In Jamaica we talk about "fixing up your shop", which means making the best of yourself. No matter how humble your beginnings, there is no excuse for not appearing clean and fresh and smartly turned out. This is especially true for one-man bands and people who are operating on a small scale. All you have to represent your company is yourself and your brand. You have to make that shine.
Every time you go out and represent your company, you must be ready to give your best, even if you're not feeling particularly on form. You have to present at 100% always because you're always on show.
You are your brand or products. People invest in people. Whatever you are trying to sell, you have to sell yourself with it. The ways you dress, speak, communicate with other people, and so on, portray a message. Every time you choose what to wear or open your mouth to say something, you are representing your business and your brand. It is important to remember that.
Even when you are relaxing, you are still on show. Who knows who you might meet on the train or when you are socialising that could open up a whole new strand of business opportunities? Make sure that whomever you meet will want to be associated with you and what you have to offer. You have to stay true to your best self at all times.
Your foot always has to be on the accelerator. There is a bright
and positive reason for this. If you're at your best, it means that
you will already
be prepared and ready for the next opportunity when it presents itself. You won't have to stop to think about it.
'Lively up yourself'
On Dragons' Den, my pal Peter Jones has a pet hate. He gets profoundly irritated by people who come on the show dressed casually or in jeans. He feels so strongly about this that if some guy is not wearing a tie Peter won't invest in a perfectly good business opportunity worth millions of pounds.
"Come on!" you might say, "What is that about?" It‟s about Peter's personal values and his business identity. Because it won't be Peter who has blown the opportunity - it will be the guy who didn't think about what Peter is looking for. Peter Jones wants everyone and everything associated with his brand to be a good representation of his company, and he will look to reinforce that with every investment. His investments have to reflect him - and that's why he will invest. He'll want you to be a brand ambassador for his name.
Wherever I go, I represent Peter. I am an extension of him and the group of companies he has worked so hard and for so long to build up. The opposite applies, too: he is doing that for me. When he talks about the Reggae Reggae companies, it has to be in the same way as I would talk about them. The core message about the sunshine flavours of the Caribbean and putting music in your food has to be the same, whether he says it or I do. You have to be consistent. The way you speak and the way you represent the brand are very important.