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Tag business mindset

The guy who came in from the cold

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So you’ve got to hand it to them. The Red Cross do an awesome job both globally and locally. And the other day when they cold called for donations, my daughter (and boss) Julie wanted to give the guy a job. Because he was brilliant.

 

Cold calling is just about the world’s most terrifying part of being in sales. Up there with the fear of public speaking, most people would choose to do almost anything else if they could to avoid it. The fear of rejection is a huge thing. But this Red Cross guy, well he was all over it. Calling late one afternoon, he had Julie convinced he was one of our clients. Opening with a bit of general chit chat, Julie was primed to listen to what he said next. And of course he was after a donation. A donation to help fund a phone service where lonely people stuck at home get a daily call from a Red Cross volunteer. While a worthwhile cause, Julie responded by letting him know we have our own charitable arm. But he was ready for all the usual reasons why not and countered with some brilliant arguments that left Julie no where to go. ‘That’s okay, we can talk about your own individual contribution’. Following up with ideas of it being Julie’s Grandma stuck at home alone she just couldn’t say no.

 

So impressed by the brilliance of his call, Julie agreed to a donation.

And afterward wished she’d asked him if he wanted a job.

 

Cold calls are notoriously unpopular for both the caller and target. But there are ways to make the job so much more effective, leaving both parties with a good feeling. Stop thinking of them as cold calls for instance. Warm yourself up before you even begin. Smile, stretch and stand or sit in a power position. Get your own mindset set for success. Then pick up the phone and have a chat. Remember you’re talking to a person on the other end of the line. Imagine it’s a friend and your whole conversation changes for the better. Don’t script it. While it’s important to have some thoughts on what you want to say and how to counter objections, don’t just read it. Boring as bat shit and guaranteed to fail. And my favourite idea to counter the fear of rejection. Robert Smith suggests you lean into it. Set your target for ‘no’ responses rather than chasing the wins. As I see it, in chasing the ‘nos’ you’re under less pressure to get the ‘yes’s’ and guess what! You’ve overcome the fear and you’re enjoying yourself more which means you’re more likely to get the sale. It’s the law of reversed effect.

 

Cold calling tips aside, when was the last time you donated to a worthwhile cause? Or if finances don’t allow, how about lifting the spirits of someone you know by taking the time to call.

So you want to build a business

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We ‘wowed’ our Entrepreneurs Master Class this week. An awestruck audience watched on as we built an entire business in just two days.

That’s right. Just two days.

Well 26 hours to be exact.

It’s been a dream of mine for years to do this. And this week we made it happen. One of our clients with a business idea we transformed into reality in a matter of hours.

And I’m talking building a business from the ground up.

We didn’t even start with a business name. Brainstorming everything from scratch. The name, the logo, the domain, the youtube channel, twitter, facebook, website content, graphics. And in 26 hours it’s all up and running with the likes pouring in. We even managed to film and upload our first video and write an entire e-book.

Not bad for 26 hours work huh!

So the business is up and running and the list is already building. Needless to say we have one very happy client and a bunch of others signing up for the same.

It can be done.

And we just proved it!

So many people stuff around for ages trying to make this happen. Waiting ‘til things are perfect before making anything happen.

But is anything really ever perfect?

You could be waiting forever.

The secret… to gather together the collective creative genius of an awesome team. It makes the impossible possible. Peers, strategists, writers, designers, IT. And to buy what you don’t know. Because going it alone can cost you dearly in both time and money.

Most people think they need to build a business on their own. Jack of all trades and master of none. But we couldn’t have done it without the incredible support and skills of our brains trust.

So you want to start a business?

We’ve set the bar.

In October this year we’ll be taking sixteen budding entrepreneurs to Thailand. And in just ten days we’ll have sixteen businesses fully up and running.

Will yours be one of them?

A Bit on the Side

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You might know it as moonlighting. That work that we do after hours. A side project that fulfils our need to create something for ourselves. Perhaps it’s a hobby. Perhaps it’s a second job. Perhaps it’s building a business. After all, with the technology we have today it’s never been easier.

