What it Means to Get in Front
Get in Front is a constant reminder to me to be proactive. It goes back to one of my “signature stories” when I speak and train people. It’s about my husband Andrew, our son Danny, and the game of ice hockey.
When Danny was seven-years-old and learning to play hockey, Andrew, who has been on skates since he was four, told him, “Get in front of the net, get in front of the puck, and get in front of the other players.”
Danny didn’t understand, and with a puzzled look and a shrug of his shoulders, he quizzically asked, “Why? Why should I get in front?”
Andrew’s response was simple and it applies to each of us.
“Because that’s where all the action is. Nothing exciting happens to the guys who hang out in the back. Get in front of the net, get in front of the puck, get in front of the other players. Get in front and make something happen.”
Something obviously clicked in Danny’s mind. After that conversation, Danny made a commitment to himself and his team that he would Get in Front. His entire game, attitude, communication, and success changed because he decided to be proactive. To making something happen.
How about you? Are you ready to make something happen?
Here are 7 tips to help you Get in Front:
1. Think of yourself and your company as special. Focus on a personal branding and marketing plan that truly differentiates your expertise, products and services from your competition. It’s there. You have to find it. Be creative. If you have to, hire a coach to pull it out of you.
2. Get out! Your prospects and ideal customers won’t come banging on your door begging to give you their hard-earned money. You must find them. Get out of your office. Get out of your comfort zone and the usual places you like to network. Get out from behind the keyboard. Above all, get out of your own way.
3. Speak up. When attending meetings, lunches or conferences, use your voice. Get involved in the dialogue, ask a question, offer your insights and volunteer. Avoid blending in with the crowd. (Also, consider being a guest on a podcast where lots of people will hear your voice!)
4. Donate your products and services. Offer one of your CDs, books, or a gift certificate to your business as a door prize. You’ll be announced and you may be invited to give a quick introduction or “elevator speech.” If you don’t have products, go to your local bookstore and buy a popular business book.
5. Get involved in your community. Target groups and places where your ideal customers spend time and offer to serve on committees and boards that need your expertise. Nonprofits, foundations, and schools are especially grateful when they can connect with savvy business leaders.
6. Learn something new every day. Find a topic that will help you grow professionally and personally. Read books, take courses, and speak to people about it and you will soon be expanding your horizons and widening your circles. In a year or two, you can be on the road to becoming an expert.
7. Start writing. One of the best ways to Get in Front is to write something that others can apply to their own situations to be successful. Write a guest blog post, article, tipsheet, launch a “Tip of the Day” or short newsletter. You may have heard this mantra: “Publish or Perish.”
Get in Front is a mindset. Being proactive in our businesses and lives helps us avoid complacency and mediocrity. It forces us to keep moving, learning, contributing and growing. Just ask Danny.
Danny in New York City, age 14, 2010