Click on the tapestry to continue.
Is a bit like a powerpoint – but giving the reader ability to change the page on a website/slide.
In marketing – Same is Lame.
Woody Allen – who made some vaguely interesting and successful films last century apparently said “Eighty percent of success is showing up.”
There are some interesting histories to this “eighty percent” idea – including the overly quoted Pareto Principle. The concept is pretty simple on the surface – and includes “(Approximately) 80% of your success comes from a small percentage of your actions (eg 20%)”
Stay with here while I do some interesting maths – but it will make sense at the end.
If we just accept for now that 20% of our time produces 80% of our success – let’s 20/80 those numbers, and we get 20% of 20% gives 4% and 80% of 80% gives 64%. This results in 4% giving 64%. So 4% of your actions give you 64% of your success.
We can repeat the maths and we see that approx 1% of actions gives 51% of success. Now, without getting hung up on the calculations – focus on the principle that a small proportion of our total actions produces a majority of the outcome.
Before we get to Julius Caesar – consider what you do at the start of EVERY day. You either consider your purpose, goals, and actions for the day – or you do not. Right now – Give yourself a score out of 10 for how well you do this at the beginning of each work day.
I am now going to suggest there is specifically meaningful use for Woody Allen’s “showing up”. What if “showing up” means becoming present, remembering then committing to the purpose of why you are there (today) and what is important to act on (today). The degree to which we know why we are there, and doing the important things is our score on “showing up”.
Showing up does NOT include working hard reactively to what happens to you in the day. It is not about just being excellent as react. It IS about RESPONDING to what happens in your day – after filtering it through your purpose for being there.
Now mash in Julius Caesar “I came, I saw, I conquered.”
The Big J showed up. He knew why he was there – something to do with world domination and addiction to power…
He saw – he considered the environment – and then he applied massive, consistent, focused action (conquered). Not just every now and then – but every day – probably even hourly. He would have been immersed in his purpose to such a degree there was absolutely NO DOUBT what meant to be.
Review NOW your score out of 10 for “showing up” at your business, job or role. How does your score compare to Julius Caesar? Would your daily power change if your “invoked” JC during your preparation for your day? Is it likely that more of the vital 1% or 4% or 20% that give you the majority of your success would get done?
You could even imagine that instead of a little angel on your shoulder guiding you to do the right thing – you had an angel who was invoking Julius Caesar and making your constantly consider why you were there, and where your most powerful leverage actually is? If you had “no choice” but to focus your attention on your purpose constantly – or a little angel with a Roman short sword would stab you in the ear – how much would your effective productivity multiply?
The best part of this is that you can even get 4% of your working time focused – it will make a vast difference to your bottom line results. It may simply mean that you move from “doing things right” to “doing the right things right”.
Choose to have a prolific week! If you are going to invest your time in your business (or profession or life) – it actually takes LESS work to make it ROCK. It is hard work struggling. It is draining. It is not fun. So change and decide to get legendary – or if it feels better to you – decide to “not be in a sucky place” anymore.
In Part 1 of this series (Here) we discovered that struggling is a choice.
Struggle is a mind state – and we sometimes choose to remain in the struggle state – even when we become (again) aware of it.
And in our first part it was simply suggested that we increase our awareness of it, uncover what benefits having a solid story about “how hard we are working/tough we are doing it” give us, and then decide (and commit) to doing struggle less.
On occasions I will meet up with business owners at random social events, and “chit-chat” will reveal they are “struggling”.
Over the years my approach to these conversations has changed dramatically. Initially my head would immediately move to questions that suggest ways to improve their business lots. Over time, decades even, I realized that the first step was not to find the answer to their marketing or systems or cashflow or whatever.
The first step was to uncover if they wanted something other than what they were getting. In the absence of desire for a change – it is irrelevant (and frustration creating) to attempt to guide or advise anyone on anything. I am sure you know what I mean.
Think of someone who has a problem to which you know a great solution. It might be health, it might fertilizing a lawn, it might be tuning a car that blows black smoke. YOU know your solution will work – yet the person who “needs” it – just wont even give it a decent go.
I call this “Rejected Help Syndrome”. And what it does is affect YOU more than the “problems” of the person you want to help affects them. This means that you try to “help”, they listen but then do nothing different. This affects YOUR state – you may become bitter and twisted about it. You may even choose to stop offering to help people.
The answer for me? Never offer a solution unless I have confirmed that the other person has confirmed they are wanting to change or transform. Nope – just keep quiet.
What has this to do with “struggle”? Hang loose Mother Goose – we will get there soon!
So – now when normal conversation leads to someone admitting (often proudly like a badge of honour) that they are struggling (valiantly struggling) – I simply take a sip of my drink, nod if appropriate, and count to 20.
There is a saying that people do not like to be wakened. Having a nap, or just daydreaming. You are sitting in school, staring peaceably out the window, calm quiet reverie. WHAM the teacher slams a book on your desk and loudly spouts “Will you be joining us today Mr Hooper?” Does that cause me to have kind thoughts about the teacher, or be in a better state for learning?
While a friend (or acquaintance) is reliving how tough things are for them, rebuilding and strengthening their “hero” status in their story – “grinding” and “battling” and “inching one step forward and two steps back” – they are ASLEEP. In a sense anyway.
They are in their own movies. In a cinema you can forget you are sitting there watching – your attention and awareness are IN the movie. Being woken from your own movie is NOT likely to be happy with the person who WOKE you.
And some smart arse at a Barbecue who responds to your dismal tale of struggle with comments like “Wow, awesome. How are you managing to get such constant poor results? My clients are all kicking butt all the way to the bank. Why did you choose to struggle instead of doing things properly? Maybe you should write a book on how to struggle in any economy?”
And there you have the school teacher slamming the dreaming student. The person behind you talking loudly in the movies – causing your attention to fall out of the movie. Or just someone waking you on a long flight just after you nodded off to serve you a meal at midnight. Are you going to listen closely – or are you going to defend you story, your position, your reasons.
There is a saying that “when the student is ready, the teacher appears”.
I think more accurately that when student is awake, the paths to solutions appear. And to get the solution – I have to take a step along the path. Movement is essential. When I take even one decisive step, I TRANSFORM our view of my world and myself.
And that is the secret to Part 2 of Escaping The Struggle of Work.
Transform only those who are ready and willing to be transformed. And this includes ourselves.
In reference to the “act of struggle” – if YOU have been struggling – and all of us do to some degree – then look a full-length mirror and ask yourself “Am I awake to struggle, and ready and willing to be transformed?”
