How to make your business thrive… right now!

Problems:

1. Not enough clarity
2. Not enough time
3. Not enough capital
4. Not enough staff
5. The wrong staff
6. Not enough clients
7. Procrastination

Solutions:

1. Not enough clarity:
Define your goal (destination), know where you are (your numbers), design your journey (strategy). The tools are all out there to help you with your business and some may be more beneficial than others (social media for instance). But if you have no idea where you want to get to and no idea where you are, then you’re just a boat bobbing aimlessly about on the ocean. YOU get to choose all of this, so start designing now… oh, and then know your numbers so you know where to start from.

2. Not enough time:
As a business owner, there’s always 26 hours worth of work to fit into one day. But if you have an idea of where you’re going and where you are right now, and you can work out a strategy to connect the two, then you should be able to prioritise and do only the things that are making the MOST difference and taking you to your destination quicker. Make sense…?

3. Not enough capital:
Ah, good old cashflow… Well, I’m going to make a bold statement here. You should never be in a position where cashflow is an issue if you don’t overstretch yourself and you TEST what you are doing. Trial your product or service on a small scale and upscale accordingly when you know your numbers. There is no excuse for losing money in business as you should always be testing and using this data to make ‘scaled up’ decisions.

4. Not enough staff:
If you know your numbers, and you know how much a customer is worth and know how many conversations convert to customers, you can work out the opportunity cost of your time and if it is worthwhile getting extra staff. Look at the tasks which are driving your business growth and the menial tasks which ‘have to be’ done, then delegate.

5. The wrong staff:
Once you know your numbers, it is then your task to make sure your staff KNOW your clearly defined goals (see point 1) and are on board with your vision. Asking the right questions in recruitment is always the right time to get this right. And three rights don’t make a wrong.

6. Not enough clients:
You should be a marketer of your business, not a ‘doer’. You have a product (check). You have a marketplace (check). Now you need a message to connect the two. Working on your marketing is the key and coming up with a message that stands out from the crowd is the way to do it. Always start with the aim to provide fantastic ‘A grade’ information and build good relationships first. The business will flow soon after. And remember: “It’s not ‘what you do’ but the way that you do it.”

7. Procrastination:
Want someone to kick your butt and make you do all this right now…? Contact me.

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10 Essential Entrepreneurial Books

Having spent some time with a number of entrepreneurs within the Entrepreneur’s Circle now, I’ve been asked for a reading list, especially as the way I work is ‘holistic’ (I work with ‘why’ you do what you do, not just the ‘how’) and purposefully aimed at gaining maximum alignment for you and your business journey. So here it is, with a clear explanation as to the reasons why each book is in the list and what it will do for you and your entrepreneurial success.

Click images to buy from Amazon:

1. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action – Simon Sinek

This should come as no surprise to those who have had a one to one with me already. If you understand ‘why’ you do what you do, then you’ll be able to pass this onto your customers in a clear way that engages them in your own story and journey. This is an essential starting point for anyone who owns or runs a business or product.

Quote: “Products with a clear sense of WHY give people a way to tell the outside world who they are and what they believe. People don‘t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.”

 

2. Synchronicity – Joseph Jaworski

Joseph Jaworski is the son of the trial lawyer for Richard Nixon in the Watergate scandle. As someone who did not ‘need’ to become an entrepreneur, he felt a clear drawing to his destiny by stepping away from his law practice and setting up the American Leadership Forum. This book tells the story of how he did it (very successfully) and the clear guidance he received from some sort of Universal destiny… ie: there is no such thing as coincidence. A must read for anyone drawn to their calling.

Quote: “Just being able to be there for others and to listen to them is one of the most important capacities a leader can have. It calls forth the best of people by allowing them to express what is within them.”

 

3. The E-Myth Revisited – Michael E Gerber

To be a good cook, you require the right ingredients. An entrepreneur requires the necessary balance of visionary, manager and ‘doer’. In a businesses infancy, an entrepreneur will no doubt have to be all three, but as the business grows, they need to realise where the balance lies and how to address it to take the business into full maturity. This book explains how to recognise this and what to do about it.

Quote: “The work we do is a reflection of who we are. If we are sloppy at it, it’s because we’re sloppy inside. If we’re late at it, it’s because we’re late inside. If we’re bored by it, it’s because we’re bored inside, with ourselves, not with the work . . . How we do our work becomes a mirror of how we are inside.”

 

4. Rework – Jason Friend & David Hansson

Every rule in business was created by a human being, doing business. This book breaks the rules… and in the process, redefines business. Written by a company that is global, tiny in size, yet huge in profit and influence, this book is a manifesto for a new way in which work is getting done by small (and large) businesses, with a simple and easy to follow manual on how to do it for yourself.

