Who are you? What do you know that is of value to others?
You are you. You are unique and your experiences do really matter to other people. You create value when you share who you are, as well as what you know.
I know that the people marketing and sales would have you believe that all about what you know. It’s not that what you know is not of, or does not create value. It’s more that who you are is an important and integral part of the value created when you share what you know.
People buy people. People buy feelings.
Do you really think that purely what you know is enough to make people spend money? Or is it the outcome that they will achieve for themselves?
I believe it is, for the most part, the latter. By learning from you people hope to get a specific result for themselves. That result, in turn, delivers a specific feeling for that person. The greater that feeling is in importance to them, then the greater the value it has to them.
This is where commerce comes into play. The people that you create value for have access to resources that are of value to you. The resources they have maybe skills, knowledge, networks, attention, time or money. And as we know, one of the main resources that is traded for the value you have created and the value that you desire to receive, is money.
Granted, it’s not all about money (at least it isn’t for me). It’s also about the one email, tweet, Facebook or LinkedIn message where you hear from someone the you never met. In that message they thank you for changing their lives for the better through what you’ve shared. [I’ll share the message I received in a later post]
You may, like me, have forgotten what you wrote. But you will know that it came from a place of compassion, and passion. At that moment you will get that feeling of knowing that what you do and who you are really does matter.
I have been writing blogs fairly consistently now for over a year. I know that it is necessary for me to share what I know and who I am. Until recently, I did not take a look at the web statistics that shows the global reach of what I say about what I know and who I am. The image in this blog was taken from my website stats analysis.
With that said, I want to say a big “thank you” to you for taking the time to read, watch and listen to what I have to say. No matter where you are on this global map (shows the countries that people have viewed this blog from) there are people just like us all over the world that seek to grow, share and walk together on this journey called life.
In 2013, I’ll be focusing most of my thoughts, videos and writing around a few core subjects. This will help me to focus my time, energy and efforts in a way that I will be able to establish a clearer “message” that we can discuss and share together.
Do you have a message that you wish to share? Have you allowed fear, or the illusion that it does not matter to others to be the reason for not sharing that message? Or have you allowed “planning to prepare” and “getting ready to get ready” to be the reason for not starting or building a rhythm for sharing your message?
If so, please know that what I have done is a baby step. But even the baby step is still a step forward.
This is all that we need to do. It may not be perfect, it may not be as consistent as we desire (at first), but is, can be and will be SOMETHING.
This is not about you, this is about them. All the people in the orange and red countries of your global reach map waiting to hear what you have to say. It may start small, with only one blog or video. It will become more, in time.
And in time you will hear the stories of how your words have impacted and changed the lives of others. This is my story, this is my song. And I thank you for taking the time to sing along.
It came to my attention that the cheetah and the lion have different strategies for achieving the desired outcome. Their desired outcome is survival and having a meal.
Although I like to use metaphors from nature, I don’t often use metaphors that involve violence. I guess using the predator and prey relationship as a metaphor doesn’t quite sit with me well when it comes to business. That said, this is more about stepping back and looking at the bigger picture. The fact is that these things happen in nature, in life and in business.
The cheetah hunts in the long grass and the open fields. It works carefully and meticulously to get close enough to its prey before expending the huge amount of energy required to utilise its strategic advantage – it’s unmatchable speed. Many people are unaware that to achieve the speeds that the cheetah is capable of requires such a huge investment of energy that if the cheetah does not achieve the kill on that particular chase, the cheetah will take hours to recover and regain its strength to try again. Although the cheetah will share the kill with others. The pursuit is often a solo effort.
As Lions do not have the speed of a cheetah, they employ a different strategy. One such strategy is to wait near a watering hole where they know that the deer, buffalo or zebra will come to drink. Then, while they are drinking and have let their guard down, the lions make their move. Even if they fail, they know that other deer and zebra will come to the watering hole without having to chase them down.
A number of consultants, coaches and trainers that I know and work with have a feast or famine approach to getting business. They work hard to position themselves and then expend an inordinate amount of energy to secure the deal. If it should be the case that they do not get the work, it takes them time to recover physically, emotionally and otherwise before they can recharge to focus on the next big deal.
Then there are others. They are coaches, consultants and trainers who work in collaboration with others. They position themselves in the places and the communities where the people that they seek to work with congregate. If they miss out on one deal, others will come.
Yes, this is a bit of a mixed and messy metaphor, but the lesson still stands.
You can chase the business by yourself and deal with the consequences that takes the form of feast or famine. Or you can save energy by positioning yourself where the business will come to you. You may not get the first deal, but you have more choice, because you know that they are coming back to meet an important need.
Who are you collaborating with to get more customers? Who are the people who work in a complimentary way with your ideal client? What communities are your ideal clients drawn to?
