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.