And the path to freedom from struggle of work will appear, ready for your first easy steps. (Part 3 soon, so be sure to subscribe).
uʍop ǝpısdn sɐʍ pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ǝɥʇ – sɹǝʇndɯoɔ ǝƃuɐɥɔ oʇ pɐɥ
and then everything went backwards
ɥɐp ʇo ɔɥɐuƃǝ ɔoɯdnʇǝɹs – ʇɥǝ ʞǝʎqoɐɹp ʍɐs ndsıpǝ poʍu
Because the answer is a very strong predictor of your future.
From decades past comes the term: “I knew he/she would end up badly – he was mixed up with a bad crowd.”
You may have been told about concepts like “Your income will average to around that of the 5 people you most associate with.”
Network science infers that not only do our friends have immense effects on our self perception/image – but staggeringly – the friends of our friends exert even more impact on us than our friends do directly.
For example – if the friends of your friends smoke cigarettes (or drink alcohol to excess, or are more obese than average, or ANY variable you can name) – then YOU are strongly affected by that. If you want to stop smoking – ensure that your friends (and their friends) are NON-SMOKERS…
In your business – do you hang with people (and their friends) who accept that you cannot excel in a tough economic environment? Maybe they accept that having a business that is not thriving is “OK”?
Consider the way that schools of fish suddenly change direction – the pressure on any individual fish to conform for the safety of the school is enormous. In the same way – the associates of your direct associates keep YOU in the behaviour that protects the group.
Click Image To Play Video
Trouble is that “being safe” can mean not achieving.
Take time now to consider your full network – and decide whether your current exposure to group culture is in your benefit – or if now is a great time to made some “adjustments”.
Ps – also consider the implications of this idea for your marketing…
In this article:
1. What stops you from achieving your stated goals
2. The only way you can actually fail to achieve once you have a reliable strategy and an action schedule
3. A secret about airplane food selection that improves your communication skills.
So, just for fun I am changing the format of this website. Look for differences over the next couple of weeks. The themes to the changes – “People resist unwelcome attempts to persuade them”, “People cannot resist what they cannot detect”, and “People sometimes believe what they are told – but always believe what they conclude”. These are borrowed from a master persuader Blair Warren.
There will be nothing sinister or damaging to anyone, and I will share the results with you when we finish stage one. You will enjoy that.
Now – a simple quote from Jordon Belfort – the wolf of wall street:
The way I see it, with reference to whether you continuing to act in the direction of your goal or not, there are TWO STORIES in our heads.
First story is why you are doing the prescribed actions. You know – why you are keeping on doing the steps needed.
Second story is why you “should” stop following the program. You know – the “becauses”. Stop because you are tired, you are not sure it will work anyway, it is raining/cold/hot, you found something more interesting or maybe works better, it is expensive, no one cares, you don’t think you can get to the end anyway, your friends are visiting, you have not seen results yet (after 3 days), etc etc.
So think of these stories as being on a see-saw.
When story one has the balance – you continue. When story two in your head has enough weight – you stop. This means as soon as your STOP story is good enough – you will give yourself permission to stop.
So – you want the single “secret” to goal achievement? Providing your strategy is valid – there is only one way you can not reach your goal. Are you ready – only three words.
Alter your approach from “just keep going” to “don’t freaking stop!” And the simple way to do that?
Are you ready?
Become aware of when you are creating the “Stop Story” in your head – and replace it with your “Goal Story (why you are doing it). You know – you are lying in bed rehearsing the reasons for not going to the gym – STOP it. Because as soon as the story you are rehearsing has enough weight – bye bye gym visit.
Maybe your goal is to learn to play the piano or learn Spanish. The ONLY way you can fail to achieve this is to stop doing the lessons. And we stop ONLY when the STOP STORY is good enough.
So – catch your mind doing rehearsals and brainstorming reasons to stop. Thank it for helping – and focus, focus, focus on what you get after your goal is done. Remember who is in charge here.
There you have it.
Next step – uncover some interesting goals. If none come to mind – change your state. Why? Because values and beliefs are state dependent. More on that in a future post.
Here is your choice – you can be not moving, and experience a life that is not mundane, uninspiring, declining (in your own eyes). Or you can be in motion, and experience a life that is fulfilling, satisfying, exciting to the degree that you want. When you are really old and about to snuff it – and your loved ones are around you – will you have to say “I stayed alive all this time”.
Or will you be able to say “I lived all this time.” Will you be a lump of almost dead wood stump clinging on? Or will you be a magnificent redwood who has grown and lived fully?
The difference is why we have goals. Goals are the tools to get us in motion. Once we are in motion, we grow. At any time we are either growing or dying. We get to choose how we use goals. Choosing to not use them – is a choice.
To quote myself: “If you don’t have a goal, you cannot have a plan. If you do not have a plan, you WILL only be part of someone else’s plan – and you may not like it.” It is your choice.
Here ends the sermon!
Ps – so what food should never be eaten on airplanes and has something to do with communication skills? Look for the next post to discover it…
This was written in 1784 as part of Franklin’s Autobiography. This is the thirteenth “Virtue” – and is the one that immediately reared and bit me on the nose. I considered myself a pretty “smart” fellow – and for several decades believed that just being consistently “right” was sufficient to work with people.
You know – once I explained clearly and comprehensively in a friendly and forthright manner exactly how others were wrong and I was right – they would rationally just agree with me and we could move forward together…
Ha – yeah right! Epic fail!
Now I have moved to a place (most of the time) where I fully accept that all the beliefs I have now have a very real probability of being abandoned by me within a decade. By this I mean that within 10 years I will be able to look back and consider things I believe are correct right now – to be not correct.
I know this is true – because I can look back 10 years right now – and know that what I believed back then is NOT what I believe to be true now. This allows me to have less resistance to change, and means I no longer need to DEFEND my beliefs when a person raises a contrary one. Instead I can explore this new possibility knowing that I can adopt it if it proves viable.
But read now how Ben Franklin applied a related concept to further himself back in the 18th Century. From “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin”.
But it so happened that my intention of writing and publishing this comment was never fulfilled. I did, indeed, from time to time, put down short hints of the sentiments, reasonings, etc., to be made use of in it, some of which I have still by me: But the necessary close Attention to private Business in the earlier part of Life, and public Business since, have occasioned my postponing it. For it being connected in my Mind with a great and extensive Project that require the whole man to execute, and which an unforeseen Secession of Employs prevented my attending to, it has hitherto remain’d unfinish’d.
In this piece it was my design to explain and enforce this doctrine, that vicious actions are not hurtful because they are forbidden, but forbidden because they are hurtful, the nature of man alone considered; that it was, therefore, every one’s interest to be virtuous who wished to be happy even in this world; and I should, from this circumstance (there being always in the world a number of rich merchants, nobility, states, and princes, who have need of honest instruments for the management of their affairs, and such being so rare), have endeavored to convince young persons that no qualities were so likely to make a poor man’s fortune as those of probity and integrity.
