share, and hopefully for folks to learn from, anything the Lord has taught me over the years.  

Watch for the first two episodes to roll out sometime in the next 3 weeks.  :)

thanks for stopping by,