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Are You a Small Business Owner Speeding Towards Burnout?

Is your business out of control? If you are a small business owner who feels like your business is running you, instead of you running your business, learn how to STOP the cycle. It’s all about your hat!

As a small business owner, we have to balance and wear many “hats” to succeed. In fact, there are up to 9 “hats” a small business owner has to wear for any business to run successfully!

With such a tremendous learning curve for small business owners, it is easy to understand why “About half of all new establishments survive five years or more and about one-third survive 10 years or more.”

How can a small business owner hedge his bets on keeping the doors open?

This is where the Hat Concept comes into play.  You need to make it an absolute priority to schedule time each quarter, each month and each week to “wear the hat” necessary to keep things running smoothly in the business.

Here are the “hats” business owners need to schedule time for:

CEO HAT – The CEO is the visionary of the company. As such, he has to keep the long term vision of the company alive and in focus. This will ensure that the company does not expand too fast or “chases too many squirrels” (deviating from the planned path). It is also his job to, at a high level, review financials, fund and defund the business as necessary, and keep focus on the long run.

CFO HAT – The CFO is the penny cruncher of the company. He keeps a tight reign on the bottom line financials in the month to month operations. He is not necessarily popular with anyone in the company because “conservative” is his middle name. He serves a very necessary function however, to ensure the company does not overextend itself financially and stays in business.

CMO HAT – The Chief Marketing Officer is responsible for all company branding, press releases, managing company perceptions, getting out the ‘word’ on what is new. This is crucial to start laying a foundation for community involvement, contribution, and good will.

VP of Sales HAT – He is the lifeblood of the business. Sales in any business drive revenue.   Master the art of upsell, downsell, cross sell, drive for results and live with no fear.

CIO HAT  – The Chief Information Officer works all of the latest technology and office technical/communications processes and systems.

COO HAT – The Chief Operations Officer is all about the product delivery. In my case, I am the COO every time I pick up and phone with a client.

Additional HATS – Human Resources, Legal and Customer Service Officers come into play once the business is large enough.

 

In real life, how does making time to wear each of these hats relate to the solopreneur, entrepreneur and small business owner’s success or failure?

Let’s look at a Forbes article by Eric Wagner titled “Five Reasons 8 out of 10 Businesses Fail

“Not really in touch with customers through deep dialogue.” 

HAT to wear – Chief Operations Officer: needs to be able to effectively understand client needs, see gaps in the market, listens to what the clients want and need instead of what the business owner thinks they need.

“No real differentiation in the market (lack of unique value proposition).”

HAT to wear – Chief Marketing Officer: needs to time to look at competitors, positioning in the market place, develop compelling strategies for product promotion and client engagement.

“Failure to communicate value propositions in clear, concise and compelling fashion” 

HAT to wear —  VP of SALES: for small business owners, he needs to consistently focus on listening and selling based on client needs and not ‘benefit’ selling. Focus on building a sales funnel that solves a problem and communicate clear value propositions to meet prospects’ needs.

“Leadership Breakdown at the top (yes – founder dysfunction)”

HAT to wear – The CEO is responsible for bringing the whole group together. Most small business owners are just scrambling to cover expenses, fill payroll and keep the doors open. Who has time to break away every week, month, and quarter for strategic positioning, thinking and planned promotions of the business? But the reality is that planning time is CRITICAL, even if it’s just one quarter at a time.

“Inability to nail a profitable business model with proven revenue streams.”

HAT to wear – CFO: As a small business owner, taking time out to manage expenses, focus on revenue, and analyze numbers is not fun! And, it can be easily avoided by just focusing on payroll each week. Unfortunately, not keeping track of your revenue and expenses at least every 2 weeks can lead to disaster.

 

FINAL RECOMMENDATION: Be courageous and fire yourself, if needs be! Then, hire a new ‘you’ and wear the HAT you need to drive your business to continued success. I want to see you celebrating long after that 5-year anniversary!

