Personality Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

ju06Contrary to popular belief, anyone can be an entrepreneur – you don’t need to necessarily be a Bill Gates or Steve Jobs “type”. You might just need to fine tune some of the traits that you might already possess as discussed in more detail below.

There are many different ways you can start your own business and if you are genuinely keen on doing so, talking to startup providers, like Telcoinabox, might be a great place to begin – take a look at www.telcoinabox.com.au to see what they can offer you.

Tenacity

Managing your own business can and will be hard, especially at the initial starup/launch stage. Even after that, you will encounter numerous obstacles. You have to be prepared for this! Some of the best entrepreneurs are not necessarily the ones that made the best creative decisions, but those that persevered through the tough times and made it to the “other side” Failure is not necessarily a negative, much can be learned from your mistakes. It’s the ability to keep going when the going is at its toughest that will make you successful.

Passion

Many entrepreneurs are not driven by money, but by their passion for the product or service they are providing. It’s difficult to be tenacious in an industry you are not fully vested in and this may lead to your downfall. Even if you think it’s hard to be successful in the industry you are passionate about, give it a go anyway. You might be surprised to see how far pure passion and drive can get you. There is nothing worse than being “stuck” in an industry, company or job you don’t like.

Self-confidence

Confidence is a very important trait for all entrepreneurs to have, because you need to be one hundred and ten percent sure in both yourself and the product or service you’re selling. A completely new product will always have its naysayers and harsh critics. You need to have the confidence to make sure you don’t take their words to heart prove them wrong. You have to be confident enough to be willing to take (calculated) risks, but not too confident that you trip over yourself. This is a balance you will find over time as you “get your groove”.

Flexibility

The ability to adapt is very important from an entrepreneurial standpoint – the survival of your business might depend on it! Markets and industries are ever changing, and you will need to change what you’re doing as the context demands. Alternatively, your ideas might not be turning out the way you expect, so you might need to think about what you can do to turn this around. Most successful businesses (and models) were variations of the original idea. If the founder had stubbornly stuck to his or her idea, the company would have joined the majority of failed businesses.

These are just some personality traits that successful entrepreneurs should possess. There are, of course, many more. One of the most important attributes is to believe in yourself and what you are doing, and go from there. Good luck!

  • Are you an entrepreneur or know someone who is?
  • What do you think makes a successful business person?
  • Do you agree with the points made above, or do you disagree?
  • Is there anything else you would add to this list?

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Is your business paying you more than just a wage?

Does running your own business payoff? The answer is yes, and no.

In a recent BRW Magazine article, University Of Western Sydney researchers revealed that even though small business owners still don’t earn as much as the typical wage earner, they’re becoming richer and smarter with their money as they tend to accumulate more assets.

Australian business owners report a lower level of weekly income. In 2010, they took home an average weekly income of $1975 compared with those on a wage who took home $2173.

But a new University of Western ­Sydney study shows business owners outstripped their more secure counterparts by accumulating assets worth more than $1 million ($1.095 million in 2010), whereas wage earners ­accumulated only two-thirds ($673,000) of this amount.

“As a small business owner, you sometimes sacrifice some income in favour of reinvesting that,” Mark ­Sargent from Newcastle University said. “There’s evidence the typical model, where you take the risk and get greater returns, actually is the case.”

Using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and HILDA (Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia), the study  found there are more than 2.1 million owner-operators of small businesses in ­Australia and the proportion of superannuation investment by both wage earners and small business owners has increased markedly.

The value of superannuation holdings in the sample group shows contributions from salary and wage earnings households between 2003 and 2010 rose 60 per cent whereas the contributions from unincorporated small businesses nearly doubled to 112 per cent.

“The magnitude of the change was quite surprising,” Dr Sargent said.

“Traditionally, people have started their own businesses with a view of one day selling their business and using the proceeds to fund their retirement.

“What we have now begun to detect is that more business people are ­dramatically building up their superannuation funds. This is a far more ­protected and secure environment for wealth creation.”

This is both good and bad news for small business owners.

