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What's your game?

© April 2008 Anthony Lawrence

A couple of years back I wrote What do you do for a living? and was surprised to learn that I'm not the only person who hates that question.

This week I read Let's Play a Game - What's Your Small Business? and of course that reminded me of my previous writing.

As I haven't known what I do since I started this gig in 1983, I don't think I really need to have answers, but I'll do my best. That post asks a few questions:

What's your game? What do you do?

Honestly, I really don't know. I do a LOT of different things, all generally related to 'puter stuff, but it all keeps changing. In the 80's I did a lot of programming, in the 90's it was a lot of troubleshooting, today.. I don't know what's predominant today. I do whatever it is that I can make money doing.

Why do you do it? Do you love it, or do you just have one of those creepy knacks?

Knack. Just a generally bright person with a very good memory. I don't "love" computers. They are just tools.

Who are your customers? What kind of people would need or want what you offer?

Don't know. Anyone with a computer, assuming they have a problem worth my time and within my skill set and interest. As my skill set and interest changes constantly, so do my potential customers. At one time I would have been happy to write you an accounting program in Business Basic. I wouldn't do that today: I wouldn't write anything in Basic, and I definitely wouldn't write an accounting app. Who knows what I "definitely won't do" tomorrow?

What's your marketing USP (Unique Selling Proposition)? Why should I buy from you instead of the other losers?

Don't care. Seriously. Other than my first year in business, I've always had more work than I wanted and have always turned people down or passed them to other people. I don't need a USP.

What's next for you? What's the big plan?

No big plan. No idea what's next. Computer technology changes almost daily. My business today bears little resemblance to what it was five years ago. I'm sure that it will change again. And again.


Now for my questions.

Why do people think this kind of stuff matters? I've been in business a long, long time. I have no business plan, no unique selling proposition, no Vision Statement.

I've never needed any of them.

Not once has a customer asked me for a Vision Statement. Not once has a customer approached me and asked for an elevator pitch.

No, people approach me with problems, or, in the case of existing customers, I might point out opportunities they aren't aware of. But nobody ever cared about any of this stuff.

I can certainly see how it might be applicable to other business. Maybe YOU need a USP. Maybe you need a business plan to guide your business. I really hope you don't need a Vision Statement - I think those are completely asinine - but if you think you need it, by all means, write one.

Me? Not a chance. I've lasted this long without any of that; I don't think I need to change now.

So, what do you do for a living? How do you answer the "What do you do?" question? Have you even been able to figure out what you do in your work?

What's your answer to the question?

Got something to add? Send me email.

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-> I don't have a game plan, really

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More Articles by © Anthony Lawrence

Mon Sep 21 14:22:41 2009: 6944   TonyLawrence

I came across this today while doing other editing. If anything, my opinions of these USP's, Vision Starements and so on have become even more caustic. I think that's all feel good stuff that is no substitute for rolling up your sleeves and getting to work.


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