I’m not here to help you pitch better

I had a surprise for the PR agency staffers I was training in downtown LA last week.

We were in the big conference room in the center of their offices on the 11th floor. Floor-to-ceiling windows gave us a great view of the three giant cranes in the process of building new skyscrapers outside.

This group thought they knew what to expect from me. I had trained their predecessors and managers on media pitching three years ago.

But about 15 minutes into the daylong session I told them:

I’m not actually here to teach you how to pitch better.

They looked confused. I explained further:

I’m here to teach you how to make a lot more money over a longer period of time.

You see, I’m trying to correct a misperception that I caused over the years. I’ve been so focused on giving concrete, practical tips that I fear I’ve left my audiences feeling like that’s all that it takes to improve media relations results.

For sure, knowing and applying best practices absolutely helps to do your job better. But the real transformations of careers and personal lives that I’ve seen have required more than that. They’ve come when people I’ve helped have embraced both tactical improvements and key shifts in the way they think about themselves and the value they provide.

That’s what I wanted to get across to these agency staffers, and that’s what I hope to share with you. Once you get really clear on the value you’re capable of delivering, you start to see value come back to you.

And it’s not just in terms of compensation, although that’s a real and predictable consequence. Your increased value also shows up in improved work-life balance and in your impact on causes that are important to you.

There’s one catch, though. Here’s how I put it to the agency folks I was training:

No one here owes you anything. You alone are solely responsible for your successes and failures.

That’s at once a little frightening and a lot exhilarating. Once you’re properly prepared, isn’t it great to know you control your own destiny?

We work on this preparation – and on developing this mindset of total responsibility and freedom – in my Inner Circle membership program. One of our recent virtual training sessions focused on developing the personality traits I’ve observed in the top 1 percent of PR pros I’ve worked with.

Next month I’m sharing productivity hacks for PR pros. But much more importantly, the beliefs you have to adopt to earn the autonomy to implement these unique approaches.

The Inner Circle is a closed group, but we’ll be accepting new members in mid-May. The slots usually fill up fast, so it’s best to decide ahead of time whether you belong.

The way to do that is to sign up for a free Preview Pass. It arrives as a series of emails that explains more about the program and who is right for it.

Get yours here.

This article was originally published on March 24, 2016

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