A POWERFUL WAY TO THINK DURING THE CORONAVIRUS

We’ve all been under huge pressure over the last few weeks.

And many business leaders have become depressed.

It’s understandable. Revenue has collapsed for most companies, and many clients have stopped spending.

If you are feeling down and disempowered, then today I’d like to show you a different way of thinking that is enormously helpful in turbulent times.

It’s a mental technique that almost instantly improves your business, lifts your mood, and gets you feeling like you’re back in control again.

Here it is:

Stop focusing on your company’s results (which are probably bad right now) and start focusing on your own personal performance each day.

Literally change the game, so that the primary thing you think about all day is whether YOU are performing well, not just your business.

Here’s how you do it:

Define what being excellent as a company leader looks like. What are the behaviors of a CEO who is superb? Write them down on paper.

Attempt to be like that person all day long. Keep coming back to that list through the day and do your best to exhibit the character traits of somebody who is a truly world class business person.

Evaluate yourself at the end of the day. How well did you be that person? Where were you strong and where were you weak? Which areas do you need to work on tomorrow?

At night frequently see yourself as already being that person. The mind is a mysteriously powerful thing. The more you act as if you have certain personal traits the more you develop them.

What’s great about this mental technique is that it improves your performance at work very quickly. Easily within an hour.

It also is a game you can win every day- you don’t need anyone else’s help, you don’t need someone to find a cure for the Coronavirus. You just need to be excellent, as you have defined it.

Make this your primary aim each day and you’ll start to feel amazing, and your business will rise to a whole new level.

Use this amazing technique from the Navy Seals to stay strong

Obviously things are pretty tough for us all during this Coronavirus situation.

So today I want to give you a technique used by the Navy Seals to help keep you fighting strong.

It’s a very subtle technique, and even people who have studied how the Seals teams work may not have picked up the importance of it.

Here is their brilliant technique:

The Navy Seals have an entirely different way of thinking about hardship.

They pride themselves on being tougher than any hardship. It’s literally conditioned into their minds to not only be ambivalent about their discomfort, but to actually take pride in it.

This highly unusual attitude is summed up perfectly in the Navy Seals motto:

‘The only easy day was yesterday’.

Think about that motto for a moment.

Of all the mottos that this elite fighting unit could have chosen, they picked one that was totally centered around their ability to handle hardship easily.

That motto basically says:

‘Tough times? Bring it on! Let’s make tomorrow even harder! I don’t care. I am so freakin tough it doesn’t phase me. I fully expect the days coming up to be even harder and I’m totally fine with it! In fact I’ll excel in it!’

Can you see how unusual that is as a way of thinking?

Can you also see how powerful it would be if you adopted the same mindset when it comes to your business, and your life, during this Coronavirus pandemic?

Look, these hard times aren’t going to stop any time soon.

So you have two choices:

You can complain and get depressed about it all.

Or you can start thinking like a Navy Seal, and say “Bring it on! I’m 100 times mentally tougher than this or any other disaster!”

This is a very, very effective way to think, and I urge you to adapt it immediately.

The big mistake you are probably making

Every week I mentor numerous entrepreneurs and business leaders, of all different types.

But they are almost all guilty of making a serious mistake when it comes to how they grow their company.

I wouldn’t mind betting you are making the same mistake.

What is this error that so many make?

Not following up on sales leads.

The guy you met 4 months ago that seemed interested in what your company offered.

That girl at a party who said she knew someone who needed your services.

That lead that just went dark…and then you gave up on it.

That meeting that went so well… and then the opportunity seemed to evaporate.

These are all opportunities to bring in revenue, but so many of us forget about them and just chase the latest hot enquiry or opportunity.

Don’t do this.

If they haven’t said a clear NO to you, stay in touch, keep following up. Continue to offer them value.

Send them case studies, or educate them on what’s happening in your industry. Or make more offers to them. Or just re- connect and ask how they’re doing.

These leads are not dead. They are very much alive, and waiting for you to resuscitate them.

Right now there are at least 3 people you have not followed up with lately, who would give you money if you did.

Go get ‘em.

Stop being a slave to your clients

We all want to offer good customer service.

But too often I see business owners go way too far.

So many entrepreneurs treat the client (or potential client) as being superior to them.

When they phone us we feel we have to drop everything we’re doing and answer them.

When they ask us to deliver work within a ridiculous timeframe we gulp and say “Yes of course.”

When they ask for fee reductions we quickly give in.

We provide multiple solutions and let them choose, instead of telling them the best way to go.

And when we’re in meetings with them we let them lead the agenda.

These are all big mistakes. Behaving this way is not customer service, it is subservience and weakness.

(Even though I know you have the best intentions by doing it – you simply want the client to be happy.)

