It’s not about you, it’s about them.

Keep on sharing. It really DOES matter.

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 say all that to say this….

i2i TMM Global reach 20121119I 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.

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

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.

Three Steps to Better Cashflow

Cash is King.

Cash is the oil in your business engine. Without it your ‘engine’ will cease up and die.

Your ability to maintain cash flow is best when based upon

  • Relationship,
  • Systems and
  • Processes

that are bound by trust backed up by paper (written agreements made while relationships are good)

1.  Relationships

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.

2.  Systems

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.

3.  Processes

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”

I say all of that to say this….

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).

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that…..

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.

Walking on the Travelator

Moving Without Moving

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?

It’s rare that you’re not moving at all because you may, in fact, be moving backwards!

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.

http://youtu.be/6UH0-Gnffl4

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.

I say all of that to say this….

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.

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

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.

Getting Paid What You’re Worth

The (not so) Secret Forumula

Let’s start with clarity. And for this let’s go with a couple of definitions

  • Value (used as a noun) the worth of something in terms of the amount of other things for which it can be exchanged or in terms of some medium of exchange.
  • Values (as in your personal values) Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to. Violation of the ‘core’ values usually leads to discomfort, disruption and even dis-ease.

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

  1. Most of success is all about mindset.
  2. The value you offer isn’t valuable to EVERY individual that you may meet.
  3. Value yourself and others will value you

I say all that, to say this….

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.

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

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

It’s All About Flow (Cash Flow, that is)

Are you heading for a cash flow ‘heart attack’?

Cash is as important to your business as blood is to your body.  As the leader of your business you are at the heart of the business. If you are unclear on how much cash should be in your business 30, 60 or 90 days from now, then a 15 minute low tech exercise could ge the first step to gaining clarity and confidence around your cash flow.

This video is an introduction to the i2i IPA Flow Planner.

IPA Flow Planner Intro Video

For more information on the IPA Flow Planner and Free* i2insight session on how to use it, contact me at marcellus@marcelluslindsay.com

*In order to qualify for the session you must complete a 3 minute survey and give a small donation to one of our charities is required to qualify for the free 40 minute session. www.bit.ly/i2insight01

Money is NOT the root of all evil

The last step of ATM is a doozy.

So far you’ve learned the importance of getting the attention of the people you want to serve,

You’ve learned how essential it is to spend quality time with them to let them know how you can add value to their lives

Now you’re at the point where you can see if they really value what you have to offer, you’re at the last step where it’s time to put up the ultimate ‘applause for a job well done’ and ‘sign of commitment and interest’…. It’s the money step.

Money. Despite the misquotes and slander, money is NOT the root of all evil. The actual quote is “the love of money is the root of all evil” 1 Timothy 6:10

In fact, there can be a number of inhibitors and blocks for people taking the ‘money step’ can exist on both sides of the transaction. Yes, YOU can be the block through your own behaviour, attitude and perceptions about money.

It’s fair to say that YOUR perceptions about money can often be the greatest block. For that, I’d suggest a few sessions with your life or business coach.

I say all of that to say this….

When you can get and keep the attention of an audience. They are have invested in you on one level.  They have given you a small part of themselves to test the waters before they invest a larger portion by spending time with you.

During this important exchange it is your responsibility to make good on the promise you made when you gained their attention. You have to provide real and connected value that is of use to the people who  you share your message with.  You have to prove yourself, credible and worthy of further investment of time.  And when over the course of time you have proven yourself, they will exchange something that you value and can use….. money.

Money is a means to an end.  Money is a clear indication that they want to continue to invest in you and themselves. It’s for mutual benefit.  You will give them something that is of greater use value to them than the financial value that you have requested.

Attention, Time and Money. Straight forward yet far from simple. It’s sort of like a maze. And like a maze it is far easier to navigate if you have the benefit of a guide or a map.

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

What does your brand communicate? Has it been engineered to gain and keep their attention?

Are you making good on the promises you make after you get the attention of the people you wish to serve?

What is the clear pathway, product matrix or product staircase that you’ve created to continue to serve your customers as time goes on?

If you’d like to find out how to build your own product matrix and product staircase, you can visit your nearest branch of The Business Wealth Club in the UK or USA. Alternatively, you can get a 1:1 ‘i2insight Session’

This is a 40 min session discussion specifically about YOUR business and looking at quick wins to grow, have more impact and make more money.  The qualify for that session you have to complete the following three steps

Complete the questionnaire (takes 3 min) [ www.bit.ly/i2insight01 ]

Select and make a donation to one of our four charities (min £10 donation)

Book a meeting time with me [ www.bit.ly/i2ischedule  ]

During the session we are likely to discover ways for you to generate NEW business and more profitable customers. This will pave the way for increased cashflow and opportunities for you to invest in the business.

I look forward to connecting with you.

The second step to fill your personal ATM

Trust leads to revenue. Trust takes Time.

OK, so I think I’ve got your attention.  Well, in fact, if you’re reading this you’ve already proven the validity of the next step the principles of ATM.

How many times have you sat at your computer with the intention of doing one thing and found yourself doing something else? It happens to a lot of people, in fact, companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and the like BANK on the fact that you will do just that.

It seems that we’ve moved into a new age of communication.  There was a time when we were in the information age, when we were hungry for access to information and the new ‘information superhighway’ (as the internet was called back then) was the place were everyone wanted to get a fast track to the fast lane.  As the old saying goes

“Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.”

Now, as my coach Scott Smith has noted, we’re in the age of ‘information overload’.  If you think about it, we’ve taken a very distinct change from getting information on everything to only wanting information on what we want, when we want it and in clear, distilled, limited to 140 characters, up to the second information.

I say all of that to say this….

Once you have the attention of your potential client, customer or partner you want to create a way for them to spend time with you.  This can be in the form of the written, spoken or presented word.  In my V3E strategy, I stress the importance of shaping your message so that it is aligned with your values and vision for yourself and your partners.  Regardless, the way to build trust and relationship is to create and master ways to spent time with the people you want to work with.   Ideally, you should have a product staircase or product matrix that you can clearly map out the pathway for your customers.  The product staircase is a way to let your customers take steady steps from product to product as they learn more about you, trust you, and decide if YOU are the one to solve their problem e.g.

Attention:  0 – 10 seconds

  • Your headlines
  • Your Logo
  • Your tagline

Time:  10 seconds – 30 minutes

(in order of typical duration)

  • Your tweets
  • Your audio blog (audioboo)
  • Your podcast
  • Your Facebook or LinkedIn messages
  • Your blog
  • Your videos
  • Your webinars

These are just a few examples and ideas that are progressively longer and longer and provide an opportunity for people to hear what you have to say, the value you have to offer and learn to trust you.  And what is a clear indication that they find value in what you have to offer? Well, that’s for the last step

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

Take a look at your favourite brand or product and consider the path that you took from first giving them your attention and then your time.  Consider the other pathways that they have created to allow you and other customers to spend time with them.

Do you have a product staircase or matrix? If you do, then what do you have in place to ensure that the steps are easy and comfortable transitions based upon the services that you offer.  If you don’t, then consider checking out the product staircase strategy at www.thebusinesswealthclub.co.uk to visit your nearest club (if you are in the UK).

The staircase is the structure, V3E shapes the content. The next step is the step that keeps you in business.