YP FE: Thinking Outside of the Box!
When turning your passion into a business, you need to be able to think boldly and creatively. You need to have initiative and self confidence. In other words, you need to think outside of the box! My biggest breakthroughs in my business and in other areas if my life have happened when I thought outside of the box and took bold and not-so-usual steps. Thinking outside of the box does not mean breaking rules, rebelling or being disobedient. It simply means to find a way around a problem in order to get a breakthrough or solution. Here is one of my examples as detailed in my book. You can either watch the video or read the text extracts from my book below:
“I was inspired to create a brand new jewellery collection, consisting of bright resin jewellery…When I looked at this collection I had a particular company in mind, that I could envision selling it. I believed this was truly a good fit for the company. The only problem was they were extremely difficult to get in touch with. Unlike most other companies the contact details of their buyers were hard to obtain. Despite this being a very well known company and the biggest of it’s kind, at the time even a general switchboard number was difficult to find! I had worked extra hard on this collection and truly believed that it was a great fit for this company, so somehow I needed to find out how to get it seen by the jewellery buyer.
I started putting keywords into internet search engines and a press release came up, stating the name of the new buying director for this company. To me, that was a step closer – at least I now had a name. I did further searches but there was absolutely no email address to be found. That left me with no choice. The only thing I could do was make up her email address! I prepared my product sheet, images and email cover letter and in the “to:” field I proceeded to create potential combinations for her email address. I tried many:
And many many more. Each time I received an error message saying that my email had been undelivered. Still, I kept on trying different combinations, believing that eventually I would get the right one. I was not wrong. At one point, the “undelivered mail” response didn’t come back! I refreshed my inbox and still no error message. As I looked at the screen a slight shiver of nervousness came over me. I had contacted the buying director! Not a buyer, not a buyer’s assistant, but the head of the whole, entire buying department for that company. Well, I had nothing to lose! The worst that could happen was her either completely ignoring my email or me receiving another rejection…life would still go on.
Off I went to a couple of meetings and when I returned to check my emails that evening, to my surprise I had an email form the jewellery buyer! She said that the buying director had passed on my images and details and that she really liked my pieces. She asked if we could arrange a meeting in the next few weeks, so that she could see my samples. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I believed in the bold actions that I had taken by contacting the buying director directly, but I didn’t expect a response so quickly! This was amazing news to say the very least. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops, but this was only a meeting. I could only get truly excited when this materialised into orders.
I finally managed to setup a meeting for two weeks later. I prepared my samples and placed them in a fancy portable jewellery case I had ordered from eBay. When I finally arrived I was sat at reception awaiting the jewellery buyer. My stomach was doing all sorts of gymnastic moves! I was nervous, but at the same time I was excited. All of the failed attempts at a breakthrough, and finally, here I was, sitting in the reception of the head office of a company I truly, truly desired to work with. What if I had given up at any one point of my many failures and rejections? I hadn’t fully “succeeded” yet, but just making it this far, making it here (especially after making contact was so difficult) felt amazing. I honestly felt like a winner!
What followed this meeting was a large order…Needless to say this boosted my brand profile and helped me secure other contracts with smaller shops and boutiques in and outside of London.”
If you truly believe in something, you will find a way to make it happen – and even if it doesn’t happen as you expected, you will learn valuable lessons – lessons that will help you improve as a person and improve in business. In short, thinking outside of the box will always pay off one way or another!
There is no exercise attached to this lesson – just remember the above example when you face a “bump in the road” on your business, education or work journey – and let it motivate you to think outside of the box!