My list of virtues continued at first but twelve; but a Quaker friend having kindly informed me that I was generally thought proud, that my pride showed itself frequently in conversation, that I was not content with being in the right when discussing any point, but was overbearing and rather insolent, of which he convinced me by mentioning several instances, I determined endeavoring to cure myself, if I could, of this vice or folly among the rest, and I added Humility to my list, giving an extensive meaning to the word.
I cannot boast of much success in acquiring the reality of this virtue, but I had a good deal with regard to the appearance of it.
I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradiction to the sentiments of others, and all positive assertion of my own.
I even forbid myself, agreeably to the old laws of our Junto, the use of every word or expression in the language that imported a fixed opinion, such as certainly, undoubtedly, etc., and I adopted, instead of them, I conceive, I apprehend, or I imagine a thing to be so or so, or it so appears to me at present.
When another asserted something that I thought an error, I denied myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly and of showing immediately some absurdity in his proposition; and in answering, I began by observing that in certain cases or circumstances his opinion would be right, but in the present case there appeared or seemed to me some difference, etc. I soon found the advantage of this charge in my manner; the conversations I engaged in went on more pleasantly.
The modest way in which I proposed my opinions procured them a readier reception and less contradiction; I had less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I more easily prevailed with other to give up their mistakes and join with me when I happened to be in the right.
And this mode, which I at first put on with some violence to natural inclination, became at length so easy, and so habitual to me, that perhaps for these fifty years past no one has ever heard a dogmatical expression escape me. And to this habit (after my character of integrity) I think it principally owing that I had early so much weight with my fellow-citizens when I proposed new institutions, or alterations in the old, and so much influence in public councils when I became a member; for I was but a bad speaker, never eloquent, subject to much hesitation in my choice of words, hardly correct in language, and yet I generally carried my points.
In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself; you will see it, perhaps, often in this history; for, even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.
Yeah Baby!! This is a simple rule that cannot fail to improve how we interact with others. Thanks Ben Franklin…
Got your listening ears on? Here is the Commandment:
ALWAYS have an end time for every task. Meetings – state the end time before you begin. For example: “I have allocated 45 minutes for this meeting today, then I have another commitment immediately after.”
Similarly – when you have a task to do – estimate as closely as you can how long it would take if you stay focused BEFORE you begin, and set a timer, and then beat it.
If you estimate the time for every task, you will begin to get more accurate with your estimates. AND your productivity will fly. But the REAL productivity turbo gets ignited when you add a column next to your estimated time for the task – where note the ACTUAL time it took. This is your feedback loop – and reality check. And if you want to put a supercharger next to your turbo – then add another column where you score your performance on the task from 1 to 10. This prompts you to improve your output as well as speed it up…
Ideally, you will do the process of planning your tasks for the day at the beginning of your day – after considering what is most important to get done – which means you can put your tasks in the order of their importance.
Remember the key is not just to things faster, but to do the most important things first, faster and better.
I have a form my clients use to help them lock in the this habit – email me if you would like a copy.
Do life on purpose,
ps this process works not only for your “work”, but can also add a ton of zip and a bucket of fulfilment feelings to your “non-work” life. Try it..
Hey – you want to know a obvious secret?
If you take a beginning period balance, line it up with the P&L for the period, then next to the cashflow for the period – then you can follow the changes the transactions in the end of period balance sheet!
This means that if your balance sheet is properly set up – and for example you make a $300k profit – then you can use these four documents to see WHERE YOUR PROFITS WENT!!! (Or – how you have financed for your losses if you don’t have a good coach?)
If you ever wondered where all the money disappears to – this is the answer. I apologise that it involves accounting – but accounting done right can be pretty darned exciting…
I estimate that less than 1% of small to medium businesses use these tools – and I believe the businesses that do not fail (the majority fail) – are the ones that know their numbers including where the cash went, and where it will go in the future.
Businesses go out of business because they run out of money – understanding cashflow needs to be on the examination you must pass before you can open a business. No, wait on. That compulsory training and examination does not exist…
I wonder why up to 90% of businesses fail in the first couple of years?
And I wonder how many accountants or bookkeepers would have the skill and understanding to do the analysis above and show you where the money went in your business?
How many accountants and bookkeepers insist their clients have and use a cashflow forecasting tool?
Judging by the business failure rates (in all parts of the world) – the answer to these questions is “Very, very few.”
You can download my Cashflow Forecasting Tool Excel Spreadsheet free by joining my Newsletter list at seminar.com.au – it is in the right hand column.
Might be time to update that photo too – was taken at the start of my business coaching career about a dozen years ago…
Thank goodness the election is called. When you look at the likelihood of Australians investing (or spending) there is often a decrease during an election campaign. It seems that a percentage of our population either consciously or unconsciously defers spending decisions.
So it was not really helpful for Julia Gillard to state her September election date months ago, and then have Kevin Rudd further ignore the “wet blanket on spending” effect while he pranced around (re-)building his image.
I am certain that all of us have had enough of the “minority government” test – I would call it an epic fail. And if after this coming election there is not a clear majority government – have another poll. Management by committee has a snowflakes chance in hell of working unless there is alignment within in it. Groups with radically different ideals should not be allowed to take turns at steering our nation on a daily basis. And that is what minority government did. We zig-zagged wastefully without getting anywhere. These groups can vie for control of steering every 3 years.
So what will be your criteria for who to vote for? Or will you take an “avoid the responsibility” position and vote for a minor party? If you are considering that – I implore you “citizen-up” and vote for one major party or the other. Giving up your vote to a minority party because no one else deserves it gave us the hung parliament, and three years of reactive mush leadership. So make a choice, please.
My vote choice criteria will be based on trust. Trust is based on the making and keeping of promises. In the case of government, this delivery of promises should be well planned, organized, well-considered and with minimal waste.
It will not be based on the political spin adroitness of the leaders or on how they shine (or not) during any debate. Ability to win a debate does not correlate strongly with ability to govern sensibly, in fact it more clearly shows ability to react and “spin” for short term popularity.
And it will not be based on the horror that is called “parliamentary debate” but on actual policy selection application of government. For example the role of the ATO forcing business owners to make super contributions for contractors (and determining IF they are contractors or “employees”). http://www.ato.gov.au/General/Contractors/ [“For individual contractors, you must also make super guarantee contributions for them if more than 50% of the value of their contract is for labour.”] A “turbocharged” uncertainty/mess/waste generator?
So let the “Spin-fest” begin, and roll on the eternal polls and poll analysis. Let loose the dogs of warty TV commercials – feed the ball to the media scrum, and run the gauntlet of taste and ethics.
