The 5 Faces Of Small Business Problems

I say it too often, but it’s only because I love it so…and because it’s profound. And because it’s more often than not, true!

“Everything is hard until it’s easy.”

Small business owners sometimes find themselves believing that everything is hard, if not impossible. They can easily fall into the trap of believing that it’s just how things are. Despair creeps in when an entrepreneur can’t seem to find a solution.

Enter the word, pivot. When what we’re doing doesn’t work, then pivot, change, do something different.

That’s not always the best solution though. Sometimes our business is on the right track, we’re just misusing the whip on the horse. Or we’re holding the bridle too tightly. Or we’ve got our heels hitting the horse, making him uncomfortable. And slower.

I tend to encounter a handful of issues that slow down small businesses who employ me to help them sort through the maze as they try to fix what ails them. It often results in a sense of overwhelming emotions, the impulse that screams, “We’ll never get all this fixed.”

In my experience, the truth is that many of these problems can be more easily solved than the owner thinks. The hardest part can sometimes be convincing the business owner that a fix is possible. And that it doesn’t require blowing up the joint.

Make no mistake, it is hard. Very hard. But once we come to terms with the reality of our problems, then we can more easily (and clearly) see the possible solutions. Then it gets easier. Not easy, but easier.

Once we determine we’re going to fix what ails us, and we embrace our own tenacity to make it so – that’s when it starts to get easy!


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How To Fail In Sales: Act Like A Jerky Daytime TV Talk Show Host

No, I won’t promote him, but his initials are JK. And it doesn’t stand for “just kidding.”

For a few weeks now I’ve seen him on the TV’s at the gym. He’s on every weekday. I’ve never heard the sound, but from 75 feet away I can see his body language and tell…he’s an A-1 jerk (actually, I can think of another J-name that likely fits better). He looms over people who are seated. He sticks his finger in their face. He interrupts them. He badgers them.

I know too many salespeople who somehow believe that they are the center of our Solar System. People should buy from them because they radiate such ingenuity and brilliance. Instead, people think they’re jerks and can’t wait to distance from them. Maybe they need to be on TV instead.

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Do You Have Enough Touchpoints In Your Sales Process?

I’ve got two grandsons. Jake is 3 and his older brother Max will turn 5 this summer. They both ask lots of questions. Every little kid does. It’s how they learn. It’s how they make sense of things, but it’s also how they connect with people they’re learning to trust. The more connected they are with people, the more they’ll talk with them. Neither of them is given to walk up to a complete stranger and begin a conversation. But they’ll talk the legs off of adults they know.

All of us are selling. We’re selling ourselves, our ideas, our products and our services.

Questions help us learn about our prospects. They also help us establish rapport, trust and credibility. Think of them as touchpoints – points of human interaction and contact that help us make sense of things.

But touchpoints consist of more than simply asking quality questions. They consist of putting in the time to have meaningful contact and communication with prospects. Normally, the higher the price of our product or service, the more touchpoints we’ll likely need in order to create a happy customer.

Bert Decker, famed public speaking coach, calls it “first brain.” We must make a first brain connection, the place where we create an emotional connection. Unfortunately, I know too many salespeople who leap right over that touchpoint taking full aim at all the technical merits of their product or service. No touchpoints, no connection. No connection, no sale!


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Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones: “We Didn’t See It At The Time.”

Two things: vision and timing.

This week in the NFL owner’s meetings Dallas Cowboys’ owner, Jerry Jones, held forth with the media for almost 30 minutes. During the interview Mr. Jones was commenting about the offensive line troubles of his team. For the past two years the offensive line has been dreadful, an admitted weakness of the team. Jerry confessed that the Cowboys’ brain trust didn’t see it as it really was. They thought they’d be fine, but they were wrong. Said Jones, “We didn’t see it at the time.”

There’s a reason for the phrase “20/20 hindsight.” We can more easily see things as they really are after the fact. It’s very valuable to be able to do that, but it’s extremely more valuable to see things accurately in real-time!

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5 Likable Internet Marketers (Proof I Don’t Think They’re All Scoundrels)

In late 1999 I went on a mission to find out more about Internet marketing. Normally I’m not a naive guy, but I was very naive about Internet marketing. It wasn’t at all what I thought it was. I was both pleasantly surprised and disappointed…all at the same time.

