Success is hard. Failure, though, is far more difficult.
Sensation is often our problem. Well, a lack of sensation actually.
Where are we?
Hard to tell sometimes. Are we moving closer to success, or further away?
If only somebody could shout at us, “You’re getting warmer. Warmer. Warmer. Hot. Hot. Red Hot.”
Then, we’d know. But there are no such voices. There’s just the work. The process.
Get after it. Chase it down until you catch it. And whatever you do, don’t stop. Because if you do, others will run over you, leaving you to suffer defeat. And it will not be fun! Defeat is never as sweet as success.
Nothing happens until something is sold. I’ve heard that all my business life, and I believe it. However, today I find myself advising people to better prepare so they can sell. Some businesses are unprepared for prospects to say, “Yes.” They’ve neglected the foundational elements of building a business.
People start new businesses and often find the struggle much harder than they imagined. It’s not necessarily because they’ve got a bad idea. Or because they’re inept. Or because they lack capital.
Increasingly I find people struggling to do the actual work of business building. Some people confess they don’t know where to start, or how to start. Excitement and passion soon give way to frustration. Depression sets in and many entrepreneurs feel as though they’ve put on concrete boots. They’re stuck. Unable to move.
Marketing is vital to any enterprise because without customers…we have no business. Today’s show isn’t about marketing though. Let’s back up just a bit and discuss three things you must incorporate into your business so you can successfully market and deliver. These three things seem to elude many start-up entrepreneurs. Admittedly, all three of these things demand hard work. You’ll have to set aside significant time to develop these things. And you’ll have to make up your mind that you’ll devote yourself to the effort and energy required to make your business fly. Successful business building requires tenacity.
Today, start building your business by preparing to serve customers with predictable success. Get ready to dazzle customers. Prepare for the “yes” – for a customer to buy from you – and then put your business in motion to deliver extraordinary service to the customer. That’s how word will spread that you’re the go to person for your niche.
Fail to prepare and when you hear a customer say “yes,” you’ll embarrass yourself. Too many small businesses – especially solopreneurs – behave like that barking dog chasing a car. Barking is marketing. Don’t get all wound up, fully devoted to marketing. You have to prepare for the positive results you hope to get from your marketing. If the car stops, the barking dog is now clueless how to respond. Don’t be that dog!
I first read the term “lifestyle design” in 2007 while reading Tim Ferris‘ book, The 4-Hour Work Week. Tim Ferris introduced me to at least two powerful things I hadn’t known before: lifestyle design and virtual assistants. Both are powerful. Ferris, on many levels, is quite brilliant.
Don Miller‘s book, A Million Miles In A Thousand Years, is another book that intrigued me. It made quite an impact last year as people embraced the metaphor Miller put forth. Life is a story. If you’re unsatisfied with your life, craft a better story. Live a better story.
Saturday I was doing some work in The Yellow Studio. I turned on the TV to serve as background noise while I worked. I’m fond of Discovery, The History Channel and The National Geographic Channel. It happens that my set was tuned to The National Geographic Channel. The show? Locked Up Abroad. I’d never seen this show, but it was a marathon for this series on Saturday. As I worked, the channel remained on this show. Ten or more episodes, each an hour-long, appeared as I was in and out of the studio working.
Ferris proposed – and I agree with him even though I never had a label for it – that we construct our lives with intention. That we design the life we want. I began to consider Miller’s premise that our lives are a story and it’s up to us to write one that is more interesting. I thought of each episode of this TV show – a compelling show. Interesting stories. Riveting.
As a man in search of an epiphany, I was blessed with one. Okay, I admit it wasn’t really new to me. I admit that I’ve felt this way for quite some time. You may not agree with me, but that’s okay. Maybe that makes things more interesting.
When I began my business career companies regularly used polygraph exams for pre-hiring assessment. Hard to believe, but it was common practice in the 70’s and into the 80’s. Experience taught me that the polygraph exams weren’t nearly as valuable as the opinions of the examiner administering the test. I went to greater lengths to find an examiner I trusted than most because that was what I valued most. The fact is, I’ve always trusted observation – body language, tone, personality, demeanor, eye movement, response and communication skills – more than any test or profile.
Personality profiles and other forms of assessment fascinate me. I have used a variety of tests designed to show us how people are wired. For many years I used the DISC profile during the pre-hire process, but I always used it after being convinced I was going to hire the candidate. I wouldn’t offer a candidate a job until I got the results of the DISC profile. The outcome of the profile never affected my decision to hire. The DISC profile helped me see ways I could better communicate and coach the person once I did hire them. I found it helpful, but it was just one piece of the roadmap I used to lead companies.
But this short video isn’t really about assessment tests or profiles – well, not entirely.*
A few years ago I revisited my interest in profile testing when Tom Rath‘s book, StrengthFinder 2.0, was released. My interest was no longer in the pre-hiring process. Now, I was interested in personal discovery and development. Those remain the focus.
The StandOut profile indicated I’m a person who tries to make sense of it all. Life is a puzzle and I’m a guy who is constantly trying to put the pieces together. It’s true. At least I feel like it’s true. It doesn’t mean I’m successful all the time.
Today, I focus on just one little business phenomenon that has constantly puzzled me. I can’t figure it out. I confess. I’m beaten. The puzzle is too complex. My mind, too simple.
Have a great weekend,
*I’m planning a show on profiles and assessment tests. Do you have experience with one that you think is the cat’s meow? Would you be willing to join me on an upcoming podcast to discuss your use of it? Drop me an email or leave me a voice mail.
You got up this morning feeling great. You had a good night’s sleep and you’re rather excited about the day ahead. Then, an email hits your inbox and suddenly everything changes. In a FLASH.
Suddenly, you’re feeling drained. You’re sad, unhappy, nervous, anxious or feeling a variety of other emotions that cripple performance.
One email. One message has managed to completely alter your feelings and negatively affect your emotions. It happens to all of us.
We have to manage how we feel – our emotions. Don’t just surrender to the adversity. It’ll smack you around, knock you to the ground, then stand over you and mock you. What are you gonna do about it? Well, you must do something about it. Fight back.
We need emotional head room. Our feelings play a big role in how well we perform. Performance fuels success.
I don’t believe in The Law of Attraction. It’s called a law by clever marketers. It’s a theory. And a poor one at that, but some people believe it…because they want it to be true. Wishing it won’t make it so. However, I do believe in emotional head room. That’s the subject of today’s show.
Mentioned in today’s show:
• Proverbs 23:7 “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”
• Muhammad Ali – He may have invented smack-talking
• Proof that Ali knew how to manage his emotions, and how to impact the emotions of his opponents
• And still more proof