People think building a highly successful business is hard.
Actually, it’s really simple.
As long as you have a good product or service to offer, you only need to avoid making two mistakes.
Mistake 1: Not reaching out to enough potential buyers.
I have coached hundreds of entrepreneurs, and it’s truly amazing how many of them spend most of their day handling their current business and spend hardly any time introducing themselves to new potential clients.
How can you expect to grow your company if hardly any potential customers even know you exist?
Surely Mission One is to get your company known. All else is useless unless you can get that job done.
Only when you have a large enough pool of potential customers that know what you offer, can you ever hope to convert some of them into actual customers.
Mistake 2: Not staying in touch with those people.
When I started my first company I made this classic mistake. I reached out to plenty of potential clients, but then I didn’t stay in contact.
Oh sure, I’d ring them once or twice a year to see how they going, but that’s not nearly enough to stay in their minds. And get them to buy your services.
You have to be communicating with them many times a year to keep your company at the forefront of their thoughts. (The art, of course, is to do it in a way that makes you valued, rather than reviled).
These two simple mistakes are made by at least 80% of business owners, to varying degrees.
Get these two things right and most of your business growth dreams will be realized.
Get them wrong and even if you have a great product, your growth will be slow, a fraction of what it could have been.
When I coach entrepreneurs I focus on two primary things to make them more money.
Let’s talk about number two for a minute.
Most business owners are performing at well under 50% of the level they should be. They waste enormous amounts of time, almost every day.
But if you get superb at productivity, you can make a phenomenal difference in how much wealth you create for yourself.
To help you do that here’s a productivity technique I recently invented- and it’s really helping me get things done.
I call it 20/20 Vision.
It’s a little extreme, but here’s how it works.
Firstly, you try to do every task in 20 minutes. Yes I know that sounds crazy, but hear me out.
It will truly amaze you how many tasks that would normally take an hour or more can actually be done in 20 minutes when you really push yourself.
And if you can’t complete the job in 20 minutes, at least you’ve made fast progress. Instead of it sitting on your To Do list for weeks, you at least move it forward.
This quick progress gives you an enormous amount of momentum and massively boosts your confidence and self-esteem.
The second part of the method is all-around Vision.
In my experience as a coach to business owners, many of us get caught up in doing endless jobs in our company and often forget our overall vision or big picture aims.
What are we actually trying to create? Who are we trying to become? If all you do is work on the next thing, you will get pulled down by your never-ending To Do List and could be in danger of not achieving your dreams.
With the 20/20 Vision technique, we take a different approach. You think about your life Vision numerous times during the day.
This does several valuable things:
It keeps you motivated- we stay inspired by our beautiful vision of our future.
It makes you focus much more on what is truly important your “to do’s” actually are. You do less of the urgent and more of the important. Less of the minutiae and more of the impactful activities.
So there you have it, the 20/20 Vision productivity technique.
It speeds up your rate of achievement, increases your morale and confidence (because you are making fast progress in many areas) and keeps you focused on your true work and life vision, rather than getting caught up in the trivial.
Professor John Kotter of Harvard University wanted to know what makes some CEOs more successful. So he and his team studied the fastest growing U.S companies over a ten-year period, then examined how their chief executives behaved differently.
Was there one thing that separated the great CEOs from the ordinary ones?
There sure was.
Kotter discovered that the CEOs who got the best results in America had a very different mental attitude from the other business leaders.
They had what he calls “A Sense Of Urgency.”
Professor Kotter found that only when you have a spirit of urgency can you push your way through the admin and red tape. Only by acting with urgency can you get others to deliver on time. Only by being truly urgent in your dealings can you achieve significant things in a year.
The more you think about it, the more it makes sense. Urgency is the one thing that drives business projects forward quickly.
If you’re not urgent, people sense it and relax and move slowly. Things take ages to bear fruit. Mediocrity abounds.
The big question you may be asking of course is, are you performing with enough urgency?
Are you demanding enough? Of others, or indeed yourself?
Urgency is not an easy character trait to develop. The world doesn’t particularly like urgent people. They can seem rude. Pushy. Unreasonable. Yet being that way is often the only way to get stuff of consequence done.
As George Bernard Shaw so aptly put it, ” The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
There are several different types of urgency we should focus on if we want to achieve great things.
1. Urgency with strategic planning.
I know so many business owners who frequently procrastinate about choosing a company strategy. As a result of their strategic cowardice and complacency, they often get left behind in their industry.
(What have you been thinking about for too long? How about making a decision in the next 60 minutes on it?)
2. Urgency with other people.
Who owes you a report, product or idea? Why haven’t they sent it to you already? Do they really need that much time, or are they taking advantage of your leniency?
When you ask for a result with genuine urgency you usually move straight to the front of the other person’s line of important tasks. That’s where you deserve to be, must be, to get things done quickly.
