Archive for the 'Business Mentoring' Category

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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.

What does playing a board game have to do with running a successful business?

What does playing a board game have to do with running a successful business? Maybe you should ask our Platinum Program Members who recently attended our residency program – the 4 Day MBA… What they would tell you is that your relationship with money affects just about everything you do (or don’t do) on a daily basis.
Cashflow Game - Exponential Programs
You’d be amazed at the psychic wounds you might have hidden deep down in your memory. Playing a board game creates a fun way to reveal some of your beliefs about money, wealth creation, financial management, planning and even gambling!

This is not the forum to get into lengthy discussions about philosophy, but it is the ideal time and place to remind you that while you’re doing whatever it is you do on weekends and in the evenings, there are millions of high achievers acquiring skills and aptitudes to help them achieve their ultimate dreams.

Some of them are doing that playing games – literally!

If that sounds like fun and you want “in”, contact us. We’ll show you how much fun you can have GROWING your business and creating the wealth you desire.

How to select a business coach

We recently added a few pages to our website to answer some of the questions related to how to select a life coach or business coach and the life and business coaching industry in general.

In support of the suggested process, you can click on the hyperlinks to access the explanations  of my Mastermind Mentoring Methodology as well as my coaching and mentoring philosophy.

It’s important to mention that I consider myself a mentor and not a motivator. Click on the hyperlink for my explanation of the difference. These are not just nuances, they are vitally important when choosing someone to work with.

Have a look at the various pages – I have invested a lot of time making sure I document the process thoroughly for you, I am committed to your success which means making the best decision possible.

When you’re ready to take your business to the next level, contact us.

Great advice = awesome results

I recently read a few blog posts about successful entrepreneurs and the one piece of advice they got from their business coach or mentor that made a difference.

One of the best ones was “You can’t sit on two toilets at the same time.” I thought that was brilliant for those entrepreneurs who keep trying to do too many things at once.

That’s when I thought it would be a great idea to ask my own business mentoring clients what they thought was the #1 thing they’ve heard me say that has positively affected their business growth and/or improved their quality of life.

Here are some of their submissions – enjoy!

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Bree Robbins, owner of Paddington Pups, Queensland’s #1 Doggy Daycare and Grooming Centre says the quote that has stuck in her mind is – “The thinking that got you to where you are is not the thinking that will get you to where you want to be.”

Even though that is one of Albert Einstein’s most famous quotes, she had not heard it before, nor had she realised that as a result of this truth, as a business person who wants to grow her business, she needs to… change her thinking, change her thinking, change her thinking, change her thinking…

Easier said than done, but with our Exponential MasterMind Mentoring Methodology, we’re able to give her the challenging environment to do that.

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For Shane Young, CEO of Max Pak, his #1 quote is: “Perfection is the poison of profitability.” Doing ten things less than perfectly is much more valuable than waiting, waiting, waiting to finish that ONE thing PERFECTLY and usually not getting around to it.

You can always improve on stuff that you have done, but without a focus on perfection, it frees you actually get things done now rather than never!

MAXPAK is a family-owned Australian manufacturer, importer and distributor of quality packaging products that make your workplace more enjoyable, more profitable and more productive. Since 1979 MAXPAK has been supplying high quality, cost-effective and consistently reliable plastic bags, pallet wrap, food-grade carton liners and disposable packaging products. Our clients include many of Australia’s biggest retail chains, third party logistics providers, market-leading cleaning suppliers, food processors and meat exporters.

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Lena Yammine, of Inner Outer Health echoes the same philosophy with Just Do Stuff!

Inner outer health® is an award winning Health and Wellness Centre in Bellfield/Ivanhoe, specialising in Myotherapy and Floatation Therapy. We provide excellent results by recognising each person’s unique needs and creating individualised treatment plans based on a holistic approach to help you develop body awareness and appreciate your own body, so we can quickly identofy the cause of the problem and solve it.