Quote: (from the back cover) “A.S.A.P. is poison. Underdo the competition. Meetings are toxic. Fire the workaholics. Emulate drug dealers. Pick a fight. Planning is guessing. Inspiration is perishable.” Nuff said.

 

5. The Power of Full Engagement – Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz

So we’ve broken some rules and made some assumptions redundant along the journey thus far… now’s the time to make some changes to the other side of the equation…. Us (or should I say: YOU). If you put sh*t in, you’ll get sh*t out… and this applies to you and your own ferrari. And by that I mean the body you were given to complete your entrepreneurial journey with. Life is all about balance, so get this book and realise that the way to fully engage with your purpose is through maximising YOUR energy.

Quote: “In short, the highest form of creativity depends on a rhythmic movement between engagement and disengagement, thinking and letting go, activity and rest. Both sides of the equation are necessary, but neither is sufficient by itself.”

 

6. Clarity: Clear Mind, better performance, bigger results – Jamie Smart

When Seth Godin gives the thumbs up to a book, it’s probably a good bet for the mind bank. When I say that Jamie Smart taught me all I know, then it’s another (as I hope you’ll end up agreeing). As entrepreneurs, we have all the hardware and software we need at our disposal. We live in ‘advanced’ times. The only thing preventing us from achieving our goals… is us. And if you think that there are ‘physical’ restraints on your situation that are impassable, let me point you here. It’s only ever your own thinking holding you back. This book will point you towards the clarity required to bypass mental hurdles.

Quote: “When you’ve got nothing on your mind, you’re free to give your best”

 

7. The 4 hr work week – Tim Ferriss 

Now I’m assuming most of you will have heard of this book, but there are a few people I’ve spoken with who haven’t. Get it. Read it. Do it. Anyone who can offer the advice to only read email twice in a day, and if you need to get hold of me urgently – call me…. deserves some read time. To then go onto using his own methodologies to win a tango competition as a ‘non-dancer’ and a world championship martial arts competition with minimal training, says it all really. Genius. This is the way to do things, the ‘easy’ way. But oh so productive! There is an impossible amount of high quality nuggetary in this book. Links, ideas, processes, the whole shebang. Buy it. Now.

Quote: “Problems, as a rule, solve themselves or disappear if you remove yourself as an information bottleneck and empower others.”

 

8. Book Yourself Solid – Michael Port

I think it’s fair to say that a majority of the issues I’ve come across in speaking with entrepreneurs, is filling the prospect funnel at some level. There’s a product… check. There’s a need… check. OK, so where’s the audience? This book goes a long way in showing you how you can (in any industry) get a long waiting list of clients in your funnel, ready to convert. It’s a lead generation and conversion bible (in my book) and it’s worked a treat for me.

Quote: “Do you realise how many more clients you could be serving if they just knew what you had to offer? The best way to inform them is to have at least one compelling offer that has no barrier for entry”

 

9. The invisible sale – Tom Martin

The way that business is being done is changing. Most buying decisions are made well before the button is pressed to purchase. The value is in the research and if your name is constantly appearing as an authority in your sector, then you’re going to be ‘top of mind’ when that button is finally pushed to add to cart. This book is an in depth look at the process through which it’s possible to make that invisible sale in a transparent marketplace. A must!

Quote: “To win invisible sales, you have to stop selling to prospects and start helping them to make a buying decision”

 

10. 80/20 sales and marketing – Perry Marshall

Anyone who’s heard of the Pareto principle will already have an interest in this book, but when you apply it to sales and marketing, it gets really interesting. When I first read this book and learned of ‘racking the shotgun’, it was an absolute revelation to me. How does one ‘find’ a prospect? This book explains just how to do it. In fact, there are so many ‘how to’s’ in this book , that it seems to be a firm favourite of exceptional marketers, Nigel included. It’s a real gem.

Quote: “I was knocking at the door in a way that positioned me as a beggar. You can’t do that… it’s just about impossible to close the sale”

 

Oh all right then, I’ll stick a couple of others in as well. I mean who could not include Nigel’s ‘Botty Rules’

Quote: “To get a breakthrough in business, what you have to do is change your thinking.”

or my very own ‘Do Nothing!’?

Quote: “Most executives don’t know that the burden of pressure is actually informing everything they do. It feels normal to them and part of how they operate. But they are generating it all within their own mind – it’s self created… not job created. They don’t HAVE to feel pressure or burden. Stress is optional!”

But I’m assuming you’ve already read these.

However, if you haven’t for any reason, DO IT!

How to beat the competition: Be the best at all times

key_art_bring_your_a_gameBring your A game… always bring your A game. When you give anything away for free, make sure it’s from your A stock. Why would anyone who gets your B grade material want to come back for more? Give them A and raise your game to give them more of the same.

