Well done to Victor Makurov from Perm in Russia.
First the story (briefly).
This morning I decided I needed a haircut. I only have so much hair now, so recently I have been going to a convenient barber, that is near the coffee shop I visit sometimes. The benefit of a barber is you can usually not make an appointment, and can get a tidy up that suits my time frame rather than my hairdressers.
I used to go to hairdressers, but the event usually required a special trip, which added to the time needed. And often even with an appointment, I would be asked to wait. So, with the decreasing amount of hair, and less difference between a great haircut and a haircut – I decided to go to a barber shop.
And it was ok.
Anyway, this morning I went to the barber shop at Fairfield Shopping Centre. There was a sprout of hair on my head at a gawky angle – so I made a special trip (it is 5 mins away).
As I approach the barber shop, I see that the gate is still mostly across their shop, and the manager and apprentice are standing around chatting. “Great!” I think – I will be first. As I reach the gate the managers asks “Can I help you?”. I say “Yes, hi, I am in a hurry and would like a trim.”
“No, we are not open. We open at 9, and it is only 5 to 9. Can you come back in 5 minutes?”
“Um, No. I won’t. Good bye.” And left to walk to the hairdresser at the other end of the shopping centre.
Now this particular barber shop has cut my hair before twice. It takes only minutes to cut my hair, and on the previous occasion the junior employee did the job, and the time before that the manager did it.
Pretty riveting story, ay?
Now, about YOUR business. How certain are you that your team is not spilling clients out of your revenue by doing similar things? How is your standard greeting quality when your clients or customers visit? Do you have a PROCESS that brings a new customer into your herd by systematically encouraging the first three purchases?
Do you know the average lifetime value of your customers? Do you know that number for each of the categories of your business? If a barber shop customer is worth $700 over two years, how much is he worth if you keep him for four years? Or if you bribe him to bring his teenage son?
If you have not made these fundamental calculations – you are flying blind with your strategy. You cannot effectively budget for marketing. You are relying on intuition and luck. That can be ok for a while, but over time MATHS is what drives your profits. And the eventual value of your business when sold. (most businesses do not “sell”, they close.)
Just four words.
Deming spoke about the massive waste in the world due to our continued struggling under “wrong theory”. You know, like when your business is stuck – and your answer is to “work harder and longer”.
Just like talking louder and louder to people who do not understand your words.
My strength is in helping people move between levels. Check purpose and strategy at 30,000 feet, then deliver precise action at ground level, then review from 30.000 feet. Use power effectively.
A system cannot adjust itself, it must have external intervention. And the “power” of every system is determined by the process with which it is created.
Your coach can help you step outside, analyse, determine what to change, then step back in and move ahead.
This post is the replaced Summary on my LinkedIn Page. Join me there.
Thanks for still being with us. And for opening and reading these Bites. This week has a tool that is guaranteed to change your world.
You are really busy these days, right?
And everyone wants a piece of your time. There is always more to do. Something to be finished, or started. So many things to think about and remember…
What if there was a way to create a whole bunch of new energy, time and potency (what a great word!) – in your day?
A way that was free, could be applied any time, and could be repeated any time you like?
Oh God. “Another fricking time management process!” I hear your mind yell out. That wont work. The last dozen didn’t…
But this is not about time management.
“Oh – well what is it then? Goal setting?” Nope.
“Focus?” Nope. “Priority management?” Nope.
“All right, I give up. What?
Well, before I get to that, I want to tell you a story about computers. And it will make massive sense soon...
You know how in computers – sometimes they get so full of data in short term memory that they just “freeze”?
It is called RAM [Random Access Memory]. And if you turn on too many different programs at once – you use it all up – and the computer dies. Then when you turn it off and back on again – that clears all the RAM so it can be used again – and the computer works. (Yay!)
Yeah, yeah, I know..
You already know what I am going to say. You think I am going to say that your mind is like the RAM on a computer – and that we should just do one thing at a time – or something like that. Right?
Almost. What I am saying is to consider all those other little programs that start themselves up when you turn on your computer. You know – the reason why it take so long for the bloody thing to start? They check for updates, create buzzing noises and they also put little logos on the bottom of the screen that no one actually knows are for but are not game to cancel – you know them.
Well – those little “background programs” don’t usually do anything at all to make your computer more productive – and they take up chunks of RAM – and they actually slow your main tasks down.
And – if you now consider that our brains have a kind of RAM that they use to “do” our thinking – then you will start to get a sniff of what I am saying.
And here it is. There is a horde of attention “leeches” that live in your head. They consist of lists. Lists of things that you must, should and would like to remember. Things that are not written anywhere easy to find – so you keep them in the forefront of your brain.
