A Great Business Tip From Mark Zuckerberg

One of the fastest ways to get better at business is to copy the greats.

And they don’t get much better than Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg is a pretty unusual guy, and he sets himself some pretty weird goals to improve himself.

One is as follows: each year he chooses a single challenge – business or personal – that will take him to the next level. He’s come up with some pretty crazy ones over the years, and in the 3 minute video below I describe them. You can check out the video by clicking here. 

 Should you do the same as Zuckerberg? Selecting a yearly challenge, one that will force you to become better at the game of business, is an idea really worth considering. Zuckerberg chooses something that will really stretch him, then keeps doing it all year long.

As a result, he just keeps getting better and better. Check out Zuckerberg’s crazy yearly goals here:

Are You Worried About Your Business?

Are a little concerned about how your business is going?
Are your sales disappointing you?
In this week’s video, I give you 4 powerful reasons why you should actually be highly confident about making your business a success.

The truth is, if you just remember these 4 Principles, you have a very good chance of growing a huge, highly profitable company.

Business isn’t rocket science. Follow these 4 concepts and your future will be very bright indeed. Check them out here:

The 10 Talents of Successful Entrepreneurs

What does it take to be a great entrepreneur?

Well one of the world’s largest research companies, Gallup, recently did a major study to find out.

They discovered that outstanding entrepreneurs have 10 clear talents. You can see what they are here:

Develop these 10 talents, and you are highly likely to do brilliantly in your business. But ignore them and the future could be bleak.

Check out my summary of the Gallup research right here:

Feeling Down About Your Business?

There’s no doubt that running your own business can be hard.
It can be tedious. It can even be depressing.
If you’re feeling a bit down about your business, then this 5 minute video will really help you.

In it I give you 3 powerful strategies that will make you much happier and more confident about your business – and your life as an entrepreneur.
I will also show you some ways to build your business really quickly.
So check out this short video now:

4 Ways CEOs and Entrepreneurs Can Very Quickly Grow Their Business

 

4 Things to (1)

Many entrepreneurs think that business growth has to occur slowly. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I coach large numbers of entrepreneurs every year, and time and time again I have seen people achieve stupendous levels of growth in a very short period of time.

So How Do CEOs and Entrepreneurs Grow Their Businesses Fast?

There’s many ways super fast growth can be achieved, but I’ll outline 4 of the most crucial ones below.

1. Raise Your Personal Performance Standards

It’s easy to get a little slack when it comes to driving your own daily performance at work.

Your business might be going quite well, without much of your effort or perhaps you’ve been running it for many years and you’re just bored by what you’re selling. Pretty soon you’ve relaxed too much and started functioning at a sub optimum level.

It shows in small ways: you arrive a little later to work, you settle for lower product standards. You don’t give a sales presentation everything you’ve got. And before long you aren’t performing brilliantly, you’re coasting and taking it a bit too easy.

The solution is to take a step back, evaluate your performance, and if you find it lacking decide to recommit to personal excellence.

What do I mean by that?

I mean make a conscious decision to do every important thing at work to the very highest standards of excellence. When you as the owner of the business decide to lift your performance level, you’ll find everyone around you (staff, suppliers, even clients) will lift theirs.

But if you accept low standards from yourself, all those you work with will function at a lower level too.

Believe me, all great business results start inside the head of the business owner. They see a vision of themselves as outstanding entrepreneurs then endeavor to make that vision a reality. If you don’t start with a personal vision of excellence, great achievement is simply impossible.

So step one is to lift your ideals, aims and standards and everything else will rise in accordance with that vision.

2. Focus On No More Than 3 Key Areas Of Your Business

Too many CEO’s spread themselves too thin. They aim to do everything and end up achieving almost nothing.

While in some ways it’s admirable that a business owner wants every part of their business to get better, the reality is they usually need to focus on just getting a tiny number of critical things right. If they choose those wisely their business growth will be spectacular.

Where do you focus? Well start with these three areas:

  1. How to get more qualified leads.
  2. How to convert those leads into customers more often.
  3. How to get those customers to purchase again.

Think about it. If you just got these three aspects of your business running magnificently, imagine how much wealth you could create.

Now let’s do a little test: How much of your time each week is presently dedicated to these three crucial areas? Probably less than 20%.