 

10 Top Tips to Stay Motivated and Focused this week…

Ever seem a little scattered? Do your business goals seem elusive and just out of reach? Are you frustrated at the end of the day because you never completed what you needed to? Are you so scattered that you don’t even have time to read this post? If so, then here are the Top Ten Tips to stay focused this week…

10. Answer the question, “What is the specific result I am focused on achieving this week?”

Without a clear destination you can’t get where you want to go. Imagine getting in a plane and just taking off to “go somewhere.” Use the SMART goals format to define your destination. Simple & Specific, Measurable & Meaningful, As if Now & Action oriented, Reasonable & Realistic, and Timed Towards what you desire. Specific is Success!

9. Get Motivated by Listing all the emotional reasons “WHY” you want to get to your destination.

When a goal is set in place…so are the obstacles that will be needed to be overcome. This will take energy and energy lies in generating the emotional “WHY” we want it. For ourselves, our kids, our spouse; dig down deep into that well of emotion and let it all gush forth. For extra credit, link up your life purpose to the goal and your identity to really get some power.

8. Find New People:

You are where you are, in part, due to the peer group you have around you. My workout buddy in the morning is the best. We both push each other. We are doing the Insanity workout and just this morning as we were completing our workout, he asked if I wanted to get in an additional 15 minute “pump” on the weights. He pushes me even when I’m tired and am ready to be done. I reciprocate by making sure I am at the gym every morning before he is. That way, he knows he has to bring the DVD’s or he will let me down by not showing up. We both add value to each other in different ways.

7. Clear Your Clutter

Get rid of anything that isn’t supporting your success. There needs to be emptiness in order for something new to come into your life. If a woman wants a man in her life but is sleeping at night with extra pillows and her pets…there’s no room for a man in her bed. If a guy doesn’t clean out 3/4 of his closet, get an extra toothbrush, have his/hers towels, and cleans out two dresser drawers, how will there be space for a woman to come into his life? Clear out your junk and make room!

6. Define & Master a Single Core Skill

Focus on changing one specific behavior that will move you towards your goal. You can prepare to walk/run all day with the right shoes, the music, playlists, weather, timing, treadmill or outside, determining your routes, estimating your time; but in the end all you have to master is putting one foot in front of the other for an extended period of time. Master taking one 8-10 inch step at a time with good form and posture.

5. Get comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Let’s say a person wants to reduce their weight. They will need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. When they “FEEL” uncomfortable because their stomach grumbles and they would normally go for some food, how can they start to feel comfortable with that moment and appreciate it instead of dread it? (This leads to #4)

4. Find a new, more empowering belief

Using the example above, when the stomach rumbles and they start to “FEEL” uncomfortable, insert a new belief for the old one. If the normal process is: stomach rumbles, the person says, “I’m starving to death and gotta eat” interrupt that self talk with, “excellent, that means that I must be thirsty” and then take a new action and drink water. (Sounds silly but I did that when I lost 60 lbs over 20 years ago and it still serves me to this day!)

3. Create Small Reminders

If you have a bigger goal of a trip, weight loss, business goals, etc. remember that where your focus goes your energy flows. Change your passwords to reflect your goals: ToughMudderNov2018, StBarth2017, CollegePaidinFull, Beachretirement2035, and BE CREATIVE. Put pictures on your mirror, in the shower, above your bed, in the bathroom, dash of the car, create reminders everywhere. These small reminders will help you stay focused and on track.

2. Create Quiet time to Focus

I recently read an article stating the main reason most small businesses fail is because of lack of planning. Strategic, purposeful thinking can only be done in a quiet setting and it should be done consistently (preferably a block of time weekly and even daily!) In order to create this space…find somewhere outside of your normal office, etc. (I have a client who uses a study room at his local library, no one finds him there) This will avoid the trap of the business running the person instead of the person running the business. During this scheduled quiet time see point #1.

1. Master Fear Management

I don’t care if you are the CEO of a Fortune 50 or a small solopreneur. In today’s competitive market the need to be innovative, creative and flexible creates HUGE uncertainty. Uncertainty breeds FEAR. Fear can be present due to change happening in the negative, ie going bankrupt and also the positive, ie problems that arise from rapid growth and expansion. Master Your Fears. Embrace them everyday because if you succumb to FEAR it will only lead to low self confidence, being motivated by necessity instead of possibility and worst of all, create a scarcity mentality. MASTER FEAR by doing at least one specific task everyday that you fear the most in your business. Eat Uncertainty and Fear for Breakfast to earn your dessert after dinner.