Remember the milk. The address of the new house. The days that Sally is away and you need to organize a replacement for her. Call Steve today between 2 and 3pm. That great idea for an article. Get fuel for the BMW. Undivert the phone. Transfer cash to the tax account. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Now – while keeping all those things in your mind – start your actual “work”. Create that proposal – or whatever you do. The amazing thing is that you CAN actually do some work – with all those lists still intact. A bit like juggling three balls and saying the alphabet backwards. Our brains are awesome!
And the business building, life changing, [SUPER BITE] from awesome James is?
Take One Pencil Daily – With Coffee (if you want)
Before you start the day, take a piece of paper (or type if you need the practice) – and simply write all that stuff in your head down. Yep. Get the list/s out of your head and onto some paper.
It is like turning off all the little vampire leech programs that run on your computer. Your computer runs faster, better and wont crash. Your brain is the same. Writing it all down – frees up your mental RAM.
This is first part of what I sometimes call “James’s Amazing, Life Changing, One Page, Productivity Multiplying, Goal Obliterating Yet Blindingly Simple in Hindsight Guaranteed (if you do it) Success System” (TM Pending!). My clients know about it. It works 100% of the time when clients commit to it. And now you have the first step to this system.
But for starters – do just this step once per day in the morning – and feel the boost in your productivity (and confidence) instantly. You can do it after lunch as well. Imagine what might happen in your business if your own productivity increased even 10%? Start with yourself – share later when you see results. [Send me an email with your results and insights!]
Next Bite I will show you how to supercharge this effect with another part of the system. You wont believe how simple and powerful it is. I will also add a list of ways to get FAST CASH into your business.
Another BITE about this effect is to consider that 99% of the people you meet have these lists sucking their brainpower as well. No wonder people often appear like zombies as the marketing world smashes message after message at them.
This is why we need to get ATTENTION before we start to communicate with them.
They wander around, eyes glazed, mumbling silently “Remember the milk, charge the iphone, the car needs 10W40 oil not 20W40…” We have to INTERRUPT their chant before we can ENGAGE with them.
Expect more from yourself,
Ps Have you been to joined our Members List and downloaded the Cashflow Forecasting Tool and the Impact of Price Increases & Discounts Effect Tool yet?
Pps have you forwarded any BITES to your friends yet? Remember it is part of the deal – – and send it to everyone who needs some more productivity… (Or any Zombies you know…)
So how does your business stack up in the “halo” stakes?
No idea what I am babbling on about? Good. Maybe it will snap you out of the “I know everything” mental birdcage that makes you miss seeing the bleeding obvious.
Actually – all of us have a mental box like that. We miss the obvious. The more we see it – the sooner it becomes almost invisible.
In this article you will get an insight that may make the difference between your business thriving in a tough economy – and “failing to thrive”. So read it to the end.
One of my favourite books is called “Thinking Fast & Slow” by Daniel Kahneman. It is the second hardest book to read that I own – but each time I clunk through a page I get an uppercut from the obvious in hindsight.
That was where the idea of this business halo was whelped. You might already know about the “halo” effect in team recruitment – their is a bias towards the people you see first, or for a single time. (And you know that is why you ALWAYS use the “Rule of 3” before you hire anyone, right?)
So from Kahneman an activity that will save me typing, and that will snap open your obvious blindness to what your business presents to people who visit it.
Two people are presented to you with the following descriptions, and your task is to comment on their personalities. What do you think of Alan and Ben?
Alan: intelligent – industrious – impulsive – critical – stubborn – envious
Ben: envious – stubborn – critical – impulsive – industrious – intelligent
Because you are affected by bias – yep – like all of us – it is likely that you viewed Alan far more favourably than Ben. The traits listed at the start of the list affect the meaning of the traits listed later.
For example – “stubborn” and “critical” traits are improved by having “intelligent” preceding them. The stubbornness of an intelligent person is seen a reasonably justified, and may even evoke respect. But intelligence in an envious or stubborn person makes him more dangerous! (p82)
When I first read the lists of Alan and Ben – I did not see that the traits were the same – only reversed in order. When I did see it – a whole choir of Obvious Angels swooped down and slapped me until the massive implications of this bias started to overflow from my ears.
But let’s just cover a couple of the important business (read sales rocket boosting power) elements!
The sequence in which we observe characteristics (or a person or place) is often determined by chance. Sequence matters – the halo effect increases the weighting of the first impressions. Read that again. Weighting is greater in the first part of the sequence. Not only that – this effect is driven by our unconscious biases – that we are completely unaware of for 99% of the time.
Are you with me yet? Come on – think!
As I arrive at the front of YOUR business premises – which might be offices, or retail or a hot dog stand – the sequence of the flow of observations in play. If I trip over a box of cigarette butts next to a grubby bench, then step into your business over a broken tile or a ratty “We-come” mat – then guess what observations get the HEAVY weighting?
