25 Nov 2010
If you are like most business owners, you went into business because you are passionate about AND good at WHAT you do… and you wanted the autonomy and financial freedom of owning your own business. You were probably thinking, “as long as I am good at what I do, how hard can it be to make a decent living and support my family?” And you have probably discovered that it is actually harder than you thought.
Here’s the problem…
You may be one of the 97% of small business owners who discover that although you work incredibly hard and your sales seem to be increasing each month, you have little to show for it financially. Perhaps you are already doing well but you are unsure how to accelerate your results or expand your business? Or you may simply be wondering why you are struggling to pay the bills lately even though your accountant says that you are making a good “profit”.
One of the biggest problems is that business owners often convince themselves that being busy is what business is all about. And you tell yourself “as long as I work hard and do my best, there is not much else that I can do”. Everyone knows that we’re supposed to work smarter, not harder, but the challenge lies in knowing HOW to do that. And in the meantime, you may have found it just seems easier to do everything…just in case it’s important, or makes a difference.
So, if you’re supposed to do less, HOW do you figure out what is critical or what will have the biggest impact?
We live in a world with a million possible distractions, pressures, emergencies and interruptions, how can we stay possibly stay focused (on our goals) and sane?
There are always going to be several things constantly competing for my your time – marketing campaigns to design, team members to manage, customers to respond to, business opportunities to explore, issues to follow up, personal commitments etc. However, whenever you try to work on too many things at the same time, inevitably none of them ever gets done.
To assist my clients in staying on track and keeping things simple, I developed the following list of 5 simple techniques/questions to put things into perspective. When in doubt – check the list for guidance.
11 Nov 2010
It has been over 50,000 since human beings lived in caves. All those years ago, life was pretty much about survival – each morning our ancestors would emerge from their caves and scan the horizon for imminent danger. Although things have changed a lot in our external environment in the last few thousand years, in many ways, the wiring in our brains has not. In fact, 90% of what you and I do on a day to day basis is still based on that ancient wiring and survival mentality and it is precisely this legacy that needs to be re-directed to prevent self sabotage from holding you back, personally and professionally.
You see our brains are wired to spot and avoid danger.
Even though the danger may not be “life or death”, we see this dynamic play out in our work environments almost every day. For every daring and outlandish new idea that is proposed by one hopeful soul, there will be a long list of sceptical colleagues who are willing to offer 20 reasons why the idea might fail or cause harm.
So, how does this play out exactly?
“I’m your biggest fan, I’ll follow you until you love me
Baby, there’s no other superstar, you know that I’ll be
Your papa, paparazzi”
In today’s challenging business environment, customers demand more from the products and services they buy—they want what they want, when and how they want it. And if they do not get it from you, they can and will obtain it from one of your competitors. Therefore, creating raving fans—customers who love what you do and are willing to follow, listen and respond to your call(s) to action —can give you a significant strategic advantage and improve your bottom line.
Now some of you may be wondering “what does Lady GaGa have to do with best business and branding tactics?” She’s never attended business school nor does she have a history of entrepreneurship. While it is easy to question her outlandish costumes, her repetitive child-like lyrics, and her over-the-top media stunts, it is hard to ignore her obvious musical talent and her ability to be at the right place at the right time with the right tune. Whether you love or hate her (and 99% of you are definitely in one camp or another), it is difficult to ignore the tremendous achievements of this branding genius.
Less than 18 months ago, she was virtually unknown – and today she has two platinum selling albums and is the envy of artists that have been in the business for decades.
How did she do it?