BONUS TIP:

Get an unconditional form of support to keep you on track…like an Executive Business Coach. (You know I had to plug that in!) Regardless of whether it’s me or not, no one earns a Grammy, an Emmy or an Oscar and stands on the stage during the acceptance speech and says, “I DID IT ALL MYSELF!” They all have people to thank…people who believed in them, provided support in those troubled moments of doubt, uncertainty and FEAR and pushed them to stay focused on their dreams and goals.

FOCUS!

To your continued success,

James

4 Absolutes for any Entrepreneur and Small Business Owner

4 simple principle for every entrepreneur and business owner

Every skill, from playing an instrument to being in a small business owner or entrepreneur, has simple fundamental concepts that need to be mastered. They are the ABCs for success. Keeping these four principles in action will make your business more productive and more profitable.  Here are 4 that come to mind.

Always Be Closing:  Alec Baldwin is famous for the scene in the movie Glengary Glenn Ross when he is working to motivate a group of salesmen. Two of the greatest quotes from the movie are, “Coffee is for closers” and “Always Be Closing.” As a small business owner and entrepreneur, it is easy to get caught up in the “running” of the business and get sidetracked away from the most important aspect of your business: prospecting/sales.  Some of the most difficult fundamentals of any business to master are prospecting, marketing effectively, building relationships and closing deals. However, that is the life blood of every business and should always be a top priority. Always Be Closing!

Conceive Believe Achieve:  This ABC has to go in reverse. Remember Napoleon Hill’s famous saying is, “Whatever the mind of a man can Conceive and Believe, he can Achieve.” In any business, it is critical that you keep your competitive advantage, unique selling proposition, brand and identity. Staying focused on what you have Conceived as the Core of your business, reinforcing it every day so you continue to Believe in your mission, and then engaging in Action will help to ensure your success.

Assets – Bills = either surplus Cash or Credit card debt: Which would you rather pursue as a business owner, making more money or spending less? Correct answer: BOTH! Remember that businesses always have to work diligently to maximize income (Assets) and simultaneously minimize Bills (expenses) to the lowest level possible. It can be easy to get distracted in other people’s “opportunities” to help you grow your business. Be diligent with your research when it comes to marketing and promotions. Ask yourself, “Is this task or opportunity revenue generating? or is it a distraction?”

Always Be Coached: Every small business owner and entrepreneur needs a mentor. Someone to brainstorm with, share the highs of success and the lows of misfortune. There is always power in a Mastermind group, group coaching or, you guessed it, a personal relationship with an Executive Business Coach. No one ever stands up at the Oscars and proudly proclaims, “I did it all by myself!” When you give your Business Success acceptance speech, who will you have on your notecard to thank? Fill that card up, so they have to cut you off with a commercial!

The first three ABCs will keep a small business owner and entrepreneur BE in business while the last one will help you STAY in business. 

Focus in 3-Steps: Executive Coaching John Wooden Style

In a previous post, I talked about the acronym F.O.C.U.S.S. and how a person can create greater levels of purpose, self-confidence, and direction. Today, I’m going to approach the concept of “focus” from the perspective of one of the greatest coaches in basketball history, John Wooden.

“In 1948, I began coaching basketball at UCLA. Each hour of practice we worked very hard. Each day we worked very hard. Each week we worked very hard. Each season we worked very hard. For fourteen years we worked very hard and didn’t win a national championship. However, a national championship was won in the fifteenth year. Another in the sixteenth. And eight more in the following ten years.” ~JW

My question is this, “Did the teams develop to a point where they could finally win a national championship or did Coach Wooden develop himself into a national championship coach?”

 

First Step: Be clear who you are and what Skill you choose to pursue excellence in (internal focus).

