Maybe it's me, but I don't think so. It seems like there are people who want big careers yet don't want to work for it. I'm not talking about 18 to 20 hours a day kind of work; I'm talking about the kind of work where you put in some time researching and learning something before you just go at it. Let me explain with a little story.

Lazy tiger
Creative Commons License Tambako The Jaguar
via Compfight

As some of you know I have 5 blogs. I'll accept advertising on a few of them, but over the years I've only ever had advertising on two of them. One of those is my finance blog, which used to make a nice little bit of change, enough to cover the cost of hosting all my blogs and websites at least.

I received a letter from someone who wanted to advertise on that site. It was a standard form letter, one that was missing a critical component of any communications to me. It didn't have my name in the email. While that might not seem like a big deal I tend to believe that if you want to do business with someone that at the very least you should know their name before you contact them.

I ignored the email and moved on with life. Over the course of a week and a half this person wrote me 3 more emails, with the last 3 asking if I'd seen the first email and including the contents of the original one. At this point I figured the guy was persistent, which meant he had an opportunity to be saved with a little lesson.

I wrote him back and told him that I usually don't respond to such letters but in this case, since he was persistent, I would. I said that in my opinion, persistent or not, I believed he was being lazy in trying to do his job. I told him I believed this because, based on his email, he had never visited the site to even see if it was a place where his advertising might work.

I told him I based this off the fact that on the site I have an About page that immediately tells anyone who contacts me that my name has to be in the email. I told him that I also have another page there that tells what my advertising policy is. I then said that had he just taken the time to actually visit my page and check out those two links, or even just the advertising link, that he'd have known what I'd accept and could have written me a more specific email than the one he did.

I concluded by saying that because his email left me with a feeling that neither he or his company would care anything about me because no one took the time to even try to learn anything about me or my business that I would be declining any participation with them.

Was that harsh? You tell me.

Tony Delgrosso via Compfight

Here's my way of thinking. I'm an independent, incorporated business. I have to market myself in certain ways to specific types of businesses. Like almost any other marketer, you only get one chance to make a good impression, not a first impression, especially via marketing material.

Whenever there are organizations I want to work with in some fashion, I always check out their websites. I also always look for people's names associated with the organization and, more specifically, the names of the people who I feel are the proper people to contact. That way, I can send a more personal email, showing that I took the time to learn something about the organization.

Does this work? There are hundreds of surveys and lots of written advice,including, that not only recommends people learn something about the company they're applying to for jobs but also give tips on how to do it. Employers are not only flattered but impressed when potential employees show initiative; stand out from the crowd if you will.

Is it possible that I threw away money because I felt I had a standard or principle I needed to stick with? Anything is possible. However, if you saw the volume of requests I get from people asking for things that are right on the front page of that site, showing that not only are they lying by saying they're reading the content but that they know they can offer what I need (really; without asking me?), you'd see that, like job qualifications in a newspaper, I need to filter out some of these folks from the others, otherwise I'd never get anything finished.

Think about what you do. Are you giving it your best attention and really trying your best, or are you cutting corders? Are you having the success you believe you should be getting or just getting by and wondering why it's not bigger success? Think about it; the answer might be right here.