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Are your goals keeping you inspired to succeed?

I hope that everyone had some time this past holiday weekend to enjoy some personal and family time. I know I did. I was able to get in a round of golf on Thursday before the rain came in, had three great meetings on Friday, family time Friday night, ran the Patriot 5k on Saturday morning, worked Saturday evening and then got to spend time first with my father and then with my wife on Sunday.

I am incredibly thankful to be an American with the independence we have. While it may be much easier for many I appreciate the opportunities out there for us all. We live in the land of opportunity.

I’m currently working with a client who is starting their business while also raising a family, taking care of a home and working a full time job. Yet, with all the cards stacked against them they are setting goals and putting plans in place for an awesome future. It’s so rewarding to be a part of this.

All in all, I have received a great boost of confidence and energy going into this week. I hope I can put it to good use.

Happy Week of 4th of July!

Thank you in joining me for the 243rd celebration of America’s independence. I am looking forward to seeing all of the red, white and blue this week. I hope you all get to enjoy a little extra personal and family time this week.

For you WAM!mers and guests out there take note that Wednesday and Thursday meetings are cancelled so there are only two opportunities to sit at our table this week and if you didn’t make it to our meeting at lunch today you’re down to one. Join us tomorrow, 11:30am at O’Charleys located at 9990 Brook Road in Glen Allen. This month, our training focus will be on renewing our New Year’s resolutions and goal setting in general.

I am really thankful for this weather we are having. Stop! Did I just hear complaining about the heat? It is hot indeed, however, I am focusing on the fact that it is not freezing, it isn’t raining and I am getting to enjoy the outdoors more. Bring your water, stay hydrated and get out there. A little tip that might help you. I used to work outdoors a lot and I learned that wearing an undershirt helped me more in this type of weather. Without an undershirt perspiration on your outer shirt will only make you hotter as the sun heats up that moisture. With an undershirt, perspiration is contained and your outer shirt remains dry. Try it, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Have a great week!

Why instant gratification?

The desire for instant gratification is a big enemy for small business owners and sales people. You know that good things come with time and it’s no secret that the best things in life don’t come easy. So why are people so impatient?

The most common reasons are financial ones. Making decisions based on your immediate income more often than not, have a negative effect on your potential long term income. We have all seen the salesperson who after twenty years is still chasing one more sale, the business owner who twenty years later is still complaining about the same things and both are still not willing to make decisions that will change their end game.

There are a lot of hours in the day. If we don’t have enough money in the bank to support ourselves we are working on our business. We are limited on how much time we work on this. Limited time not “no” time. My challenge for you is to make sure that you schedule time every day or at least every week to invest in your long term goals. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in just half an hour a day if you just stick with it and be patient.

Do you need some help figuring this out, defining your end goal, creating a plan in which to achieve it and identifying the difference between the reactive and proactive decisions you are making? Then join us at one of our meetings. You have three more chances this week, Tuesday at lunch, Thursday morning and Thursday at lunch. Here is the link to the calendar of meetings – https://www.wamrva.com/events/

Continued progress

It’s been a long time since I was in the restaurant industry so I have been having a lot of fun with my new client, a restaurant owner. Not only do I get to refresh my skills in increasing the client experience and making waiters and waitresses more money, I get to work in an office full of great food to sample.

More and more progress was made this past week in general mastermind meetings as well as our targeted mastermind meetings. Its satisfying to see so many members getting more and more value from feedback they are getting from fellow members and guests. Sometimes it’s like they are actually business partners the way they are diving into each other’s businesses. I wish I could figure out how to put a dollar amount on advice; our membership would be growing like a weed.

Wednesday June 26th from 6:00 until 8:00pm, we are launching our quarterly Member Happy Hour and it’s going to be a fun one. Our members and their guests will be enjoying some adult beverages, video games and getting to know each other on a much deeper and personal level. If you’re not a member and want to enjoy this you better contact one of our members quickly and get them to register you as their guest. Register yourself and your guests now so we have an accurate count for the goodies! https://www.wamrva.com/event/member-happy-hour/

This week our meeting facilitators and those that want to be facilitators will be attending the quarterly facilitator training. The key to our success is our facilitators and we are going to continue to improve on this. https://www.wamrva.com/event/quarterly-facilitator-training/

If you can’t make it to today’s WAM! Tastic meeting join me tomorrow at the VCC meeting, Thursday morning at the Master’s meeting or Thursday at lunch for the Sandston meeting.

