If We Can’t Earn Your Business, Hire Mark Sanborn

capitalism, mark sanborn, QBQ, accountability

I’m a supply and demand, “free market,” capitalistic sort of guy.

I know, I know—for some people, words like “capitalism” drip of stratospheric CEO pay and “Wall Street greed” images.

I get that.

However, I don’t quite get this:

People sporting Lululemon running gear and Zappos high-tops as they rant at the corporate world on their iPhone 6 Plus while downing a Starbucks iced Americano with their Trek Linc or Subaru Outback in the parking lot. 🙂

Seriously, if you don’t want to live in, near, or around the corporate world, as my mentor used to say—go be a missionary in a mud hut!

Anyway, moving on …

Let’s skip the political debate over the role of government, income tax rates, entitlement programs, banks that are “too big to fail,” and federally funded healthcare. Let’s also not discuss the policies and personalities of political parties.

You see, by skipping the political conversation and moving away from the political party we identify with, we’re able to hold a PRINCIPLE-based conversation.

Principle: A fundamental, primary, or general law; a doctrine or tenet; or truth from which others are derived; guiding sense of the requirements and obligations of right conduct.

The way I see it, if you don’t buy into a principle that I believe in, I know where we stand. We have clarity—and communication.

So here is a principle that we at QBQ, Inc. embrace:

I must earn stuff, because I am not entitled to stuff.

Said another way, if I have not strived, toiled, sweated, or worked for it—I don’t deserve it.

Whatever “it” is.

Making this practical, QBQ, Inc. sells books, speakers, and training to organizations. Not surprisingly, we face competition for a client organization’s dollars.

Let’s concentrate on the speaking side of our business:

If we can’t win the right to speak at your event, we aren’t entitled to your business.

As speakers/workshop leaders in a competitive marketplace, we must provide our clients:

1. Useful, applicable, and life-changing content.

2. An uplifting audience experience.

3. Value that exceeds the dollars expended.

4. Outstanding customer service and exceptional responsiveness by email/phone.

5. Authentic presenters who “practice what they preach.”

6. Competitive fees and reasonable terms.

Putting my money where my principles are, if we can’t deliver numbers 1-6 above to a client, that client should … hire Mark Sanborn, author of The Fred Factor.

You read that right. I’m dead serious. Go hire Mr. Fred Factor himself. In fact, here’s his site: MarkSanborn.com

Mark delivers excellent content, a professional talk, and fine client service—so, yeah, book him. I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to hire us for these six wrong reasons:

1. Because QBQ, Inc. has been around a while (a tenure of 20 years!).

2. Because we should “spread the wealth” to generate income equality.

3. Because you feel sorry for us.

4. Because we’re super nice people.

5. Because John and Karen Miller have lots of kids and grandkids who all eat.

6. Because we try hard.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a “tip-in” sale, but being hired to speak for any of these reasons simply goes against my principles. And …

Staying solid on one’s principles is the essence of integrity.

Meanwhile, I didn’t tell Mark about this blog, but my hunch is he agrees with not only the market philosophy espoused above, but my suggestion to organizations everywhere …

If QBQ, Inc. can’t earn your business, book Mark Sanborn today!

Questions for Comment:

What principle are you committed to “staying solid” on?
Do you agree principles are more important than politics?
What have you become entitled to?
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8 Responses

  1. John,

    Just to make it clear I embrace the concept of personal accountability. This has served me well at my job and in my personal life. I have passed around QBQ to both fellow co-workers and my children.

    Just to let you know that there is another side to the “business” debate that you put forth in this recent e-mail.
    Living in Minnesota I know quite a few “business” people that one could say feel entitled to their government handouts as well. Somehow we only look at those that receive welfare and or food stamps as getting entitlements. How about the farmers, tax breaks to businesses to come into a community or to stay? Social Security? Most conservatives I know would not give their social security back nor would they want to lose the benefit of being able to have their children on their health insurance until they are 26. We have a business near buy that has a large sign that proclaims “We built this ourselves”. Did they? I often want to go over and thank the owner for the streets, the sewage system and all of the other parts of the infrastructure that allow his business, along with the one I work for, to exist. If they did it themselves they must not have had to rely on the government to provide any services.
    I guess what I would like to say is, can’t we look for common ground and build on that instead of always pointing out our differences? An example would be the affordable health care law. Is the affordable health care act perfect? No, I don’t think anyone would say that. Does health care need to be reformed? I think most would agree that it does. Should we just repeal the affordable health care law with noting to put in its’ place? I’m not so sure. Can’t we improve it?
    All too often I am hearing from some that if they had success they built it. If they fail it is the governments fault. If they get a break from the government they deserve it. If some others get a break it’s a handout and an entitlement.
    I am 63 years old and fully expect that I will not be able to retire until I am at least 70. I raised 4 boys, for the most part on my own. I sent them to private schools. They have all graduated from college and three of them have gotten their Masters. It has not always been easy but we live with the consequences of the decisions we make. That is life. I have been blessed with a great family and community.
    Let’s look for opportunities to build on common goals instead of looking for whom to blame. Isn’t that personal accountability?

  2. John,

    Well said, thank you.

    It’s like the old saying goes – The world owes you a living, but you have to work hard to collect it.

  3. John – I totally with you on agreeing on principles. There are issues where people disagree, and that is where the politics enters in. To me, politics is a system or process that favors one person, group, class, etc., at the expense of the other(s). In the 70’s, a very wise philosopher named Willie Nelson said this in a song: “He ain’t wrong, he’s just different”. Too many battles have been fought over different. That is still going on today.

    That being said, I have to stand with you on the “earn it” principle. Barb’s comments above are valid, but I still see it as “look at what they are doing”, using that as an excuse to justify one bad behavior because another one exists. If we stand on the principle of “earning it”, then we should be free to pursue our dreams, and be mature enough to accept the risks associated with it. We may succeed. We may fail. That is on us.

    I have been able to build a business, and the infrastructure in place did help. However, that infrastructure would be there even if I worked for someone else. I saw a need, filled it, work hard to build it, and now I get to influence, help, and bless others. Government is here to serve people, not for people to serve the government. They certainly did not have a goal of seeing to it that I was a success. To me, I succeeded in spite of them, not because of them.

    We all get to make choices, based on what we know at any given moment. That outcome is for us to own. The principle of earning it is solid. The politics of earning it, taxing it, sharing it, taking it, is a way for people to not own their actions. In the end, we are all responsible for ourselves.

    In the long run, I do have to admit that I did have help in building my business. It was from God, the Creator of the Universe. His blessing has made this possible. Sharing what he provided is my choice, and government and politics will not change that. Again, it is a choice, and His influence has lead me to where I am today.

    Some of His influence has reached me through others, including you. Which is why I am grateful for your work. Keep at it, and thank you for all that you have done for me and for others with your vision and wisdom.

    Blessings to you and your family always.

  4. John, you are a great communicator, wise man and good friend. I appreciate the way you challenge thinking. Over the years many clients that have booked you have booked me and vice versa. Likewise, I have and will recommend you to clients who need a terrific program that teaches principles we can all benefit from. Thanks for your kind words in this post. You are a class act.

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