Remembering always as JFK said “No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.” And if it is on Twitter – it must be true…
You know how you sometimes see an idea that has been “borrowed” from somewhere else and applied to create a marketing “hook” that is hard to resist chomping on? And how sometimes a little light shines in the darkness that reveals a mountain of gold?
I saw this cool idea from visiting guru Demartini who has a great workshop/course/books/all the stuff. Go see him.
A study was done back in 2011 from the Journal of Marketing Research at Stern Uni at New York with the unimaginative title: “Increasing Saving Behavior Through Age-Progressed Renderings of the Future Self”.
The study itself is a bit lame and hard to read – they asked people if they were likely to “save” for retirement, and how strong the decision was. One group was shown a photoshopped photo of themselves – made to look like retirement age. The other group was not. Guess what – the ones with the “oldered” photo – decided to save more!
Now – let’s convert that into Demartini sales copy:
“Breakthrough Study by New York University Reveals How to Save up to 33% More Money By Looking at a Photo of Yourself.”
And: “Nothing to do with ‘Vision Boards’.
Everyday Dr Demartini is discovering more about how YOU can use your mind to double your income… your vitality… your relationship intimacy and your inspiration.
And at the New Science of Achievement evening seminar he’s going to reveal the latest ‘brain science’ breakthroughs YOU can use to transform your life.
For example, he’ll show you how to harness the power of your mind to save up to 33% more money… drawing on the latest brain science studies.” Here is the sales page http://global1.com.au/new-science-of-achievement?cc=CC1001023 (this is not my affiliate link)
How good is that??? Just add some “specific” stats to your claims (that include “doubling” your vitality!), restate the “stats” again – and everything is more believable and attainable. Cool?
So – what is the light in the darkness?
For the last 30 years (!!!) I have been studying the “success gurus”. And you know who I mean – everyone from Napoleon Hill to Norman V Peale to Tony Robbins to Neville Goddard to Charles Haanel to other greats like Bucky Fuller and Deming.
And you know what?
The wisdom has some “core” elements. The one I want to share today is that of “using the power of the wish fulfilled”.
There is the “magical” approach, and the “motivational” approach. The magical is championed by “The Secret” guru flavours – who hammer away at using work based on Haanel to create the outcome, feel it, live it, taste it – and then fully “expect” the wish to appear.
The “motivational” approach is to take yourself PAST the time of the wish fulfilled – in the above case it is after retirement (when you look like the oldered photos) – and look back at the futures that are possible from that place in time. This can be the powerful cause of “motivation” to act differently back here in the present.
For example – you are now 50 years old. Look at the photo of you at 70 years. Let that reality sink in. You are 70 years old. How strong is your desire THEN to have sufficient savings or investments in place so your life is comfortable THEN? Pretty bloody strong.
If you did NOT do the things 20 years ago that you needed to get done for your 70 year old self to be comfortable – your life at 70 is gunna suck.
How will you FEEL at 70 years old, if you did NOT do everything possible back you were 50 years old to create a “not-suck” future?
Then when you stopping looking at your “old” self photo – and you look at your calendar for today, this week, month, year, decade – you still have your 70 year old eyeballs on. Will that adjust your priorities and urgency? You bet. And if you review that photo frequently – will you develop in your mind the “ideal” for you life at 70 years onwards – will you think about WHAT YOU WANT – and compare it to what WILL HAPPEN unless you have certain priorities when you are in your fifties? Will you have GREATER motivation than before to ACT today? Very likely.
And if you have even a small increase in your key actions every day for a reasonable – will your future be different? You bet.
Is this a bit negative? Maybe.
Consider the situation where you are on the Olympic Team for say – gymnastics. If you think forward in time to the day AFTER your Olympic events – will you want to be able to say “I did everything humanly possible to win! There was nothing else I could have done to prepare better. I trained to my best every single day. I stand erect.” ?
Or will there be part of you that looks back from that day and says “I only gave it 90%. I could have done more. I allowed distractions to reduce my focus. I feel shame.”?
Which FEELING do you want at that time? And if – every morning you visit the future and MAKE THE CHOICE – how will that affect your priorities and training intensity for that day?
We can ADD IN THE “Magical” POWER of your seeing yourself looking out from the top podium, hearing your anthem, the scent of the winners bouquet, the stinging of the tears forming in your eyes, and the smile that is giving you a cramp in your jaw – forming the definitive feeling of your “wish fulfilled”. And allow that “magic” to happen in parallel.
But on the daily grind of training (as in business) – it is the CHOICE of the “non-magical” kind that gets you up early to train or work at your very best – for today.
Nutshell: When we control our own focus on a regular basis – with the use of questions or tools (like aged photos) – we are using Parkinsons Law to our advantage. If we do not choose to control our focus – our day will fill itself with the “non-important, non-valuable” stuff.
For me it is part of the definition of “victim” to know that this is how it works – but then refuse to apply apply the Law for the benefit of all concerned. The only way to NOT apply this is to accept the belief that we CANNOT make a difference in our worlds. Acceptance of this “no-power” position is the mantle of “Victim”.
I believe our choices are our source of power, and we can make or change them at any time. By changing any choice, we change our self concepts -which alters our actions, our outcomes, our learnings.
You want to have MORE motivation to make your business a success? Choose it. Or even better, choose it knowingly and enthusiastically – every day. There is no more work in creating a great day than a sad, mediocre one. Choose it.
Ps – See Dr DiMartini is you are in the cities he visits.
Firstly – I just want to say that social media is something you can use or not use.
You can tell me that it is great for keeping in touch with people, for sharing, for building relationships. And that is cool. But I don’t really care about using it for that. You may – you may love it. Great.
What I do care about is using these networks for business. There are ways, measurable, predictable ways to use FB, Twitter, Pinterest (more on that in a minute), Youtube (yep), and a few of the other networks – to MAKE MONEY for your business.
Over the next few weeks I will add posts on exactly how to do this.
Today – I want to introduce you to Pinterest. When I first saw this – I thought “another time wasting tool for people with not enough to do in their lives.” After some research, thinking and testing – I have changed my mind. It is a very useful tool that can be used to grow most businesses.
So – to get you started – go to Pinterest for 15 minutes and check it out. Here the link to my “boards” (where I PIN things apparently). http://pinterest.com/callmetrimtab/boards/ I suggest you create an account https://pinterest.com/ – and also join as a business http://business.pinterest.com/setup/ Or you can wait until the next post on this and do it them.
Remember to keep your wandering around in social media to a time limit.
Decide to be LEGENDARY today
Over quite a number of years now I have placed some rather useful tools on this website. Today I am just going revisit a few to save you time.
1. Don’t fail in your business just because you did not know some fact or acquire some skill. http://seminar.com.au/what-are-the-top-12-reasons-for-small-to-medium-sized-businesses-failing/ Just knowing what kills business might not only save your business – it may also give you the insights to make it FLY.