If you are going to become a master at a skill or craft, make sure it is one that you love and will emotionally support you for the next 20 years. Then, work to be the best!

To support this assertion another quote, “I am not what I ought to be, not what I want to be, not what I am going to be, but thankful that I am not what I used to be.” ~JW   Focus on being your best now in this moment, every moment!

“For an athlete to function properly, he must be intent. There has to be a definite purpose and goal if you are to progress. If you are not intent about what you are doing, you aren’t able to resist the temptation to do something else that might be more fun at the moment.” ~JW

 

Second Step: You must set goals that align with the expression of who you want to become and the skill you are choosing to master.

Set BIG, HUGE GOALS (external)!

For example, I chose a skill set of running many years ago. After thousands of miles of mastery, there was room for growth to always set the bar higher in terms of external goals: a 10K, half marathon, marathon, Goofy Challenge, 50-Miler, 100K Ultra and the pinnacle…100-Mile Ultra. Those goals took 20+ years of focus. As I took yoga along the way to keep flexible and train, I didn’t set a goal to become a yoga guru.

Big Goals provide the impetus to learn to perfect yourself in the execution of becoming more. They create the pressure to become meticulous because every detail counts. A hot spot on your foot in a 10K or half marathon is not big deal, on a marathon it becomes a little more important but during an ultra-marathon it means the difference between success and epic failure. Large goals are critical because they provide motivation to be diligent, prudent, and sustain a heightened level of awareness; internal and external. That creates focus.

“Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.” ~JW

 

Third Step: Large goals create large obstacles to overcome.

This scares other people away from you so you have more time and energy to focus on your pursuits and not be presented with their problems.

How often during the day are we interrupted, distracted and presented with other people’s problems and life issues? People tend to conspire with others who will give them solace, empathy, and commiserate with them on their problems. The more a person commiserates with another, the more they keep coming back for more commiseration! If a heavy set person starts telling you how bad they feel, most people think it is OK to say, “I’m sorry, you know, it’s not really your fault. After all its genetics, thyroid issues, etc.” What happens when they get that response?  They keep coming back!

Granted it’s not polite to say to them, “then get off your fat buns and do something about it.” BUT, if you are setting a high goal of health for yourself, that person will naturally shy away from you. They know intuitively, as they see you pack your bag for a lunchtime workout, they won’t get much sympathy. You scare them away by setting higher standards.

 

BIG Goals scare people away because they suffer internally by comparison.

This cuts down in interruptions, distractions, and people telling you their problems. FOCUS comes from setting a higher standard than your peers. An added benefit is that the only people who will interrupt you are the people who have high standards and the exchanges will be more in the form of support, encouragement and sharing of tips that help you refine and master your craft. These can be good because they actually boost your energy, efficiency and the time spent for the interruption is time saved with what is learned by sharing.

Welcome the adversity and feelings of “being alone” in your singular pursuit. This creates focus. Here’s a supportive quote.

“When everyone is thinking the same, no one is thinking.” ~JW

 

Let’s recap these three steps:

1. Be clear on who you are and what skill you want to master (internal mindset)

2. Set Goals in that skillset that are HUGE, stretch yourself as high and far as you can go!

3. Get comfortable with scaring other people away and being alone…set a higher standard. Your only interruptions will be from others with high goals. Those interruptions will be fewer but very supportive!

 “The road to real achievement is usually bumpy and long, but you do not give up. You may have setbacks. You may have to start over. You may have to change your methods. You may have to go around, or over, or under. You may have to back up and get another start. But you do not quit. You stay the course.” ~JW

To your continued success,

James, Executive Business Coach

Learn more about Coach John Wooden here:  www.coachwooden.com

SPECIAL UPDATE: Success or Failure as a Small Business Owner or Coach

Success or Failure? How many small businesses will fail in the first year?

According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) during the Startup Awards, “Up to one fifth of the 400,000 businesses that start up each year fail within the first 12 months of operation. This gives an approximate figure of 80,000 businesses failing annually.”

I can tell in one question if you will be one of the 80,000…

If someone asks you, “What do you do for a living?” What is your response?