By being a prominent and credible (engaged) member of those communities. you can be well positioned for customers to come to you. Then you can find out what problems your product or service can solve for them. Doing this can (with the intent to serve)help to draw more quality customers to you at your business.
We can do MORE together. http://www.lindsaycs.com
Especially With Your Money
Among the many things that I’ve learned since becoming a mentor of The Business Wealth Club Birmingham, it’s the importance and power of keeping things simple. That is, when we are able to break down seemingly complex issues and powerful business concepts into digestible, understandable chunks of information.
One of the most common challenges for many businesses (small and large) is the matter of the clear, confident and comfortable understanding of “money matters” such as cash flow.
“Cash is or oil in your business engine. Without it, your business will seize up and die.”
This a quote from Paul Avins and another clear example of how, in this instance, cash flow can be boiled down to clear and powerful metaphors that business people understand. That’s what we do at The Business Wealth Club.
Recently, The Guardian newspaper (the online edition), published one of my articles on the subject of cash flow. In the article. I explain how establishing and maintaining cash flow can also be broken down into three core principles (yes, another tetrahedron)
We have always based our Cashflow management on the following:
To read the rest of this article go to www.bit.ly/i2iguardian
Cash is the oil in your business engine. Without it your ‘engine’ will cease up and die.
that are bound by trust backed up by paper (written agreements made while relationships are good)
Informal – Identify and recognise alignment with corporate and individual values with customers, suppliers and stakeholders. Your ‘gut’ instinct is often a very good guide that could save you money in the long run. This also paves the way to understand how the other people and organisations really operate so that you can navigate through tough times – yours or theirs.
Formal – Ranging from profile tools to credit checks. Set thresholds for putting various ‘checks’ in place commensurate to the level of financial risk associated with the relationship. This can then be formalised in a written agreement or be used to ensure if ‘standard’ terms and conditions fit the situation.
Systems, particularly electronic systems, don’t sleep and can keep you aware of where you are and, ideally, where you’re headed. Systems ranging from accounting packages to sales systems provide an early warning prior to cash flow problems OR can highlight opportunities to invest your surplus more wisely.
Control and Predictability (most of the time). You can’t control people, but you can control activities. Setting clear DOCUMENTED processes (based upon best practice for your industry) and exercising the discipline to follow them EVERY time will ensure ongoing success.
“Cash is King”
Economics is more about people and their behaviours that it is mathematics. When one person starts to hold on to their cash, it brings about fear. The fear spreads and soon enough, lots more people are holding on to their cash.
It takes a strong level of self belief to break out of the cycle of fear, but if you don’t the money you are holding on to is the VERY REASON you may find that you’re not getting paid.
They (you) too have forgotten their value, let go of their values and are causing someone else (you) to be more fearful. In the process they (you) are damaging their (your) credibility, credit rating and self esteem.
When you step into a world and mindset of abundance and, better yet, into communities where people don’t listen to or subscribe to the messages of fear, you’ll find that you’ll let go and see an abundant flow (including cash).
Are you holding on to cash that you promised (with a PO, a verbal agreement, a contract) to pay someone? Are you holding off on making an investment into yourself or your business that you know (or are guaranteed) that it will give a return but you are still are waiting?
If so, you’re participating in the fearful behavior that is keeping THE (and your) economy from recovering faster.
My call to action:
“Keep your word pay what you can from what you have…. MORE will come“
Invest in yourself and your business. When the rest of the country and the world gets out of ‘fear mode’ you’ll be ready to serve and grow like never before.
Do you ever feel as if you are doing a lot of work and putting in a lot of effort but you’re just not moving forward fast enough or at all?
That said, I’m not a believer in ‘moving backward’ as I believe that there’s always something that was gained from the perceived movement in the opposite direction that you may have intended. Whether it was learning ‘just one thing that I know not to do again’ or ‘now I know that I don’t want to feel this way again’
So what does this all mean in the context of business?
In my usual way, I’ll give the answer up front for those who still think that the answer is the answer.
“Movement is perception. Perception can also ensure movement.”
The best metaphor that comes to mind is the travelator. For those who are unsure what I’m referring to, a travelator is the moving walkway that you find at a lot of large international airports. It’s similar in look and design to the escalators in buildings and malls except it moves you horizontally.
My work as a speaker and coach often requires me to travel internationally. This means that I spend a fair bit of time at airports going from one terminal to another. There are times where a flight has been delayed and time is short to make the transfer between planes. On these occasions I have a clear objective: get to the next terminal in the next 10 minutes or risk missing a flight. Yes, of course, I could get the benefit of the exercise and run between terminals. I could also, where the opportunity presents itself, also use a travelator. Typically the speed of the travelator is that of a fair paced walk. Additionally, the ‘rules’ of the travelator are that you can stand still and stay to the right or you can walk (even briskly) on the left.