First the good news: At least business owners are rewarded with capital appreciation of their assets. It is assumed the capital growth difference with their salaried peers actually compensates for the lower income and would the greater access to business deductions.

The bad news: The risk borne by small business owners is usually very high, with many primary residences collateralised for business bank loans and the on-going risk of default and bankruptcy especially in times of economic and geopolitical turmoil. An employee might lose a job, a business owner his/her job AND his/her house!

The great news: Some small business owners succeed at making a higher income and create greater capital appreciation than their peers. This small, elite group of business owners learns powerful strategies that are tried and tested. If you would like to join them, contact us. We’ll let you know if you qualify to join them.

What’s Coming

I have a special vocabulary I have created to define Exponential Mindset Thinking principles and concepts. One of the most powerful is 20/20 Foresight – the ability to create the ultimate future (destiny) you desire.

Admittedly it’s easier said than done, but not because the future is hard to predict, but because of the inertia you have that PREVENTS you from adapting to that (new) future which is why smart business people fail.

Please re-read that last sentence again…

I have been teaching this principle for some time and even blogged about it. In one blog post I explained the 20/20 Foresight – Strategic Planning Framework and in another I revealed how our clients are adapting to the impending “future forces”. In my personal coaching and mentoring blog I was much more direct in my prediction for the future.

There is no secret about what I expect to happen – Harry Dent has been promoting his views for some time and even published them in a bestselling book – The Demographic Cliff. After reading several of his books, I attended one of his information workshops in Los Angeles in May 2014 and was convinced that (1) I have to take this seriously and (2) I need to prepare my clients accordingly.

Simply stated, what I am advocating to my clients is that they prepare themselves professionally and personally – this is a lot easier than you would think. If the crash happens, they will be the “last man standing”, if the crash does not happen, they won’t lose anything, they’ll end up with a stronger, more robust business and bullet-proof portfolio. It’s all upside.

To learn what to do, you need to become a client. Contact us and we’ll let you know what to do to protect yourself and your business. If you choose not to become a client, good luck and please let me know how it all works out for you.

_____________________________

Note for future reference: Please look at the date this was published… which can also be confirmed as published on Twitter, Facebook and Linked In.

I know, don’t you wish you had (1) read this before it happened? and (2) if you did read it, that you had taken it more seriously?

 

 

Weird Al Yancovic – Word Crimes

All I can say is – WOW – what an awesome video.

I teach Killer Kopywriting and I will make this a must-watch component of the Pre Program Preparation for the workshop. So many lessons with captivating graphics.

 

At the Victor Valley Business Expo Next Week

I will be presenting my Keynote presentation “Antimimeticisomorphism” at the Victor Valley Business Showcase Expo 2014 next week.

Victor Valley Business Expo

If you”re in the area, you’re welcome to pass by.

Weird Al Yancovic – Mission Statement

I am not into buzzwords and business jargon even though I have my own list of definitions for what I do…

This video shows how you can talk a lot without saying anything… Courtesy of Weird Al Yancovic – the master of this art of parody.

Enter To Win

I guess the copywriter who wrote “Enter To Win” was a little too literal in his description!

enter to win

Project Pitfalls

Project Planning Pitfalls Doc ThumbnailWe all want to avoid mistakes, which is easier said than done.

That’s why this collection of Project Planning Pitfalls and Management Mistakes sponsored by Nebo Engineering is so funny and so true!

Click on the image to download the collection from Nebo Engineering‘s website.

This document is just another Exponential Marketing Strategy aimed at having fun as we help you grow your business or advance your career.

 

 

Ten common startup mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Startup MistakesNo budding entrepreneur wants to put blood, sweat, and tears into a new business venture only to see it fold in less than a year. Yet even with great ideas and adequate effort, most startup businesses fail in the first year.

The following is a list of the most common mistakes you need to try (at all costs) to avoid.

1. Focusing on passion instead of skill

A common refrain in business is to “do what you love,” yet this needs to be balanced out with a hefty dose of reality. You may love gourmet food, but you wouldn’t expect to succeed as a chef without the proper training. Work towards building your skill set to allow yourself to do what you love. This way, you’ll also be doing what you’re good at. Never, ever start a new business (with you as the central figure) unless you are way, and I mean way better at what you do than your competitors. Otherwise you’re dead in the water before you dip your toe in it!