Now of course, we have to service clients well and efficiently. And deliver an excellent result in a reasonable time period.

But letting them take control and take the dominant role in the relationship does damage to your business in two ways.

Once they sense they are the ’boss’ of the relationship they usually increase their demands of you. You slowly end up doing more for less, much quicker.

Their respect for you diminishes.

Remember this: What they really want is a trusted advisor who is their equal. Someone who clearly knows more about a particular area than they do, and so can counsel them wisely, saving or making them a fortune, or at least making their life much easier.

You don’t earn their respect by bowing down to them all the time.

You earn it by being excellent, sure of yourself, behaving like a true industry expert, being strong with them when they are wrong and leading them throughout your journey together so that they get an optimal result.

Yes you are warm and friendly. But you are also elite- behaving as an eminent expert, not a sycophantic slave in need of their money.

Be strong with them. Lead them. And treat yourself as a true industry paragon.

Believe me, it will be far more attractive to them. And far more lucrative for you.

3 questions that will make your business much more successful.

If your business is growing slowly, There’s one thing you need to understand.

It’s not the fault of the industry you are in. Or the economy. Or the time of year. Or even what your competitors are doing.

The problem is you.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying each of those elements are not factors in your success. But the reality is there are other entrepreneurs in your industry that are experiencing some or all of these issues, but they are still growing their companies fast

So the first step is to look in the mirror and accept personal responsibility for your results. And the second step is to clearly identify and fix the issues, so you can start growing again.

When I coach entrepreneurs, I like to start by asking a series of questions to identify the weak points in how they are running their companies.

In today’s blog I’ll give you 3 of these questions to ask yourself.

Spend just 3 minutes on each question- don’t overthink it. And in under 10 minutes you will have a much better idea about what you should do next to grow your company’s revenue fast.

Question 1.
Do you have a successful, systematic marketing system to bring in leads?

If you’re relying on referrals, your revenue will always be up and down and you will spend a lot of time this year being stressed about it. You must supplement business from referrals with an organized marketing system.

Question 2.
Do you spend a meaningful amount of time each week on your own marketing?

Some people have a marketing system, but they just don’t consistently dedicate enough time to running it. You can have a $2 million Bugatti sports car in your garage, but if you don’t get in it and drive, you will be beaten to your destination by any Toyota Corolla. If finding new revenue is something you do only when you have some spare time, low growth is virtually certain.

Question 3.
Are you regularly refining and improving that system?

Perhaps you have a marketing system and it’s going okay, even pretty well. But if you don’t work on improving your results, you are leaving literally millions of dollars of potential revenue on the table.

I have often seen entrepreneurs double or even triple their results by making minor tweaks to their marketing efforts.

For now, these are the most important questions to ask yourself.

One last thing:

When you get the answers, do something immediately to start addressing the main weak point you identify. Literally in the 30 minutes afterward.

Momentum is a powerful thing. And your revenue growth is a far too important issue to leave to another day.

Making this year better than the last

By now the excitement of a brand new year is beginning to calm down, and we are left with the day to day running of our businesses.

If we are not careful, everything will go back to what it was last year.

Same performance. Same attitude. Same financial results.

You must resist this, with all your might.

Hoping for a better year is not enough. You need to develop an actual plan that you can run day in and day out, that will not just increase your chances of success this year, but virtually guarantee it.

The plan is different for every business, but in today’s blog I want to give you some elements that you should use to create that plan:

1.Your Optimization list.

What are you already currently doing in your business that could improve?

Look at what you’re doing in every area of your company: sales, marketing, delivery, customer service, team, administration.

How could you make each area a bit better? Put your thoughts down on paper, then start work on the top 3 most impactful strategies. (The rest can wait until you’ve done the most vital ones).

2. Your Innovation list.

What totally new things could you try in each area of your business?

New product offerings, new staff, new regions you could sell in, new revenue streams you could test, new back office systems you could introduce, new advertising mediums you could try.

Collate your ideas, then again, pick the 3 most valuable innovations and take action on them.

3. Your Being list.

Now, what type of person would you have to become, for this year to be the most profitable of your life?

What attitude changes would you need? How would your self image need to be refined? What character flaws are holding you back that you need to focus on and eradicate?

You cannot achieve lasting major improvements in your business if you continue to function at the same level of being as you have been.

Your dollar earning potential is intimately related to your level of internal development, yet few entrepreneurs seek to improve their inner selves.

Creating each of these 3 lists probably only takes 20 minutes each. Yet virtually no entrepreneurs have ever done it. You will almost certainly be the only person in your industry that evaluates opportunities for your company’s growth in this comprehensive way.

But if you do this (and consistently move forward on the best strategies that you conceive) the chances of you having a magnificent year are exceedingly high indeed.

5 concepts for success in 2020.

