I believe one of the biggest lessons I can pass on is this:
Follow Proven Systems That Work!
I saw a commercial for the first time last night and it perfectly described a business system I believe in and one that works time and time again. Check out the commercial before you read any further:
What Did You Notice?
How Did It Make You Feel?
I felt a mix of emotions the first time I saw it. At first I was like “What in the hell is this all about?” Then I started to feel bad for Iddy (what I named the Idea). Then I started wondering if this was an ad for a homeless shelter or a kids-at-risk program or maybe a depression drug commercial. Then I started to get happy for Iddy… things were looking up for him. Then I became proud of Iddy for sticking it out and becoming a success.
Then I was like “Oh, it’s a commercial for GE” and got kind of bummed that it wasn’t some super-creative ad for a local non-profit or something.
What’s My Point?
Here’s what I want you to get… in order for an idea to thrive, in order for it to grow, to mature, to blossom into something greater than it started as… it takes this guy…
This is the guy who brings Iddy into GE. This is the guy who took a risk, took a chance, and nurtured Iddy. He literally opened the door to a new world. He is the difference-maker.
He took Iddy into GE. He introduced him to others. He smiled at Iddy. He allowed Iddy to shine and be the greatest he could be. If not for this man, where would Iddy be?
May I suggest that your business is Iddy.
May I suggest that the people who you surround yourself with are the difference-makers.
I want you to read this post and get the concept that GE has brilliantly shown us because it’s a solid one. It’s one that nearly ALL small business owners get wrong and it’s one of the major reasons their ideas never turn into brilliantly colored Iddy’s.
The reality is your business is small. It’s itty-bitty really. It’s an itty-bitty Iddy (I’m freaking hilarious!)
So often we start a business and go all out. We hustle. We work our butts off. We write blog post after blog post. We join Facebook groups, we share and try to help others…
… weeks and months go by and there is no real difference in your business. You start to feel like Iddy. You get sad. You don’t understand what you did wrong. Deep inside you feel alone and like you’re failing.
Think about it… you took a risk. You started your own business. And now you feel isolated and your family and friends really don’t understand your situation because they all work for someone else. They listen to you, they try to offer advice, but you know that they really just don’t get it.
They CAN’T Get It.
They want to get it, but unless they’ve started a business and know the struggle… they can only imagine… they can’t ever feel your experience in hi-def.
This brings me back to Iddy.
When you are in business you absolutely MUST surround yourself with successful people. Yes, it’s nice to join Facebook groups where there are thousands and thousands of other members… but are they successful business owners?
Let me rephrase… are they REALLY successful? Like truly successful or just putting up a front?
Have you ever heard of the saying…
Well it’s the same for business. Your business is the average of the other business owners you mastermind with. It’s the average of the Facebook groups you belong to and read every day.
Here are some examples of real-life “business” groups… see if you can spot the problem…
Here’s the Issue: This person is just fishing for new clients. You know the trick by now. Add “value” to the group and in turn you’ll get clients. On some level that works, but this person is not adding value.
They are fishing.
Add value by providing a system that worked for you in your business. Write out all of the steps, give the figures and results, detail the issues and lessons…
That is giving value, but you almost never see it in these “business” groups because everyone is pretending to be successful while really just focusing on things that don’t move the needle in your business growth. No one can share anything of real true value because they don’t know either! It’s the blind leading the blind.
Here’s the Issue: Don’t you love these people. They’ve never posted before, they’ve never given value to the group, but now they need something from you.
And what else did you notice?
Argh! They are looking for tactics! Yes, there are ways to get a lot of Likes, but there are no shortcuts. There is no legitimate app. Can you go on a website like Fiverr and buy a bunch of Likes? Yup. But what real value is that to your business?
Some of you may be thinking… well it makes my business look successful so more people will Like my page and hire me. Not true at all!
Beyond that, it will mess up all of your conversion rates and tracking going forward. You’ll never really know how many “real” people are interested in your stuff.
Here’s the Issue: Um, what? I. can’t. even. This is a total waste of my time reading it. If you can’t be bothered to properly formulate a question then I shouldn’t be bothered in writing a response.
Here’s the Issue: This one is hard for many new business owners to figure out. It seems helpful and encouraging. The truth is this business owner is giving horrible advice. Your are a (insert what you are here -ex. coach, trainer, etc) – not a web developer! Stop developing your website! You have so many things to do. You should NOT spend hours and hours, days and days, or even weeks at a time focusing on a website!
I’m sure you’ve heard of the Pareto Principle by now. It’s also called the 80/20 rule. The idea is that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your work. If you focus on the 20% that produces the 80% then you can become more productive in business growth.
Things that make up the 20% are networking, sales copy, marketing and sales. Period.
The other thing to notice is how this person says he still has other things to add. Your job as a business owner is to delegate tasks to other experts so you can focus on your business and your clients. PERIOD.
Yes, this status update is encouraging at first glance… but it’s horrible business advice.
Remember the point of this entire post – you are the average of who you read, study, follow, etc. You want to surround yourself with true business owners that understand how to start, streamline, grow and enhance a business.
These People Are Not Stupid
Now I want to be really clear. These people are not stupid. They are not lazy. They are just spinning their wheels and trying to make magic in their business. Their intentions are good.
But I care about you. You are building a real business. You want to help as many people as possible. You want the ability to earn a living helping people – that’s why you’re in business.
My job is to show you that in order to grow a successful business we have to build solid foundations. One of the best foundation pieces I’ve ever learned was this lesson…
Surround Yourself With People You Want to Be Like and Eventually You’ll Become Them.
So ask yourself this question… what people do you have on your success team and are they in a position that you want to be?