So often, business owners get caught up in all the other stuff that seems important at the time, but in the end doesn’t really improve your profits. That’s plain crazy. Get focused on what matters and don’t let yourself get distracted with the endless business trivia.

Want to Grow YOUR Business Fast?

Reserve your spot on my exclusive online training titled:

The 4 Critical Lesson I Learned Building a Half-Billion Dollar Company

Discover the exact same step-by-step plan I used to build a $500 million company.

Click here to reserve your spot!

3. Get More Administration Help

Entrepreneurs tend to do too much themselves. I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen the heads of businesses waste hours doing tasks that a low level assistant could have done. And they wonder why they are still at work at 7.30pm!

You must stop doing what doesn’t matter. Hire an assistant (part time if your cashflow is low) and load them up with all the tasks that take you away from making money: looking for stuff on the internet, typing, tidying, answering unimportant emails. etc etc.

You’re not saving money, you’re losing money – if you had somebody to help you you could double or even triple the amount of time you spend growing the business.

Here’s an interesting story. Years ago I had left the company I co-owned after a disagreement with my then business partner. I didn’t know what company I was going to open next, so I rented an office space and then hired not one but two personal assistants.

Now some people would say that was a ridiculous waste of money – after all, I didn’t even have a business at that point. But I saw things differently.

As soon as they started I got them working on any business idea I could think of – researching, organizing and reporting back to me. After awhile I began to work out what my next venture would be and I hit that business with massive momentum. With those assistants helping me I was able to concentrate on what mattered most – developing a new killer business.

Isn’t it time you got some help? To achieve great things you must give yourself the time to think of great things. And it’s very hard to do that if you’re handling a mountain of urgent and low level tasks yourself.

4. Develop Something Else To Sell

If your company has grown to more than $1 million in revenue, often the fastest way to grow faster is to sell an additional product to your customer base. Is it not true that you probably have numerous customers who would buy a second product from you, if only you offered it to them?

After all they already know your company. They like what it does. And they believe in your staff and what you’re aiming to do.

That should make it pretty easy to convince a fair amount of them to take a look at something else you’ve been developing for them.

Disney did this by creating a Disney cruise line. Apple did it by adding the iPod, iPad and Apple Watch. Porsche did it by creating an SUV for the family.

As soon as you begin thinking along this vein, you’ll quickly come up with some promising ideas. Simply ask yourself: what else would my customers buy from me? Then choose something that is easy for you to produce or offer within your current way of operating. (You don’t want to radically change how your company works just to try a new product).

What’s an easy way of finding out what else your customers want? Why not survey them and actually ask them. They’ll appreciate that you bothered to seek their opinion and you’ll get some valuable intel.

The faster you increase your product offering, the quicker new and greater revenue will come in.
Now none of these four ways to build your business quickly are particularly difficult.

And at least 3 of them could be done within a week (developing a new product will probably take a little longer).

So why not give them a try? If you do it’s almost certain that within a very short period of time you’ll have both a bigger business and a better run one.

 

Want to Grow YOUR Business Fast?

Reserve your spot on my exclusive online training titled:

The 4 Critical Lesson I Learned Building a Half-Billion Dollar Company

Discover the exact same step-by-step plan I used to build a $500 million company.

Click here to reserve your spot!

To give you an idea of some of the things you’ll learn on that webinar, I did a training a while back which you may want to check out below. Enjoy!

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Entrepreneurs.

Many believe that entrepreneurial superstars are born, not made.

I beg to differ. I coach hundreds of entrepreneurs every year, from a colossal range of industries, and I believe they all share 7 common character traits.

Importantly, each of these traits did not exist at birth, they were developed with time, intention and persistence.

Let’s go through these key traits now.

1.  Reality Based Optimism.

As renowned psychologist Dr Barbara Fredrickson of the University Of North Carolina has shown, positivity is  a choice – and an exceedingly important one. Those business leaders with strong inclinations toward positivity are more persistent and effective than entrepreneurs that are pessimistic. See also Martin Seligman’s research on optimism in the insurance industry for more evidence of the importance of thinking positively. Not a Pollyanna like blind optimism, but an overall positive outlook while accepting current realities.

2. Speed Bordering On The Reckless.

As  Mark Zuckerberg famously put it, in these chaotic times executives need to “Move fast and break things”.  Slow, methodical improvement can reap dividends of course, but for optimum business growth, those consistent and never ending small improvements need to be matched with an attitude of pushing the envelope of time. Zuckerberg’s theory has always been that ≈. 