2. Using a derivative idea

Whenever a new business achieves success, a crop of imitators instantly pops up around it. These rarely do as well as the originator, but they do create “noise” in the marketplace. The best business ideas are ones that provide a clear and distinct solution to a problem, rather than piggybacking on one that’s already solved.

3. Not having a specific ‘user’ in mind

Research is essential for success, no matter how large or small your business might be. You can’t create the right product for your ‘user’ if you don’t know who he or she is. Defining your target user allows you to refine your products, services, and marketing efforts to enhance profits. We have the Dr’s Demographic Descriptors and the Corporate Criteria Classifications to systemise an otherwise ‘ad hoc’ approach.

4. Not paying attention to the competition

Although you don’t want to consciously copy your competition, you also don’t want to ignore them. Is your competition out-selling you due to lower prices or a premium product or service?Antimimeticisomorphism is the key element to you standing out and above the competition. Not many people succeed doing this because it requires a substantial mindshift.

5. Trying to take on too much on your own

With the wealth of online resources available, it’s easier than ever to launch your own business from the comfort of your kitchen table, hone office or garage. Yet at the same time, if you want your business to grow and thrive, you must realize your “Peter Principle” – everyone has one. We cover this concept in our 1 Day Mini MBA Program. You can’t be good at everything – the sooner you learn and accept that, the better. There are only so many hours in a day, and some jobs require the eye of a professional. Get as much help as you can right from the start, for example hiring an accountant or bookkeeper if necessary.

6. Hiring too many people

On the other hand, hiring a full team before you’ve hit the ground running can rapidly deplete your initial fundraising efforts. If you need to hire a team before you’ve started turning profits, consider paying with equity rather than a salary. Also consider hiring contractors – we show businesses how to do this using web-based portals. Contact us for further details.

7. Not creating a budget

Creating a solid business plan is an important preliminary step for new businesses. It’s best to set a realistic, efficient budget that minimises your operating costs from day one. To assist with this, you may want to bring in a cost accountant who is qualified to help manage costs more efficiently. Click here for more information about what cost accountants do and start thinking about cultivating your own cost accounting skill set.

8. Avoiding online marketing

Let’s face it – if you’re not Internet savvy – stick to your day job. You are an entrepreneurial dinosaur. You cannot survive in business today without the Internet. Simple as that. Sorry. The world has changed. No one is searching in book with yellow pages anymore.

9. Relying too heavily on outside opinion

Asking for opinions from those around you can help you see your business from a pair of fresh eyes and lead to new innovations and improvement, but you wouldn’t ask your car mechanic to cut your hair, so remember to take UNQUALIFIED advice with a grain of salt, even if it’s being given by a professional. Each profession has its purpose and role mixing these up can be catastrophic.

10. Forgetting to take breaks and recharging your batteries

Running a new business is a full-time job and then some. Don’t forget to enjoy the hard work and take a break every now and again. Your best business ideas will come to you when you’re jogging through the park or fishing with friends on the weekend. You need the time off to “sharpen the saw” that is your mind and entrepreneurial spirit.

This was a guest post, if you would like to contribute content for one of our blogs, please contact us for our publishing, terms and conditions.

Marketing Mistakes To Avoid – Hitler Billboard

What were they (not) thinking?!?
Hitler Billboard

Unfortunately most of the marketing mistakes people make are not this blatantly obvious.

I say unfortunately because if they are not obvious, then they are not recognised for the true blunders they are. These are silent killers that erode a company’s profits often to the complete ignorance of the business owner.

Ignorance is simply NOT KNOWING.

NOT KNOWING is no longer an excuse in this day and age of “Exponential Mindset Thinking” – It’s why MasterMind Groups were invented, work so well and are used by all super successful business people and the ultra wealthy.