2. The effect of pricing on your profits (and losses) http://seminar.com.au/new-pricing-tool-shows-effect-of-price-increases-and-discounting-on-bep/ Video. This simple spreadsheet can give you an insight that is worth millions if you use it.
3. Why do your customers leave you? http://seminar.com.au/townsville-why-customers-leave/ You might find this a bit of a surprise – but apparently 68% of customers change suppliers – not because they are not satisfied – but because they think you do not care about them. Another study not in the link post – but done by Deming decades ago showed that 56% of customers who leave you ARE SATISFIED. He said that one of the reasons that the Japanese were winning the marketing wars was because the US was measuring satisfaction – and the Japanese were measuring something else… That is a great idea for my next newsletter. What is it that is more relevant than Customer Satisfaction in terms of determining if your customers will stay? Only to subscribers.
4. This silly video has some powerful tips to keep your marketing activities organised, aligned and effective. http://seminar.com.au/fun-business-coaching-profit-ninja-1-from-townsville/ Well worth the 94 seconds of your time.
5. The secret mindset that can make any service business go ballistic. http://seminar.com.au/reminder-marketing-rule-trust-is-an-asset/ And if my current hairdresser is reading this (unlikely) – it would be good for you to revisit tip number 3 above.
6. Would like to have an UNLIMITED supply of new customers? There is a way. But you need to read this article, and actually put YOUR numbers into the example. http://seminar.com.au/what-will-you-pay-to-buy-a-new-customer/ The other thing that will happen when you add YOUR numbers – is that questions will appear in your head – that will make your bank balance do a lovely dance of glee if you follow through. (HINT: What things might you do to INCREASE the lifetime value of your customers?)
7. You got a website? I love the internet. I have marketing on the since before it was invented by Al Gore. Sort of kidding – but my first marketing was back in the early 1990’s – which was before “search engines” and “websites” existed. It was really only something called “Bulletin Boards”. The way that I sold my products – which were self published books was by putting adverts on “Compuserve”. It was a collection of discussion boards and I paid to put ads on the target discussions. Now my interest is mostly in testing for both my clients and my own sites. http://seminar.com.au/new-business-coaching-townsville-website/ This discussion is about dominating a “local search term”. The first phase was creating a test site which was a very small site: http://townsvillebusinesscoaching.com.au/ This produced some interesting results. The second site was a different version http://businesscoachingtownsville.com.au/ The main search terms are “business coaching townsville” and “townsville business coaching”. If you Google either of these terms – you will see that the later version is right at the top for both searches. Each site has similar linking. There is one significant difference that makes Google prefer the bct site – I will put an article about in the newsletter. Each site had to completely built and optimised in less than 60 minutes. If you have a website and it does not appear when someone searches for YOUR keywords – you are leaving a foot high pile of money on the table. Another example of a 60 minute website is using the keywords “Landscape supplies Townsville”. Search for that – and you find another test site on the front page http://landscapesuppliestownsville.com.au/ I have offered this site to local suppliers but it seems no one wants it – so it gets used to sell products on Amazon for me. Is YOUR website making you money?
8. Bonus tip. What you do in the FIRST part of your day, week, month or quarter very much determines your success in that period. It is called “sensitivity to initial conditions”. http://seminar.com.au/is-it-groundhog-day-in-your-business-and-life/
Thanks for visiting. Please subscribe and make comments below.
Ps wanna know an SEO secret? The first and last words on a page are used by Google to help determine what the page is about – and therefore to index it. If you put the main search terms you want to “rank” first and last, ideally with formatting – your page will rank higher. There is also a “secret” with the images you put on a page…
It seems that there is a quaint ritual involving some odd animal in the USA that determines if it spring yet – and it was the trigger for the movie “Ground Hog Day” with Bill Murray. (It is usually around February 2nd)
The was funny, but with a message for business owners. It centres on the idea of what you could do if you were able to relive the same day – over and over – and recall the mistakes/errors/what worked from the previous versions of the day. And in the movie – this leads our hero to his “perfect day”.
In the normal course of my day, I meet people who have built themselves a similar “loop”, except that they somehow manage to “forget” the errors/mistakes/lessons/what worked from the previous day. These business owners just get up – and go again. And again. And again.
Over the last 40 years I have attended hundreds of “trainings”, “development courses”, “workshops” and such. And the very best of them have one thing in common. Just one thing that makes them transformative rather than just another training course.
And it is this “one thing” that is the key to the movie “Groundhog Day”, as well as moving your business to the better place. This “one thing” reminds me of another movie – “City Slickers”, where the Jack Palance tough cowboy character “Curly” explains to us the secret of life is “One thing, just one thing…” And then dies without tell us what it was!
Well – here is the secret to the difference in a workshop, seminar or just one day working in your business.
It is simple. There is more strategic value in the debriefing after an “exercise/job/activity/work day” than there is in the activity. This means that after a training activity – which ideally is designed for things to go wrong – the MOST IMPORTANT step is to stop, review and consider – What did I just learn? How will this impact on how I do things in the future? What might those changes in the way that I/We do things cause to happen in your life?
There is a saying: If you are in a rut – stop digging!
Anther variation is “If your horse is dead – dismount.” The key to avoiding a Groundhog Business and a Groundhog Life is stop regularly, pull your head up out of the hole you are digging, look around and consider what you have just learned, and how that affects how you will do things next.
What if you and I went out into the world and asked a thousand people “After considering what you learned in your business in 2012, what are you going to do differently, stop doing, do more of or less of – in your business in 2013?”
Some would actually have a great list, a plan to change things for the better based on what they learned about business and about themselves. Fewer would have that list written down clearly with some action steps with deadlines. And a tiny proportion will have added that secret ingredient that will release them from Groundhog Syndrome. (That is where you take a photocopy of your business (or life) for a year, and then just repeat that every year. Year after year.)
And the secret ingredient? Stop digging, put your head up high (eg Helicopeter view) where you can look both forward and backward so you can see what you have done and where you have been, plus where you are currently heading compared to where you want to be heading. And the turbocharger for the secret ingredient?
Turbocharger is the regularity and ritual that you do your review process in. If you do a review just once per year – you get ONE chance per year to adapt, adjust, change course, speed up, slow down. If you do it quarterly – you get 4 goes at adjusting your course. Monthly – is 12 adjustments.
What happens to the amount of time, energy and money that is wasted the longer we travel along the wrong road or in the wrong direction for us? What happens to the waste when we increase the frequency of checking we are still on course – and make corrections?
I have found that when I (and my clients) have a daily ritual (made into a form) – that requires us to stop, debrief, review, then plan and allocate focus to the most important things – then “Change Miracles” happen. This is a DAILY form.
