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brandon t. maxwell

I am from the only thing you have in this life is your name

and even though it was my name, it was really the family name with which they were most concerned

life wasn’t about making a name for myself or creating my own narrative,
but about playing the part, benefiting from it, and eventually dying happy (?)
that those after me would live into the same script, reap the same benefits,
and continue the legacy

I am from respectability politics

being most concerned with what others thought about us – about me – and rarely, if ever,
tending to the matters of my own heart

living according to some self-imposed, familial standard for others to aspire to

Careful what you do, son. Somebody is always watching you.

I am from bad math

working twice as hard to get half as far and you’ve already got two strikes against…

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Why Would I Choose You: My 10 Lessons in Business Start-Up and Vendor Selection

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Boring title I know, but that’s what this post is about :-). 

Business Sense

Over the last few months I’ve been speaking to, and in some cases, working with a lot of vendors as I prepare to expand my business. Today, I had another opportunity to facilitate a women’s wellness workshop and thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned while working with others and growing by business.

  • There will be times when the difference between you and your competitor is a timely response. I often reach out to multiple vendors for the same product. If I can’t find a personal recommendation, I often go with the person who follows up and follows through.
  • Quality and consistent customer service is PRICELESS: please give me what I ask for in the way that I’ve asked for it. If you are unable to do so, I appreciate you letting me know in a timely manner so that I can take my business elsewhere.
  • Almost everyone has a business idea – what makes you different? There are times when I encounter people and they either want to start a business or have a business that is not growing. I often ask what makes what you are doing different. Other than your passion for the topic/service, what sets you aside? Why would I choose you over someone else?
  • Keeping your day job may not be a bad idea – at least temporarily. I think too often some become fascinated by isolated success stories of business owners who risked it all and made it big. More often, successful business owners either have enough capital to completely quit their jobs and invest in their businesses OR they spend years saving, planning and creating! Both methods take time, resources and commitment. A business does not grow on hope alone.
  • Keep at it. My business idea was birthed 3 years ago. It has taken me these last few years to refine my business plan, test ideas and programs and re-envision just want Crazy Sexy Wellness, LLC will become and how it will continue to evolve. Had there been any false impressions about how quickly this would all happen, I would have given up a long time ago. But instead, I remain committed and determined as each piece falls exactly in to place.
  • Be willing to do something(s) for free. Yes, our time and knowledge are valuable. Yes, we are worth it. And yes, we deserve the same compensation – if not more – that others receive. But providing your services for free – at least initially – is a great way to drum up business and market yourself. It’s also a great way to give … just because.
  • Never lose sight of the larger goal. Much like “keep at it,” it’s important to have a clear, overarching vision of what your company is and will become. Don’t lose sight of this. There are so many distractions and probably a dozen other things that you can do, however these areas may not be the best fit for your overarching vision for your business. Choose a few specialty areas and master them. Stay focused.
  • Be kind. It goes a long way.
  • Seek the counsel of others. So many have helped me and continue to help me along the way. I’ve found great pleasure in expressions of humility displayed through simply asking others: what works?
  • Remain flexible. Not everything – very little actually – will happen according to plan on the exact time schedule. That’s okay. And perhaps you’ll try some concepts and they won’t work … that’s okay. Remain flexible – with the overarching vision in mind, rework your plan and move forward.

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