You can’t be smarter than a group of your peers and you can’t outperform a group of your peers who are focused on your success…

It always baffles me when I hear and see people “going it alone” in business…

 

Digging yourself into a hole

I just came back from a trip to North America where I met some very smart and ambitious business people.

In contrast, upon my return to Australia, I came across a 19-year old squash player who wants to make it on to the professional tour who said “I don’t have a coach, I prefer to do things on my own, see what’s out there and do it my way.”

I was gobsmacked. His fate is sealed – he is already YEARS behind his peers. We have local players here in Sydney who at the national level are already YEARS ahead of him.

So what does this have to do with business?

Dig Yourself Into A Hole - The Exponential Growth Strategist

 

In as much as today’s example is squash related, the same is true in business. I see it all the time. Business people who have dug themselves into a hole and want to get out. In many cases, the hole is too deep and as a mentor, I simply walk away. The reason I do that is because as Einstein said “The thinking that created the problem is not the thinking that will solve it.”

As The Exponential Growth Strategist, I decided a long time ago to work with the elite in business, those who know what they want and are willing to invest in themselves to get it.

One of the key principles is the quote above. AVOIDING problems and MINIMISING mistakes is a necessary part of success.

One of the most valuable aspects of what I do for my clients is help them AVOID mistakes – prevent them from picking up that shovel in the first place.

A common and all-too-popular hole people are digging themselves into is with social media, another is poor quality copywriting.

The next time you get yourself into a hole – ask yourself this simple question: “How could I have avoided picking up the shovel in the first place?”

If you can do that, you will reduce the number of holes you dig for yourself moving forward.

Dinosaurs And Opportunities

Exponential Mindset Thinking takes balls – moneyballs… Watch this clip from the hit movie starring Brad Pitt.

Enough said. If you want to get a lot more done with a lot less time, money and effort, contact us and we’ll show you the EXPONENTIAL way to run your business that will have your competitors scrambling – literally.

This is a must watch movie (even though the book is much better) for anyone who wants to learn the principles of what I call Management By Metrics.  Billy Beane changed major league baseball by overcoming more than a century of tradition and the wrong approach to building a “winning” team.

I won’t give way the key distinction, only to say that your business, industry or profession might very well be in the same situation, in need of a discontinuous innovation that puts you in the leadership position.

Antimimeticisomorphism is definitely required, but without Management By Metrics, it’s all theory and no practice. Games are won on the field, in the real world – not in someone’s head.

Making things happen and STICKING to it until it plays itself out is the underlying message that without that level of conviction, belief and discipline, it’s just another incomplete experiment.

You don’t want to dabble – you want to COMMIT when you know it’s right.

Easier said than done, that’s why a great book was written and an enjoyable movie was made.

Ten amazing out-of-home marketing campaign ideas

Cadbury billboardHome based businesses are becoming more and more common these days, and a quick search on the Internet will reveal thousands of them, urging you to buy their products and services. So if you want your home-based business to stand out from the crowd, you have to market smartly and have a campaign that will cut through the noise. Here are ten strategies for out-of-home marketing campaigns that will help you do just that.

#1 Start an eBay shop

Starting an eBay shop can be a simple way to reach out to the millions of people who are already searching for things to buy on the Internet. The best thing about it is that it is so easy, it is all set up for you with payment systems, bidding functions and online stores to showcase your wares. Directing customers from your eBay store to your website is another great way of generating traffic.

#2 Press releases and articles

With the hundreds of print and online media outlets across the globe, the need for new and compelling content is endless and editors are constantly scouring for new products, service and businesses to feature. Make it easy for them by writing good articles and press releases that showcase your product. The more you tailor your message to the audience of a certain publication, the more likely you will be to get it published.

#3 Facebook viral posts

When something goes viral on Facebook it can reach millions of users around the world. Scour your brain to think of funny and compelling ways to integrate your brand or product into a funny post that people will want to share with their friends. This is not going to be easy, as you never know what will strike a chord with people, but you only have to have one big success and it could give your business an incredible boost.