When this form is completed daily for long enough – it crushes your “Groundhog Programs and Habits”. Because as you become the high-powered person who stops, considers lessons, reviews what is important and ideal, then determines the actions and schedules for the next day – it means that you have stood up, taken hold of the rudder of your life and started to steer.
And once you begin to steer your life, you are no longer a victim of the tides, the winds or the sharp, barnacled rocks of life.
You get to show leadership – for yourself, your business and your life. And we can only do this when we look up, around, consider, review and then actively STEER. Steering means taking actions to stay on course. This means making changes. If you are heading for rocks, or around in circles (Groundhogs!) – it might be time to pull your head out of your rut and take ownership of your own ship.
Ps if you would like a copy of my Daily Planning Form – contact me.
Pps I will be watching Groundhog Day again on Groundhog Day. Approximately February 2nd
A little while ago I posted in a group on LinkedIn. I am reposting here because unless you are in the group – called Townsville Business Network – you cannot see the posts. You are welcome to borrow my approach to LinkedIn
Paste: James Hooper • Great article. I think there is a natural tendency to hold back asking to connect – as it may seem “pushy”. And when someone I don’t yet know asks to connect – sometimes the first response is “What are they going to try and sell me?”.
A different approach – as the article suggests – is to treat LI like an actual party. A ‘safe’ one where I can walk up and say hello without the implication that we HAVE to do business now that we have met. Yes – at some parties people have started to ‘sell’ to me in their first sentence – and I am sure that will happen here. But – I figure that if I treat people here like real people – as I would at a dinner party – then mostly they will respond the same way.
I like the idea of accepting all connections unless there is something clearly a bit dodgy – which I have not come across yet. I also like the idea of strapping on my “balls of steel” and systematically approaching interesting people to connect with each week. A bit like being at a party and walking up to people to say hello. For many years I was more likely to wait for others to approach me to mingle – staying “safe” with people I knew already. I learned via a combination of “screw this I’m bored” and “beer” that more fun was to be had by being the ‘out-goer’. Hence the ‘balls of steel”.
Now I even say smile and say “Hello” to people walking down the street that I don’t know should our eyes meet.
So – my new policies: If anyone asks to connect, I say yes. If someone looks at my profile (did you know you can see who looks at your profile?) and does not ask to connect – I will assume they are simply afraid of being “pushy” and I will ask to connect with them. Each week for 15 minutes I will search for different people to connect with. I will refrain from being concerned that people will “judge” me based on the people in my network.
So – have a go. I believe LinkedIn is a useful tool for relationship development, and that once we let go of the idea that “connecting” means that we have to do business with them, or that other people either will or will not do business with based on who you are connected to, or other slightly neurotic thoughts – it is a great resource.
Oh – please connect with me there – click here James Hooper – my settings are set so that if you click “connect” we will be connected. I think the “prove you know someone” level setting that many people have as default is not useful.
Buckminster Fuller said cryptically “You cannot learn less.” Once I figured out out what that meant – it gave me permission to smile and learn more. In this instance it means that everyone knows something that I don’t – so the more people I know – the more resources become available for all of us.
How To “Hack” Millions of Amazon S3 Accounts In 14 Seconds or Less…
I want to share a security gap that an amazing number of internet marketers are blissfully ignorant about. In summary – if you are using Amazon S3 to store your data – IT NEEDS TO BE LOCKED! If this is you – then read on – and do contact me with questions if that can help you.
So – you are going to purchase a digital product – are even just curious about a competitor. Could just buy it – but first – is it available for free because they are using Amazon S3?
This is how you tell. In a google search box type the likely name that it would be called – I usually just put the website name – the part before .com. And then in the box type s3.amazon.aws.com, press go. If there is no security – Google search results will show a file or two from the account. Just highlight the web address of the account, paste it into a browser and the the main page will open – and all the files will be available to download – just by copying the file onto the end of the url you are at. Eg a file might bigexpensivesecretreport.pdf – just copy and past that onto the end: yourwebname.s3.amazon.aws.com/bigexpensivesecretreport.pdf and it will download.
Did you hear that everyone who has an S3 account for your cloud? Try it.
I am NOT suggesting you wander around hacking/walking into peoples S3 accounts – I am saying to check your security if you use Amazon S3 for data storage or sharing. If I have stumble across this – there are likely thousands of others who also know.
I have tested for a large number of accounts – and most have the doors open. MP3, pdf, wav, mp4, doc – everything is public.
Just thought you should know.
Nope. Not even a little bit. No matter what well-meaning people may have told you – it is not business coaching that you want.
You don’t want to have regular meetings with someone you don’t really know, who is going to make you do things that you have successfully resisted doing for ages. You don’t to invest the time, and have the “learning” experiences, and have to answer tough questions.
You don’t want that. Some people might try and convince that you do – tell them to “rack off”.
What you actually want is RESULTS. And the ONLY way to get them is with change. And – at this lower level – you see that coaching is the most predictably potent tool for change that is available.
But – you are not paying for coaching, you are paying for the changes that gives you the RESULTS.
And you CAN do it by yourself. People have been changing themselves and their results for thousands of years. You can do in every field from health to golf to business. You DO NOT NEED A COACH to get what you want in life.
In fact, your activity right now in even considering finding a “good one” is very likely part of your “usual” method you use to avoid doing the things you already know that you should be doing instead – right now! Is that true?
Does part of you know exactly what your most important thing to be doing instead of “researching” business coaching? If I said “Right now, make a list of the 5 most important things that you need to get done in your business over the next 60 days.” You could do it, right?
You might lack the confidence to believe that these are the OPTIMAL strategic things to get done – but you would have a good crack at it. Now what do you think a business coach is going to make you do? Nothing you can’t do yourself.
Let’s pretend. Say you call me and make a time to meet. We get together in a week or two. We chat, About business, about weather, about stuff.
Then I ask this exact question – “So (Yourname), why did you agree to see me today?”
And you will give an answer like “Well – I want to make some changes in my business.” I will write your words down – exactly as you say them. Then I will say something that rewards you for answering my question like “Good, That makes perfect sense. Thank you.”
And then I will ask you exactly “And (Yourname), just so I am clear. What is important about making those changes in your business?”
And you will give me your second level value – something like “Well, I really need to get the business to grow and get it ready for sale within 3 years.”
Once again I will reward you for answering the question. “Awesome. That is a good goal. Nice.”
And then I will say almost exactly “Now, just to be completely sure that we are on the same page, just out of interest – ultimately – what will growing your business and having it ready of sale within three years, give you or do for you?”
And you will give me a main response which will be one of two types, and a couple of other items. And I will write them all down carefully. Why?
Well without going any further – you can write down your own honest answers to the questions above – and you will already be miles ahead of where you were before you came to this webpage. You don’t need a “coach” for that. Do you?