If you are a small business owner and answer with anything less than, “I am an entrepreneur and business owner,” you will be one of the 80,000. This is why…

I had the pleasure of a total coaching immersion with Tony Robbins for over 10 years. During that time, I coached thousands of people that were handed to me by their sales department.

When I branched out on my own, I spent my first two years trying to convince people what a great “Executive Business Coach.” I struggled everyday to convince prospective clients of my skill and experience. As I joined networking group after networking group and the ranks of other struggling small business owners; I met photographers, writers, massage therapists, event planners, financial advisors, real estate agents, website developers and even tattoo artists. And “what they did” was exactly how they introduced themselves.

I also joined professional organizations like the International Coaching Federation (ICF) where I heard coach after coach tell me how they always knew they wanted to be a coach. They knew it since they were 6 years old helping their friends solve their problems on the playground at school. And guess what? None of them had a business, they were all coaching part time and starving for clients.

THE KEY TO SUCCESS:

My Executive Business and Coaching practice turned around 180 degrees the day I committed to be an entrepreneur who owned a coaching practice. I LOVE COACHING and I love my clients and finally figured out that I needed to be a successful entrepreneur and business owner first, so that I could have all of the clients that I wanted.

Think about it this way, if you were the greatest public speaker in the world and only focused on speaking skills, when you showed up with your motivational speech, you would be talking to empty chairs! Getting people in the seats so you have someone to speak to requires entrepreneurial skills, not speaking skills.

Being an entrepreneur means taking on an entirely different set of skills than that of your professional skill. As a person continues to develop key business and marketing skills they can grow their business. Without them, they become just another statistic!

If you are struggling as a small businss owner or coach and want a step-by-step process to learn the entrepreneurial business skills needed to grow your business, call today to find out how! www.businessmarketingforsuccess.com is a 52-week sales and marketing program to get you all the business you can handle and get people in the seats. It is the “HOW” to do it!

Visit www.businessmarketingforsuccess.com and sign up to receive 4-exciting videos showing you the first steps forward to Success Today! I WANT TO SEE YOU SUCCEED!

To your continued success,

James M Murphy
Enrepreneur, Owner Evolution for Success
Premier Coaching Practice

How to manage time…1 Simple Solution

Over the weekend a friend asked how business was going and I heard myself say, “I need the world to stop for 4 months so I can get everything done I want to…and then have it re-engage.” I got to thinking about what I said later that evening and I realized if that was truly the case…I wasn’t managing time effectively at all. How does an entrepreneur/CEO/Executive manage time better? Here is one simple solution…

First, accept the fact that you can not manage time. It isn’t time that needs to be managed but your mental focus and actions. A persons mental focus will always be in one of three places at any given time. the past, present or future and each one has a definitive purpose.

Looking back to the past allows us to reflect on successes and failures (which are just opportunities to learn). Understanding the successes and failures of the past allows a person to take useful strategies forward and find new ways to use and apply them. It also allows us to identify negative actions and behaviors and reframe them into positive “learnings” so any negative emotions disappear and new possibilities for how a person “could choose” to do things differently in the future are uncovered.

Focusing on the Future is crucial because it allows a person to focus on one of the greatest human needs…becoming more. If we are not growing we are dying, it is a fundamental law of nature. The challenge is that some people focus on growing more that is positive and some people get into the trap of growing more of what they don’t want. A positive future opens the door to possiblities, growth, and “more” of life. The negative future, signalled by statements like “I don’t know or want…” only perpetuates negativity, scarcity and disempowering emotions.

And last place your focus can be is in the present, being immersed in the exact action, thought, belief and feeling right NOW…and NOW…and NOW…and NOW…and NOW. The present is the hardest to focus on because the mind is constantly pulled between the past and future.

THE SIMPLE SOLUTION…HERE IT IS!

Future—Past—Present

Focus on exactly what you want in the future…(not what you don’t want, but what you do)
Think about what tools, strategies and resources you need to be creative, industrious and solution oriented FROM THE PAST
Combine both into ACTION NOW in the PRESENT clear of any distractions.

