It's human nature to separate our lives into parts for convenience sake, so there’s a difference between work and family, for example. But sometimes these distinctions disrupt what would otherwise be an integral unity. Treating employees like family can go a long way toward your bottom line through their loyal, caring and purposeful efforts.
Values and principles aren’t okay over here in our family lives or relationships, yet we can drop them over there in business. No, we’re either going to be what we intend to be throughout all facets of our lives, or we’re not.
If the same concepts apply, why separate the basic elements of business as if they were these pieces that fit into the puzzle of our lives when we could equally consider life as a business itself?
In the market, value is determined by the benefit of something minus its cost, yes? These same principles apply to any part of our lives, from what we put into our bodies to the peer groups we choose. It’s not cold to think of life in business terms. The human element is that values, benefits and costs are unique to each of us, and thereby unquantifiable. That’s what makes each life—and business—unique with its own unique value to give.
The three elements to business success are:
- You have to have the right vehicle.
- You have to have the right knowledge.
- And you’ve got to be the right, true YOU!
If you don’t have the right vehicle are you going to make it? If you don’t have the right knowledge of how to use that vehicle, are you going to make it? If you don’t know who you are—your habits, your traits, your own strength—are you going to make it?
We don’t literally live our lives in vehicles all the time, but are you located where you need to be? If someone wanted to pursue acting and become a big star, Wyoming wouldn’t be the best place to pursue work. Yes, or yes? Also, having the right knowledge and knowing who you are go hand in hand if we were to think of successful lives as we think of successful businesses.
Your livelihood is not solely measured in your bank statements. It’s living life without doubt. It’s doing and being who you are and taking in everything that comes at you—the good, the bad and the ugly— knowing that you’re going to keep moving forward and succeeding again no matter what.
Right livelihood is a Buddhist principle, probably among other spiritual disciplines too. It’s not about how much money you make. That’s a part of it, but that will be a result of finding the right livelihood. It’s about matching what you do with who you are.
Let’s have some fun with this concept. If you were to think of your life as a business, what would you call it? Why? Does your name tie into the core of who you are or what value you have to give? We’re looking forward to some fun, creative responses. Post below!
Sometimes it’s easy to tell when someone isn’t certain of something or maybe harmlessly fibbing when you ask them a question and they give you an answer you don’t believe. Not that it’s always a big deal—like asking someone “Are you sure,” and they answer, “Yeah,” kind of like they’re asking a question, not stating a truth.
Try that in business or pitching yourself or your product or in fact whatever! For frick sake if you don’t believe in yourself, why should anybody else? This can become another one of those “Duh, Harv” moments. “Of course you have to believe in what you’re doing.” But is that what most people really live, do and sincerely … believe?
After all, believing means having confidence in the truth or absolute reliability of something without being able to absolutely prove that you’re right. There’s always that chance that you’re dead wrong. And that’s what holds so many people back, often without them realizing it. Fear of being wrong is insidious, undermining, and can become a success killer.
The most important thing about your business—your vehicle—is you have to freaking believe in it so much you would stand and shout it from the top of the roof to everybody, every minute of every day. If you can’t do that, you don’t believe in what you do enough.
When you find something that you really believe in and get it into your subconscious, there’s no problem in telling people what you do, or the value you’re offering. Preparation, education (which implies knowing that what you believe in can always be improved), execution—these are the sledgehammers that break through those inner obstacles, the roots that block us.
Sometimes, though, those roots can go very deep. This goes back to blueprint. Or a bad experience with belief, in one way or another, somehow internalized. If you can’t get past taking a shot in the dark without absolute certainty that you’re going to hit your target, what else do you think you can’t get past in life? Try everything! Anything! You stay in that comfort zone and even a little step outside becomes uncomfortable.
But guess what? Making a million dollars is not so comfortable! It’s like stretching muscles that you didn’t even know you had. It’s gonna feel tense at first, or maybe for a while, but the more you exercise your success muscles, the more successful you’ll be.
Belief and faith go hand-in-hand, and they are the foundation of success as much as energy is the basic unit of everything that ever existed. The idea of faith—as in “higher power”—is uncomfortable for some, but the same rules apply. Faith is simply doing and being from a place of not knowing what the outcome will be, but doing it anyway and accepting the result, whatever it may be.
But we won’t even get there without the basic unit of inner strength—belief in ourselves, in what we’re doing, in what we’re creating, in what we’re becoming. The science to get there is learnable. The spiritual aspect is something we have to continuously nurture.
