The 2 Things All Great Entrepreneurs Focus On

A lot of business owners are totally unsure how to grow their business.

But in my view there are only two primary areas you need to focus on.

1. Innovation

How much new stuff are you trying?

The sad thing is, most entrepreneurs do very little experimenting. Incredibly, a lot of business owners do pretty much the same things for 10 or 20 years!

Because they don’t innovate, they keep getting the same mediocre results, year after year.

Look, here’s the truth. You don’t need to be a genius to succeed in business, you just have to try lots of stuff. Believe me, as long as you keep trying new ideas in sales, marketing, positioning and pricing, some of it is going to work big time.

When was the last time you innovated? Great entrepreneurs innovate all the time.  You can see it here:

2. Optimization

The other key area you need to focus on is Optimization – making what you already have work better.

Once again, average entrepreneurs do very little optimizing. If something is working okay, they tend to just leave it. This is crazy, as it’s quite possible that you could double the effectiveness of what you’re doing if you kept on making small improvements to it.

Most of you could be making twice as much money if you just started optimizing what you’re doing – changing a headline, finessing a sales presentation, improving what you staff say on the phone, etc. 

These are all easy things to do but can colossally increase how much money you make.

I explain more about this in a special video. Check it out here:

Innovation and Optimization: the only two areas you really need to focus on to build a super profitable business.

Are you doing enough of them?

Checklist for an Awesome Business

Just how good is your business?

Is it only average? Or is it something really special?

I mentor entrepreneurs all over the world, so I get to see inside a lot of businesses.

Over time, I’ve realized that there are 7 parts of a business that you have to get right, if you want to make a huge amount of money.

That’s why I’ve prepared this special 7 point checklist that you can use to work out whether your business is heading for greatness, or whether there are some areas you need to improve. You can get the checklist here.

Few businesses are perfect, so don’t be upset if you find that your business doesn’t score highly on each area.

But please go through this checklist carefully, because in it are the keys to creating the business of your dreams.

Check it out here.

PS: In my opinion, point 3 is the most important of all. Make sure you get at least that one right. View the checklist here.

Success Secrets of an Elite Pilot

One of the best ways to be more successful in business is to study elite sports performers.

Even though their job is very different from the business world, the best performers in sport all practice techniques that help them achieve at the highest level.

Techniques that we could use to perform better at work, and make a lot more money.

This week I was studying Matt Hall, one of the world’s greatest air race pilots and a member of the Red Bull International Air Racing team.

He’s got 3 great training techniques he uses to perform at the highest level of racing, which could easily be used by entrepreneurs to succeed more often.

I’ve summed up Hall’s training techniques in this short video.

If you want to be great in business, don’t just look at the business world for inspiration. Look everywhere.

Even in the air.

Check out this elite race pilot’s methods for excellence, in this video:

8 Questions That Will Massively Improve Your Business

Most entrepreneurs are guilty of one very big error.

They work too much and think too little.

I admire the work part, but unless you match it with sufficient time thinking, then you will just get exhausted and frustrated, not rich.

You need to allocate time each week to thinking.

Thinking about what? I suggest you focus on these two broad areas:

1. Where Is My Business Now?

Unless you’re clear about what’s truly happening in your business – what’s working and what’s not, you will never be able to radically improve it. Clarity is the first step on the path to excellence.

2. What Can I Do This Month To Improve That?

Not what can you do this year, or sometime in the future, that’s way too vague and it lets you off the hook. What tangible actions can you take in the next 30 days to move the company forward?

Now inside those 2 broad areas of questioning lie many other questions you can ask to really improve your business – and your own performance within it.

In this short video I take you through the 8 most powerful questions you can ask to transform your business. Check it out here.

I really recommend you set aside 30 minutes a week in your calendar purely dedicated to quiet reflection on these 8 questions.

After all, 30 minutes is almost no time at all – every business owner can spare that amount of time. Yet that one 30 minute period could change your business forever.

Just one new strategy that you conceive during that short time window could lead to a new product, a totally different direction for your business or an entirely new income stream.

But if you don’t spend consistent time thinking, and all you do is work, then you risk getting no breakthroughs at all and continuing on for years with very little change – and very little new wealth.

Check out the 8 questions that can transform your business here

– they could be a total game changer for you and your business.

Here they are.

How To Stay Calm Under Pressure

I’m sure you’ll agree, business is stressful a lot of the time.

Yet I know of no business school that trains people on how to handle the stress of business and entrepreneurship.

Don’t you think that’s crazy? After all, if we can can stay cool and calm under pressure at work, we will:

* Perform better

* Make more money

* Enjoy work (and life) a lot more.