#4 YouTube videos

Increasingly, video content is becoming the main form of content people consume online. By creating interesting, informative and fun videos featuring your business or products you can reach a huge online audience and entice them to want to learn more about your product. Don’t be put off thinking that only pros can make a video, with a good idea and a mobile phone camera, you too can create a video that will get hundreds of thousands of views and generate huge amounts of traffic for your site.

#5 Become an expert

You wouldn’t be in business if you didn’t know a thing or two about your product or service, so don’t be shy about passing on that knowledge and establishing yourself as an expert in the field. Whether it be in online forums, radio, print or even television, there are plenty of opportunities to get yourself in front of an interested audience and share your knowledge with others once you have established your credibility, it will help create more and more interest in your business.

#6 Twitter

Much like Facebook, twitter can help you reach a huge audience and build customers for your website, it’s all about making your post fun, informative and regular. Also by following other people on twitter you can re-tweet interesting tweets and tap into the online trends in order to help hone the other aspects of your marketing campaign

#7 Blogging

Blogging is one of the best ways to great a loyal following and inform your customers and potential customers about what you have to offer. It is also a great way to get instant feedback about ideas and products you want to market and test the waters to see if there is a demand for them..

#8 Create a press kit

A press kit is bundle of information that you can send out at the click of a button to media outlets to inform them about your business. I should include a brief and informative overview of your product and service, highlighting its key benefits and selling points. It should have a brief biography of yourself and your background in starting the business. Most importantly, it should contain high resolution photographs and videos that can easily be incorporated by media outlets no matter which platform they are using.

#9 Pinterest

Pinterest is another great way to garner followers and generate traffic to your website. By making regular posts featuring the way people can use and benefit from your product or service, you can demonstrate why people should purchase it.

#10 Contests

Everyone loves a good contest with prize giveaways and freebies. By offering prizes to the person who supplies the best idea or use for your product, or how your service has helped improve their lives, you can not only generate interest but also re-use this information by incorporating it into you future marketing campaigns.

As you can see there are plenty of ways to effectively market your business from home, so give all of them a try and find out which ones work for you. Alternatively, you can click here and see how someone like Market Smartly conducts their campaigns. Do you have a successful technique form out-of-home marketing that isn’t on the list? Tell us about it.

This was a guest post, if you would like to contribute content for one of our blogs, please contact us for our publishing, terms and conditions.

Today’s business person

Every For NothingEveryone wants EVERYTHING for NOTHING.

AND they want all their problems solved YESTERDAY.

That is the problem with the world today…

It’s why it’s harder to do business.

It’s just too hard to be disciplined.

It’s too easy to be slack and hope something changes.

The world has changed, it has spoiled “us” and has robbed us of the tenacity we used to have – when life was a lot “harder”…

When we didn’t have 2 cars, we didn’t have mobile phones OR COMPUTERS.

We had to walk places, take buses, WORK PHYSICALLY to earn a wage…

Such is life – we are NOT going to change it – we just need to adapt. The challenge (for us) is to find the top 10% – because that’s all that’s left +/- 10 percent of the population who is willing to invest in themselves “the old fashioned way”…

If you want to grow your business exponentially – one step at a time, one day at a time, contact us.

 

Are you in BUSY-ness?

busy-business-manOne of the things I find absolutely amazing with owner-operator business owners is how many of them are in busy-ness. Busy, busy, busy, not getting anywhere.

Don’t get me wrong – running a business takes time, I get that.

But as a business coach and mentor, I can tell VERY QUICKLY the difference between successful versus much less successful business owners.

The busier the person is,
the less successful he or she is.

When I refer to being busy, I mean being preoccupied, distracted, putting out fires, chasing things down, playing telephone tag, going through emails several times in an inbox with hundreds or thousands of messages, preparing multiple proposals, bidding on every tender that crosses the desk… I could go on and on…

I mention this now because in the past 2 weeks, I’ve come across people who in their own words are “too busy”… Not with an overflow of jobs, contracts and orders to process, but too much “stuff to do”…

Success is actually not that hard, but people want and do make it hard…

One way they make it hard for themselves is trying to get it “all” done. That actually is not the point, goal or aim in business.