Time and time again it’s become glaringly apparent to me how important that bit on the side is. The way I see it, the need for multiple streams of income is no longer an option, but a complete necessity. And it’s because everything is changing so rapidly. Whole industries can vanish overnight. And if you’ve got all your eggs in the one basket, you’re gone.

Last weekend we enjoyed the fruits of somebody else’s labour.  After all, those who know me know I’m going vegetarian. Well, in this instance it was fruit actually. Mostly grapes. Without their skins or flesh. Just the juice. Fermented for easy digestion of course. And it came about because four friends, having a beer after work some years ago wondered if they could build a wine business on the side. Didn’t know if it would work. Didn’t know if it would make money. But they decided to give it a go anyway. To build something for themselves beyond their day jobs. Something outside the world of teaching and plumbing.

A decade and a half later and they’re taking out medals. And yes, they sacrificed (a lot of) nights and weekends. And yes, it took blood, sweat and probably many tears. But fifteen years down the track they’ve built something worthwhile for themselves.

Something that reflects their creative energy.

Something to give them more than just a pension in retirement.

Something that has given them that sense of fulfillment we all crave.

I reckon looking back they’d feel pretty good about that decision to give it a go. Because pursuing their passion has paid big dividends.

So what’s your passion?

Where could it take you?

Money Down the Toilet

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Sometimes I’m dumbfounded by how mind-blowingly stupid some people can be. But then we all have our moments don’t we.

Last week, my boss (yes I have one, she’s my daughter!) Julie searched Canberra for over 3 hours trying to find a very particular food. An import from the USA, hard to come by. And while she criss-crossed Canberra to track it down, it wasn’t until shop number 16 that she found it. A whole shelf-full. So, as anyone with any common sense would when you’ve searched this hard, she put the whole shelf-full in her trolley. After all, you can take the Costco mindset anywhere.

So far, so good. But on reaching the register, the checkout-chick was… how could we put this… somewhat confused and overwhelmed? Staring down the barrel of a great sale, she obviously couldn’t handle it. ‘Are you buying all this?’ She clearly thought Julie was nuts even after Julie explained this was the 16th shop she’d been to. ‘But I don’t know how to ring up a bulk discount’ was next. To which Julie reassured her she wasn’t asking for a discount. Quickly followed by ‘What if someone else wants to buy this?’ Julie was, needless to say, gobsmacked. Was this a business in the business of making money or not? After all, the sale was in the bag and you can always restock.

But the piece de resistance was the response to Julie’s comment about buying online if it was all too hard. And can you believe it… with the store manager beside her the check-out chick gave Julie all the details of the online stockist. You should have heard us as we all fell about laughing back at the office.

Talk about money down the toilet.

So who’s in your employ?

How do they think?

Do they have a business mindset?

On being persistent

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Let’s face it. Red tape. It’s a pain in the ar**. And gets in the way of good business. But if I’ve learned nothing else about business, it’s the power of persistence. Because when you’re in business you have the distinct advantage of being free to pursue anything you want really. And that’s a freedom worth having, isn’t it.

And persistence is just the quality we need to get us there. Because there will always be red tape. Barriers to growth. But we have a choice in how we face them. We can choose the path of defeat. Or we can rise to the challenge, push back those boundaries and thrive. As a wise man once said, nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Just consider the persistence of water in wearing away a rock. It’s always going to happen. It may just take a bit of time.

Over the years I have faced many challenges. But in looking back I realize some of the things I thought were the biggest blocks, were actually the greatest opportunities for growth. Because in meeting the challenge, I was forced to dig deep and discover strengths and abilities I wouldn’t have otherwise known I even possessed. These challenges kept me on my game and ahead of the rest. Blessings in disguise.

In the words of Stuart Zadel, when you’re in business, you are the elite, you are the rule makers, you set the agenda.

So what are you waiting for?