With that in mind, here are some highly effective ways to stay calm and Zen, even when everyone around you is losing it.

1. Center Yourself Before You Go Into The Office.

Take a few minutes each morning before before you head into work, to remind yourself of your goals, to focus on the kind of person you want to be today, and to visualise yourself performing well during the day.

Doing this takes hardly any time, yet it dramatically improves your outlook, mood, quality of actions and quality of human interactions. And it makes you much calmer and focused.

2. See Yourself As A Master Problem Solver.

Your self identity greatly affects your performance. According to renowned performance coach Dr Jason Selk, a positive self identity is a super crucial component of a highly achieving person. Yet few of us choose to work on our self perception so that it serves us, rather than hinders us.

One great way to perform better and stay calm at work is to start seeing yourself as a master problem solver. After all, problem solving is perhaps the most necessary skill in business. We are beset by challenges every day at work and if we perceive them as major obstacles they can really get us down.

But if we continually make part of our self identity that we are master problem solvers, then when problems arise we are more likely to handle them with confidence, serenity and efficiency.

In the short video below, I talk about two other powerful ways to stay calm under pressure at work. You can view the video here.

Put these 4 strategies to work in your life and you’ll find that not only will you grow your business and career faster, you’ll enjoy each day vastly more.

Yes, we are in business to make money, but we are also here on Earth to enjoy each day. And too many of us let the daily stresses of business take that joy away.

View my video on this and you’ll know the 4 techniques that can radically increase your calm and happiness at work. Here’s the link to the video.

3 Questions That Can Triple Your Income

The biggest weakness of most entrepreneurs is how they are using their time.

When coaching business owners we frequently see that they are wasting an enormous amount of hours on low value activities.

Are you one of them?

Well there are 3 key questions you can ask yourself to find out whether you are maxmizing your time or wasting it at work.

1. What’s The Highest And Best Use Of My Time?

What are the 2 or 3 activities you do that really make a difference to how much money your business makes?

Amazingly very few people have ever asked themselves this. Yes they vaguely know what are useful things to do at work; but they aren’t crystal clear about what really, really matters.

In this area the old 80/20 Principle really reigns supreme. Almost nothing you do grows your business, most of it has minimal impact. So unless you identify what really counts you will spend the next 20 years getting lower results than you are capable of.

Here is a list of activities that commonly increase the revenue of companies:

* Calling potential customers.

* Emailing/ mailing potential customers

* Staying in touch with potential customers

* Creating ads to promote what you sell

* Finessing you sales presentation

* Testing different marketing techniques

* Getting PR for your business

* Contacting old customers

* Developing new products and services 

* Studying how to grow your business faster

* Improving the performance of key staff

There are more of course, but if you were doing just the ones above your company would be making wads of money.

The trouble is, almost all entrepreneurs are spending hardly any time on doing this income increasing stuff.

Instead, they are being consumed by seemingly urgent but really relatively inconsequential tasks.

Which brings us to the second critical question:

2. What Are My Time Traps?

What are the low value things you are doing that are taking up much of the day? And who are the people who are stealing your valuable hours?

Together these constitute your time traps that are reducing your income, slowing your business down and limiting how wealthy and successful you become in your life.

Unless you take the time to observe and analyze your days and identify these insidious time wasters, you are doomed to average achievement levels.

This brings us to the third critical question to ask.

3. What Am I Going To Do About This?

It’s not enough to merely become aware of the problem (although awareness is a level that is beyond what most entrepreneurs have achieved). You need to now decide what tangible changes you are going to make to your week to combat the time suckers and dramatically increase time spent on the ultra valuable activities.

How can you stop certain people interrupting you?

How can you reduce average meeting times?

Can you schedule an amount of time each day to focus on what’s really going to move the needle for your company?

Can you do your email in 2 or 3 blocks each day?

Can you work away from your office a day or two per week on these important tasks?

Only when you make new rules and restructure your week so that you’re spending large amounts of time on income increasing activities, will you take your company to the next level and start making really big money.

Why not take ten minutes now to generate answers to these immensely important questions, then act immediately on what you discover.

There’s no better use of your time than working out the best use of your time.

Secrets to Executive High Performance

One of the world’s most famous futurists, Mike Walsh, just interviewed me about high performance.

I thought you might enjoy listening to the interview.

I talk about:

* What makes one person achieve more than others

* The difference between a CEO and an entrepreneur

* Why people fail in business.

* Who is my hero entrepreneur of all time and why

Check it out here, I think you’ll really enjoy it. 

