Carrie Morgan | Crain's

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Carrie Morgan

Background:  

Digital public relations firm Rock The Status Quo helps clients make brands more vibrant and visible online through a combination of content marketing, search engine optimization, traditional public relations and social media. RSQ President Carrie Morgan has more than 20 years of agency and corporate experience with expertise in branding, market positioning and messaging, and organic online visibility.

The Mistake:

My mistake was resting on my laurels.

I started as a consultant nine years ago, after I was laid off. I had quite a few real estate clients when the economy nosedived. These clients canceled their contracts with the agency I was working for, which led to me being laid off. So, I went out and started pounding the pavement to bring in new clients.

I relied on the skills I had learned at the agency, which had made me successful there. But I found out that there’s a big gap between the skills that you know and the skills a company needs at that moment. The only way to bridge that gap is by continually learning.

At first, I had difficulty growing the business. The situation was transformed when I started really listening to what the clients were looking for, what their biggest problem areas were, and crafting solutions that I could provide.

There’s a big gap between the skills that you know and the skills a company needs at that moment.

The Lesson:

When you’re super busy with day-to-day tasks, you can forget to keep pushing your skills, learning new things and raising the bar in what you’re able to offer your clients. [But] it truly makes an incredible difference.

The gig economy is really growing and companies will even outsource leadership roles to get the expertise that they don’t have in-house. You really need to offer skills that are current and provide expertise. You have to constantly raise the bar and remain curious: keep testing new things and keep learning new skills.

Public relations changes day to day. I have to spend time every single day not only learning something new but testing it out to find out how it applies at this moment. If I stop doing that, my business takes a direct hit.

Follow Carrie Morgan on Twitter at @morgancarrie.

Photo courtesy of Carrie Morgan

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