Every industry has contrasting personalities. There are those nice, loved-by-everybody people and there are those caustic, outspoken, in-your-face types.

Additionally, every industry is filled with varied approaches to business. Here in Dallas we’ve got two airlines: American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. They behave very differently even though they’re in the same business of flying people around.

Internet marketing is no different.

My most intense years of “study” were from 2000 to 2004, but I continued through the years to look closely at what was going on throughout Internet marketing. From affiliate marketing to information marketing. From “how to make money” to niche marketing. I looked at every angle and approach…all in the quest of learning what it was all about.

Along the way I found some people I really liked.

Jimmy D. Brown was among the very first Internet marketers I found. He’s an Arkansas guy so it seemed likely a guy living in Texas (me) might find him affable. Well, I did. He was into some things I had never heard of, but I looked more closely at what he was doing anyway. PLR? What in the Sam Hill is PLR? Private label rights. I confess I still don’t see much value in it, but back in the day it was a big deal. Maybe it still is. Jimmy was knee-deep in it and it seemed to be a huge part of his business. He’s credited with starting the first membership site, too. You can now find him here:

Terry Dean was another fellow I ran across early on. Like Jimmy D. Brown there were a variety of good stories about him. I’d heard about him getting up live, in front of an audience and crafting an email that generated over $30K before the conference was over. Ah, the good old days of legendary performances! I’m fairly certain my first physical product purchase from an Internet marketer was from Terry. Today, you’ll find Terry here:

Sterling and Jay are Jeremy “Sterling” Frandsen and Jason “Jay” Van Orden. I first ran across them around 2006 thanks to their podcast. Earlier I had found Jason through his podcasting work, but I wasn’t aware these guys had teamed up until I ran across their podcast. Unlike Jimmy and Terry they were relative newcomers to Internet marketing at the time. I listened regularly to their podcast. They had a good story of running away from their cubicle jobs to a life of more independent living made possible by succeeding online. Two guys from Salt Lake City made good via Internet marketing. Yes, they’re very Internet marketing in the traditional sense – “how to make money online.” But, they regularly brought stories of people doing clever, creative things in niches. Today you’ll find them here:

Lynn Terry was one of four Internet marketers on another podcast I once listened to, Internet Marketing This Week. I was somewhat familiar with two of her co-hosts, but I didn’t follow them. Lynn was refreshingly candid and forthright. She was also willing to stand by her convictions, no matter what. I liked her straight away. Still do. You’ll find her here:

Pat Flynn was interviewed on Sterling and Jay’s podcast in 2009. He was a member of their “academy.” They interviewed him on the Cubicle Escape series of their podcast. He was Patrick Flynn then. 😉 I was especially interested in his story because he was marketing an information product that helped people prepare for an exam. He wasn’t teaching people how to make money online. He has since blown up into a major Internet marketing success. He’s one of the most transparent and forthcoming guys in the space. You’ll find him here:

In recent years I’ve come to know a few other people who are worth mentioning (but I won’t for fear I’ll leave somebody out). I wasn’t aware of them during these years of more intense study, but they too serve as evidence that I didn’t develop some hateful, heavily biased view against anybody who marketed “infoproducts” or found a way to make a buck online. Admittedly, they seem to fall into 2 categories (or both): a) they serve a niche (i.e. videography) and/or b) they’re affiliates for products or services they think their audience will find useful. Some of them drift over into the “making money online” genre occasionally, but the ones I admire most only do that as they’re telling their own story of how they’re made money online (ala Pat Flynn).

What do you think? Comments are open!

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12 Years Later, It’s Time To Launch An Online Business!

It’s been about 12 years since I first heard the term “Internet marketing.” I was quite confused by the moniker, but I dove headlong into educating myself. From then until now, I’ve done very little marketing online. Pretty stupid for a guy whose been in sales for almost 40 years! I’m often a slow learner. Now, 12 years later I’m preparing to start an online enterprise that includes generating revenues and profits.

Two subjects, one show. You’re gonna wanna watch this unfold. Succeed or fail, it’ll all show up. Warts and all. I have no intention of hiding anything. We’ll learn it together.

Spread the word about

By the way, you’ll likely be interested in Friday’s show. I plan to introduce you to a handful of likable Internet marketers.

Thank you for watching!

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