The two biggest mistakes people make building a business.

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 one 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.

The surprising difference between winners and losers.

I have spent three decades studying successful people.

I’ve been fascinated by what makes one person more successful than another.

I have well over one thousand books on the subject.

And I’ve read a mountain of research studies on top performers – and how they became that way.

Now, as you can imagine, the answer is not simple. There are numerous elements that you need to succeed in any field:

You have to work hard. But interestingly, hard work is not enough.

There are literally billions of people working very hard without becoming particularly successful.

You have to have some intelligence. But I have met countless multi millionaires who aren’t particularly smarter than the people around them.

You have to provide a product or service that is seen as useful to your target market.

But walk into any shop and you’ll see plenty of quite mediocre products selling very well indeed. So by no means do you have to offer anything spectacular to succeed in business.

No, in all my years of study of what makes somebody successful, I believe it comes down to three elements.

  1. You must aim high. Successful people seek to achieve at a level far higher than most people choose to. Because they go for it, they are much more likely to get it.
  2. You must maintain belief that you will succeed at your goal for a long period of time.
    Almost all business success comes slowly- no matter what the business magazines and guru’s on social media say. Successful people stay the course longer than average performers.
  3. You must be endlessly flexible in overcoming obstacles. There’s a massive myth about highly successful people; that they has it easier, or were luckier than others.

Actually, usually, the opposite is the case. Most successful people have had far more failures than unsuccessful people.

But they persist. And more than that, they persist intelligently. Calmly evaluating their results and then changing their approach, until they unlock the combination lock to victory in their field.

It is my belief that in the long run, you can very accurately predict your own success. By evaluating how strongly you have these three behavioral traits.

So, how would you rank yourself out of Ten, for each of them?

Don’t be despondent if your score is low. Just start focusing on improving your score in each of the three crucial areas.

Merely by focusing on improving how you perform with these traits each and every day will hugely increase your results in business. And life.

In the long run, success is quite predictable. Do the three things in this blog and it is well nigh impossible not to succeed at a higher level than most people.

Don’t do them and it could be a tough road.

My thoughts on parents being entrepreneurs- the stress for males.

People don’t talk about this enough.

As a parent, it can be terribly stressful to run a company.

You not only have to grow the company (which, let’s face it, is pretty difficult).

You have to do it working much less hours per week than entrepreneurs without families. (Because you’ve got to get home to the kids).

You also have to deal with the guilt that comes with doing neither job well- there’s never enough time to work on your business and never enough time to be a  parent.

To say it’s tough for parent entrepreneurs is an understatement.

In today’s blog I write about the challenges men, in particular, have with this.

I call it ‘The Man Crunch’.

For many years the stress women in the workplace have felt has been greatly discussed, and rightly so. But comparatively little has been written from the man’s side.

If you are a parent entrepreneur (or might soon be one) I think you’ll find this blog very useful.

There are some great tips in there.

You can read it here:

How to believe in yourself

Running a business is hard. Super hard.

Even when things are going well- which for most company founders is not that often.

There are two overarching reasons why entrepreneurship is so tough.

As company leaders, there is a very wide variety of things we have to do well, versus someone who just works as an employee.

As a result of Point 1, there are many more things that can and do go wrong.

These two points together cause huge amounts of stress for most business owners.

That’s why Self Belief is so important.

Unless you maintain a powerful self belief that you will prevail over the endless obstacles and win, you will be crushed by the ever challenging stresses of life in business.

As an entrepreneur, your confidence must be protected at all times.

It’s a vital component of long term business success, and it absolutely appalls me that none of the leading business schools in the world emphasize it’s importance.

But it’s one thing to accept the need to maintain self belief, it’s another to be able to do it.

Like everything else in life worth having, self belief usually doesn’t occur naturally and of its own volition.

It must be worked on, cultivated and enhanced.

As a mentor and coach to many entrepreneurs and business leaders, I often have to help people increase their self belief that they can achieve their business dreams. 

I use many techniques to do that, but in this blog, I’m going to give you two that work particularly well.

Create a clear, positive, future vision of yourself.

The truth is, but most people operate almost entirely in the present and the past.