Oh yeah, celebrate your success from doing something different today! When applied consistently, you will find yourself more motivated, inspired, fearless, and results will start to show!

If you find yourself lacking focus, a fearless attitude, or clear direction forward…call today for your “Success-Now!” Session. (919) 792-0085.

In the month of August, email me at james@evolutionforsuccess.com with the word 30-Day Challenge. I will send you a 30-Day Success Sheet and two complimentary 15-minute checkin’s, personally with me, as my way of saying thank you for your support over the years!

To your continued success,

James

Venice: From Pain to Possibility to Prosperity…

Where is there PAIN in your life Right Now?

Most people will do almost anything to avoid it. How many times have you swept those deep feelings back under the rug. However, Pain can lead to Possibility which can lead to Prosperity. Venice, once the wealthiest city in the world is a testament to that ideology.

As Attila’s huns surged through Northern Italy raping and pillaging the Roman Empire, many refugees sought protection on the 118 deserted and desolate swampy islands of the Adriatic Sea. Even though the land was over 2.5 miles from shore and not able to support trades like agriculture; creativity and human ingenuity eventually took over.

Fast forward a few generation and Venice was born. With a newly develop transportation system of over 200 canals and 400 bridges it was a hub for world trade, power, and riches from all over the globe.

Pain in life is not something to be avoided, there is power and energy in it. The key is to take that power and energy and convert it to good use. Use that energy to build and create something better for yourself and others. There is true POWER in that ability.

Every great person in history, every movie ever made, begins in pain. Look at every Disney movie made, the opening scene usually has a parent dying or some tragedy. Pain is not to be shoved away into the dark recesses of our mind and body never to see the light of day. It is to be harnessed to build, create, inspire and give back to others in some way shape or form. You too, can move from Pain to Possibility to Prosperity and make a difference in the world!

If you need support with the transitioning Pain to Possibility to Prosperity in your business, Evolution for Success Executive Coaching can help. Call today for your personal one-on-one “Success Now” session.
(919) 792-0085

Or, if you know someone in Pain, a referral is the greatest gift you can every give.

Success in Three Minutes a Day… How To Stay Focused

Some of the most popular and famous self-help books are the ones that are short, simple and concise. Take James Allens’ classic book, “As a Man Thinketh.”  is powerful and insightful. Benjamin Franklin is remembered for his exercise around living 13 Core Values; the first ever self-help exercise.

Another short classic is a wonderful little book called, “It Works,” by RHJ. The Success Solution presented in the book is also simple, powerful and effective.

One of the greatest challenges any Executive or Entrepreneur faces when it comes to achieving goals is being focused. This process is designed to help you stay focused on achieving what you want in life and business.

 

Here are the simple steps. So, if you are ready, grab a clean journal and proceed.

1-  Write down everything you sincerely, earnestly and truthfully desire in your business and life. It is OK to have it shift from day to day or week to week as you work on figuring out what those items are. Have them be as specific as possible; use the SMART format when writing them.

2-  Go through the list at least three times a day: morning, noon and night

3-  Feel free to rewrite you list from time to time, rearrange and reprioritize it. Add and delete items as necessary. When your fears and doubts pop up in your mind, just pull out your list and reread it.

4-  Take action and don’t tell anyone what’s on your list.

5-  When items on your list start to appear, be sure and give a HUGE “THANK YOU” for them coming to fruition. Gratitude is important because it leads to true happiness in life.

6-  Repeat!

One final note, be sure that what you want will only bring on positive consequences. Remember that everything you put on the list will have both an upside and a downside that comes with it. It has to be good for you to have and also good for all of those around you.  Start with small items on your list and work your way up to the larger ones.

This simple exercise will test you to your limit because it is really an exercise in consistent, long term focus. I have to keep remembering to review, rewrite and update my list. It is fun and challenging, which means like most things that are worthwhile in life, the results will be amazing.

I would love to hear of your successes below and welcome your comments below!

If you would like more information on other classic short books that create profound results, visit: www.executivebooks.com

 

Liked This Article?  Subscribe and Get my Thought of The Week newsletter directly in your inbox!  (You’ll also get a free copy of my “Emotional Mastery” training and my Free Special Report “5 Steps to Stop Procrastinating“)

 

Fail-Proof Your New Year’s Resolution

What is missing from every New Year’s resolution that fails?