PS: I get a bit excited about some issues during the discussion, but it’s only because I’m passionate about what it takes to be great in life. Check out the interview here

Develop The Champion’s Mind

The world is full of excellent business books, but who has time to read them?

As a high performance business coach, I’m always looking at ways to help entrepreneurs like you to get ahead, so I thought it would be a great idea to summarize some of these books for you.

This week we take a look at The Champion’s Mind, by Jim Afremow.

It’s actually a sports psychology book, but so much of it is super relevant for entrepreneurs.

Afremow suggests we monitor ourselves each day with a Mental Score Card – evaluating our mental performance. That way we are far more likely to be running our business at the highest level.

I’ve done a quick video summary of Jim’s excellent book here:

There are many good techniques in the book, but two I want to focus on here are:

1. Ideal intensity level

2. Monitoring enjoyment

Let’s look at ideal intensity level first. Afremow argues that we each have a perfect level of intensity, not too stressed and not too relaxed. We need to evaluate what that is (out of 10) and aim each day to stay at that level all day.

It’s such a simple idea but to me it’s a very wise area to pay attention to.

The next concept is monitoring enjoyment. We are all ambitious and think frequently about our financial goals, but surely an additional goal should be to enjoy what we are doing? (In my experience many entrepreneurs do badly in this area.)

Placing a high importance on daily enjoyment (and monitoring that) is a smart way to live. At the end of our lives we will no doubt wish we had more fun, so let’s start focusing on that now, beginning today.

To see the other excellent mind techniques Jim Afremow suggests we evaluate daily, watch my short book review here

Strong mental performance is crucial for CEOs and entrepreneurs. In my view using using a daily Mental Score Card makes a huge amount of sense.

How To Make Brilliant Business Decisions. Advice from Jeff Bezos

When you think about it, the ability to make excellent decisions is one of the most important business skills of all. 

You can be highly intelligent, motivated and hard working, but if you keep making poor decisions then you simply won’t be successful.

A lot of entrepreneurs and CEOs know this, of course, and so they sometimes make an even bigger mistake.

They avoid making major decisions at all.

They procrastinate, prevaricate and generally avoid saying Yes or No to the really tough choices. 

Be honest, are you sometimes a bit slow in making big decisions? 

Then you may find Jeff Bezos’s decision making system very useful.

Jeff of course, is the founder of Amazon and clearly one of the greatest CEOs in modern history. But few people know he has a special method of making decisions.

Bezos categorizes important decisions, into Type 1 and Type 2.

Type 1 decisions are those that are highly important, and can’t be reversed, at least not easily. Type 2 decisions are those that are relatively simple to reverse, if they prove to be wrong. 

At Amazon, everyone puts huge thought into Type 1 decisions, researching carefully, deliberating in depth and triple checking every element.

But with Type 2 decisions Bezos insists that his team make decisions quickly, and just get on with it.  After all, if they prove to be incorrect they can quickly be shut down and an alternative tactic tried.

Jeff Bezos believes categorizing decisions in this way has played a vital role in making Amazon such an effective company and avoiding becoming a lumbering bureaucracy as it grew.

What about you? Do you see some value in this technique?  

Why not try it for the next month and see if it improves the quality of the decisions you make, and the speed by which you make them. 

In the end, the success of your company depends on how well you and your team make decisions. If you want to get better at it, using the decision making technique of one of the word’s greatest entrepreneurs is a great place to start.

4 Proven Ways To Become Luckier

Most people believe in the concept of luck.

But very few of us have ever analyzed how we can increase our luck, in business and in life.

As a mentor to entrepreneurs, I like to look beyond the basic business stuff and delve into some of the more unusual ways to perform better.

So I’ve done a study on luck and how to increase it, and in this blog I want to take you through the work of Professor Richard Wiseman, who in my view has produced the best research on what makes some people lucky and some not.

You can check out what Wiseman says about increasing luck by clicking here.

Wiseman has discovered that there are 4 character traits of people who experience a lot of good fortune. If you develop all four your luck will dramatically change for the better.

The first trait of lucky people is that they make the most of chance opportunities.

They may see an article in a magazine about a new business, then instead of just turning the page they reach out to the company.

They may meet someone at a party or conference, but they make the effort to reconnect with them and put forward an idea for a joint venture or partnership.

Small actions that can potentially deliver stupendous returns.

Imagine what a difference having that attitude would make to your success ( or luck) over a ten year period. Massive.

You can get a summary of the other three crucial creators of a lucky life here:

I’ve prepared a short video for you that makes Wiseman’s discoveries easy to understand and easy to apply in your own life. You can check it out here:

I think you’ll find it very interesting.