This weekend, I had the chance to go to Siskin Children's Institute's annual event, Star Night. It's the third time I've been, and each year this event sets the standard in how to do charity fundraising well. And that's mainly because the organization sets standards in its own work.
This year, the musical guest was Boyz II Men. That's right - we were kickin' it old school a bit. And as I watched these Men work it on the stage, belting it out slow jamz and their top hitz (yes, I spelled both of those with a "z" because let's face it - that's how the Boyz like it), I realized a few things:
- These guys have been at this for 20 years
- They've sold over 60 million albums
- They're still in demand
I don't know what they did with all of their earnings from the 90's - maybe they put down payments on DeLoreans, or maybe they invested it wisely in municipal bonds. Regardless, I knew that I was watching a group of guys - er, Boyz - do what they love and still make a good living at it. Here's how to make that happen for yourself:
- Find out what you're great at - what you can do better than most everyone else.
- Tell people about that.
- Then, like the Joker in The Dark Knight tells us, "If you're good at something, never do it for free."
- If you can do all of this while looking great in a suit, you can double your rates.
Okay, maybe the last one is optional.
You may think the first one is the hardest part. I disagree. It's usually the easiest, if we'll just take time to think about what it is we love, are passionate about, and make sure to do often. You may not think people would pay you to do that, but you'll never know until you try #2.
The hardest is actually the third step, because if you're charting a new course in what you do, people won't know what to pay you. So, you may have to plan on a long-term vision where people begin to see the value the more you do what you do, or they begin to understand that you're the best and that you created a market that others are trying to enter now.
As for the suit part - if it doesn't fit, don't wear it.