I’ll give you a hint…

It is not immersion. Many people are more than willing to immerse themselves in an endeavor and really embrace it. You have seen the person with the New year’s Resolution that starts going to the gym everyday and working out for hours on end. Immersion is important to success because where your focus goes, your energy flows.

It is not learning. Many people will go out and get every book, audio cd, and podcast they can on a subject in order to learn everything they can about their new goal. Continuing to learn is also a critical component for success in achieving any goal.

It is not a positive and supportive peer group. Finding a mastermind group, set of peers, or meetup group that will support you in the high of highs and the low of lows is important, but it is not the key for total success.

So, what is it? 

It is long term commitment! When it comes to building success, wealth, and a better life for yourself and those you love there IS NO QUICK FIX!  So many people think the road to success is paved with if I just jump out of the gate and give it all NOW, I can have it all NOW! Then, when it doesn’t happen, they get frustrated and give up!

If you ask anyone who is successful in any sport, most say that they just stayed longer on the field practicing everyday than others did, day after day after day. It was a pattern they reproduced week after week, month after month, and year after year.

The reason that most people fail in their New Year’s Resolutions is simply a lack of long term commitment.  So, what are you willing to commit to every single day in 2012?  Most people overestimate what they can do in the short term and underestimate what they can do in the long term.

Lead for the Long Term, Act for the Long Term and Stay Committed to your goal for the Long Term, and you will be in a better place by the end of 2012!

What do YOU think is the essential ingredient to achieve your New Year’s Resolution?  Comment below and let me know your thoughts!

Are You Making This Sales and Marketing Mistake?

Ask any small business owner what they would most like to have in their business and they more than likely will respond with, “more business!”

We all want clients calling and walking in the door with orders in hand. That’s why we engage in the game of sales and marketing.

So, the question is:  Are your sales and marketing efforts working? Have you dumped thousands into a website, social media, and print advertising over the years with little return on investment? If so, what caused the sales and marketing failure?

You might be focusing too much effort on sales and marketing and too little on prospecting. Prospecting has to come before sales and marketing. It is a small distinction that will make your company money.

Here are some examples of marketing versus prospecting.

Using Neuro Linguistic Programing NLP in your sales communication makes a difference!Some activities that define marketing in your business might be sending out email offers, writing e-books, posting on social media sites, writing a newsletter, creating video or audio podcasts, attending networking events, reviewing and updating your website, distributing fliers, handing out business cards or other print advertising and doing some public speaking.

Prospecting by comparison is about making a personal contact with someone. Cold calling, email solicitating with a follow up phone call the next day, following warm leads from client referrals, calling previous clients asking for referrals, and stopping by businesses in person to solicit  business.

Prospecting is being face to face (or phone to phone) with someone to see if they are a good prospect to start and market/sell.

Prospecting needs to come first because having qualified prospects will allow you to get the most out of your sales and marketing budget. 

You can work all day on creating a kick ass website, writing phenomenal content, and having an online presence, but at the end of the day if the phone doesn’t ring with a sale, there is no new business.

That small distinction between marketing and prospecting may seem trivial but it’s not.  Often success comes from a small distinction that creates a massive shift in results.

Making sure that prospecting is part of your daily routine will shift your sales and marketing’s effectiveness. It is the critical step to getting every small business where it wants to be:  having clients and customers walking in the door with orders in hand.

5 Ways to Not Achieve Your Goals This Year

Since the new year is right around the corner, here are a few thoughts to make sure that no matter what your goals, dreams and aspirations are, you can fail to achieve them all.

1.  Stop Learning & Being Curious

Success comes from being curious and resourceful. There are three types of learning a person can experience. There is educational learning which gives theoretical understanding of concepts, ideas and ideologies. Take some formal classes at your local university or learning facility. Second, is experiential learning. This happens in seminars, events, and trainings that require practice scenarios, role-playing and simulations. Third, is the actual application of the concepts, theories and ideas in real-life situations. You can read a book on sales, role play scenarios and then eventually you just have to pick up the phone and start to cold call. Experience is the greatest teacher. Understanding theory and role playing helps to build the confidence to immerse yourself in the real world experience. Learn, be curious and take action to apply what you learn.

