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One of the most off

Fascinating Hollywood legends are the discovery of movie actress Lana Turner at the sodas in Schwab's drug store in Hollywood by director Mervyn Le Roy in 1936.

Wikipedia tells another story and says Turner was discovered by Hollywood Reporter publisher, William Wilkerson, not at Schwabs, but at Top Hat Café.

Yet this legendary story gave rise to the American myth that "anyone can be discovered, anyone can be successful because of good luck and the right connections."

Turner's online biography, however, states: "She was not found at a pharmacy as something you would think, but that legend remains. She thundered the sidewalk that other actresses have done, are doing and will continue to do in the pursuit of film roles."

She was not even born with the name Lana Turner; her first name was Julia Jean Mildred Francis Turner (try to put it on a movie poster).

Turner, one of the greatest Hollywood beauties, had a film career that spanned 48 years.

Why all this interest in Lana, Turner?

I think it's the confluence of the Oscar show on Sunday night and a meeting I had with a client last week.

At Oscar, I was inspired by hard work and dedication from the many nominees who sometimes worked for decades before I was recognized for his excellence.

My client, who is a brilliant consultant with many professional references and awards, also inspires me. She is smart, dedicated and hard working.

But I think she might be working a little too hard to hope to be discovered by the right person.

For her, this means creating contacts with influential people who - she hopes - will direct her to new customers.

It is wonderful to be referred by others who are more established, successful and visible. And this marketing strategy can sometimes work when played as a long game.

But if you put most of your attention on these skipped referrals, you might not spend enough time connecting directly with prospective customers right now.

It's certainly not romantic to hit the sidewalk, but it's infinitely more practical.

Advice to my client:

Keep an eye out for long-term referral partners, but put most of your effort into connecting, talking to and meeting those who can buy your professional services today.

Cheers, Robert

P.S. This is a paraphrase of a quote by Lana Turner:

"If you do not approach customers, you are called separated, if you do, you are a hustler. If you do not talk, you are stupid. If you talk, you are aggressive. Forgive me while I update my site."

See Lana Turner quote

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