3.  People Before Strategy.  

When Alan Mulally took over at Ford, the company was in dire straits. While he was ruthless on costs and process, he surprised many at Ford with his equally strong emphasis on looking after staff. At his first major meeting with Ford’s most senior executives he put up a slide with ten key principles.At the top of the list was ‘People First’. Real progress would only occur, Mulally believed, when top management treated their staff superbly.

4.  Data, Data, Data.

Twenty years ago there were certainly great entrepreneurs winging it – moving fast but not really evaluating the data. There are very few leaders in business performing that way now however. In every industry the top entrepreneurs have realized that far better decisions are made by gathering maximum data on sales, marketing, pricing, positioning and customer preference. That’s not to say that intuition is no longer important, far from it. But it needs to be balanced with logic formed from empirical intel.

5. Grand Persistence.

The biggest myth about successful business people is that they are more intelligent and talented. Having met many super rich entrepreneurs and read over a thousand books on business success I can tell you categorically that that is not the case. More often the great fortunes have been made by people of average intelligence who had tremendous drive, matched with almost ridiculous levels of persistence. As high performance expert Denis Waitley expressed it, “Success is almost totally dependent on drive and persistence. The extra energy required to try another effort or another approach is the secret to winning.”

6. Confident Contrarianism.

It’s hard to make a lot of money in business just doing things a little bit better than your competition. Usually the big fortunes have been accrued by taking a vastly different path from other companies in the sector. It takes real confidence to go against the pack. What looks obvious in a decade, often seems absurdly dangerous at the time.

7. Long Term Time Perspective.

The get rich quick crowd rarely make it big in business. Read the biographies of Edison, Ford, Walton, Ellison, Kamprad et al and you’ll discover tales of long struggle over decades. Some may have given the impression it was easy but that is rarely the case. Substantial and enduring business success usually takes a long time – experimenting, failing, then beginning anew with more refined solutions. 

(Character trait number two has a curious relationship with trait number seven. The great entrepreneurs act urgently, like they have no time left, yet work like this for decades, making their business successful).

Which of these seven traits do you have? Which do you need to consciously develop more? A few minutes spent evaluating your situation regarding these traits now could reap great dividends in the future.

What The Queen Of Chess Can Teach You About Being Successful.

This month the greatest female chess player in history decided to retire.

Judit Polgar has beaten the finest male Grandmasters of the modern era, including Kasparov, Karpov, Anand and today’s world number one, Magnus Carlsen.

She is so good, she rarely even bothered entering the women’s chess championships, preferring to duke it out with the men because it was more fun.

She has been the sole female in the men’s top 100 for an astonishing two decades. She even broke the record set by Bobby Fisher to become the youngest Grandmaster in history.

She is, quite simply, a chess genius.

But it’s how she became so great that is the tale most worth telling. Because every one of us could learn a lot from it, no matter what field we aspire to be successful in.

You see, Judit didn’t reach the very top of her world by natural talent. She was part of extraordinary experiment carried out by her father, Laszlo.

Although it is commonly believed that Chess Grandmaster’s are born not made, Laszlo believed that he could train anyone to become a Grandmaster. So he advertised for a woman to partner with him with the aim of having children that he could train to play chess. Incredibly, he found someone and 3 sisters were born. Laszlo then went about the task of teaching them everything he knew about the game, and designing training methods that would constantly enhance their skill levels.

Here are the results. Incredibly, all three became Grandmasters. And Judit became the best female player the world has ever known.

What’s the lesson from this astounding story?

I think it’s the following. Don’t rely on your natural talents – they matter far less than society believes. You can learn virtually anything. Especially in the business arena. If you’re scared of doing sales calls, you can learn how to do it well and even learn to enjoy it. If you’re bad at business financials, you can learn to handle them excellently too. If you’re chronically disorganized that’s not a genetic trait. You can study time management and end up a world class productivity expert.

There are virtually no skills you cannot acquire, particularly business skills.

But the Judit Polgar story also shows that great skill only comes after three elements are added: a) great effort, b) many years of practice and c) aiming high. Without these three components our skill levels would still improve, but not to the point of mastery.

As authors Daniel Coyle, David Shank and Geoff Colvin have each shown with their meticulously researched books on high performance, there is a path to greatness and it sure ain’t about innate talent.