If you live in a world where you fear lack, of course this is going to seem counter intuitive to you. But if you live in a world where going the extra inch to give that extra service is par for the course, then this approach forces you to come up with the goods.

After all, we’re living in an age where every decision counts. The ledge has got smaller, so we have to be even more careful where we put our feet. If you aim to give your best at every juncture, then your best is what your customer will see. And how do you think that might help you stand out from the crowd?

Getting Entrepreneurs out of ‘stuck’

Two weeks in and a theme is emerging…
It is an absolute pleasure to be part of a plan to get Entrepreneurs up and down the UK better placed to really catapult their success and grow in 2014. During my conversations with these business owners, an obvious theme has started to emerge… For those who are struggling, the reason for their malaise is that they’re ‘stuck’.billboard-stuck_1116867iThey’re stuck in a job – it just so happens to be that they’re also the employer. How ironic! The very reason they set up the business in the first place – to get free from employment – is the same trap that’s keeping them hostage. And they can’t even sack themselves.They’re stuck in a rut. Not sure why they’re doing what they’re doing anymore. The passion that drove them into business in the first place has faded, and they’ve forgotten who they are and what their purpose is.

They’re stuck financially and can’t see a way out of a mess of their own creation (unless someone comes along with a big fat cheque book and invests some capital so they can do the marketing and reconnect to customers).

And worst of all, they’re stuck because they think they should have known better. Why did they have to be the ones struggling when so many others seem to have found the magic formula or added the secret sauce.

Well, I have some good news for you, especially if you’re one of these business owners – there’s always room for improvement. After all, if we don’t improve, then there’s no learning and if there’s no learning then we’re already done and dusted. No journey required.

It’s not how many times you fall over, but how you pick yourself up that’s the key to success. In fact, the more you fail, the better you become at succeeding. And the even better news is that there is an answer to all of these ‘stuck’ dilemmas. You don’t need to be stuck in employment of your own volition. You don’t need to be stuck in a rut or stuck in a financial hole.

If you can reconnect to the passion that brought you into entrepreneurship in the beginning. If you can relight that flame just long enough to feel what it’s like to be free again, then I have a proposition for you.

The Entrepreneur’s Circle is committed to helping our members create an additional £1 billion next year in added value to really get UK PLC back in the black. We’re committed to getting our members out of stuck-ness and back into creating a business of value. One with a message and a purpose but also one that does not hold the owner prisoner.

And we’re doing this right now for business owners up and down the land. Come and see how at a special ‘secret screening’ workshop in Euston next Wednesday: https://m148.infusionsoft.com/ app/orderForms/Why-Now-Event- London-4th-December

Looking to grow your business in 2014?

Book a place at this exclusive event in London on Dec 4th 10am-12pm

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We are all powered by love

Hug DogLook at animals, perhaps at your own pet. Look into their eyes and see our own humanity, not such a long time ago. What do I mean by that? It’s easy to think that humans are separate from other life forms in our ability to express conscious awareness, but it wasn’t that long ago that we were these same four legged mammals living a survival existence.

What we see around us now in the thoughtful opulence of magnificent architecture and life changing inventions is a result of evolving brains and ideas over a relatively short time period (compared to the lifetime of the Universe). And what we see as humanity now, is certainly not what we will see in hundreds and thousand of years to come. In the same way that we have sprinted from four legs to civilisation, we will evolve further still.

But however that evolution occurs, it will be the same spirit, the same life force that has always been driving us, taking us to these new heights. That same spirit is what we see when we look into the eyes of an animal in pain and offer comfort and solace. What the animal recognises… is love. Love bridges the gap between millennia of evolution, from the surviving foragers to the genius inventors.

It’s the substance of all things that binds us, combines us and entwines us. It’s what we’re made of. We can not be separate from it, no more than our pets cannot recognise it. We are all one at the molecular and spiritual level and love is the fuel for both.

Dog walks, rain and navigating life with ease

storm_brewing_over_trevose_2This morning, as I took Wellington out for his morning walk, I noticed a few raindrops falling… so I looked up to the sky to see what was happening. Or more to the point, what was about to happen. Which was when it occurred to me – this was a great metaphor for the understanding of how our reality is being created from moment to moment and how to navigate life with ease.

I stood still and looked carefully at the clouds and the direction they were moving, and when I ascertained their direction, I could look back and see what was about to come this way. How interesting… I looked behind me, not in front to what had already passed overhead.

When we apply this metaphor to the inside out nature and understanding how the process works, we see the similarity right away. Look to what is doing the creating, not what has been created. How often in life do we look at what has already happened and use it as a guage for the future without taking the time to see what is on the way? Surely that would make more sense?

 

Never give in! Never give in! Never give in!

Persistence is key…

Some wonderful testimonials from my clients