We’ve been knee-deep in the nuts and bolts of business over these last few blogs. Now it’s time to open up the forum to your thoughts on belief, faith and success, and look for more spiritual lessons and thoughts next week.
But before we go there, it's your turn to tell me what you think. What tips or strategies do you use to breakthrough your inner obstacles? Others can learn from your methods, so share below!
There are dozens of different ways to market and promote a product or service. Everything from advertising on radio and television, print, magazines, newspapers of course; and email is great today if you know what you’re doing.
But of all the mediums that are available today, I believe there are two that are the most effective for the least amount of money.
The first one is referral marketing. That’s right, just what it sounds like: people telling other people. Word of mouth is not only extremely inexpensive, but the best part about it is it’s the most credible!
The second one is absolutely critical here: endorsed mailing or joint venture endorsed mailing. Bulk junk mail can cost a freaking fortune to mail out. Instead you partner with someone else who is interested or believes in your product or service. You give them a deal on that product or service, but also use their mailing lists to sell your product or service to their mailing lists with their endorsed approval. That’s not the only way but it just gives you an idea.
The people on the list have already given their interests or trust to your partner, now you have a wider field of people who may trust you too, which for me on one occasion turned out to be a 4% increase in response rates, 20 times more than my original mailing without the joint venture.
Next, I am going to suggest that instead of doing single step marketing you do multi-step marketing! What’s the difference? Single means trying to get them to buy from you on the first date. ‘Multi’ means trying to get them to test you out with very little risk and after they like you going for more. So I believe in not only getting them in the door but doing so in massive quantities.
Finally, there’s a saying: ‘The headaches are in the front end but the money is in the back end’. The most expensive part of any business is getting the customer in the first place. But isn’t that your biggest asset? It’s your current customers!
Once they are in, they know you and they like you. It’s easy to sell to them and offer them more. Your own customer database is the most efficient and effective arena. That is your business. You’re going to make way more money on the back end of what you offer people you already have than the front end of people you’re still trying to get in. Good or good?
Now it’s your turn! What are two or three things you can offer on the front end of a business that are low risk in time and money, and completely outrageous—where people go ‘Is this for real? Wow! I’ve got to try this out!’ Share your thoughts below.
So you’ve found your small pond, your niche—or “nitch.” You’ve identified how you’re going to be that unique fish, how your colors and your dorsal fin designs and fish eyes are going to hypnotize everybody else in the pool. Awesome!
But you have to be responsible enough to know that just because you stand out somehow doesn’t mean you’re going to stand out the right way. The right way is attracting the right people, and the right people are the ones that you’ve identified as those whose need you can serve with your product or service with the least amount of convincing.
What are their characteristics? The marketing term is demographics: age, sex, ethnicity, geography, education, marital status, kids, no kids, income—those are the main pieces. But there are also more psychological traits—what your market likes, dislikes, considers most important, their lifestyle preferences, etc.
Once you know who you’re talking to, what’s your message? What is it that you want to tell them? You must answer the two key questions that they’re always asking: Why should I buy this, and why should I buy this from you?
Your message of who you are, what you do, and why those in that market should buy from you over everyone else must be very direct, definite, and sharp so that it can cut through all the clutter in the mind of the customer. That’s where you have to stand out!
One of the ways to stand out is to have a “nitch” as I like to call it (because it rhymes with what? Rich!) or uniqueness about you: your unique selling proposition or ‘USP’. One of the biggest mistakes between a person who is a so-so marketer and a person who’s a fantastic marketer is that the fantastic marketer works with a single USP, not ten! The ten of them can be part of your features and benefits.
But of all of those USPs there’s only going to be one thing that you want sharp as a knife to get right through and say, ‘This is why you deal with me. This is what we do that nobody else does’. To create the very best USP you need to know that target customer and create it according to them. What do your specific customers want? What would really serve them?
Take a look at your thumb. Go on, nobody’s looking, don’t worry. Nobody has a thumb print like that. It’s absolutely true, yes? That’s what your business has got to look like.
Some people put their USP in their tag line. It’s a good idea. Your USP must be customer oriented; of benefit specifically to your target group. Now do you understand why it’s so important to know who that target group is? And why I go on and on about marketing, and why you love it? 🙂
Now it’s your turn! Give me your feedback on unique selling propositions and marketing thumbprints. Who do you think executes the most effective USPs in the market today? What makes them so good? What are your thoughts or experiences on advertising and marketing?
Look for more marketing tips next week.