It’s about constant learning, huge aspiration and putting in the hours under an excellent teacher.

How To Work Much Faster.

Working quickly is one of the most important characteristics of the high performing business person.

You can be highly intelligent, motivated and experienced, but if your output is slow then you’ll never reach your potential.

Speedy working is a craft well worth learning, but few executives spend any time developing their skills in this area.

To help you work much faster, I’ve outlined three simple, yet exceedingly effective techniques to improve the pace at which you work.

1. The 80% Rule 
Invented by well known Canadian business coach Dan Sullivan, The 80% Rule suggests you should do tasks to about 80% of excellent standard, then move on to another task.  It’s extremely effective because it’s often the last 20% of the task that takes much of the time. Yet in general doing that last 20% is not appreciated by other people, nor is it necessarily particularly useful to you that you got it done.
Be clear that I’m not suggesting that you don’t finish the job, but rather you finish the job to an 80% excellent standard. Perfectionism tends to destroy productivity.

2. Rush The Unimportant.
You can usually achieve twice as much if you rush jobs that aren’t crucial to your business.

Most tasks don’t really matter, but many people give trivial tasks the same care they give important jobs.  The net result of that attitude is they no longer have enough time available to do the vital jobs superbly.

Take it from me, you do not have enough time in the day to do everything well. Pick your battles and rush the rest.

3. Practice The Closed Door Policy.
No doubt you’ve heard of the Open Door Policy – that your door should be open to any staff that want to see the boss. In my view that philosophy has been responsible for more lost productivity than almost any other way of working.
Try keeping your door closed most of the day.

Interruptions are the great killer of high achievement. It’s not just the time lost from the interruption itself, it’s the time it takes to re-focus and get fully engaged in the previous task as well.

If you let people know that you’re available from X time to Y time most days, they’ll organize themselves to see you at those times. This will then leave you with most of your day available to get more valuable work done.

These three techniques are incredibly simple to institute, but will have a profoundly positive influence on the speed at which you do your work. Begin doing them this week and within ten days your output will be higher and your stress levels will be lower.

The Strong Link Between Your Self Image and Business Success.

The vast majority of business people focus on tactics to be successful – strategy, marketing, sales and systems.

Yet after doing this religiously for ten years still often complain that they have not achieved what they had hoped.

Is there something more they needed to work on to succeed at a high level in business?

I think there is:  Their self image.

In my view, doing all the external tactical stuff can only get you so far, if you are being held back by inner feelings of not being deserving of business success, or not feeling that you’re good enough personally to succeed.

Self image affects our performance at work, in subtle yet impactful ways.

We present a little too timidly to win the account. We don’t dare to move the company forward in a new and better direction. We accept a medium level of  revenue growth when we should be aiming for a record uplift. There’s a hundred ways our progress gets impeded by how we feel about ourselves deep down inside.

But enough about the problem, let’s look at some solutions.

From  Dr Nathaniel Branden’s work in the Sixties to Professor Barbara Frederickson’s very recent research (she was born in the Sixties) a myriad of studies have been done on the way how we think about ourselves affects our performance, in work and life.

Here are two ways to increase to increase your self esteem and thereby improve your chances of succeeding in the business world.

Be Your Own Best Fan.

Too often we are the opposite – we are our harshest critic, slamming ourselves in private for perceived errors in public.

Those with high self esteem and high self efficacy are no less demanding of their performance, but also support themselves with their own thinking and self evaluation. They talk themselves up. They choose to interpret events in a positive way. They tell themselves that they can and will achieve.

Doing this takes considerable self discipline, but with consistent effort we can become our most ardent supporters, rather than beating ourselves up inside. If we can pull it off then inevitably our business performance will improve.

Invest In Your Own Competence.

Generally the more competent you are at business skills the more confident you will be when doing them. Logical of course. Yet so many entrepreneurs and executives are happy to coast on their previous studies and accumulated experience rather than dedicating themselves to ever higher levels of learning and competence in their fields.

When you think about it, it’s clear that becoming highly competent has a dual reward. You get the benefits of that specific area of competence but you also feel better about yourself generally. In sports parlance, you feel more like a winner, which in turn leads to more confident actions/results.

Combine positive self talk with ever increasing task competence and you have a powerful synergy of internal and external self esteem boosters. It won’t be long before what you think of yourself changes – and then so will your entire future.