Along my personal development journey I learned the value of defining terms. I use my personal story to illustrate the value of defining terms both personally and professionally.
I spent most of my life talking about how "hard" things were. And they were hard! I was a single mother at 22, survived a near fatal auto accident that left me with a handicap at 23, not to mention the other life stuff that goes on every day when you are working hard to make a living and raise a family.
An amazing thing happened when I redefined the word hard. It's curious...when I asked myself if my life was truly hard I had to admit, others had it much rougher than I did. What I discovered in truth is that I had some "challenges". There were some activities that were "difficult" for me. I did have to exert a little more effort to get things done...but I could do them.
In that discovery I had an "Aha" moment...I could work with challenges and difficulty but hard things were just plain hard...and my speaking it made things even harder. So, I changed my vocabulary. When I would have habitually described a situation as "hard", I began replacing the word with a true statement. My attitude changed and, I swear, life got easier.
When it comes to doing business, I believe defining terms has been instrumental in building a profitable growing consulting practice, serving my clients, and creating business development curriculum's.
For example, early on in my career I redefined selling.
Old definition: Selling is convincing someone to buy something they didn't need.
New definition: Selling is serving customers by discovering and matching a true need with a valuable solution.
When I quit trying to "sell" my customers and instead focused on serving, exchanging valuable information and connecting them to resources my sales increased immediately. Of course, I had to complete the sales process by creating an opportunity to purchase but that wasn't the end game...just part of serving.
Same thing with networking.
Old , old definition: Networking is schmoozing and positioning.
Old, new definition: Networking is relationship building, connecting people to people, and perfect elevator pitches.
New definition: Networking is a strategic marketing activity intended to increase exposure, build credibility, and create opportunities in addition to generating leads.
What I began to view my networking in light of the bigger picture, my sales increased exponentially. As a matter of fact I doubled my sales in one year using this new definition. Achieving this led me to clearly see and define another type of valuable networking activity; networking to build professional relationships or strategic partnerships.
Check this for yourself. How do you define these terms? Is it working for you?