How can you make 2020 your best year ever?

Recently I was interviewed by one of Australia’s top company board experts, Kylie Hammond.

She asked me, “What are 5 things people can do to have an amazing business year in 2020?”

Attached below is my answer.

If you are committed to excellence in your business life, I think you’ll find the interview very valuable.

The interview is below.
Kylie Hammond interview

The importance of keeping your belief strong.

Growing a business is very tough mentally.

You sometimes doubt whether you’ll succeed.

You often blame yourself for mistakes.

You regularly get frustrated by slow progress.

And then there’s the boredom – running a business week in and week out can get really tedious at times.

No wonder entrepreneurs feel down on many occasions.

And that’s why it’s so crucial to keep your self belief strong – to do the mental work each day that keeps you motivated, inspired, persistent and effective.

(Please remember, that self belief doesn’t just happen – you have to work at it to maintain it).

When I coach entrepreneurs, I teach them a whole arsenal of cutting edge mental techniques to keep their confidence and belief uplifted, but today I want to talk about just one:

Daily reading of your Supporting Reasons.

Here’s how this mental technique works.

  1. You write down every valid reason that you can achieve your business goals. (For example: ‘I have ten years experience in this industry. I am excellent at selling. I really understand my field’, etc.).
  2. Then every morning before you start work, you read this list and remember why you are so good at what you do.

It’s such a simple technique, but it’s incredibly powerful at keeping your self belief strong.

If we only just remind ourselves of all the genuine reasons we can achieve something, we are far less likely to lose confidence, get unmotivated or give up.

But we have to do this regularly or we’ll forget – and self doubt can creep in.

I challenge you to do this technique every morning for the next 7 days.

You will be amazed at how much more confident you will become.

This 3 minute exercise will absolutely improve your business

Here’s a 3 minute exercise that will absolutely improve your business.

Step 1.
In the next 2 minutes, re-arrange the following 5 business growth areas in order of importance, for you:

  1. Getting new leads.
  2. Improving what you offer.
  3. Working out how to make more money from current clients.
  4. Leading your team better.
  5. Re-contacting old leads/customers.

Step 2.
Pick your top 2 most important areas, then block 5 hours in your calendar to do each of them, every week for the next 3 weeks.

Growing your business is often simpler than you may think.

But you must spend meaningful amounts of time on the few things that really matter.

Great advice from the 2 founders of Google.

This week I came across a very interesting document.

It’s a summary the two founders of Google ( Larry Page and Sergey Brin) made a few years after starting Google.

It’s got a lot of excellent advice on how to grow a great business.

What’s particularly interesting about their summary of thoughts, is that every few years they review and update them.

So a lot of thinking has gone into this short document.

As you’ll see below, not every point they make is relevant for your industry, some are directly related to online search business.

But most of what they say applies to any company that aspires to achieve excellence.

In my view, points 1,2, 3 and 10 are particularly powerful for all of us leading companies.

Enjoy….

Ten things we know to be true.
We first wrote these “10 things” when Google was just a few years old. From time to time we revisit this list to see if it still holds true. We hope it does—and you can hold us to that.

1. Focus on the user and all else will follow.
Since the beginning, we’ve focused on providing the best user experience possible. Whether we’re designing a new Internet browser or a new tweak to the look of the homepage, we take great care to ensure that they will ultimately serve you, rather than our own internal goal or bottom line. Our homepage interface is clear and simple, and pages load instantly. Placement in search results is never sold to anyone, and advertising is not only clearly marked as such, it offers relevant content and is not distracting. And when we build new tools and applications, we believe they should work so well you don’t have to consider how they might have been designed differently.

2. It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
We do search. With one of the world’s largest research groups focused exclusively on solving search problems, we know what we do well, and how we could do it better. Through continued iteration on difficult problems, we’ve been able to solve complex issues and provide continuous improvements to a service that already makes finding information a fast and seamless experience for millions of people. Our dedication to improving search helps us apply what we’ve learned to new products, like Gmail and Google Maps. Our hope is to bring the power of search to previously unexplored areas, and to help people access and use even more of the ever-expanding information in their lives.

3. Fast is better than slow.
We know your time is valuable, so when you’re seeking an answer on the web you want it right away–and we aim to please. We may be the only people in the world who can say our goal is to have people leave our website as quickly as possible. By shaving excess bits and bytes from our pages and increasing the efficiency of our serving environment, we’ve broken our own speed records many times over, so that the average response time on a search result is a fraction of a second. We keep speed in mind with each new product we release, whether it’s a mobile application or Google Chrome, a browser designed to be fast enough for the modern web. And we continue to work on making it all go even faster.