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For Gavin Buckett, owner of Prime Skills, it wasn’t a quote or saying, but rather understanding the lifetime value of a client and not just the value of the initial sale. When you respect and nurture the relationship for the long term, it creates the win-win-win outcome that is truly exponential.

Prime Skills is a nationally recognised Registered Training Organisation (RTO) that was established in 1998 to provide specialised industry specific food safety training, development and quality services solely to the food industry. The training can be delivered in your workplace, in our training room or through our tried, tested and proven modern online delivery system, guaranteeing our clients rapid, fun and engaging learning outcomes that meet or exceed current legislative requirements. Trust Prime Skills to keep your customers safe and your had earned reputation intact!

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Successful Endeavours makes electronics and embedded software work the way they should, saving you up to 2 out of every 3 dollars you otherwise would have wasted, so you can manufacture your market leading product in Australia, at a profit.

For Ray Keefe of Successful Endeavours in Melbourne, what made a huge difference to him is the realization that you have to create value and you have to communicate the value so that your prospects understand it. This is the biggest problem technical professionals ‘like you” have. You feel the need to prove how clever you are but your customers don’t buy for the technical reasons you think or just because you are clever. They buy for their own, self-vested reasons. Speak to their reasons and watch your results soar. Of course, the best way to do that is with a blog!” 

So Ray decided to test this out and reworked their website and started to blog. Now, 2 out of every 3 clients are generated via the Internet with a sales cycle half as long as the cold-call prospecting alternative he used to use.

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“What needs to be said so a prospect becomes a client?”

Alex Pataky of Steelbond in Sydney knows that identifying a target market is the first step in any marketing and sales campaign. To remove the different reasons people might not want to buy means engaging in more than one conversation at a time. By doing that, each type of prospective client can progress through his/her logical process to make the purchase willingly and happily. Easier said than done, but impossible to do if you try to have all those discussions within one single conversation!

Steelbond has been providing Eclipse aluminium louvre roofs that open and close faster than the weather changes in Melbourne for the past 25 years. They are designed and installed to compliment and integrate into the architecture of your property so it doesn’t look like an add-on.

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The Cooinda Cat Resort is a small family run business. Like most small businesses, they spend most of their time working IN their business rather than ON their business, focused on caring for their feline friends.

One way to switch from working IN to ON your business is to ask: “What’s your outcome?” This innocuous question redirects their thought process, helping them pin point what and why they are doing to make sure it’s the right thing to be doing at the right time. Often, it’s a case of reconciling short term priorities (tactics) within the long term strategy.

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There was a time, not long ago that the Dogs Country Club & Kennel Resort didn’t think blogging was important. Sure they had a website, but a blog? Now, they couldn’t run their business without one!

Their big take away was that “you don’t have to do it all yourself”. That doesn’t just mean you can subcontract some of the research and writing, but more strategically it means you can involve your whole team AND clients in the process. By engaging your clients and the greater community in an interactive blogging experience means you will reach out beyond your immediate sphere of influence and the rewards will follow as you tap into your readers’ passions.

Unsupportive Spouse?

Quite often, I come across an entrepreneur who really wants to make a change, but there is something lurking in the background preventing him or her from achieving his or her best… Usually that obstacle is an unsupportive spouse. If this is the case for you, click on the cartoon or this hyperlink to learn how to turn an unsupportive spouse into your biggest fan.Toxic Spouse Cartoon
This is one of our most popular programs that has transformed many lives. The strategies covered are not what you expect… Give it a go and see what happens. After all, it can’t make things worse can it?

Message getting lost in the crowd?

Do you feel like no matter what you do, no one is getting your message?

Persona - Message- Exponential Programs dot com

Getting noticed is not about being provocative or sensationalistic, but without extreme measures these days, it IS harder than ever to get noticed and have your message reach your intended audience.

There is however a tried and tested way to do this, methodically, systematically and repeatedly whilst maintaining your sincerity, authenticity and integrity. It’s one of the foundational principles we teach our most elite, ambitious entrepreneurial clients in our Platinum Program.

