5 Empowering truths about your business

  1. It’s your business. And that means you have total control.
  2. Your business results are a reflection of your decision-making. If you starve your business of the resources it needs, it will struggle. If you decide to give your business the resources it needs, it will thrive. It’s always your decision.
  3. Any time you choose, you can improve your strategy. You can replace activity with productivity. You can stop dabbling and get intentional.
  4. A great strategy won’t work unless you do. Do the work. All of it. Not just the 90% you find comfortable.
  5. There’s no need to wait for the economy to pick up. Remember point number one: You’re in control. You can begin the process of improvement today. I mean, literally, right now.

So, stop worrying. Just give your business what it needs and it will give you what you need.

Share This:

5 Facts to focus on when your business is struggling

Here are 5 facts to focus on, when times are tough for your business.

  1. You are one idea away from a life-changing breakthrough. Just as you were the last time it happened.
  2. You are one email away from a great client enquiry. Just as you were the last time it happened.
  3. You are one phone call away from converting an enquiry into your most valuable client ever. Just as you were the last time it happened.
  4. You are one decision away from an amazing opportunity. Just as you were the last time it happened.
  5. You are one conversation away from your largest ever order. Just as you were the last time it happened.

Keep moving forward. Because your greatest success is, literally, one step away!

Share This:

Swearing, cussing and invisible sheep

At some point around a decade ago, it became trendy for business gurus to cuss and swear in their work material. As a result, many of their easily led followers decided to do the same.

The idea is that by swearing, the person makes themselves look more authentic. More “urban”. Cooler in some way.

Of course, after a while, there are so many people swearing for effect, that it ceases to shock. This is what happens whenever you choose to follow a popular trend. It becomes almost the norm. It just washes over people.

Last weekend, I was contacted by a prospective new client. Here’s a quick excerpt from her email, used with her consent.

“[…] I also think it’s cool that you don’t swear all the time, like others I see. It makes you sound more confident and professional”.

Usually, when someone chooses to follow the trends, they simply make themselves invisible… as they become camouflaged by all the others, who are doing the same thing.

Maybe by following the swearing trend, there could be a couple of additional career pitfalls, too?

Share This:

Overcoming loneliness

Social networks and mobile communications are connecting people like never before. This begs the question: Why does study after study confirm that loneliness is at an all time high?

I don’t have the answer. But maybe it’s because people are replacing face-to-face interactions with virtual ones? Think about it:

 We find out how the people in our lives are doing via Facebook, without actually meeting them. We can shop from home, without having to visit the local store. We can watch a movie on Netflix, without leaving our home. And many of us can go to work, without actually “going” anywhere.

There are many, many other examples. All of which allow us to live our lives, with an absolute minimum of human contact.

I thought I’d test my theory. Here’s what happened

Around 18 months ago, I decided to get out more and meet more people. I wasn’t feeling lonely. I have a great family and I’m blessed with many good friends. But I knew I wasn’t meeting people like I used to. So, I decided to make some changes and see if it improved the quality of my life.

Here are a few of them.

  • I swapped an exercise bike for an outdoors bike.
  • I swapped a treadmill machine for walking around the village where I live.
  • I swapped working from home, for working from what Andy Ihnatko calls field offices.
  • I swapped texting my friends for having a coffee with them.

The difference this made was huge. Way bigger than I could have imagined. I now see my friends more often. I’ve also made a lot of new friends; people I’d never have met, without the changes I made. Plus, it has massively improved the quality and volume of my work.

In short, I feel so much better in every area of my life. That’s despite having not actually felt lonely before. I can only imagine what impact this approach might have, for someone who is feeling lonely.

I honestly have no idea if sharing this will help anyone else. But spending more time with people offline has been transformational for me.

Share This:

The simple experiment that expanded my mind

Around a decade ago, I decided to try something. It’s allowed me to have a far more balanced view of the world and also, helped me understand people at a way deeper level.

And today, I’m going to share it with you.

How I expanded my mind

I decided to leave my echo chamber.

Here’s what that means: Instead of subscribing to websites, social media accounts, magazines, radio stations etc., which shared my point of view… I threw it open. I started to also pay attention to those, with completely opposite views to myself.

Initially, I planned to do it for 7 days. But before the week was over, I found myself able to better understand why people had different beliefs to my own. I also found that many things I assumed were right, were, at best neutral. And in many cases, I found my long-held points of view were totally wrong.

Perhaps more importantly, I was able to empathise with people at a more personal, less biased level.

Note: This doesn’t mean I agree with everything, everyone thinks. It does mean I can understand WHY. It let’s me appreciate their point of view, without having to hold their point of view.

I’ve done this ever since. And it’s improved my life in many, many ways. So, maybe you might want to give it a try?

