Resources  >> What you learn by teaching

About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  May 21, 2009

What you learn by teaching

OK…enough time has passed that I can write about this without crying. Last month, while preparing for the Here’s the Deal call comparing low and high fee brands, disaster struck. My “fur baby” Tigger got sick and wasn’t getting well. When I heard that forlorn meow Friday morning, I knew I had to make that long trip to the vet’s office. While waiting for my husband to get home, I had to deal with another deadline: writing the 14-page script for the call.

I was in no mood for messing around. I wanted to get the dang thing done so I could comfort my cat. Has that ever happened to you? Life gets in the way while you’re trying to be perfect? I take pride in creating the best content, but this time I really didn’t care. I sat down and wrote 14 single-spaced, 12-point font pages — in five hours. A land speed record for me, who is always searching for just the right phrase, for the most nuanced point. Not this time.

I gave the class the next Tuesday. We had a few minutes left over so I opened up the call for questions. There was a moment of silence. And then I heard two magical words from website expert Philippa Gamse: brilliant analysis. I was stunned beyond belief. Here’s what she wrote later:

“This week’s class was a totally brilliant analysis of two diametrically opposed business models – how they operate, who their markets are, what skills are involved, the pros and cons of each approach, etc. It left me personally in no doubt as to which course to follow! Of course, all your classes are brilliant — this one was just exceptionally so.”

Moral of the story: when disaster strikes, we are forced to focus only on what is most important. And that’s precisely what your clients want to hear.


About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.