The Three Second Rule for Entrepreneurs

When I worked in the home office of a large insurance company out of college, they would tell the salesman to always obey “The Three Foot Rule.” Anyone within three feet of wherever a salesperson found himself was a prospect. Pure and simple. A stranger (there are no strangers for long!), your friend, heck, your family. Everyone needs insurance, almost everyone needs better (meaning more) insurance, and most people will buy from you if you just sell them the right way.

As an entrepreneur (unless you’re an insurance salesman) you’re not selling insurance to people 24/7. But you are selling yourself, just the same. Just like insurance salesmen were taught that they had no downtime (there’s no reason, after all, that other people at the bowling alley won’t appreciate hearing about a compelling universal whole life policy) you as an entrepreneur need to always keep the lights on. Not of your physical business, as many entrepreneurs don’t have an office or store per se. But your mindset. You never know who you’ll meet on the street, and how they can be of help to your new business – either as a customer, vendor, partner, advisor, investor, etc. Or they personally aren’t any of these things – but the people who they know could be.

It doesn’t matter if you’re on a cruise ship to Alaska or in the car wash waiting area. People will ask what you do, and if you say that you’re “Off duty” or don’t have a quick and precise answer, you never know what opportunity you may have missed. You need to go from relaxing and drinking a daiquiri to a passionate pitch about your business in about three seconds. When you master this, you know you’re a real entrepreneur. Shouldn’t be hard, most entrepreneurs have a much bigger problem turning the lights off than they do on.

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