The goal is well, the goal.

If your goal is to grow your business (increase sales), then you should only be “busy” doing things that lead to that outcome.

If your goal is to be more profitable – this is a DIFFERENT goal than increasing sales, then you should only be “busy” doing that.

Here’s the thing —> most business owners don’t know what their goal is!

Most business owners THINK increasing sales and increasing profitability is the same thing – it’s not. Furthermore, one is NOT better than the other. IT DEPENDS on what you want and when you want it.

You could acquire 10, 20, or even 100 new clients at a very low cost (e.g. no profit) in the next month. By retaining those clients – with a full profit proposition – you can become more PROFITABLE within this financial/calendar year.

So the decision(s) you make depend on your GOAL and YOUR timeline.

I know this sounds easy, common sensical and even self-evident, but believe me… It’s not.

The busiest people are NOT beginners in business. These are people who have been in business for years or even decades — They should know better by now, but they don’t.

Why not?

Because they don’t have and don’t take the time to test the alternative.

How can they? They are too busy, busy, busy, busy…

Welcome to what I call the Vortex Of Mediocrity!

Once it has you in its grasp – there is no escaping it – without determination, perseverance and tenacity.

So there you go – another distinction for you.

Are you in BUSY-NESS …
too busy to grow your business?

 

Business and intuition

We have all had them – premonitions, gut feelings, the sense that something will happen before it does, knowing something we shouldn’t well before it seems logical or sensing something happening to someone close to you that is physically far from us…

Gut feelings… a sixth sense… by whatever name, intuitions can be informative. Many swear by them.

But in the investment world, mysteriously-generated feelings more often than not lead investors to make wealth-destroying decisions. In the business arena, the same is true – very capable, smart, hard working people travel down the wrong path with often devastating consequences. Working harder and harder based on a hunch or “opinion”.

There is a better way…

Nate Silver, statistics guru extraordinaire, put a face on the value of data and — when astutely analyzed — its ability to guide decision-makers toward the most desirable outcome. His CNN blog was widely followed during the 2012 American presidential election, because his statistical models proved more accurate than anyone else’s.

A year earlier, the Hollywood hit, Moneyball (originally published as a book), introduced the world to a unique idea: A data-driven, decision-making model can successfully overcome a lack of financial resources… allowing a stats-geek baseball recruiter to beat out deep-pocketed rivals who continued to rely on subjective intuition and gut feel.

When you look back, the writing’s been on the wall for years.
But very few want to read it.

The availability of troves of data — and the computer power needed to process it — has increased substantially over the last decade.

Yet, to some, the Big Data trend is scary.

The National Security Administration (NSA) spooked the world when Edward Snowden revealed the agency’s collection of massive quantities of our personal data. (Scary!)

Target stores reportedly have the ability to predict when a woman is pregnant — based on her spending patterns — even before she knew she was! (Scarier!)

And Twitter has analyzed billions of data points to determine which days of the week, and months of the year, we’re more likely to be happy. (Odd!) Here’s a graphic showing the analysis:

Twitter - Happy Day Of Week

Twitter, Target, and the NSA aside, financial markets are chock-full of data and, therefore, the ultimate playground for investors with a bent toward quantitative analysis. They even have their own nickname – quants!

If you’ve read my blogs for any length of time, you know I ONLY make decisions when my metrics show I have an edge…

I call it Management By Metrics.

Even though I am a fan of the power of the human spirit and readily admit that running a business is a balance of art and science, I NEVER make any major business (or investment) decision based on a gut feel. I am risk averse – why take a risk when you can reduce or eliminate it with some very simple, basic math?

I realise my pure and applied science and engineering background has influenced me. I spent several years immersed in the scientific method, which involves making observations about the real world, forming hypotheses (educated guesses) as to why the observations are what they are, and designing experiments to determine whether or not the hypothesis holds true.

Surprisingly, very few people in business use this method. Anecdotally I think it’s the popular aversion to mathematics as much as it is mental laziness. I am not suggesting you need to learn multivariate statistics, but just the use of Excel and a few simple formulas can take the guesswork out of most business decisions.