If I then see your wall full of awards for being supremely clever – then I probably conclude that you are just a grub who “got lucky”.
But if your physical welcome zone is like the portal to Disney World, and then I see your awards, or pictures of you with respected figures, or some other “priming” items – then I am in a different place.
And you already realize that my exposure to your business began well before I turned up in your carpark. It applies to your website if that is where I found you. Was it still from 2008 when you had your cousins kid-brother whip up a basic site that has not been touched since? Is your website mobile device friendly – this means it can be read on a phone or ipad thingie – or does it turn to 1 mm high text on an empty screen?
Here is the lesson for this case. “PRIMING”. Every single thing that we see, do or experience “primes” us for something that is next in the sequence. EVERY thing. And the priming either adds or subtracts value to your business presence – there are no “neutrals”.
Here is your action step for this week:
Put on your “I see the bleeding obvious” hat – and approach YOUR business and list everything you see in the order you see them. Then put a + or – next to each item. Does what you see “prime” you to be more positive or more negative toward the next thing that you will see as you enter.
Hopefully that will create a little gap in your obvious blindness – you will start to see what others see. And THEN it can get interesting – because you then have the power to manipulate the sequences that drive other peoples unconscious biases. Cool! Use “halo” power only for good, ok?
But that is content for another post. Be sure to subscribe, and comment below, and if you are not on my Newsletter you are again missing the bleeding obvious. Get the “bleeding obvious hat” out and slap yourself with it until you finish subscribing.
Ps – oh yeah – THREE steps:
1. Look everywhere for the bias effects that our brains give to items we observe EARLY in a sequence. Notice them. Review them – brainstorm with yourself for how you could alter the sequence if you chose.
2. Revisit EVERY item that might be early in the sequence of new people discovering your business. From cleaning your service vehicles inside and out, to the presentation of your team (you see your supervisor at the pub wearing his company uniform that is a mess, and he is swearing badly), to your digital and printed assets, to your processes and procedures (what you say when you answer the phone, and even whether you “dump” the handset when you end a call – this makes a very rude CLUNK in the ear of the other person and DOES affect their observations. Check your “on hold” noises. Check all your advertisements. You get the idea.
3. Take a decent amount of time and add some positive priming events or items to the most comment sequence that your prospects and clients are exposed to. Eg put some testimonials on your “on hold”, make your vehicle drivers become overly friendly in traffic (wave, let them enter the lane), put some positioning items at the entrance to your premises – be manipulative here – they will not notice consciously.
☁ Instant Improvement Tip ☁ March 2015
☛☛☛ Do The Opposite of The People That Fail…
Welcome to March. You are almost one quarter through your year – and if your starting activity has been a little lame – there is still time to recover and have the best year ever. But start now.
Yeah, sure James. Start doing what exactly?
Well, maybe just start with the obvious. You know that about 95% of businesses fail, right. Most in their early years. Then more in their later years. Some truly achieve, and others are only still open because of either the obstinacy or the cash resources of the owners.
Well, in any industry – statistically – most of the businesses are either going to fail, or at least fail to thrive. And therefore…
Therefore if you do what the herd is doing – you are in the group where 95% fail. So don’t do that.
Look at other industries – see what they do that your industry does not do to get more business. Get some “hybrid vigour” happening. Cross pollinate. But DON’T be the guys that are driven by “expected” margins or “industry averages” or “norms”. Because most of your industry competitors will not be around all that long…
Yes – it really is March. And if you are like the majority of your industry – whichever that is – chances are that you have wasted months paddling around in circles because your strategic plan is either “do the same as last year”, or that making your plan is “one of those things you meant to do”?
You do have a strategic plan? Right? Perhaps a 1-page version like I use? That includes all the important elements, timeframes from 20 years to 90 days, includes the big rock actions and who is responsible for them? Used daily and updated each quarter? No? Better call me then, and be prepared for more progress than you have made in years.
Oh – I wonder what percentage “un-thriving” businesses have one of my strategic plans? And if you have thrived without one? Dude! Think about the concept of “turbo”.
Well done to Brad and the whole team on winning the big award for 4 years in a row. Now bring on the national finals!
It is a pleasure working with you!
HIA Awards Townsville
Taken from my LinkedIN profile page article. Connect with me. I don’t usually bite.
☁ Instant Improvement Tip ☁ Sep 2014
☛☛☛ 6 SHORT, EASY STEPS TO AWESOMENESS
Last month I wrote about the “best ever shortcut to solve business problems FAST”, about our “biases”. (http://seminar.com.au/linkedin-instant-improvement-tip-july-2014/)
This month, in this tiny space, let’s 80/20 some metaplanning.
Step 1. Decide that you both deserve and intend to have a great life. People DON’T get what they deserve – they get what they properly PLAN and resource.
