Are You a Unicorn?
Most young girls at some point in their lives go through a “unicorn” phase. A spectacular woman that I skated with in the roller derby never left hers. She still loves her some unicorns. Unicorns have secured their place in folklore, humor and even advertising.
But what is a human unicorn? According to the “Glee” tv show, a unicorn is someone who knows they are magical and isn’t afraid to show it. Picture Kurt Hummel as a unicorn in his campaign posters for senior class president. My take on it is a little bit different.
Unicorns have lots of goals and big dreams. If they are the owner of a small business, they have HUGE to-do lists that might be months or even years old. They say things like, “What I really need to do is _______________ but __________________.” They are all ideas and creativity, but very little execution and follow through.
OK—I need all of my clients to put ear muffs on right now...
I work with a few unicorns. Being a unicorn is not fatal. In fact, being a unicorn can be awesome and result in big successes and accomplishments. There just may be a few things you’ll want to do to make your unicorn-ness produce sales results and profits for you, and not just really cool art and the characterization as “smart but flighty” by your peers.
1) Surround yourself with non-unicorn project manager types.
These are the kinds of folks that work with to-do lists, goals and project implementation strategies. I would suggest having at least one with some sales savvy and one on your production team.
2) Pick one of your really sparkly magical dreams and let the other ones fall by the wayside until you achieve that one.
Let’s say you want to start transitioning to digital technology, open a satellite location in another state, and write a book. For the love of unicorns everywhere, please just pick one of those dreams and make it happen. Your criteria for which one to pick is all up to you and should be dependent on your situation—both financially and personally.
3) Have a heart-to-heart talk with your unicorn self and decide if being a unicorn is really all it is cracked up to be.
If you decide that it is time to make a move toward letting your horn go and changing, you can get help from a coach, therapist, or mentor who can help you live among the rest of us mortals.
I realize that I sound a little sarcastic and non-sensical; perhaps I am feeling a little unicorny myself as I already submitted one piece for PIworld this week on the printForum hosted by Rider Dickerson last week. At any rate, unicorns are pretty and magical; whether they are real, or have ever produced impressive profits are another story.
Maybe we should ask Mark Zuckerberg.
Blogger, author, consultant, coach and all around evangelist for the graphic arts industry, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include sales and marketing coaching, enabling clients to find engagement strategies that work for them and mentoring the next generation of sales superstars.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league. She is also the mother of two sets of twins under the age of ten, so she fears nothing.