“Remarkable claims require remarkable proof.”

—Carl Sagan

Always Ask, “What Would A Professional Do?”

Even though you are a professional, it can be easy to forget that at times, especially when you’re first starting out. Not many of us begin with the mentality that we are experts, not amateurs, in our fields. So remember to ask yourself, especially when you have decisions to make, equipment to purchase, or an important presentation to do: “How would a professional handle this?” You will make better decisions, and provide a better quality of service if you follow this simple guideline, and treat yourself and others accordingly.

Do everything the right way — and there usually is a right, and wrong, way to do things, or at least a ‘good’ and ’less good’ way. The right way is the way of the professional; we all start out as amateurs, but the sooner you leave that mentality behind, the sooner you reach the ranks of the pro.

This also goes for your appearance, your promotional materials and your equipment. When you look and feel good, you put your best face forward, project confidence in your work, and produce quality in your business. This is another case of the investment of time or money being justified by the result.

Pay money for things that matter — you don’t need diamond cuff links to impress people, or flashy items you have no idea how to use — but the tools of your trade should be ones that are high-quality. Usually higher-quality items pay for themselves not only in making you look and feel professional, but in the performance they yield. Quality purchases should generally be more efficient, more durable, have better service and warranties, and also be more dependable. This isn’t always the case. Sometimes you are paying for nothing but a brand name or really expensive advertising campaigns, so be discerning. When there’s no difference between brand-name and no-name and it’s a minor purchase, by all means go for the best deal. But the old saying “you get what you pay for” can often bear out, over time. And unreliable equipment that fails or needs frequent replacement or repair, costs you time, which costs you money, and can even cost you your reputation — and your business.

Why take the risk? You’re a pro — act the part.

To make myself and my business stand out I always make decisions that I think the best person in the industry would make. Then, I usually follow what my decision is… if it is within the budget.