Personal Assistant Lessons for Life & Work: Spare No Expense
How many times have you purchased something for a friend, client, significant other, or family member and thought later you shouldn’t have been so chintzy. If you are going to send some flowers to your loved one, get the roses. If fern costs extra, get it. Live a little! If you are buying business cards, go for it and get the raised ink. There is no amount of money I won’t spend on business cards. It is the ultimate signifier of whether or not you’re even worth hiring.
I can’t tell you how turned off I am by shoddy business cards. It says so much about a person. It’s like having bad shoes. Never spare the expense when it comes to making you look better. I am the type of person who loves a good sale, so don’t get me wrong. If I can go to Target and get brand name for less, I will. That way I have more money for the business cards. Get it? There are things you can cut corners on and things you can’t.
I once remember some salesman had called me on the phone soliciting something or other. Most people hang up immediately, but I never do because I want to hear the pitch. I had the man send me some information about the product. When I received the information it looked terrible. He had typed something on what seemed like rice paper, and it was done on an old typewriter. I can’t understand why people who want to be taken seriously don’t act serious. Go to your local copy center and type it on a computer if you don’t have one, and pay for the good paper and print it on a laser printer.
The scary thing is that some people don’t even know any better. That is who I want to read this book, the people who don’t know any better. If you’re hitting yourself on the head right now and realizing why you didn’t even get the job interview, good for you because it’s a lesson well-learned.
I recently had a real estate agent show me a property. He showed up to the appointment late and he was unkempt, especially for a real estate agent in Beverly Hills of all places. No suit, unshaven, and late. To top it off, he showed me the property with absolutely no enthusiasm whatsoever. Then he gave me an old business card with the address scratched off. It goes without saying that I didn’t call him back. Sorry, Charlie.
Here is the real lesson: If you can correct someone without embarrassing them, do it. When I was first starting out, I learned so many lessons from people doing that.
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