All day long they handle immediate issues ( the present), while in between their minds keep dwelling on past events, experiences, results and feelings. They are present and past based.

Precious little time is spent by most people thinking about, clarifying and imagining their future. They have very weak future based selves.

But it’s only when you have a clear and exciting vision of your future that you can develop the self belief to handle the often treacherous storms of today. You need a very strong future based vision of yourself to not be affected by present day adversity.

Think about that future vision constantly.

At work, at home, and consistently during the day and night.

Only when the clear, positive, future vision of You is constantly focused on does it begin to change your self belief, and your everyday actions. Which soon improves your results.

Successful business leaders have a strong vision of their future themselves, and think about it endlessly.

Poor business performers have a very cloudy future self vision, and think about it rarely. 

In fact most of the time their vision of themselves in the future is full of worry and consternation.

Please do not underestimate the importance of self belief in business success.

And do not underestimate the power of those two techniques to achieve it.

Why you should reduce your work hours by 20 percent

I know, I know, you’ve never been busier. So how could you justify working 20 percent less? Well I believe there’s a good chance you’d be much more successful if you did.

So how could you justify working 20 percent less? Well I believe there’s a good chance you’d be much more successful if you did.

Put your disbelief aside for a moment and consider the benefits of dramatically reducing your time spent on the job.

Firstly, you would be forced to be more efficient.

Look, I’ve been mentoring entrepreneurs and CEO’s for over 11 years, and I can count on the fingers of a donkey’s hoof how many are using their time to it’s maximum potential.

The reality is everyone could do their work faster and more effectively.

Reducing your work hours forces that efficiency. Conversely, knowing you can work long hours usually makes you work slower- after all, you’ve got the time up your sleeve, there’s little pressure to complete your tasks.

Secondly it would make you re-think how you did things.

We all get into ruts. And what’s not broken rarely gets improved. If you had to radically eliminate a fifth of your working time you would need to quickly re-evaluate how your and your team members operated.

That mental reset could easily lead to some major breakthroughs in how you and your company operates.

Thirdly it would increase the most valuable asset you have- thinking time.

The business world today seems almost designed to eliminate time to sit quietly and contemplate your business operations. That lack of contemplation time is very costly.

The fact is that many of the greatest breakthroughs in corporate history may never have happened if the leader of the company did not take time away form the hustle and grind of office life to just think.

You can’t create that quality thinking time if you’re working all the time. But if you were forced to leave work earlier and spend more time walking in the park, or meeting friends, or just relaxing in whatever way you choose, I bet you would come up with a lot more great ideas. Some could even transform your business.

So before you pull another late night shift, ask yourself whether it is really the most intelligent strategy.

Yes, working long hours is more likely to alleviate your show term problems, but great companies are not built by solving the temporary. 

They are built by having a handful of clever ideas, and executing them superbly.

So to give yourself the best chance of having those crucial game changing ideas, try working less. And thinking more.

This is one of those rare cases where the most pleasant strategy is also the best.

Lessons From This Week’s INC 500 List of Fastest Growing Companies

The new INC 500 list of America’s fastest growing companies just came out.

It’s full of fascinating statistics about these top performing young companies.

Here’s some stats that I thought you might find interesting:

39% said running their business has had negative effects on their health.

30% had already had children before starting their companies.

59% worked at a corporation before they started their business. (10% started it direct from college and 9% came from start ups).

Interestingly 46% of the founders have made investments in other start ups.

54% have policies in place to support remote workers.

68% give their employees different jobs to help their development. (23% reimburse money their staff spend on training)

59% said finding good staff was one of their biggest issues. (We can all relate to that one).

And when it came to getting the funds to start their businesses, 74% got it from their personal savings, 20% from loans from family and friends, and surprisingly 22% got it from credit cards.

45% used less than $5000 to start their company. 19% used between $10,000 to $50,000.

Only 4% of the Inc 500 its got their start up funds from venture capital. And even now 47% have never sought out VC money.

Finally, when it comes to their exit plan, 42% aim to sell to another company, 13% to investors and 20% haven’t even thought about it.

For me, the stats that stand out are the ones about their original capital raising. Clearly most of them did not use a lot of money to start their company. And they still did pretty well.

