Posts Tagged ‘monfre

10
Jun
09

Is Coaching Right For You?

I admit it. I’ve finally engaged a coach. I know what you are thinking. “Pete Monfre, the guy who has been self employed his whole life, founded and grown his own companies, consulted with the best and brightest of corporate America needs a coach?!! Say it isn’t so!!!”

The reality is that even I need some outside, objective advice and a sounding board for my ideas (I’m full of ’em). My coach, Rafe Beeson, is helping me prioritize and focus on the key issues that will help me grow my company. The sessions are short, weekly and to the point. I would say the sessions are even pretty fun. But most importantly, it is a very affordable way to get the support I need.

Coaching is a widely misunderstood concept. Coaches are not consultants but they do offer ideas, suggestions, connections and clarification. Sometimes they play devils advocate, other times they just listen. They always hold you accountable.But the most amazing thing about it is that somehow, someway things become clearer. It’s just that simple.

I’m so convinced that coaching is a great value that I’m offering it to a very limited number of clients (NIA members get a hefty discount) who need marketing advice but can’t afford to bring in consultants, ad agencies, design firms, etc. They can do most of the work themselves but need some guidance as to what to do and how to do it. The bottom line is high end expertise without the sky high fees. It’s no wonder so many people have coaches.

For me, I really enjoy helping business leaders hammer out their marketing challenges. It doesn’t seem like work to me. I have an uncanny ability to see through complexity and get down to the real issues and solutions.We still do projects and hefty strategic planning but coaching is my way of offering some help to smaller companies and organizations who normally couldn’t afford to engage my firm in a full service capacity.

Learn more about my coaching program here: http://budurl.com/8pzk or call 512-663-7393.

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16
May
09

Just Say Nay

Don’t let the naysayers get to you. Have faith. Do what you know is right.

09
Feb
09

Nasty Networker – “Vomitous from the mouth”

This is a great article by a friend of mine –

Recently I asked my network through LinkedIn: “What are the visible attributes of a ‘Nasty Networker?'” I’ve boiled the answers down into some common categories ranked by the frequency of their appearance

Signs of a Nasty Networker

  1. Selfish. Not interested in helping others.
  2. Doesn’t ask questions. Talks too much.
  3. Bashes or otherwise acts inappropriately towards competitors.
  4. Uses high pressure and other bad sales techniques.
  5. Abuses contact information. Sends spam and other unwanted communication.
  6. Ignores business card etiquette.
  7. Social climber. Always looking for somebody better to talk to.
  8. Not open.
  9. Naive and needs education (about proper networking).
  10. More interested in the quantity of connections, not their quality.
  11. Disrespectful.

In the end I think that “Nasty Networking” is driven primarily by either naivete or desperation. I saw a quote recently that suggested that the selfish type of taker networking is not networking at all, but rather Needworking. My hope is that by sharing this list we can help the naive/needworkers get onto the path of true networking.

Continue reading ‘Nasty Networker – “Vomitous from the mouth”’

09
Oct
08

What Music taught me about Business. Part 2

Click here for Part One

The Power of Publicity

One of the most useful skills I acquired in the music business is how to work with editors and reporters. I learned that you cannot trick or fool these folks. They are smarter than you and me. They’ve heard it all before. I learned to bring them good stories that fit their mission and publications. When they called me I always made time to talk to them. We also made sure all of the appropriate reporters and editors were on our comp list and had a tab at the bar. I wanted them to have a great experience at my show and I delivered on this promise. The result was a series of mentions and features about the band and our recordings. Each time an article was published, we instantly saw a surge in the audience and more importantly, merchandise and CD sales.
Branding
When I first started performing in bands I had no idea what a “brand” was. In my defense, I was only fifteen. However, I was lucky enough to perform with a number of great blues artists and it was their sincerity that gave me my first inkling of the importance of an authentic brand. I wasn’t a good enough musician to play every kind of music and everything I played came out sounding similar – a mix of honky-tonk, blues and New Orleans juke joint, good time dance music. As soon as I embraced my sound and stopped trying to emulate my heroes, my unique brand was formed. Over the years, I honed this brand so that everything the public saw and heard supported this concept – from clothing and song choices to posters and CD art.

Negotiating
I was baptized by fire as a young man when I walked into a local club and attempted to sell my band to the grizzled curmudgeon behind the bar. We played for free that night. The club, on the other hand, made out quite well. It didn’t take me long to figure out that there was a game at play. At first my goals was to get as much money out of the club as possible with zero concern about its bottom line. As my education progressed, I realized the clubs and talent agents wanted the same thing I did – to make money. I learned to craft win-win deals that shared risk among all parties. As long as everyone did what they promised, everybody came out with a pocket full of cash. Many clubs even awarded us unexpected bonuses at the end of the night because they were so pleased with the show and the attendance levels. We, in turn, handsomely tipped the bar staff. Now that’s a win-win scenario!

Contracts
Handshake deals are fine for friendship, but not for business. When deals are hashed out over a number of beers, details tend to drift. If there are strippers involved, all hope is lost. Enter the contract. I used to think contracts kept people honest. I’ve learned that a contract means nothing to dishonest people. One of the most important lessons the music business taught me is to only do business with people you trust. The contract simply records the details of the deal (acceptable colors of m&m’s, quantity of cold cuts, etc.) so all parties don’t forget or get confused. As my group became more popular, many deals were struck a year in advance so the contract was a critical part of the exchange and ensured mutual benefit and understanding.

I’m sure there are other things the music business taught me (like hippie chics are great dancers and the darkest, smelliest clubs always have the best food…) however, my most valuable lesson is that knowledge often comes from the least expected places and people. I owe a debt of gratitude to my music mentors – some famous, some not. They taught me the blues but their lessons and advice have allowed me to build several successful businesses, support my family and help others do the same.

I don’t play much anymore but I still miss the feeling of fronting a super tight band in a hot, sweaty dive packed with a couple hundred music affectionados all existing in the same zone at the same moment. I would have never thought that the lessons I learned in these dark, hallowed dance halls would serve me so well, so many years later. But I guess that’s what life is about – you learn as you go.




Who is Pete Monfre

CLICK HERE to visit my web site

I'm a serial entrepreneur, marketing and media guy, raconteur, writer, producer and consultant. I write this little blog to help you unravel the mysteries of marketing and selling, to expose the silliness that masquerades as marketing and help you make better decisions that will grow your business. And I have fun with it. Why not comment? That way we can have a conversation. Or better yet, hop on over to my web site and drop me a line.

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