Article: Karen Wilson-Dooley

The Small Business Library

February 6, 2000

Portrait of a True Professional

Painting a portrait of a true professional will inevitably differ in the mind of every individual, as we all envision our own version of what a professional truly is. Clearly, even the most famous artists known to man could not possibly paint the portrait of a professional that would meet up to the expectations of every man and woman on earth. However, while we each share our own unique mental portrait of how we envision a professional, there are definite commonalties we would all bring to the canvas.

In reality, as online professionals working from the confines of our home, the outside world may never come in contact with our physical being except through a photograph we may have placed on our web sites. Right from the start, we have contradicted the very first rule of professionalism that a majority of individuals would place priority on in their painting, which is physical appearance. Our canvas is now once again whitewashed into a blank mental vision. Professionalism extends far beyond the scope of physical appearance. In fact, at this point, your mental vision of the canvas must shift from a smartly dressed male or female into something much more ingenious.

  • A competent and true professional is a reflection of his/her web site, business cards, brochures, and other marketing materials. The actual physical appearance may not be a factor in online marketing, but there are certainly other concrete aspects of the individual that will factor into making a lasting impression. In addition, the professional's products and services rendered are very much a part of the impression that is developed of him/her.

  • A competent and true professional displays confidence and competence at all times. A prospective client is going to immediately pick up on even the first sign that denotes a lack of self-confidence. This can be potentially damaging to the entrepreneur in that an individual who is seeking to invest money and time into your business may feel a need to back off if he/she picks up on vibes that denote uncertainty in your own abilities. Before you market your products and services, you must know how to confidently sell them and stand by them.

  • A competent and true professional is well organized in that he/she maintains a work environment that allows him/her to always be able to locate information needed in following up with clients and in getting his/her work accomplished in an efficient manner. The true professional places emphasis on establishing priorities, setting goals, and successfully meeting each challenge that is set before him/her.

  • A competent and true professional is one who engages in written and verbal communications in such a manner that establishes him/her as an expert in the industry, yet comes across on a level that anyone of any rank should be able to interpret and understand.

  • A competent and true professional recognizes that each client and individual associated with his/her business is equal in importance and deserves the same level of consideration and service no matter how great or small the project may be.

  • A competent and true professional is always truthful, presents the facts for what they really are, and avoids stretching the truth at all cost. He/she follows sound ethical and moral guidelines in conducting all phases of business, and presents himself/herself with a level of integrity that is second to none.

In today's society of having to deal with disgruntled clients and avoid being clearly taken advantage of, the true professional faces many challenges in trying to do the right thing. It sometimes appears that it would be easier to deal with a situation by either stretching the truth or avoid dealing with the matter altogether. But by letting down our guard and lowering our standards of professionalism we may not only add fuel to the fire, but we also position ourselves to make this a habit when we are presented with a challenge we do not want to have to face.

In painting your portrait, will your true professional rise up to the expectations of his/her audience, all of whom are prepared to follow this Messiah of the business world, an example to and leader of entrepreneurs around the globe? Establish yourself as a true professional and you will discover that you will prosper through your business over and over again and become an example to be followed by upcoming and new entrepreneurs throughout time!

Wishing You Success!

Article by Karen Wilson-Dooley, Professional Writer
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Copyright 2000, Karen Wilson-Dooley, All Rights Reserved Worldwide.