A great idea, good people and hard work is usually much more important than funds.

We should strive to get most of our growth from our company’s cashflow.

How do you define genuine success?

What does Success mean to you?

It such an important question.

If you don’t take the time to answer it for yourself, you could end up feeling miserable about your entire life.

But if you get really, really clear about what genuine Success means to you, then you can design your life so that you achieve a level of happiness way higher than the average person.

The brilliant philosopher, speaker and entrepreneur, Joseph Rodarick Law, addressed this issue in his magnificent new book, ‘Authentic Power And Greatness’.

He interviewed some of the leading people in the world- everyone from high level monks to famous authors, and asked them what genuine Success meant to them.

I was fortunate that I was one of the people he also interviewed.

So if you’d like to read what all these people’s advice was for leading a truly Successful life, click to the article below:

There are some very elegant and powerful answers, that could really help you define your own answer to that all important question:

‘What is a successful life?’

3 Questions to Ask Yourself to Increase Your Revenue

This is my shortest blog ever.

But if you put the concepts I’m about to suggest into action you could make a large amount of money in the next 60 days.

Here’s what I want you to do.

Allocate 30 minutes and sit undisturbed with a pen and paper.

Then spend 10 minutes thinking about each of these questions:

  1. What got me business before and how can I do more of it?
  2. How can I justify charging more?
  3. How can I reduce the risk of someone buying from me?

Then, take immediate action on what you come up with.

Business transformation needn’t take a long time.

It can happen in minutes.

How to Build a Business Wealth Machine

You may be worried by how your company is going.

You may wonder whether it will grow and prosper.

But it’s important that you understand that creating an awesomely profitable company is not a matter of luck.

Making millions from your company should be highly systematic.

I have built 4 multi- million dollar companies in a row. I also co-founded the 15th biggest marketing services group in the world.

I have personally made several tens of millions of dollars from building my own companies.

And these days, other than investing my own money, I spend all day mentoring business owners like you.

So without wanting to brag, I really do know a lot about how to grow a company.

If you want to be sure your company is going to have a fabulous future, you must make sure you do each one of the list below:

  • Have a reliable method of systematically brining in quality leads. (Most entrepreneurs just rely on referrals and reputation).
  • Spend meaningful amounts of time each week doing effective outbound marketing. (Most business owners have no consistent outbound, and so don’t actually connect with many prospects over the course of a year).
  • Have a superb ‘stay in touch’ system. Most people don’t realize that most of the money is made at this stage.
  • Do things in a clearly different way to your competitors. (Here’s the crazy thing: most potential clients cannot actually tell any difference between you and your competitors- they all look the same to them.
  • Deliver on what you say, by when you say it. (Missed deadlines are the beginning of lost trust between the client and your company).
  • And deliver a product or service that works.

That’s it folks.

Just do those 6 things every week and you are almost certain to make a large amount of money from your company.

So, the big question is, are you doing all six? 

If not, which ones are you weak on?

It’s really important to get all six right. If you are missing just one of them, I cannot guarantee your success as a business owner. Your financial future could be painful.

But get all six right and you can become supremely wealthy. Really.

So please, focus on these and develop every one of them to a high standard of excellence.

And if you need any help building a highly profitable company, book a free session with me.

You can book one here.

(All I ask is that to qualify for a session, you must have an active business that turns over at least $100,000 a year.)

I’ll listen carefully to you describe what you are doing now, and then I’ll give you an exact plan on what you need to change and how to turn your company into a wealth machine.

Book your free session with me here.

The 90/10 Rule. A Fabulous Way to Be More Productive

If you want to succeed in business, it’s absolutely vital that you maximize your productivity.

In this short video, I explain a really unusual but supremely effective way to get a lot more done.

I call it The 90/10 Rule.

When you use the 90/10 Rule, you will handle problems at work a lot more efficiently.

You’ll stop focusing on what’s going wrong in your business. You’ll significantly reduce your stress.

And you’ll massively increase your confidence.

I explain how The 90/10 Rule works here:

So give the technique a try today.

It will make a huge difference to how much you achieve.

And to how happy you are.