The result: even standing still you are moving as fast as someone who is walking briskly. Better yet, if you walk briskly you’re really moving and making up ground.
Spending time with an experienced Coach or Mentor is an opportunity to step on a ‘travelator’ for your life or business. The strategies, insights and advice will often move you along faster and with less effort than if you didn’t have this valuable resource.
Then, if you decide to put more effort into your journey you’ll move from where you are to the next point faster giving you time to relax, reflect or even cheer on the people who chose to do things a different (harder?) way.
I’m also a believer in the saying “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey” That said, there are times where I’d rather use my energy to cheer others on at the destination over struggling to get there.
Have you read a book or attended a conference, workshop or seminar where you were shown strategies to get ahead BUT you haven’t put them in place?
Do you have a desire to help more people, make more money or feel more fulfilment but just don’t feel like you’re moving as fast as you know you want to?
If so, it’s time to be accountable. First, to yourself. Next to someone who can support you, encourage you and give you sound advice from experience. If money is a challenge, there are a number of inexpensive or free ways to get started. It can be as simple as going to Google and searching for a free coaching service. If you are serious about making progress for yourself and your business then (if you’re in the UK or USA) check out The Business Wealth Club. I also offer a 40 minute “i2insight” session that I don’t charge for BUT I do ask you to make a small contribution to one of the charities that I support. To register for a session simply go to www.bit.ly/i2insight01
So get moving today and get more of what YOU want out of YOUR life.
Let’s start with clarity. And for this let’s go with a couple of definitions
Now that we have that out of the way I wanted to tell you about a recent experience I had with a client who was frustrated and exhausted because she wasn’t able to get customers to pay her the rates that she wanted to charge.
She felt that she was (and for the most part she was) doing the right things.
It’s not that she was not correctly accredited, trained or experienced. It wasn’t that she hadn’t identified her USP in a marketplace where people needed her service.
She’d paid money to get more traffic to her site. She’d been on webinars on getting more customers. She’d paid lots of money for a pretty logo and new stationary but when it all came down to closing the sale the only tool that seemed to work was offering a discount on the price (typically less than she felt she should be charging).
She would usually rationalise this by telling herself that “in time they’ll pay more” and “the next job is going to finally pay me what I’m worth.”
Does this sound familiar? Have you begun to rationalise and try to convince yourself that “I’ve only been doing this a short time. In this way, so maybe over the next year or so things will get better.
Or maybe you’ve been convinced by the slick marketing of an Internet Guru who promises fame and fortune FAST.
There is a clear and sometimes tough reality that EVERY entrepreneur and business leader must face.
“To get more then you’ve got you have to be more then you are”
This means you need to learn more and apply more of the foundational aspects of how to connect with your customer for sustainable business.
The whole thing about being an ‘overnight success’ is that it typically takes more than one night.
For many of the successful entrepreneurs that I spend my time with, work with, coach, mentor and I am coached and mentored by; “overnight” typically took between three and seven years.
When the successful men and women made to specific distinctions for themselves through having a coach, mentor or trusted (professional) advisor, things began to change for the better. Three of these distinctions are
When you are willing to do the work to dig, look within and recognise that each of your experiences, no matter how trivial, make you a unique and powerful resource for SOMEBODY who is willing to give you something of value to you (products, services, MONEY) in exchange for what you know or what you do. THAT is the beginning of the discovery of your value.
Do not be mistaken, this is only the beginning. The next step for you is to find out who that “somebody” is and if there are enough of these “somebody’s” to build a sustainable business.
As the saying goes;
“You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.”
This goes back to your own feeling of self-worth, self-esteem and self-confidence. When you get to the point that you realise that it’s OK if everybody doesn’t have the means, foresight or understanding to pay the fees that you ask for your products or services, then things will get better – fast.
Your goal, if you happen to surround yourself with people that don’t have the aforementioned resources, is to find out what, in fact, they DO value and if you have or can develop a product or service to meet that particular need.
This information can be the foundation for you to develop and to provide valuable products and services as part of your product matrix (product staircase, product ladder, product funnel) that leads customers to the insights, foresight and understanding of the value of the product that they previously did not want to pay the full price for.
Are you getting the price that you feel you really should be getting for your product or services? Are you finding yourself trying to “sell” people into your product or service offering with less than a 50% conversion rate?
If either of these are true, then I would suggest that you consider developing a product matrix or product staircase that makes it easier for people to get the value that they need at a price that is right for them, and very importantly, right for you (in respect of the cost of development and delivery) so that you can build a clear pathway for them to do business with you and pay you for your contribution to making their lives and businesses better.
For more information on building an effective product matrix / product staircase visit www.thebusinesswealthclub.com where you can see how this has been transforming businesses just like yours over the past 8 years