4. Democracy on the web works.
Google search works because it relies on the millions of individuals posting links on websites to help determine which other sites offer content of value. We assess the importance of every web page using more than 200 signals and a variety of techniques, including our patented PageRank™ algorithm, which analyzes which sites have been “voted” to be the best sources of information by other pages across the web. As the web gets bigger, this approach actually improves, as each new site is another point of information and another vote to be counted. In the same vein, we are active in open source software development, where innovation takes place through the collective effort of many programmers.

5. You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
The world is increasingly mobile: people want access to information wherever they are, whenever they need it. We’re pioneering new technologies and offering new solutions for mobile services that help people all over the globe to do any number of tasks on their phone, from checking email and calendar events to watching videos, not to mention the several different ways to access Google search on a phone. In addition, we’re hoping to fuel greater innovation for mobile users everywhere with Android, a free, open source mobile platform. Android brings the openness that shaped the Internet to the mobile world. Not only does Android benefit consumers, who have more choice and innovative new mobile experiences, but it opens up revenue opportunities for carriers, manufacturers and developers.

6. You can make money without doing evil.
Google is a business. The revenue we generate is derived from offering search technology to companies and from the sale of advertising displayed on our site and on other sites across the web. Hundreds of thousands of advertisers worldwide use AdWords to promote their products; hundreds of thousands of publishers take advantage of our AdSense program to deliver ads relevant to their site content. To ensure that we’re ultimately serving all our users (whether they are advertisers or not), we have a set of guiding principles for our advertising programs and practices:

We don’t allow ads to be displayed on our results pages unless they are relevant where they are shown. And we firmly believe that ads can provide useful information if, and only if, they are relevant to what you wish to find–so it’s possible that certain searches won’t lead to any ads at all.

We believe that advertising can be effective without being flashy. We don’t accept pop–up advertising, which interferes with your ability to see the content you’ve requested. We’ve found that text ads that are relevant to the person reading them draw much higher clickthrough rates than ads appearing randomly. Any advertiser, whether small or large, can take advantage of this highly targeted medium.

Advertising on Google is always clearly identified as a “Sponsored Link,” so it does not compromise the integrity of our search results. We never manipulate rankings to put our partners higher in our search results and no one can buy better PageRank. Our users trust our objectivity and no short-term gain could ever justify breaching that trust.

7. There’s always more information out there.
Once we’d indexed more of the HTML pages on the Internet than any other search service, our engineers turned their attention to information that was not as readily accessible. Sometimes it was just a matter of integrating new databases into search, such as adding a phone number and address lookup and a business directory. Other efforts required a bit more creativity, like adding the ability to search news archives, patents, academic journals, billions of images and millions of books. And our researchers continue looking into ways to bring all the world’s information to people seeking answers.

8. The need for information crosses all borders.
Our company was founded in California, but our mission is to facilitate access to information for the entire world, and in every language. To that end, we have offices in more than 60 countries, maintain more than 180 Internet domains, and serve more than half of our results to people living outside the United States. We offer Google’s search interface in more than 130 languages, offer people the ability to restrict results to content written in their own language, and aim to provide the rest of our applications and products in as many languages and accessible formats as possible. Using our translation tools, people can discover content written on the other side of the world in languages they don’t speak. With these tools and the help of volunteer translators, we have been able to greatly improve both the variety and quality of services we can offer in even the most far–flung corners of the globe.

9. You can be serious without a suit.
Our founders built Google around the idea that work should be challenging, and the challenge should be fun. We believe that great, creative things are more likely to happen with the right company culture–and that doesn’t just mean lava lamps and rubber balls. There is an emphasis on team achievements and pride in individual accomplishments that contribute to our overall success. We put great stock in our employees–energetic, passionate people from diverse backgrounds with creative approaches to work, play and life. Our atmosphere may be casual, but as new ideas emerge in a café line, at a team meeting or at the gym, they are traded, tested and put into practice with dizzying speed–and they may be the launch pad for a new project destined for worldwide use.

10. Great just isn’t good enough.
We see being great at something as a starting point, not an endpoint. We set ourselves goals we know we can’t reach yet, because we know that by stretching to meet them we can get further than we expected. Through innovation and iteration, we aim to take things that work well and improve upon them in unexpected ways. For example, when one of our engineers saw that search worked well for properly spelled words, he wondered about how it handled typos. That led him to create an intuitive and more helpful spell checker.

Even if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, finding an answer on the web is our problem, not yours. We try to anticipate needs not yet articulated by our global audience, and meet them with products and services that set new standards. When we launched Gmail, it had more storage space than any email service available. In retrospect offering that seems obvious–but that’s because now we have new standards for email storage. Those are the kinds of changes we seek to make, and we’re always looking for new places where we can make a difference. Ultimately, our constant dissatisfaction with the way things are becomes the driving force behind everything we do.