For a limited time, if you contact us, we’ll send you an introductory video presentation that highlights all the key elements of the strategy so you can start to get your message across persuasively and effectively.

Sorry, it’s not a free giveaway. It’s much too valuable.

Just imagine if prospects sought you ought instead of you chasing them down… How different would your life be?

Think about it, because when you deploy this strategy to its fullest, that is exactly what will happen.

You will have people contacting you, calling you, emailing you wanting to do business with you – I know that sounds outrageous and unbelievable, but it’s true and it’s possible… for people and companies who create a professional persona that transcends the noise that is in the marketplace…

Otherwise you just get lost with everyone else in the rubble pile of broken dreams.

Motivational Quote Of The Day

It is in your moments on INdecision that your dreams are destroyed — Dr Marc Dussault

Dr Marc Dussault, Indecision, Motivation

As you must know by now, Exponential Mindset Thinking focuses on the positive, optimistic perspective. That being said, every once in a while, directing our attention to the “negative” can have positive benefits.

For example, this quote came to mind because when I stage my introductory presentations to prospective clients, I know that many participants “would like” their lives to change and their business results to improve, but they are unable to make THE decision to change their predicament.

Decision making is not easy – in fact I am giving a 3-hour course to my Platinum Program Members this month called Critical Thinking For Better Decision Making. I will highlight the biases and obstacles to good decision making. (Don’t look for the event on our website – it is NOT a public event. Most of our events are NOT public and reserved only for clients. If you want to attend, you need to contact us).

Anyway, back to the quote and why it’s so important.

People who “would like” their lives to change are destined for “failure” – it really is that simple, cut and dry. To be successful at anything, you have to make decisions, be bold and follow through.

When you find yourself hesitating to make a decision it’s because you are simply NOT committed to the ultimate outcome. You don’t want it bad enough.

I see it all the time – an entrepreneur who is “struggling” and is paralysed by indecision. In most cases, there is nothing that can be done short of an intervention. The psychic wound is an insurmountable barrier.

Exponential Tip Of The Day:
If you find yourself hesitating to make a decision you know you need to make, ask yourself just ONE question:

“Why don’t I want the outcome badly enough
to make this decision that I know I need to make?”

Even if you don’t make the decision, at least you’ll be one step closer to self awareness and realising YOU are your biggest obstacle to your own success.

By the way, this is not to be mixed up with procrastination – this example is different. This is NOT making the decision that you know you need to make. Procrastination is simply delaying it, putting it off. It may seem the same, but it’s not. These nuances are very, very important. If you would like to learn more about interesting things like this, contact us.

How many awards are enough?

Ray Keefe and his team at Successful Endeavours in Melbourne have been on quite a winning streak these last few years, amassing a collection of 18 business and innovation awards, the 2 most recent ones a few weeks ago…

Ray Keefe, Casey Business Awards

Ray Keefe and his winning team at Successful Endeavours

Here’s the thing about winning awards:

  • Awards create instant credibility (if you don’t have enough of it already)
  • Awards build belief once you have credibility
  • Awards are exponential because they attract instant media attention
  • Awards make you, your team and your clients feel good
  • Awards are the reward for a job well done

Most small businesses struggle with… credibility… Hmmm…

Something to think about the next next time you’re wondering where the next job, project or contract is going to come from. You can start with this list of Australian Business Awards.

Want to become an award-winning business, contact us today and we’ll show you how.

Attitude versus aptitude

“Success is not determined by attitude, but rather aptitude.” — Dr Marc Dussault
Attitude, Aptitude, Motivation, Quote, Inspiration

20/20 Foresight

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to look into a crystal ball and see what the future holds?

20-20 Foresight. Exponential Programs20/20 Foresight might not be THAT precise and accurate, but there are tools, tips and techniques you can use to determine trends and tendencies forecasters and analysts use on a daily basis to predict what’s coming.

Small businesses are notorious for being reactionary rather than proactively aware and ready to face the future. This is partially because owner-managers work IN their business much more than ON their business as well as because they simply are not aware that these tools exist.