Step 2. Figure out the difference between FEAR and DANGER so you can stop fighting yourself. Easy way – watch movie “After Earth”.
Step 3. Having decided you deserve and intend to have a great life – establish what that means in 3 categories: Health, Wealth & Happiness (HWH).
Then you decide on the coach “Hat” – the one that is in charge of ensuring HWH. For me it is a WISDOM hat. If my coach hat is “wise”, it balances my focus in the roles that produce HWH. Kind of a coach/designer.
Step 4. Choose ONE of HRH. With your WISE coach hat on, decide on the plan you will follow to deliver your life experience of that category.
Eg in Health – first choose the single most potent pathway to move your health towards ideal. For most people this will be about nutrition. Then the next most potent path, probably to do with dynamism (MOVEMENT!).
Repeat for Wealth/Business) & Happiness. So you end up with the Top 3 & Top 6 places to focus in each. Goal: get these done in the right balance given your resources.
Step 5. With “WISDOM” hat on, create a suitable ROSTER for investing your time (focus) on the Top 1 movement in each role. This is completely up to you. YOU choose. When you allocate time – you MUST meet that promise.
Eg FOCUS fully on the TOP 1 item for your Wealth Role for 1 FULL hour per day – you win big. Your wise coach oversees the actions, is reported to each day, reviews the wisdom of each strategy weekly & checks roster.
Step 6. Follow & Love your plan. Not rocket science.
A “meta” program is one that runs at a “higher level” – that guides (controls) programs below it.
One example is “ethics”. Your general and specific rules that greatly determine what happens in your life. Becoming clear on your high level rules can make an enormous difference to the pathway you find yourself on.
We have complete freedom to examine, review, accept, drop or rewrite our rules and guidelines. Here is a great example from Einstein – and if you adopt it in your business framework – every part of your philosophy will be upgraded?
Consider this program each time you review your strategies, tactics and results.
Dance like you do when no one is watching – and savor each morsel of your precious life.
This afternoon I was testing some software. I like software that is able to go to large pools of people and segment them. This new software can dig right into Pinterest.
After a few preliminary searches – I asked it to see how many people it could find on Pinterest who have the word “Coach”in their user name. The coaching world has been growing faster than mushrooms in 4 day old cow dung over the last 5 years, but I was still amazed at the range.
Here are just a few of the general categories uncovered in the first 1,000 people with “coach” in them.
1. Business Coach
2. Food Coach
3. Speedy fit Coach
4. Intuitive health coach
5. Family coach
6. Potty Training Coach
7. Financial Coach
8. Beachbody Coach
9. Speaking Coach
10. Angel coach
11. Pitching coach
12. Online coach
13. Health coach pharmacist
14. Lifestyle coach
15. Law of attraction coach
16. K-9 Coach
17. PMA coach ??
18. Success coach
19. Depression recovery coach
20. Accountability Coach
21. Math coach
22. Parenting coach
23. Cake coach (awesome!)
24. Tech coach
25. Vegan Coach
26. Calorie coach
27. Juicing coach!
28. Hippie Health coach
29. Equestrian Coach
30. Twin Coach (yep!)
31. Blog Coach
32. Handbag coach (did I say that one already? Oh well worth saying it twice!)
33. Fashionista Coach
34. Speed running coach
35. Dating coach
36. Coach for the military
37. Integrative coach
38. Literacy coach
39. Jewelry coach
40. Live happy coach
41. Scrapbook coach
42. FLL coach
43. Write Now! Coach
44. Ultimate Image coach
45. Kick Ass Coach
46. Single Mom Coach
47. Procrastination Coach (I’ll get to you on that one)
48. Allergy free cooking coach
49. Retail Coach
50. Glamour Coach
51. LA Sex Coach
52. Fibromyalgia coach
53. ADHD Coach
54. Wifestyle coach
55. Weight loss surgery coach
56. learn German Coach
57. Milestone coach
58. Career Coach
59. Calm coach
60. Pregnancy coach
61. Cradle coach (actually this not a person but big baby carrier)
62. Christian Writers Coach
63. In & Out Coach ??
64. Dream Job Coach
65. Cotton coach
66. Urgent coach
67. Nontoxic coach
68. Dyslexia caoch
69. Art biz coach
70. Primal coach
71. Stampin coach
72. Bridal coach
73. Sleeping coach
74. Nip Tuck Coach
75. Solar coach
And then the productivity coach part of me said “Enough!” And I stopped looking.
The good part of this list is that clearly “coaching” is reaching a different stage of maturity. Yep – handbag, glamour, niptuck, and in & out coaches now exist. Name a problem – and if you have ability or experience dealing with it – you can add the word “coach” and you are ready to go… I think it is awesome. If you can add value by helping others upgrade their lives – go for it!
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).
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.
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…
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.
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