Just a side note: If you are in “sales” of any kind – then be aware that the questions above are the most potent, barrier breaking, effective process available – even when used as inelegantly as I have above. Everything from retail to insurance to increasing the chance of a second date with the life partner of your dreams.
Now once we BOTH know what is important to you about your business changes needed – then I might drill down just a little to create a timeline for your strategies. A question like – “Great. Well done. Now, if you were planning to be ready to sell within 3 years – what do you believe would need to be different for your business to be ready? Hmmm. What else? What else? Good. And in what order would it make sense to get these changes completed? Good, Yes. Yes.”
Wow. Still no “coach” needed. Just get hold of the right questions an off you go. Unstoppable.
And once you have this much done, then each “change” needed – which is the difference between what it needs to look like and what it looks like now – can be further refined and made into simple action steps. This is not rocket science. You CAN do it yourself, or with your accountant or a friend or partner. In fact – you most likely have most of this done already – and are just waiting for a sign from God to tell you that “You are wasting your life – please either get on with it or stop moaning.”
Here is another coaching question:
“If you live for 80 years – that is 4160 weeks – how many weeks have you got left in you as of this week? Good. And if you really decided to – Could you find JUST 30 MINS PER DAY (5 days a week) for ruthlessly getting the things on your list done? Our 3 years goal times 45 weeks (holidays!) is 337 hours. That is over 8 weeks full time. Now if you put a little box next to each action item on your list with your estimate of how long each action should take, and added everything up – and tripled it for luck – you would still not get close to 337 hours.” Once you get started on the your actions – they do not take very long at all.
It is time you waste getting to taking the first action, and then the time between the actions that is your life dribbling away. How much life have you dribbled away by not just doing what is on your list each day? Stop it! And the “secret” – do whatever is on your list FIRST every day.
No coach needed. Only some changes in what you consistently “do”.
Well. Here is one truth. People will resist change, even when they know it is the right thing for them. And having someone hold you to account over what you are promised to the world (and to yourself) that you were going to take action on – is very powerful. This accountability will make you do more. But you can still do it yourself!
There is another truth. A coach who has helped other people follow a similar path previously – will most likely pick up some some time and money saving “shortcuts”. This applies directly to the experience and training of the coach. For example – in marketing knowing what predictably works better and where the best leverage is. In systems – knowing what it should look like, how to test it, how to keep it going consistently, and even knowing what a “process map” is or why most businesses need them. And so on for finance, sales, and general strategy.
And yet – all of that CAN be gained from reading a few books on each subject – or by hiring consultants in each field.
Over the last decade or so as a business coach, there is another reason that moves up the list as the businesses grow and become more successful. It is that there is a level of trust created that means that business owners have someone on their team who is absolutely on their side. Someone who will ask the toughest questions because that is their role. The way that I view clients is that by definition a client means “under my protection”. And if you are seeking a general business strategy that will make you business prosper and grow vigorously for years to come – I invite you borrow that definition. It is the key to creating powerful marketing, and massive client retention. It works with all my clients in their businesses and makes decisions simple and more predictably effective.
So – you don’t want a business coach. You probably DO want some change. You can make these changes yourself, no question. A coach can keep you more focused, and can guide you through the swamp full of quicksand that will trap you and steal your energy and time. It is the fact that we all have limited time that makes coaching so powerful.
And the eventual reason people do pay handsomely for someone like me to coach them is because they finally realize that their time is worth more than any amount of money. Your time is your only limited resource, and coaching can help you achieve the changes YOU WANT much faster. That is where the value is.
Now – if you have read this far – what does that mean?
One thought is that you are considering becoming a business coach, or you already are one, and are ‘borrowing’ my ideas.
The other is that you do need change in your business (and therefore in your life), and you have convinced yourself that coaching might shorten the time to reach your goals. If so, what do you think your next step should be?
About me: If and when you meet me – please be aware that I will not attempt to “SELL” you into any of my programs. In fact – “selling” will be limited to the 4 questions listed above. If you cannot or will not answer them – it is unlikely we would be a good fit and we will go our separate ways. Early in my career I tended to use my fairly prodigious powers of persuasion to sway people to join me. Now you can simply expect my full attention with the goal to determine if we have the basis for a good (mutually profitable) long-term relationship.
My style is not for everyone – and that is absolutely ok.
In 2013 I will be releasing some new, innovative programs that will further accelerate my clients momentum, so right now is always a good time to take action.
You can contact me on 0410 326 525 (leave message) or use the contact page form.
A good reminder about a philosophy that can make your break your business.
On the weekend, I went to get a haircut. (Yes, this is pretty riveting but stay with me.)
For me a haircut has become about trust. Over the decades I have had some rather appalling experiences with haircuts. And my strategy evolved into finding a hairdresser who knows much more about a good haircut than me – and then allowing them to be in charge of my haircut. Simple ay?
The initial meetings go something like this.
The professional hairdresser will ask me (the “client”) what I would like like. I say something like “I would like the best haircut you can give me given the thinning of my hair and the shape of my head.”
This usually stumps them for a while. And they will take some action like combing or pulling my hair to determine the length, thickness to allow them time to think of something to say. Then they will ask a question like “How much off the sides/top/whatever would you like?”
As gently as possible I will say “I don’t know. What do you think will look best for me?” This will cause them to put on a thoughtful face and swirl through my hair a little bit more. I will attempt to give them confidence by saying something like “You seem to know what you are doing. Give me a haircut that makes me look professional, and that my wife and daughter will approve of.” And “I am really good at many things, but hairdressing is not one of them – so you are in charge.”
There is usually some kind of “agreement grunt”, and they begin. Then – there will be another question that shows they do not yet have it. Something like: “Do you prefer scissors or shears/buzzing thing whatever it is called?”
Still as gently as possible to as not to appear to be rude or dominating or at least less strange – I will respond with “I don’t know. You are in charge of the haircut – just give me the best haircut you can.” And eventually they begin.
Stay with me now, the marketing lessons will flow.
If you are a woman, chances are that you have a hairdresser you go to. And you want the same person each time. Why? Because after your first visit with them, you have a little trust built. And once you a have been once – there is a great chance you will return. Should you return a second time – there is an even higher probability you will return a third time. And after 3 visits – you will keep going there until they stuff up really badly or one or both of you leaves town or retires/dies.
Any smart hairdresser/service provider of any sort knows this and has a clear process to get you past the 3rd transaction as predictably as possible. It is a vital conversion measurement – and there are specific tactics that work marvelously to increase the conversion, which magnifies the power of your initial marketing to get the first appointment and will make you business predictably successful.
That is nice – but today I want to talk about trust. So – generally after 4 or 5 visits to my increasingly well trained (ie – they know more about haircuts than me so they are in charge) hairdresser – things run fairly smoothly. I trust them, and they know they are in charge of my hair. I am under their protection.