Next Saturday, in Melbourne, we are holding a 1-day workshop that will introduce you to the concept of 20/20 Foresight that is synonymous with Exponential Mindset Thinking, leveraging the MasterMind Principle in an interesting and creative way.

There is nothing worse in business than being caught completely unprepared. This workshop will enable you to start developing forecasting and preemptive strategies that will enhance your view of the future to improve the decisions you make today.

Imagine having a copy of a exam, weeks before you have to sit the final?

How differently would you study?
How much less stress would you have?
How would you go about your lectures and study habits?
What would happen to your grades?
Would you enjoy the process more or less?

The same can be true for your business – but only if you know the tools, tips and techniques to acquire 20/20 Foresight…

So if you want 20/20 Foresight, contact us and we’ll help you create the future you want.*

*Oops… Did I forget to mention that once you have an idea of what the future holds, you can actually start to change it?!?!?! Oh well… No use getting into how to do that unless you attend.

Hyperbolic Discounting: Why most people don’t succeed

I can tell you that without a doubt, hyperbolic discounting has to be one of the primary contributors to non-success. Given two similar rewards, humans show a preference for one that arrives sooner rather than later. Humans are said to discount the value of the later reward, by a factor that increases with the length of the delay. In simple terms, humans (even adults) want instant gratification more than long-term success.

hyperbolic-discounting

Research has shown there are two types of people – those that can and CHOOSE to delay gratification and those that can’t or CHOOSE not to.

I can tell you, with 20 years of business coaching and mentoring experience that I concur AND it is one of my key determinants in working closely with a client. UNLESS this is fully understood and adhered to, there is no point in expecting success to “happen”.

 

Success is a habit, a way of life, of being, of doing. It is making daily investments for a lifetime of rewards, many of which are days, weeks, months or years in the making. Take an academic degree – it takes months or years before you can “obtain” the designation or diploma and graduate. The same is true with playing a musical instrument or mastering a sport.

I have to admit that the SOURCE of this ability to NOT discount hyperbolically is unknown to me and if you do indulge in it, I am not sure what you can really do to counteract it other than to bring forward the benefits in a tangible, realistic fashion. Imagine the rewards or results RIGHT NOW… Feel it, think it, know it will happen and that one day will come when you will have this feeling… Just not today. Ask yourself if you think it’s worth waiting for and if it is, then stick to your plan and MAKE IT HAPPEN.

This is where willpower comes in or what I call Whypower – if the WHY is strong enough, the will will be there.

Create a big enough WHY…

Then, all you need are strategies to make your goal or outcome happen… Strategies that work. Strategies you can implement – NOW so you get a sense of instant relief that at least you are progressing towards your goal or outcome.

Contact us if you want to learn shortcuts to making things happen. There is always a better, easier way – the key is to have someone who can show you what they are, so you stop wasting valuable time, money and effort with a trial-by-error approach.

 

 

 

Lean In – to your business and/or career

Lean In by Cheryl Sandberg is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I suggest you click on the image below and if you have a Kindle, iPad or iPhone with the Kindle App (it’s FREE), download the FREE sample.

I have blogged extensively on women in business and what makes female entrepreneurs successful. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to help women succeed in their careers and business. I originally thought it might be a feminist manifesto, but I was pleasantly surprised how we she was able to address this topic with grace, elegance and no sign of extreme “activism”. It’s a point of view that needs to be heard and digested by both men and women.

 

Practice does not make perfect…

I remember the first time I heard this, in my teens.

“Practice does not make perfect…
Perfect practices makes perfect!”

Once I understood that it’s only when we practice what we want to re-create can we claim to be practicing “perfectly”…

But it took me close to 10 years before I resolved the recursive (circular) reasoning this creates…

If you are practicing ‘something’ – then that means you can’t do it perfectly (yet) – so then how can you practice it perfectly?!?!?

The logical conundrum was finally resolved when I came across Dr Erickson’s concept of Deliberate Practice combined with the idea of Concentration Of Focus.  Together, these constitute the secret weapon that champions and iconic sports stars master to the detriment of their (unknowing) opponents.

First is the concept of Deliberate Practice – knowing the difference between what you know and don’t know how to do. Cognition (learning) requires you build from what you know, adding distinctions and understanding in layers, expanding what you know until you eventually achieve understanding of the previously unknown.

In sport, it is the same process to acquire a new skill or ability. You need to first determine what you are capable of doing, assess what your body (and mind) can accomplish with your physiological constraints and bridge the gap between that and the ultimate skill or ability to wish to achieve.

The challenge lies in HOW to undertake that process methodically and systematically. That’s where Deliberate Practice principles come in.

You can’t focus on more than 1, 2 or 3 things at any given time. Too often, coaches will point out dozens of problems thereby completely diffusing your concentration of focus.

It is only with the combination of Concentration Of Focus and through Deliberate Practice that you can create performance breakthroughs. This is true on the squash or tennis court, football field, gold course or office.

Even though this sounds simple enough – even in sport, it is only the most elite, dedicated athletes that engage in this behaviour.

In business, it is even more rare.

There are very few business coaches (mentors) who understand the mechanics and requirements that promote and enable entrepreneurs and business executives to flourish through Deliberate Practice and Concentration Of Focus.

Deliberate Practice BooksIn sport, a coach needs to have both  a specific and a holistic understanding of the sport either through competitive play him/herself or through specialised training. Believe it or not, this is rare. In fact, most coaches I’ve met haven’t read a single book on “mental toughness”…

In business, most coaches do not have the academic acumen let alone the diversity of experience for holistic understanding and furthermore they often lack any training in these elite strategies and methodologies.

This is well documented and researched, but still remains in the realm of the most elite and ambitious business people simply because of the breadth and depth of comprehension and practice required to master.

Other than speed reading which I still consider the #1 life-changing skill – the ability to “practice deliberately with a high concentration of focus” is the second-most valuable skill to master for anyone who wants to succeed – at anything.

So what does this have to do with growing your business?

Great question!

The simple answer lies in accepting that most people are in ‘the herd’ and by extension, they will produce ‘average results’.

If, however, you are seeking to grow your business, you can’t expect to achieve that goal by doing what everyone else is doing – you have to do something different AND DO IT DIFFERENTLY.

That is precisely my point.

Deliberate Practice with a high level of Concentration Of Focus takes a special environment and monitoring to ensure you establish, maintain and sustain ‘it’ consistently and for long enough to produce the stellar results you seek.

Our Platinum Program is designed specifically to incorporate these and other cutting edge coaching and mentoring methodologies.

If you are interested to take your business to the next level and create more than 25% annual growth in sales and/or profits, contact us.

If you read Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller Outliers, you know what the pop psychology thinking is – that you need 10,000 hours to achieve expert status or mastery of a skill, sport or musical instrument.

10000-hours-time-graph

What Mr Gladwell did not reveal in his book is what other authors have identified – short cuts that can reduce that time significantly. Those well-kept secrets are what makes our Platinum Program priceless and timeless.

  • Priceless because it means that once armed with this new understanding and corresponding new abilities, you can and will out-perform your competitors and they will not be able to respond because MASTERY means you have the skill to adapt and overcome to whatever they try to do.
  • Timeless because these strategies have worked for decades and will continue to work for decades – future proofing your business and career, once again BECAUSE this is not a cookie-cutter template approach. What you learn in the Platinum Program is how to re-program yourself into a peak performer. That means you can deal with anything that comes your way.

Like Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal can handle any ball that comes across the net, you could have the same level of mastery in business.

If… you acquire the skills of a master…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exponential Thinking

Business Coaching Sydney, Melbourne Business Coach

An old gentleman lived alone in New Jersey. He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison at New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, NJ. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vincent,

I am feeling pretty sad because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days.

Love,

Papa

A few days later he received a letter from his son.

Dear Papa,

Don’t dig up that garden.
That’s where the bodies are buried.

Love,

Vinnie

At 4 a.m. the next day, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Papa,

Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That’s the best I could do under the circumstances.

Love you,

Vinnie

________________________________________________________________

I know that most people who read this blog post will think it’s just a joke, but it is and it isn’t. I teach Exponential Mindset Thinking which embraces doing out-of-the-ordinary things to create extra-ordinary results.

Easier said than done.

Today’s joke is just another tool I use to create a pattern interrupt in my clients’ thinking – to get them to put aside limiting beliefs and think outside the square (or box).

Easier said than done.

If it was easy, everyone would be successful and rich…

 

 

Why Smart Business People Fail

In a previous blog post, I touched on several foundational concepts that can help you to go from establishing motivation to creating momentum. Today, I want to focus on the catalyst, the initial trigger(s) that can help you start the process. First and foremost, to get moving, you need to overcome inertia. Inertia is defined as “the predisposition for a body to remain in the state that’s it’s in.” That means if you are NOT moving, you want to remain still. If, however, you ARE moving, then you want to remain IN MOTION. Therein lies the first reward for taking action.

Once you GET moving, it’s easier to STAY moving.

 I know, I know… “Easier said than done”. Especially in the morning when you are lying in a warm, comfortable bed and the last thing you want to do is get up and go for a run, do exercise or get a head start on your day.

You have seen it first hand at the playground with a merry-go-round. The first pull is really hard, and then it’s effortless to keep it spinning. Success is just like that – it gets easier as you become (more) successful.

merry-go-round- first pullInertia is one simplistic answer that pop psychology likes to hone in on. I prefer to look a little deeper than the superficial factors that don’t provide much insight nor contribute to providing practical solutions.

One of the primary reasons people don’t do what they KNOW they should do is because of prior (negative) experiences. Yes, the psychological literature addresses a person’s predisposition towards positive affect (seeing the glass half full), self-efficacy (you think you can complete a task successfully) and self esteem, but those are all quite superficial and of marginal practical value.

Dont Look Back QuotePast failures are the #1 contributor to most people’s inability to take action on projects and opportunities that are (blatantly) beneficial to them. One of the most valuable lessons champions learn is that the past does not equal the future and past performance is NOT a predictor of future success.

Once again, and I apologise for repeating myself – “easier said than done.”

We need to fail to learn the difference between what works and what doesn’t. The quicker we fail, the quicker we learn the lessons and the faster we are able to turn our REASONS for not achieving into the RESULTS that we seek.

Simply stated:

We are reasons or we are results.

When you face the harsh reality of life, and really think about it, you’ll agree that when you don’t achieve a RESULT, there are REASONS. The more REASONS there are, the better. That is because there are MORE sources to solve the problem so you can achieve the desired RESULT.

Negative MindBut and there usually is a but involved – most people don’t want to face the truth and therefore kid themselves ignoring the REAL REASONS that deny them from achieving the RESULTS they seek and desire.

This is where self awareness becomes a key ingredient of extra-ordinary success.

A true champion (a super successful person) addresses these issues, one by one, removing the REASONS so the RESULTS can emerge, as if by magic.

But most people get discouraged with failures and shortcomings, get down on themselves and lose faith. The reason that it is so pervasive is that without the proper coaching, mentoring or assistance, more (wrongly directed) effort is futile.

Here is a new twist to the glass half empty or full question that I thought would be appropriate to introduce to you.

 

How heavy is this glass?

At first glance, you might guess 200 to 500 grams and you’d probably be right – technically. But if the question is metaphorical, it depends… glass-half-full

  • If you hold the glass for a minute there is nothing to be concerned about.
  • If you hold it up for an hour, then your arm will be very sore.
  • If you hold it up for a whole day, then the pain will be excrutiating.

And yet the weight of the glass did not change, but its heaviness certainly did.

The metaphor is simple: if you carry your past (negative baggage) with you, the longer you hold on to it, the heavier it gets and the more pain it causes you…

Think about it…

Flat TireThis compounding effect is devastating to the person who just does not know any better. The great thing about living in a developed country is that the tools for success are within EVERYONE’S reach.

For example, I have published over 4,000 pages of FREE content on my blogs.

Anyone with an Internet connection can access business building, career advancement and personal development tips, tricks and techniques at NO COST.

Of course, the Internet is filled with priceless and timeless data and information. But without a framework, it remains impotent – neutral, often useless.

You need a framework, a strategic intent that first creates a catalyst or trigger to get things going and growing and then an approach to maintain and build the momentum.

But and there’s that much hated word again – but… without a DECISION, nothing happens.

There is a saying that it is in our moments of decision that our destiny is shaped, however I, without meaning to be cynical, think it’s more a case of:

 

“It is in our moments of indecision that are dreams are destroyed” – Dr Marc Dussault

 

I have seen too many people hesitate, procrastinate and essentially self-sabotage their careers and business outcomes due to fear of making a decision. Fear of taking a stand. Fear of raising the bar. Fear of taking a chance (on themselves). Fear of creating the potential outcome that is within their reach – their ultimate destiny.

Take-The-First-StepOne of the key reasons is a concept called “perfect information”. If you Google it, you’ll end up on Wikipedia with the Game Theory explanation “perfect information describes the situation when a player has available the same information to determine all of the possible games (all combinations of legal moves) as would be available at the end of the game.”

Real life never provides “perfect information” so expecting it is a recipe for certain disaster and disappointment. Perfectionists and procrastinators seek this “perfect information” and get caught in the analysis paralysis paradox, a self-fulfilling vortex with no way out.

So where does that leave most people?

STUCK.

Stuck in the predicament they are in. Stuck in their mindset. Stuck in their current reality.

STUCK.

Without the desire, drive and determination to get UNSTUCK, they repeat the patterns of the past, over and over and over again.

The ONLY solution is to BREAK THAT PATTERN.

Here are easy ways to get UNSTUCK:

  1. Accept that perfect information does not exist and start moving forward WITHOUT knowing what the second step is. The first step will reveal it to you, but only once you’ve taken it. Break the vicious circle by taking the first step.
  2. You do not need to know ALL the steps to a destination to get there. You just need to know you WANT to get there and take the first step.
  3. Get advice from people who have achieved what you want to accomplish. You wouldn’t ask your car mechanic to cut your hair, so be careful WHO YOU TAKE ADVICE FROM!
  4. Remain committed to your outcome, or change it (your outcome or goal) if you must. Nothing worth achieving will come easy. Accept that otherwise don’t waste your time.
  5. Recognise that momentum, once created, is easy to maintain and build upon. You have seen it first hand at the playground with the merry-go-round. The first pull is really hard, and then it’s effortless to keep it spinning. Success is just like that – it gets easier as you become (more) successful.

For all of this to ‘happen’ – you need a BIG REASON to do ‘it’. You need something bigger than yourself, more important than “just making money”. You need to pick something that means something to you, resonates within you. Pick something that once achieved, will change your life and/or the lives of others you care about. You need a purpose.

When you find that “purpose” you will have the fire in the belly to get started. With that initial motivation and enthusiasm you will create the catalyst for change and the momentum will build from there to help you achieve your dream(s).

Without that “purpose”, you are impotent, stagnant, inert, blasé, bland, indifferent, STUCK.

Create the catalyst and you will soar to greater heights than you ever previously imagined… and you will embrace pushing yourself…

I’ve already published an extensive post on Victims and Martyrs that you can refer to.

Without being too much of an idealist, I believe that (almost) everyone can achieve their ultimate destiny – but – the number one thing that prevents that from happening is their inability to resolve the REASONS that prevent them from achieving the RESULTS they desire.

It really is as simple as that.

Don't look backSuccess is really not complicated, it comes down to wanting it bad enough for a reason important enough and then doing whatever it takes to make it happen.

Of course there is a HARD way and an EASY (Exponential) way…

It’s your decision…

MAKE IT.

Lack of resources?

“Whenever you face a deficit
in resources, you need to
replenish your inventory of ideas.”

– Dr Marc Dussault