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Professional is Spelled With 5 P's

James S. Bain June 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

The difference between successful and unsuccessful business people is not talent; it is having the guts to move forward, take intelligent risks, try, and work harder than anyone else to become a true professional.

It is a fact that every industry has its share of immensely successful people, abject failures and a whole lot of people in between. The individual successes of the people in most industries can be plotted on a classic bell curve, where the great percentages fall directly in the middle. Exactly how, then, does someone move from the majority in the middle of the pack to that select group who have reached the top of their profession? Small improvements can make a huge difference.

So, how can you become a successful skin care professional? It starts with small improvements. You simply need to focus on the five fundamental P’s.

Purpose. Seeking—and recognizing—opportunities to serve others is your starting point. Start by figuring out who you work for. It is your company? No. Is it your manager? No. It’s your spouse, your family, your customer or your co-workers. Human beings are social animals and have a fundamental need to contribute to something greater than themselves. Your job as a skin care professional is about providing products and services to consumers for their benefit. Your joy and success will come when you know that you have helped consumers who otherwise didn’t know about professional skin care.

Preparation. Be the best you can be. Read everything you can from skin care industry trade publications, websites and trade shows. Learn from others. Learn something new every day. Keep an open mind. The time to prepare is before your opportunity comes; once that opportunity has presented itself, it’s too late to prepare.

People. Surround yourself with good people. Your performance and your reputation are most often determined by the people with whom you have aligned your life. Choose those people wisely and be fiercely loyal to them. They will be the foundation of your ultimate success. Show them you care about them by asking about them, and then listen to the answers. Care about them and they will care about you.

Priorities. Focus on the fundamentals, and the results will take care of themselves. Start each day with a simple written list of what you plan to accomplish that day. Make time to take actions that contribute to your purpose and goals. Remember that if you don’t have time to do it right, what makes you think that you have time to do it over? Learn to adapt to a changing environment. Being prompt, reliable and contributing to your team will go a long way to ensure your success.

Persistence. Maintain a positive mental attitude; your attitude is a choice you make each and every day. Choose to be positive and don’t get bogged down in negative thinking. The past is just that—passed. What specifically can you do today to continue toward your purpose?

How many skin care professionals do you know who wake up in the morning and ask themselves, “How can I fail today?” Probably none. People fail because they haven’t focused on their purpose, or they haven’t prepared themselves to take advantage of the opportunities. Just remember, “professional,” in any endeavor, is spelled with 5 P’s: purpose, preparation, people, priorities and persistence. Focus on these and success won’t be far behind.

James S. Bain is an author, speaker, consultant and coach. He is the founder of the Falcon Performance Institute, a consulting and corporate training firm focused on productive performance. Bain is currently anticipating his soon-to-be-published book, Never Pass on a Chance to P—A Roadmap to Success.

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