Episode 168 – Stop Waiting For Permission To Share Your Story

Stop waiting for the starter's pistol to give you permission.

Stop waiting for the starter’s pistol to give you permission.

The runner waits for the starter’s pistol to fire before taking off. Otherwise, he’s disqualified.

You’re not a runner though. You’re a business person. There are no starter pistols in your life, except in your head. Seth Godin has been telling you for years that you no longer have to wait for permission. His admonition is, take permission!

He’s right.

Small business owners answer their phones. Well, the good ones do. When a customer or prospect calls, it’s like a starter’s pistol going off. The business then leaps into action. The problem is, the customer is holding the pistol, giving the business permission to begin doing what they do.

You can’t keep waiting to tell your story. You must get the word out without being obnoxious and self-serving. It can be done. Your customers and would-be customers are waiting to hear more. You’re used to waiting for them to ask you. Stop it. That’s no longer how the world works (if it ever did).

Today’s show is about the realities of how you should be running your small business. WARNING: It may involve a complete change of mind for you. The good news is that you can start today and it won’t cost you nearly as much as you think. If you don’t start, and follow through, it’ll cost you everything – your clients, customers and your business!

Randy

NOTE: Photo used with permission from Don McLaughlin. Find him on Flickr.

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What Is Marketing?

As with most questions, it depends on who you ask

As with most questions, it depends on who you ask

mar·ket·ing
Noun: The action or business of promoting and selling products or services.

Type that question into Google and that’s the first result you’ll get. Google produces great search results, but this one falls short.

PROMOTING. That’s what many people think marketing is.

The second Google search result is a Forbes article dated 8/09/2012 entitled the same question as this post title. Commenter Gregg Emmer, vice president/chief marketing officer at kaeser & blair inc (yes, I looked him up) said, “In 1991 I was asked to explain marketing and advertising. My 4 words have been used by many others since then. Simply – Advertising informs, Marketing motivates. And to nail down marketing – Everything that creates an environment where a sale can take place. It is not any more complicated than that.” Looks like Gregg is doing a fair amount of his own personal marketing (ahem, promotion).

Walter Paul Bebirian left (in part) this comment, “Well to me it is seeing that there is a market or a way to set up a booth wherever individuals are or wherever I will come in contact with them – and at that point where I come across them – wherever that is – I introduce them to the products and services that I have to offer them – just like the staff of the different farmers at the different booths at the farmer’s market back in Lancaster, Pennsylvania – at with that introduction I provide them with the information and means to purchase the services and products that I have to offer as well.”

Is it really necessary to dive any deeper into the Google results? Not likely.

How do I define marketing?

Any activity that helps people figure out you’re just what they’re looking for.

Randy
KISS

Kiss me!

I live in Texas where we claim everything is bigger.

Bigger can be better, but not always. Waistlines, debt, dirty laundry…well, you get the idea!

Life is full of contrasting ideas.

Abundance vs. Minimalism

Vast vs. Cozy

Big vs. Small

I admit that many small business owners struggle with limiting their growth or opportunities because they think too small. I’m not encouraging that behavior. Today’s show isn’t about small or restrictive thinking. Rather, it ‘s about embracing what suits you best. It’s about not allowing your business or career to be defined by what other people think.

What’s wrong with keeping it small? 

Nothing, if that’s what you want. This is the time to be selfish and chase what you want…how you want. Not every small business owner wants to build the next global business. Just like not every home buyer wants an 11,000 square foot house. Some people prefer the tiny houses available today. Nothing wrong with that – it’s just a matter of preference.

For instance, I don’t want employees. I’m not opposed to employees. I’ve just had them most of my career…spanning the last 30 plus years. Been there, done that. I don’t want to do it any more, but I know people who would love nothing better than to build a business that needs lots of people. That’s fine…for them. Not for me.

What’s your end game? Do you want to start and build a business that you can sell? Do you want to build a business with others that can solve some big worldwide problem? Do you want to build a business around something you personally find gratifying?

It matters how you answer those questions. It’s very personal, but I’ll warn you to avoid letting somebody else’s dream or desire affect your own. It may be wise to think small. That doesn’t mean being ineffective, unsuccessful or unprofitable. Some of the wealthiest people I know do work they really care about by going it alone and dropping most of their revenue straight to the bottom line. They intentionally keep their lives simple, flexible and small.

Keep it small smartypants!

They love being small. Is it for everybody? Nope. But then again, what is?

Randy

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Episode 166 – What Do You Want To Do?

question markTrue confession: I’m a middle-aged guy who began seeking my “encore career” about 4 years ago. And like many men my age, I fell into an occupation as a young man. As a teenager really. Thirty-five years later I came to a place in my life where I asked, “Now what?” The real question was, “What do you want to do…now?”

You know how it is when a big group wants to go out to eat, but it’s not a pre-planned affair. You ask, “Well, where do you guys want to go eat?” For the next 15 minutes it’s like you’ve asked the group to solve world peace. It just seems impossible to figure out where to go. You either get tons of indifference – “I don’t care” – or you get very opinionated responses – “No, I hate Mexican food.” Well, asking yourself what you want to do is tougher than that.

Yep, world peace might be easier!

I don’t know why it’s so hard, but rare is the person who says, “I’ve always known I wanted to (fill in the blank).” Don’t you hate those people. Life isn’t fair. Why do they have such clarity while I’m over here in the mud puddle stomping around trying to find my way?

I’m here to tell you that YOU can figure it out. How long will it take? I don’t know. Truthfully? It’ll take as long as it takes. So the good news is, you can start today. The sooner you start, the better. The bad news is, it might happen for you right away, but it’s much more likely to take a long time.

That’s okay. It’s very worthwhile work. I’ll share with you one little idea that I used to help me find my way. It might help you, too.

Check out ChasingDFWCool.com – it’s a project I’m preparing to launch within the next month or so.

Randy

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