Have a WAM! Tastic week!

What are your 2019 goals?

Sometimes you have to start at the finish!

Don’t know what your niche is, how much you should charge or where you should focus your energy? This is just a sampling of the many questions I hear members and clients struggling to answer.

They struggle to answer these questions because they don’t know their end game. When you know what your ultimate goal is it you can often work backward and better answer these questions.

If you know you want to make $100,000 a year and you work this backward to the $1900 per week, divide this by the number of billable hours you can produce each week and factor in expenses, you can better see what you actually need to charge per hour. The exercises get a little more complicated but starting at the end and working our way backwards can also help with identifying the ideal niche for you, understanding where you need to focus the most time and energy and much more.

So, what is your end goal?

Bring these and more of your questions and thoughts to your next mastermind meeting and let’s see what we can all come up with for you.

Sales Strategy

The secret to the quick easy sale!

I’ve heard many of sales person and sales manager now explain to me how it’s all about the numbers and how easy it really is. Is it easy to make 50 prospecting calls a day? Is it easy getting all of those NOs? Is it easy work 50, 60 or 70 hours a week? That doesn’t sound like easy to me.

What sounds easy to me is working less and less hours and closing more and more deals. Doesn’t that sound easier to you? Do you think you can achieve that by continuously making more prospecting calls or by working more hours? I don’t. However, this seems to the trend I see most often.

If you want to get yourself in a position in which you can indeed be on a path of continuously working less hours while simultaneously making more money it does take time and a strategic plan. The plan that I help people with includes things like identifying target markets, developing of a niche and building relationships with and training strategic partners. It’s not easy to build but will make your life easier.

A big question to ask yourself is what will happen to your current business if you stop working like you are now? If the answer includes you losing your income, then you might want to really think more about developing a strategy like this for your future.

Join me in a WAM! meeting or sign up for some one on one time with me and let’s see if we can make you more successful too.

Focus, focus, focus your niche

I had a short week last week as I was only in town for three days. I filled those three days with multiple WAM! meetings, some great sit-downs and was able to host a productive workshop on Time Management. During each, part of the time was spent on talking about the developing of a niche but I feel like in doing so I continue to forget to point out some important points about the value of a niche and the process involved in developing a niche.

First, what is a niche? There are many types of niches and in my opinion, most are too broad. The most successful niches are very very defined. I have been using an analogy lately that I think will help explain a lot of this. Let’s say that you are the owner of a Ford F150 pick up truck, it’s out of warranty, in need of repair work and you are searching for a someone to complete this work. You are driving down the road and see three repair shops. One is ABC Automotive repair and their tagline reads “We repair all makes and models quickly and inexpensively”, the second is Domestic Automotive and their tagline reads “General Motors, Ford & Chrysler’s are our specialty” and the last is Pat’s F150 Repair Shop and their tagline reads “No one knows F150’s like we do”.

Here are the most common results I have received when presenting this scenario.

Pat’s is going to be more knowledgeable about F150s

Pat’s is going to make less mistakes when servicing F150s

Pat’s is probably going to be a little more expensive, but worth it

Does that sound like some of the thoughts you were having?

Now, let’s look at from Pat’s prospective. If this shop only works on F150s they probably are much knowledgeable about F150s and this knowledge should help them when diagnosing problems and they probably impress their clients when they are explaining what needs to be done and why. Because they have seen this same situation before, have ordered the same parts and completed the same service their explanation will be right on point, without hesitation, with confidence and with a full vocabulary of everything involved. It’s like they know F150s inside and out.

Because they have repeated so many of the same repairs so many times, they know how to prevent the mistakes they have made before and will save a lot of time and money because of this. They are going to have all of the right tools, supplies and maybe even the parts already on hand, again saving them more time and money. Because they are repeating so many of the same tasks, they can create systems to make them run even more efficiently and that will, you guessed it, save them even more time and money.

So with a niche they can offer something better than all of their competition, complete the same work in less time and can charge a little more for it. WAM! Think about this too, they probably have to put very little time and money into marketing. Everyone that gets to know about Pat’s will jump at the chance to share with any F150 owners this truly unique automotive repair shop.

