The Movement to Professionalism

The world of professionalism is under attack as we know it. It’s ruthless. It’s mean. It’s real. And even with the efforts of many people, I still see a task that seems far too large.

But I know it’s not.

The  Movement

For those of us in the design field, we have Andy Rutledge who has written Design Professionalism and created The Academy of Design Professionals. For those in the writing field, there’s Jeff Goins of who is making a push for getting back to the essence of writing with his Writers Manifesto. For me, I fall right in the middle of those. No, I haven’t created something as remarkable as they have, but I mean that I fit in both worlds.

The field of design is under attack by the many “designers” who undercut standards, work for next to nothing and scrape other people’s portfolio items for themselves. But the writing field is under those same attacks, is it not?

This Got Me to Thinking

What other fields of business are under attack by people within that very industry? The Internet has changed the way we communicate so much that maybe we are just seeing it more now than ever. Maybe it’s always been there, maybe people have always undercut their fellow professionals.

I’m going to guess that the answer to this is that they have. I bet mercenaries of the middle ages offered to kill for less than their counterparts. I bet they offered 2 for 1 specials or something on occasion. Something to think about.

So where do we go from here?

I’d like to suggest 5 things you can personally do to help save your business profession, in no particular order. They aren’t hard and fast rules and I’m sure I’ve left plenty out, but it’s a start.

1.) Stop undercutting your competitors.

It may seem like a good idea to help you bring in some business. But in the long run, you’re not only hurting yourself for what you are worth, you’re demeaning the entire industry to those who are buying from it.

2.) Set standards.

In short, get some morals and ethics. I can’t begin to tell you how frustrated I am with people in general who’s moral compass changes everyday. Set standards that comply with your morals as a person and as a professional.

3.) Find your passion again.

Get fired up about what you do! Remember the reason you started your trade or business in the first place. Most people don’t just end up running a business by accident. Most of us have had to put some serious passion and time into what we’ve built. Find that passion you had when you got going!

4.) Stop making excuses.

Excuses are worthless. Take ownership. Take responsibility and quite pushing it off on every gust of wind that comes along.

5.) Serve, don’t sell.

This is hard. I admit that. Some are blessed with a servant’s heart, I am not. But I want to serve because that means that I’m doing what my creator put me on this planet to do. I don’t mean cower. I don’t mean grovel. Stand up for your profession and your standards…but serve by using your expertise and talents. Times are changing, people don’t want to be “sold to” anymore.

Never Impossible

It’s not too large of a task if we all start with 1 step, or in this case, 5. No task is too large…it was one guy, Richard Avanzino, that led the revolution we now know as SPCA and the no-kill zones.

What do you think of your business industry? Is it being damaged by the same types of people? Is there anything you’d like to add or suggest that’s not mentioned above? 

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