As The Exponential Growth Strategist, I facilitate our Platinum Program where you can learn the skills to acquire what I call 20/20 Foresight – being able to predict the future or manifest the future you seek for yourself or your business. Founded on scientific principles, it is with reach of anyone with a basic understanding of math and a hand-held calculator.

The science is straight forward and simple – the repercussions for you and your business can be, well…. astounding.

Contact us if you want to get past your hunches and gut feeling decisions that are letting you down or keeping you up at night with worry.

One thing that is crystal clear and most “experts” agree – the volatility and uncertainty we are currently facing is NOT going away anytime soon and in fact many agree it will get a lot worse before it gets better. It is the ‘new’ way of the world, well documented and well understood. We are in a cycle that will continue to play itself out in very predictable ways – well predictable for those who know what I am talking about!

Give us a call and we’ll introduce you to very exciting and valuable concepts like this one, that will put you back in the driver’s seat of your business (and your life) so you can steer in the direction of your goals and dreams and get to your ultimate destination (achieve your ultimate outcome).

Why business is getting harder

First, I want to apologise because this blog post is quite long – but necessarily so. It’s an excerpt of an email I received from a US-based financial “advisory” firm. The story is so well told – I have chosen to make only minor edits, so bear with me and the story for the priceless lesson it provides you as a business owner-manager.

I finished high school in a small town back in the swamp in southern Louisiana. We had 89 people in our graduating class, and the entire school had less than 400 students.

While we missed a lot of things because of the size of the school, there were some positives.

For one, athletes got to play several sports. In fact, my best friend was a four-sport letterman. He was fast, strong, and smart, so he was a free safety in football, point guard in basketball, 2nd baseman in baseball, and a sprinter on the track team.

Now, he is simply a relic…

The government has made his achievements almost obsolete. It’s nearly impossible for kids to pursue more than one sport today and still make a high-school team… because it’s all about the money.

Scholarship money, that is… and Division 1 in particular.

My friend’s achievements come back to me as I sit in the stands and watch my daughter play volleyball. She’s not playing on a school team this time of year, because volleyball season is over. Instead, we’re at a private facility where we pay too much for her to pursue this sport outside of her school. This is the world of “travel ball.”

Like most players, our daughter tried out for more than one organization, which then ranks the players. Then some of the players are offered a spot on a team at different levels (open, regional, state, local), representing where the team will compete.

Once on a team, players practice three times a week and play in six to 10 tournaments over the course of four months. There are also optional mini-camps… but keep in mind, in sports, practice is never optional, no matter what the coach says.

When the travel season ends, it will be summer, when the girls are expected to attend at least one three-day and one week-long ball camp, and there are other “optional” opportunities to play and practice as well.

Once school starts, the girls will try out for their respective school teams during the regular fall season. In October and November, travel-ball tryouts occur and the cycle starts all over again.

This process exists for baseball, volleyball, lacrosse, and probably every other sport.

Families spend thousands of dollars every year to pay for their spot on a team, for travel to tournaments (which can be across the country), for gear, and for camps. The costs easily can reach $6,000 per year.

While some players truly do it for the love of the game, there’s a different motivation for most. It’s all about Division 1.

Parents and players have a laser-like focus on making it to the big-time: scoring a Division-1 college scholarship to top level schools, like Duke University and University of Southern Carolina.  

Everything about their pursuit of a single sport centers on the possibility of being selected to play at a great college, thereby obtaining a “free” degree.

With the cost of college outrageously high, sports scholarships are one way for kids to be able to attend pricey schools. So families do what they can to bolster their kids’ chances. The kids play all year (school and travel ball)… they go to camps… they go to all of the practices. And they focus on only one sport in order to master the skills necessary to get selected.

The years of multiple-sport lettermen are over… thanks to a larger force that’s driving everything.

It’s the force that has driven college costs outrageously high, bringing us to the point where it’s impossible for a median-income family of four to afford it.

I hope we’ll find a way to reduce the price of college, and thereby relieve some of the pressure on high-school athletes who are trying so hard to get scholarships at the expense of pursuing, or even trying, other interests.