So why aren’t all of these automotive repair shops doing this? There are many reasons. “Because that’s not how they do it in this industry”, I hear this one all the time. Old “industry” habits are hard to break. “Because I need to make money now”, which is exactly where most people in your industry remain their entire careers. “I want to help everyone”, then why are you just volunteering somewhere?

The reason that people don’t develop niches like this is because it takes time and focus. Pat’s didn’t start out day one only working on F150s. As a matter of fact, they do work on some other vehicles too. Their message every day, with everything they did focused on F150s but they got a lot of “come alongs” along the way and still do. However, now they can be selective about what they work on and when.

“If you want to get rich, you got to have a niche”. If you want help identifying a good niche for you and developing a plan in which to achieve it, I would welcome the opportunity to help you.

It’s all about your perspective

What can a college basketball coach learn from a high school football coach? Better yet, what can an MBA learn from a high school dropout? Perspective.

Everyone has experiences and knowledge unique to their life. Whether as a consumer or producer, as an owner or employee, living in different areas, reading different books and the list goes on. Two people doing the same thing may have completely different perspectives of the experience.

If you find yourself in a room in which you think there is no opportunity to learn, don’t look for a new room; try to see the room from a different perspective. Maybe you don’t see the opportunities in front of you. Maybe you are not looking for new ideas and knowledge. Maybe you are looking for affirmations. The greatest treasures are often found in the least likely places. If your eyes are closed you might miss them. 

So what can a college basketball coach learn from a high school football coach? If that college basketball coach is struggling with how to inspire their college players maybe the high school football coach can share a better perspective on what high school players are seeking at the college level. Maybe the college coach is so accustomed to dealing with other college coaches and players that they have lost perspective on issues.  How about the MBA and the high school dropout? The MBA had the opportunity to develop their skills in a classroom while the high school dropout developed their skills on the street. Who holds the greater knowledge in building vendor relationships? Who holds the greater knowledge on employee expectations? Who most likely understands more about the average consumer?

Are you trying to please the right people?

It was many years into my career in the landscaping industry when I realized that the majority of landscapers were spending way too much time and energy trying to please other landscapers instead of their clients. I had memberships in multiple industry organizations and there was a attention focused on sharing new certifications, sharing accolades of landscaping accomplishments and very little on business accomplishments. They should have been focused instead on what their clients thought of them.

Dealing now with people in multiple different industries I have come to realize that this, and varying forms of it, are happening in them too. I see business owners so focused on what their competition is doing that they lose focus of who they are or their goals. I see people avoid new ideas, even their own, because others in their industry are not doing it that way. I have seen businesses price work base on what their competition is doing instead of their costs; even when they are losing money.

Thinking more on this, how about all of the people trying to copy what others in their industry are doing because they assume the other person is having success doing it and without any knowledge of how long it took them, how much it cost them or whether it is something they can even duplicate.

So my tip of the week is to take a look at what you are doing and make sure it is what is best for you, your clients and that it is the right thing in order to accomplish your goals. Don’t be afraid to be different, take it instead as a challenge. The most successful people I know were considered crazy in the beginning and often laughed at by others in their industries.

Are you ready for success?

Are you really listening?

Whether you are trying to make a sale, help a colleague or gather information, it can be difficult to truly listen.

For me, I find that if I am not completely focused I will take one part of what someone has said and start processing it and running a complete analysis fo that one item only to not hear anything else they are saying. Another problem I have is to concentrate so hard on not forgetting a question or thought all ready to respond with that I will miss what the person speaking says beyond this.

I shared previously what I learned about multi-tasking and how I have worked to stop it. Well, I have been trying to apply the same thing to this situation. The technique I have developed is to take notes. When I hear something that I want to respond to or put more thought into, I very quickly jot down or type out a note that I can go back to and then re-engage my attention to listening. This has been very helpful.

This process has also helped me discover that by curbing my anxiousness to speak I am not only becoming a better listener and taking in a lot more information, my responses are much more intuitive. No surprise to those who are already good listeners, but I have also found that as I sit back and listen more, many of questions are answered without me ever having to ask them.

In sales, this can be golden. We have heard it before but maybe it hasn’t registered, but the more you listen, the more the prospect will tell you exactly what they want and need and exactly what you need to do in order to make them your client.

If you found this helpful, I would appreciate you sharing with me how.