3. Urgency in your own mind.
When I am coaching my business clients, I am always pushing them to cultivate great urgency in the way that they think. We need to see ourselves as highly time-sensitive, fast-achieving people. Only when we view ourselves this way are we likely to muster the energy and drive to make things happen at warp speed.
As the great American psychologist, William James, so often reminded us, we become what we consistently think about. If every day we have a self-image as somebody who has a real spirit of urgency, then soon we are likely to become that type of person.
So in conclusion, if you are not happy with the speed at which you are achieving in business, don’t just look at tactics, like sales, marketing, systems and the like. Spend at least as much time focusing on the one mindset that makes all the other stuff happen.
A real, deep, all-encompassing, powerful sense of urgency.
There’s a wonderful method for quickly increasing the profits of your company.
Invented around 40 years ago, it is still one of the most effective ways to take your company to a higher level.
It’s called the Theory Of Constraints and it was invented by an Israeli management expert named Eli Goldratt. It’s really simple. And really powerful.
Eli believed that every single company in the world has one main thing that is slowing its growth. He called it the ‘bottle neck’ that limits the company.
His way of breaking that bottleneck is as follows:
Locate the Constraint. What’s the one thing that most limits the growth of your company? Work that out and you are halfway there.
Make eliminating that bottleneck the primary role of the company. Focus as many people and resources as you can on this issue until you fix it.
Look for the next Constraint. In Goldratt’s experience, there is always a Constraint. It doesn’t matter if you are one of the fastest growing companies in the world, you are always being limited by something.
Your constant mission is to identify that limitation and then put massive effort into eliminating it.
In my experience as a coach to entrepreneurs and business leaders all over the world, I have found this technique to be a stunningly effective way to improve any company.
We so often get caught up handling the latest emergency or opportunity and forget to look deeper at fundamental elements that are slowing our company’s growth.
When you base your entire company around the Theory Of Constraints, you are always working on what you should be working on, and fast revenue growth is your almost constant companion.
What is your company’s main Constraint at the moment?
Attack it with all the resources you can, and watch how quickly your company’s revenue soars.
Well, believe it or not, we are officially halfway through the year!
That means you should be at least halfway to hitting your annual business goals.
So how are you going?
If you’re crushing it, congratulations.
If you’re feeling frustrated about your progress, I’m going to help you now.
I coach entrepreneurs from all over the world, and I can tell you that the ones that are doing poorly usually have these 3 characteristics:
1. They are not giving their business 100%.
I’m not just talking about working long hours, almost every entrepreneur does that. I’m talking about fully committing to your business.
Truly obsessing about improving every element of your company.
In my view, unless you are totally and utterly committed to making your business great, then usually the financial results will be pretty ordinary.
2. They don’t have an organized marketing system.
Unless your company is literally famous in its area, you need to have a marketing system to consistently bring in customers.
Most companies practice ‘Hope Marketing’… they just open their doors each day and hope potential clients will contact them.
You will get some growth purely based on your reputation or your online search ranking, but stellar profits only come from methodically running a system to generate prospects and convert them into paying customers.
3. They don’t use their time well.
We all have 168 hours every week. The reason one person is a billionaire and another is struggling usually comes down to how they are using their time.
It truly amazes me that most business owners will go through a 40-year career without bothering to learn systems for being super productive.
Many just come to work each day and look around for things to do.
You must, must, must prioritize your time and focus intently on the tiny amount of activities that will gain and keep customers.
We are halfway through the year. If you want 2022 to end well financially, please spend some time thinking about these 3 areas – and score yourself on each one of them.
Then make some changes fast.
The first half of this year was over in a flash. The second half will be gone just as quickly.
I’ve started using an unusual technique that is really lifting my performance in business and life generally. Maybe it can help you too.
I call it the Movie Method and it consists of a simple psychological game.
All-day long, pretend that a movie crew is following you around filming you.
It may seem like a bizarre thing to do, but I’ve found it quickly improves how well you perform.
When you perceive that a top film crew is filming your every move, you do everything better.
You don’t waste time. You don’t eat crap. You don’t go down rabbit holes on the internet. You don’t get angry or unreasonable with people you’re speaking with. You feel more uplifted. You feel more professional, more high level and much more motivated.
And you come across to others as more engaged and interesting, even charismatic.
I know it sounds a little weird, but just try it and see for yourself.
I guarantee your performance will improve. Within one hour.
The reality is that almost all of us perform better when we know someone important is watching. We instantly lift our standards.
Well, imagine that you performed at that higher standard every day of the week.
That’s what consistently practicing the Movie Method can do for you.
Keep acting like you’re excellent, and eventually it will become normal for you to perform like that.
As the legendary Hollywood actor Cary Grant once put it, “I acted like Cary Grant for so long that I became him.”