Just for a few days. Follow politicians on your main social network, who have opposing views to you. Listen to podcasts or radio stations, that support something you currently see no value in. Read a newspaper, that’s biased against your current perspective.

And see what you can learn.

Share This:

Why Growth Hacking never seems to work

growth hacking

Growth hacking: The concept of reversing the law of cause and effect, is an appealing idea. It says you can get the reward before (or without) the effort.

Maybe the best example of this flawed approach, is the fad diets industry. These diets promise weight loss, with little or no effort. The reason there are so many of them on the market, is that they don’t work. So advocates jump from failed diet to failed diet.

And as a growing number of entrepreneurs are discovering, growth hacking is just as ineffective when it comes to business success. Hacks to get you noticed, hacks to make you influential, hacks to get rich quick… these are all fatally flawed.

And here’s why.

Value

Business success is all about bringing value to your marketplace. The marketplace values; honesty, innovation, dedication, reliability, durability, passion, commitment, professionalism, etc.

By default, anything that can be done by the masses, with a quick hack, lacks that kind of value.

An alternative approach is to learn from the successes of others. Read the books. Do the studying. Do the work. It may not sound as sexy as growth hacking. But it makes more sense than trying to break universal laws.

Share This:

I screwed up. Not her!

I was contacted by someone last week, who said she wanted to know more about working with me. I could tell after 15 minutes of speaking with her, that she was just trying to score some free marketing advice. I gave her some ideas, then politely ended the call.

After the call finished, I felt frustrated with her for being so selfish. I was annoyed with her for wasting my time. And I was wrong!

It was my free choice to speak with her. She couldn’t have wasted my time, without my active consent. Had I been a little more careful, I’d have known she was a time waster before speaking with her. All the clues were there. But I dropped my guard. And I paid the price.

Here’s why I’m sharing this with you

Ultimately, we all choose where we surrender our time, attention and energy. It’s our decision.

Whenever something like this happens, I’ve found that the best thing to do is:

  1. Quickly accept responsibility.
  2. Look for the lesson and learn from it.

This approach means that my time waster wasn’t a time waster. She taught me a lesson and also gave me something to share with you. That’s not a bad return, for a 15 minute investment.

Share This:

How to have massively more energy and focus

One of the most valuable business tips, isn’t.

That’s to say, the tip doesn’t appear to be business related at all. It has nothing to do with customer service, marketing, cash flow, logistics or any key business activity.

Yet it has everything to do with your business.

Ideas and actions

A business is always a reflection of the ideas and actions of the person (or people) directing that business. The quality of your ideas and your commitment to take action are everything. And these are directly linked to how you feel mentally and physically.

An average diet, coupled with too little exercise, leaves you operating way below your potential. It leaves you with foggy thinking and a lack of energy. People tend to confuse this with low self-motivation. They’re often wrong.

Most business owners are motivated people, but it’s hard to keep pushing forward when you lack clarity and energy.

A healthy diet and regular exercise is the answer. Avoid foods that are processed, foods that are high in bad fat and foods that are high in sugar. And walk. Walk daily for 30 minutes. That’s every day. Yes, even when it’s raining. The key is to move your body regularly.

Obviously, before you do anything, speak with a medical professional. They’ll be able to put you on the right track, based on your current health and fitness levels.

Share This:

What’s your ‘effin plan B?

Seems the latest trend for gurus, is to be profane.

I’ve noticed it mostly from social-media-famous experts, who come from privileged backgrounds. It feels like an effort to make themselves more street or more relevant.

Sure, the first time you say ‘fuck’ in your book / blog / podcast, people notice it. After a while though, it ceases to work. The effectiveness wears off. People get snow-blind.

If cussing is currently your shtick, you may want to work on your plan B. Because there’s no deficit of cussing experts, speakers, podcasters or bloggers.

There’s a HUGE shortage of people willing to lead. There’s a vast deficit of people prepared to create ideas worth sharing. These are more profitable areas to invest your time and energy.

Share This:

Do we know who you are and what you stand for?

There are bloggers I have seen online over the past 5 years or more, yet I know nothing about them.

Sure, I know they retweet social media gurus and a-list bloggers. I know they write the same me too blog posts, agreeing with whatever the popular opinion is on a topic. But I know nothing about them.

I have no idea what they think.

What they stand for.

What they are excited about.

What their story is.

This got me thinking

Unlike previous generations, we leave an easy to follow stream of activity behind us online. Our kids or grand kids will be able to see if we stood for anything. They will see of we were ditto heads or if we had the courage to express ourselves. They will see if we were leaders or if we were sheep.

Maybe that’s something to think about, the next time you feel compelled to share your guru’s latest thoughts… rather than your own.

Share This: