Categories
attitude Business culture Business model Competition Direct Marketing Email marketing Entrepreneurs Improvement Leadership Marketing Motivation Sales Small Business strategic planning Strategy The Slight Edge

10 Clients You’ll Dream About

Business adviser and author Chet Holmes uses a strategy called “The Dream 100” to identify the 100 prospects he would most like to obtain as clients. He then puts strategies and actions into place to do so.

Think about your market. It might be tough to come up with 100 â??bestâ? clients youâ??d like to have, but itâ??s easy to think of 10 when you categorize them differently.

Your list might look something like this:

  • List the 10 clients you’d most like to have a testimonial from.
  • List the 10 clients whose CEOs you would learn the most from.
  • List the 10 clients who, after using your products/services, would have the biggest “upside”.
  • List the 10 clients who would test your company’s strengths.
  • List the 10 clients who would expose your company’s weaknesses.
  • List the 10 clients whose demanding nature would will your company to step up their game.
  • List the 10 clients who, as a group, would produce a wave of revenue that would transform your business.
  • List the 10 clients who need products and services you don’t yet offer, but need to.
  • List the 10 clients who wouldn’t likely survive without your help.
  • List the 10 clients who would make you wake up in the middle of the night and think to yourself “I canâ??t believe I got those guys.”

Nowâ?¦go get ’em!

Categories
attitude Business culture Competition E-myth Employees Entrepreneurs goals Habits Leadership Management Motivation Personal development Small Business strategic planning The Slight Edge Time management

Twelve Days of You

5
Creative Commons License photo credit: gagilas

Think about your day.

What did you do yesterday?

Were you productive? When I ask that, what I mean is this: Can you reel off a list of high-priority things that you accomplished?

Did you waste any time?

How much of each hour did you spend on real, focused, dedicated work that actually produces a profit (either directly or indirectly)?

Let’s go on the assumption that you are one of the most productive people around and spent 50 minutes of each hour doing work of a nature that I just described.

That leaves 10 minutes to stretch, hit the restroom, and do whatever.

The Price

What’s that cost?

At a billable rate of $50 per hour, that ten minutes is only worth $5.00.

Or so it seems.

If you only work 40 hours a week, that 10 minutes consumes 400 minutes (about six hours) a week, worth $200.00.

In terms of time, that seems like a lot. In terms of money, maybe not so much.

Until

Until you multiply that times 50 weeks a year, when it becomes… Ten grand. 300 hours. 12 days.

Yet, you’ll assert that you don’t have enough time.

If you were focused and organized, what could you get done in twelve days?

Categories
attitude Competition Customer service Entrepreneurs Motivation Small Business strategic planning The Slight Edge

Leap Tall Buildings

Serious Squirrel
Creative Commons License photo credit: Navicore

Superman was touted as being “faster than a locomotive”.

Locomotives move at a speed people can comprehend. It’s an easy to understand expectation.

He didn’t have to be faster than a plane or a bullet in order to be Super. He just had to be faster than any man.

He didn’t have to leap the tallest building, just tall ones. Really, any building would do, since no one else was leaping over buildings.

Superman seemingly owned the market for folks looking for a superhero.

Yet Spiderman, the Green Hornet, Wonder Woman, Flash and many others somehow managed to find work.

Don’t let Superman scare you out of a market that has plenty of work available.

Categories
attitude Business culture Compass needed Entrepreneurs Improvement Motivation Personal development Small Business The Slight Edge

Running away?

Today’s guest post is a quote from Henry Miller that I stumbled across.

Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such. – Henry Miller

Look at your business through that lens. What do you see?

Categories
attitude Competition goals Habits Improvement Leadership Motivation Personal development Productivity Small Business The Slight Edge

9 minutes of “Will power”

Yesterday, I happened across this video montage of Will Smith interview clips that has him discussing what motivates him.

His comments on persistence, work ethic and competition are a good listen and well worth the 9 minutes.

Do you have that kind of will power?

Categories
attitude Business culture Competition customer retention Customer service Improvement Leadership Motivation planning Positioning quality service Small Business strategic planning The Slight Edge Time management Word of mouth marketing

Raise The Bar!

Monkeys on a Banana
Creative Commons License photo credit: Furryscaly

During some recent travel to deal with some family stuff, I’ve had a chance to see how business is going elsewhere in the U.S.

One thing caught my eye over the weekend and I think it merits some discussion.

It illustrates how much room there is for a coherent, attentive business in the marketplace…even in today’s economy.

Billboards

If I look, did it work? Nevermind, that was a few weeks ago…

Seriously, I saw a billboard that stated a HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) company’s unique sales position (USP) and / or differentiating factor.

It was “We’ll be on time.”

If they aren’t on time, the service is free.

They didn’t advertise the quality of their service or the highly trained nature of their service people.

They simply said “Unlike everyone else, we’ll be on time and if we aren’t, our work will be free.”

One of the biggest time-wasters foisted upon consumers these days is the “We’ll be there between 8 and 5 or noon and 5” etc. People are unwilling to commit an entire day to deal with your inability to manage your work schedule, but they have no choice in many cases.

This HVAC company has a much smaller window of “we’ll be there”, but they’ve decided to accept responsibility when they mismanage their time.

I think it’s an effective sales tool that speaks directly to consumers’ pet peeves, but it begs the question “How much lower can businesses lower the bar?”

Are you lowering the bar or raising it? Which benefits you and frustrates your competition? Which makes it easier for consumers to choose you?

What are you doing that your competition is unable or unwilling to do? Are you leading your market or simply showing up?

Raise the bar.

Categories
attitude Competition Entrepreneurs goals Improvement Influence Leadership Motivation Personal development Small Business

What *finally* tripped your trigger?

During a recent mastermind session, the gang was talking about motivation and decision-making.

While that was stirring around in my head, I managed to stumble across CC Chapman’s insightful post about inspiration.

Stir in the TED Behind the Scenes video included in CC’s post, which I’ve included above. I strongly suggest you read CC’s comments even though the video is included above.

A few takeaways from the video:

  • Everyone fears failure. Even Sir Ken and the other TED speakers.
  • None of these people are perfect.
  • They all seem to have a very clear vision of what they want to accomplish and what’s really, truly important to them.
  • Watch what Raghava KK says to Ken Robinson after Raghava’s talk – and how Ken responds.

Little Things

A takeaway from the mastermind chat was recognizing the importance of the little wins that happen when you’re just starting toward a big goal. These little wins are, at first, what fuel us to become what everyone else eventually sees as an overnight success.

A friend who has lost almost 100 lbs over the last 2 years reminded me of this when saying (paraphrased) “No one sees me doing the hard stuff. The sweat. The celery. They only see the result, and they have no idea how hard it was to get here.”

That friend didn’t say that angrily, but was recognizing that few see the bulk of the effort we make on the way to our goals. The people who didn’t see the loss 500 calories at a time after an hour on the treadmill almost every day for 2 years know better, but some still have the impression that it disappeared overnight.

Little successes. A mile in 15 minutes today. A mile in 14 minutes after 2 weeks of effort.

Doesn’t seem like much unless you’re the one having those successes.

Translating that elsewhere

Those small victories fuel the confidence to keep going, regardless of the goal you’re chasing.

I remember a sale to the Wyoming Red Cross and having the X-Prize folks use my software back when almost no one had heard of them (much less me). Those events were a couple of the small victories I look back on that were essential to building the confidence that helped me move forward.

Remembering those got me to wondering about the small victories that encouraged you. I’d like to hear about them.

Categories
affluence attitude Competition Entrepreneurs Motivation Personal development Productivity Small Business Strategy The Slight Edge Time management

How does your entrepreneurial garden grow?

Stairway to Heaven
Creative Commons License photo credit: RonAlmog

Today’s guest post from Jim Rohn arrives courtesy of Nightingale-Conant.

Once again, a page of essential insight from always-on Mr. Rohn.

What have you done today to improve yourself?

Is investment in yourself part of your daily todo list?

 

Categories
attitude Automation Business Resources coaching Competition Entrepreneurs Improvement Leadership Management Motivation Personal development planning Restaurants Retail Sales Scouting Small Business strategic planning Strategy systems

Being Prepared

One of the things Scoutmasters teach their Scouts is the Scout motto – “Be Prepared.”

We don’t stand around saying those words all that much (or ever, really).

When I ask a Scout what it means to them, I get a lot of different answers. I talk about it with the boys because I’m curious what it means to them – which tells me where they are preparedness-wise.

Depending on their age and their seriousness when I ask the question, I hear answers that include things like:

  • knowing how to select the right gear for a campout,
  • having the right fishing lures,
  • making sure that bacon is on the menu (not kidding),
  • being in good enough shape for the upcoming hike,
  • making sure the car is full of gas and has proper levels of other fluids/air and so on,
  • having charged batteries in the camera,
  • having a sharpened pocket knife,
  • knowing how to tie a rescue knot, or
  • having the proper gear to safely canoe or kayak a river/stream.

What it ultimately means to me is being prepared for what life/business serves up, whether it’s a class V rapid, an unexpected flat tire during a snowstorm in a remote area, that five figure invoice that your “customer” still hasn’t paid, the new box store down the street, mention of your business in the Wall Street Journal, by Scoble and on TechCrunch, or stumbling upon an idea that changes your life and/or business.

Embarrassment? No.

To someone who has a job, I ask them what they would do if they lost their job today? Are they honing a new or enhanced skill so that they can react quickly to a downturn in what they’ve done for the past 20 years? Do they have a network of people in their current (or desired) line of work that could help them identify opportunities?

To someone who has a business, I might ask them what would happen if the building housing their business burned down, or if their biggest customer stopped buying from them, or if they suddenly got 100 new customers tomorrow.

I don’t ask these questions to embarrass employees or business owners any more than I ask them to embarrass a Scout when asking them what would happen if their friend cut his hand or lost his water bottle on a week-long hike. I ask them so they’ll think about their level of preparedness.

Being prepared isn’t just about having a poncho in case it rains, having backups offsite, and having a marketing plan that never stops finding new customers for you. It’s also about being mentally prepared to deal with what happens next.

Be prepared, not only to take a punch, but to make big leaps when opportunities present themselves.

Categories
attitude Competition Entrepreneurs Motivation Personal development planning Small Business strategic planning Strategy

Risk, Breakthroughs and the Torrent of Change

Today’s guest post from Tom Asacker continues a theme from yesterday.

Taking yourself seriously…or as Tom writes doing what risks everything.

Read Tom’s post about risking it all.

How are you risking it all?