Here is the lesson for business owners:

Every single industry has gone through a transformation like the one that has afflicted (hopeful) US college students… It is getting harder and harder to compete because successful companies have specialised with laser-like focus out of necessity, to stay in the game so-to-speak.

So what can you do to counter-act this?

You need a DIFFERENT approach, to get DIFFERENT results.

Ignoring what has changed will not make it go away any more than a US student who doesn’t pick his or her sport in middle school or at the very least at the beginning of high school. Otherwise, it’s “game over”.

That’s today’s lesson – if you THOUGHT the game of business had changed – it has and continues to change at an alarming rate.

We offer business coaching and mentoring services to help you stay “ahead of the curve” and leverage these changes to your advantage rather than becoming victim to them.

Contact us when you’re ready.

 

20/20 Foresight

One of the foundational concepts of the Platinum Program we run is to develop what I call 20/20 Foresight, the ability to predict and/or manifest a beneficial future – regardless of the forces that might be at play. A recent article in BRW Magazine highlighting why baby boomer business owners may retire with nothing makes this point clearly and succinctly.

We know the adage that “knowledge is power”. With this particular knowledge, there is no question that the only reprieve is to build a profitable business that someone wants to buy – because of the FUTURE income streams, not emotionally-laden ‘goodwill’.

Easier said than done, but then again if it was easy, everyone would succeed.

That is one of the many advantages, and largely hidden benefits of our Platinum Program – having discussions like this one, and exploring the options available to select the best choice possible – ahead of the crisis.

Demographic statisticians and economists are mostly in agreement that the largest demographic generation in history, the baby boomers, will have a profound, pervasive and permanent effect on society as they age and exit their cycle. The question isn’t a question of IF, but WHEN.

Each industry (and country for that matter) has a slightly different exposure and corresponding timing. For example a doggy day care will still have good times ahead while baby boomers get older and spend more time with (and money on) their beloved dogs, whereas a construction company relying on the sale of residential homes and units will struggle as existing homes become vacant as boomers move into assisted care living accommodations.

If you’d like to make the most of the next few years, there is no better time than right now to position your business to make the most of what is coming – or prepare your company for a sale before there is a glut of (non) buyers.

Contact us when you’re ready.

 

 

 

 

What you can learn from watching ‘Breaking Bad’

I just recently purchased the first two seasons of Breaking Bad on DVD. I rarely watch TV and when I do, it’s when it suits me. Time shifting is one of the many personal productivity principles I teach.

Breaking Bad is the ideal example of what happens when you adopt an emergent strategy approach without the skills to handle it. In our 1-Day MBA program and the more extensive 4-day residential version, we cover this approach in the course curriculum. From now on, I will include this as one of my “don’t do” slide examples!

Emergent Strategy, Strategic Planning, Poor Planning

Often, the most valuable business advice I can give is how to avoid mistakes that most people make – usually unknowingly. Contact us if you want to avoid the most common mistakes made by business owners and executives.

Great Marketing Tip: Show and Tell

As a reader or subscriber to this blog, you are aware that Exponential Marketing is an approach, a mindset as much as it is a collection of highly effective strategies. Today’s post is an example of how to leverage what you do for clients. Bree Robbins of Paddington Pups in Brisbane has relocated to a new, bigger, better facility for her doggy day care and dog grooming and pet supplies business.

The photos below show and tell how the new floors LOOK and FEEL. She shared this with here clients weeks before the final fitout was completed, to reinforce her commitment and dedication to her business and by extension her clients.

 

Paddington Pups - Floor Samples

Paddington Pups New Location Flooring 

 

Often we, as busy business people, as so preoccupied with what we’re doing that we forget to tell our clients what we do for them and lose that connection, that rapport that says “I care” and I am doing everything I can to serve you better.

  • What have you done recently for your clients that they might not be aware of?
  • What are you working on right now that will make a difference in the quality of the product or service you offer?

Share it with your clients and see what happens to your relationships… Loyalty… Referrals…