 

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

Calvin Coolidge

Reaching the Far Side

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I love the Far Side. And one of my favourite Gary Larson cartoons is ‘School for the Gifted’. Depicting a studious young man pushing with all his might against a door. Only problem is the sign on the door reads ‘pull’.

Pushing when you need to pull is just so counterproductive, isn’t it.

No amount of effort is going to get him what he wants.

Because no matter what we’re doing in life, our efforts need to be directed the right way, don’t they. Take business for instance. We can put so much effort into marketing but if we’re marketing to the wrong people it ain’t gonna work. And then there’s relationships. We can be putting lots of effort into loving our significant others, but if we’re speaking a different love language it’s not going to get noticed.

And the result is we feel frustrated in our efforts.

But frustration is just a sign that you haven’t tweaked it quite right yet. Remember Edison? He tweaked it thousands of times to give us an efficient electric light bulb. That’s staying power.

Unfortunately Edison is a rarity. Because many people give it all up too soon. Frustrated by missing the mark despite all the energy spent in trying to make it happen. Not realizing that a small shift in mindset, a small shift in understanding, a small shift in the way we see things may be all that is required to make our dreams the reality we long for.

Same effort. Sometimes less. Better focus

The possibilities are limitless.

What have you got to do to open that door?

Life is Sweet

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I’m always inspired by a story. And just like a picture, a good story speaks volumes. The resurrection of Darrell Lea is one such story.

But rather than bore you with the details, suffice it to say that a lack of passion, a lack of interest, a lack of good decision making rang the death knell for this great Aussie icon. And it took a Scot, with a fire in his belly to save it from certain perish. Because he could make the hard decisions the Lea family couldn’t. After all these years, staring down the barrel of a gun, they were still operating from a position of nostalgia. Stuck in the past. Ready to fold an icon rather than let go of an outdated business model. Not willing to adapt and survive.

Enter the new players.

A family man with a passion for business. And a fresh set of eyes. A penchant for fun. And the ability to make the tough decisions. Not always popular. But necessary. And testimony to his success are The profits that are now rolling in. A new business model that cuts overheads and turns losses to profit. Successfully leveraging the reach of other retailers. Working smarter not harder. While still paying homage to Harry Lea, the man who founded the empire.

The resurrection of Darrell Lea is a story worth googling. Because life is sweet if you’re willing to do what needs to be done. And above all, have fun doing it.

What decisions do you need to make to reap the profits you desire?

Where can you introduce more fun?

Birds of a Feather

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Every week we get together in the office and brainstorm. Because collectively we come up with the most brilliant ideas to make what we do even better. Better customer service, better delivery, and more fun doing it. What more could we ask for? And it helps that we’re all aligned with the same values. That’s paramount isn’t it. That you’re in business with people who hold the same values you do. No point in trying to run a business when you’re all pulling in different directions. Can you imagine a rowing team doing that? You’d just go round in circles.

And the reason the team meetings work so well is because we get to bounce ideas off each other. So not only do we have an awesome team, we are aligned and pulling the same way. And the creative energy is magnified.

And it’s for this very same reason that Mary and I prioritise a significant amount of time each year with friends who also run successful businesses. Millionaires in their own right with a wealth of knowledge to share. And the time we spend together is so incredibly valuable. Because not only do we have fun together, we bounce off each other and brilliant ideas flow. Brilliant ideas that generate and support all of our businesses. And we’ve come to realize that while it looks like a holiday, it’s actually one of our most productive times. Working on the business, not in the business. Because in making the time to relax together with like-minded people, the creative spark continues to burn bright and great ideas take form.

Over the years I’ve discovered that one of the biggest mistakes people can make in business is to think they have to go it alone. Because even if you’re a sole trader, you can still choose to spend time with others in business who inspire you. With others who understand the importance of mindset. With others who know how to think laterally and creatively. With others who can see new ways to do things bigger and better. With others who have set their sights on big ideas and are taking action to make them happen.

It’s a choice isn’t it.

Birds of a feather flock together.

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Who could you invite into your inner circle?