Remember that phrase: “Under their protection. ” It may be the key to your massive business success.
The same way that I am “under the protection” of my lawyers, accountants, personal trainers, chiropractors, doctors, and even my lawn mowing guy. All these business have to do to retain my support is to act in my best interests whenever they supply or suggest a service. Lawyers can sell me some Will updates – just by letting me know it is in my best interests to do so. Simple. Not pushy. And because I trust they are “protecting me” – I will take the advice.
What are the numbers of a man’s haircut? Average time between cuts is 5 weeks. My hair grows pretty fast so 4 weeks is good for me. Cost at my last cut was $27. This means my base revenue is $351 per year. Chances are that unless they do something to break my trust – I will come for at least 2 years – so my minimum lifetime value is $752. (There are tactics to increase this obviously – but only available if I retained as a client – which means “under their protection”.)
How can a hairdresser destroy this trust in your protective umbrella? Like this. Change the person who is going to cut your clients hair from their usual to someone who does not yet have the skill to protect them.
Or bluntly – allow a poorly trained junior to deliver a “bad” haircut. It was my own fault. I had assumed that my usual hairdresser understood this concept of “protection”. In fact, when this very young, un-confident new stylist asked me “How much would you like off?” I said “Just ask Jxxxx, (who is standing 10 feet away) she knows.” But she only delivered a one sentence instruction then wandered off, leaving me to my scraggly headed fate.
It is interesting how we can only begin to gauge the expertise of a hair stylist AFTER they begin to cut. And with very successive snip it becomes more and more impossible to escape, despite the knowledge that an inept person is guaranteeing you will need much more hair product until it grows back.
And in the back of my mind “Why did Jxxxx not protect me from this?” Damnit. Now I have to find and train a new hairdresser again. And also – how the heck am I going to stick down that chunk of hair that is shootng out at right angles from my temple on one side only?
Ps – I may have added just a little drama to this haircut – my world is not going end because of it. Stay tuned for a post very shortly about a model you can use to strategically create a bullet proof business where you do not need to compete on price.
Alvin Toffler said “Tomorrow’s illiterate will not be the man who can’t read; he will be the man who has not learned how to learn.” He drew this from the full quote by Herbert Gerjuoy who said:
“The new education must teach the individual how to classify and reclassify information, how to evaluate its veracity, how to change categories when necessary, how to move from the concrete to the abstract and back, how to look at problems from a new direction — how to teach himself. Tomorrow’s illiterate will not be the man who can’t read; he will be the man who has not learned how to learn.”
Toffler synthesized further to say:
“The illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write
but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn”
You have been operating in your business in more or less the same way since you began, right?
I am now going to say that – Unless “your business way” has a built in “unlearn and relearn” pattern to it – then many of your tactical actions are at best sub-optimised and at worst irrelevant.
Your core strategies may be still valid, or they may have been weakened by the structural changes that have accelerated massively in the last 100 years. The most obvious of these changes has been the internet. Information is now available on almost every product, and every supplier – with feedback from almost every client or customer online and instant.
This means a relatively new role called “online reputation management” will be very common in the short term. A year ago – almost no one had heard of it. I predict that within 12 months from now – even in provincial cities like Townsville – it will be a commonly used term in business circles.
If you don’t ‘get it’ yet – have a look at this Google search for ‘new cars townsville’. http://goo.gl/xpFlM Notice that Google now values and publishes reviews about these car dealers. From looking at this single page of search engine results – it is clear that these businesses have not yet heard of “reputation management”, or done the maths about how much even a single review from an unhappy customer is going to cost them.
We might even suggest that these large and successful businesses at this stage are in denial. They do not have the basics in place to get the best value out of their web presences. An example of this is that many do not even have not even claimed their Google Plus Business Pages – which may be the place on the web where they are most easily found by prospective customers. (Thanks to Google Plus/Local Places – which used to be the maps that appeared in a Google search page.) If I am considering buying a new car – I am likely going to read the “reviews” that appear in front of me. Will I be put off a brand or a dealer when I read how the dealership “ripped off” or gave bad service? As a human – yes.
If there is a mix of good and bad reviews, but each bad review has a reasonable response from the dealer – it may increase my probability of using that dealer.
This example of a structural change (the internet) has many ramifications. One is that as your potential customers now have almost perfect access to comparative information – then unless you build an uniqueness into your offerings – you will be increasingly treated as a commodity provider – which means you will be selling on price alone. And that is a tough place to live.
Another ramification is that protection of your integrity is vital. If you slip up, or a member of your team makes a dubious decision – it WILL become public knowledge – just about forever. The way that we now must deal with conflicts with customers is to consider them as a marketing cost to fix. It is far, far cheaper to give a refund (or whatever it takes) than to attempt to clean up stream of bad reviews, blogs, comments and bad feeling on the internet. It is expensive and time consuming to “manage” (which means minimise/hide) black marks on your internet presence. If you plan to stay in business – then deal carefully with potential conflicts with your customers.
Townsville Business Enthusiast
With the implication that the way we use or do not use technology impacts strongly on the effective personal power we can create for ourselves.
Technology is defined as the application of knowledge. This means that it includes not only all the lovely gadgetry that I love – but also the intrinsic processes that create all experiences, products and services that we have.
In marketing – it is technology that allows YOUR business video to appear in the first page of the search engines. A specific example is “knowing” that uploading (the application of the knowledge) a transcript of your video into the right place on Youtube will raise you in the page rankings. Technology in action.
In sales – “knowing” how to naturally use (the application) a friendly script to uncover the main criteria for your prospects interest in your product/service/experience – will rocket your conversion rates, decrease your time requirements freeing you up to help more prospects, at the same time as drawing your prospects closer into your sphere for future sales. Again – technology.
For me, there are several lessons in this review of a very potent word.
First is that there are literally thousands of “technologies” that I might be applying in my life. And that it is my focus that determines which I actually apply or have applied. If I attempt to introduce and apply ALL of the beneficial technologies at once it is likely that NONE will be effectively established. For example I know about a thousand different ways/tactics to increase business profits – but the choice of which tactics are applied will depend on the strategies that have been selected. And – obviously – strategy selection must follow from the values and vision of the business owners.
I do not believe that anyone has ever gone broke from knowing too many business building tactics – BUT a very large pile of business go broke from choosing the WRONG tactics for the time, or from not effectively applying ANY tactics at all.
And the root cause of that failure is generally a gap in leadership technology. Which means that it requires only gaining of the knowledge, followed by the application of the knowledge to produce a different result.
For me – that is pretty close to how I see my role in business coaching.
Have a great week
Ps a great article about technology being introduced for restaurants provoked me to write this.
Business Coach Townsville