 2.  Keep distracting yourself with TV & Internet

In 2009, Neilson ratings came out with a statistic that the average American watches 153 hours a month watching television. That is almost an entire week a month with nothing to show for it! The study also revealed that Americans spend an average of 29 hours per month on the internet. If you are what you eat, then isn’t your mindset influenced by what you put into it?

 3.  Keep up the “I’ll start tomorrow” thinking

Keep thinking that all of the little changes you could make today are not worth anything and you will start tomorrow. Many people start towards their goals and as soon as they experience an obstacle, get off track, and lose momentum or motivation, think that it is no use continuing. They sabotage their success with perfectionism. Success lies not in whether or not you fall off track, because you will, but how soon you can change, re-commit to your goal and get back on track. Nothing is too small to celebrate when creating change.

4.  Keep the Negative Messages Coming into your Brain

Are you surrounded by friends, colleagues, social media or environments that are negative and unsupportive? Upgrade your external influences by changing to more supportive people, places and things in your life. As they say in Feng Shui, clear the clutter in all the areas of your life that don’t support you and your goal. Clear the clutter in your mind by practicing to “say it the way you want it to be” in your life. Stop watching the new and feed your mind some uplifting, motivational, and supportive material.

5.  Stay Comfortable, Do the Same Thing You Are Doing Now

Most people don’t achieve something because they never stop and ask themselves, “What do I need to give up in order to make a space for this new goal in my life?” For example, if you want a relationship, are you stepping out and going different places, trying new experiences, and meeting new people? In an extreme, if you want a new car, are you selling the one you have now, have you test driven cars at the dealership and talked to your bank about a new loan? Are you willing to “burn your ship?” If the answer is no, how bad do you really want to experience your dreams, aspirations and goals? You have to make space for what you want to have.

 

So there you have it, five dynamic ways to ensure that you will be a total failure with your goals in the new year. You have, of course, my sincerest wish is for you to be a contrarian!!!  I wish you continued success in all of your endeavors.

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Seen Any Superheroes in Tights Lately?

What is it about the resurgence of the Marvel Superheroes and their box office successes?

Over the past years, I have seen the Batman movies, a couple of the Spiderman, Iron Man and even the latest movie, Thor. None of them really got me excited until Captain America hit the big screen this weekend!

Captain America, seen in his Red, White and Blue outfit and bullet proof shield, got my blood pumping again. I never had a lot of comic books as a kid, but I did have Captain America! Perhaps with all of the troubles in the world, it is good to see a hero that truly represents positive ideals and is willing to fight for his country.

Maybe I like him because he is so patriotic and puts his country over his own needs. In our political climate today, that is so important and I really want to believe in our country turning this tough corner.

Maybe it is the fact that there are not a lot of great role models for today’s youth that are based in truth, honor, and the old fashioned American Way. Whatever the case, or a combination of all of them, I purchased an old picture of the original Captain A, and put him on the wall in my office.

Some things in life just seem to breed goodness, and in my mind and heart, Captain America embodies those ideals. America needs someone fighting for her today.

Captain America lives in every entrepreneur who is fighting to create jobs. He is in every policeman, firefighter, and military service member. If every person in the country was willing to give more to the country than themselves, I am sure things would be very different, very quickly.

Captain America just Rocks. He wears the simple Red, White, and Blue of the country he loves and is willing to fight for. He believes in good versus evil and chooses the harder path of Good. That is what makes him powerful and so likable in my mind.

I hope that youth today latch on to the traits and persona of Captain A as much as I did. We all need some heroes these days to keep us inspired, motivated, and focusing on the good in life.

And, if my Superhero had to fight one of the modern day comic heroes of today’s youth, I would still bet my paycheck on Captain America. He could take down Captain Underpants anytime, anyplace, any day!

 

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