You know, in the past number of months I’ve witnessed great successes for clients. And there’s one common thread with them all – they’re taking massive action.
What does that mean?
It means that they’re thinking bigger. They’re spotting all the opportunities that are out there right now; and there has never been a better time to put plans in place to benefit from these opportunities.
They’re not letting anything get in their way. They’re asking for help from those that know how to deliver their ideas and they’re taking action. And they’re throwing out the rule book that prevented them from doing something in the past.
There’s a quote that I once heard from the legendary Les Brown, whom I had the privilege of meeting.
“The richest and greatest place on Earth is the graveyard. It’s full of people who never acted on their dreams, because they were too shy and too comfortable, their dreams are buried with them. It contains projects that have never been done, books that have never been written, ideas that have never been shared and songs that haven’t been heard.“
You see many of us come up with great ideas, and then we put them to one side as we’re too busy. We procrastinate, we think of all the reasons why it won’t work. And then months later we see somebody else benefiting from the same idea we had. Have you ever had that experience?
While many unfulfilled dreams and ideas get buried, you could also look at is this way – we’re living in a great and beautiful universe. An infinite resource of knowledge and ideas. As one person figures out how to do something or gets a “brain wave”, this idea becomes part of the universal knowledge, ready for other people to pick up on, and take action.
So which kind of a person are you? Are you one that takes massive action, or one that waits until the time is right?
A common theme I find in many small businesses is that they don’t have an effective system of generating leads (i.e. potential customers), and more so they don’t know how to nurture those leads into buying customers.
This can be the local shopkeeper, beauty salon, accountant or printer sales person. When it comes to converting leads into buying customers, every business owner has to get into the head of the customer and figure out what are their concerns and worries. What is it that they need to feel trust with you as a business owner.
Take your own most recent purchase. Something that you hadn’t bought before e.g. a new watch, going to a new hairdresser that you hadn’t been to before, looking for a solicitor to handle your case and one that you hadn’t worked with before.
When doing this; identify the things that go through your mind when researching and deciding which business to buy from.
The truth is, your customer is doing the same thing to you. When you understand these elements, you will be able to put strategies in place to make it easier for your customers to buy from you.
During the summer I started the Camino de Santiago de Compostela which starts at St Jean Pied de Port in France, and finishes in Santiago. For this years stage we finished in Pamplona, having trekked over the Pyrenees.
There are many customs to being a pilgrim on the Camino. One tradition is for people to carry a scallop shell as a symbol of the pilgrimage for people to know they were following the route to St James.
There is a lot that goes into building a symbol or a brand. It must stand for something. As in business there are many examples: the three-pointed star of the Mercedes, the Apple with a bite taken out, the yellow M.
What comes to mind when you see these symbols and what do they represent for you?
In marketing, advertising, and brand building, there is a lot that needs to be considered. Firstly take some time to think about what you want your business to represent; what do you want to be known for; what are the qualities that your business stands for?
This month I managed to get something done that I have being wanting to do for years – fly in a glider!
This is where the glider is attached to a tow-plane, which brings the glider up to a flying height. Once you reach the height, you’re then released to glide the thermals, with no engines to rely on! All I can say is, it was amazing.
And it’s pretty much like being in business. All of a sudden your lifeline might be taken away from you, and you have to find alternative ways of keeping at the heights you’ve been used to. The thermals, like markets, move. Some last for a long time and others are very short. But it’s about recognising the subtle changes and reacting to them as quickly as possible.
If you were to view yourself as piloting your business, how would you move to adapt to the changes?
Last night I attended the 2013 prize giving ceremony at our son’s school. Mark is nearly finished his final year and he’s about to sit his leaving certificate exams in a couple of weeks time. So last night was a celebration of all that they had achieved. And even though it was sprinkled with sadness and emotion, it was amazing to see how all the students have developed into adults. To say how proud we were of our son is an understatement.
Going forward it’s going to be interesting to see how this generation progress. However based on the record of achievements in academics, sport, arts and others, I think we’re in safe hands!
One amusing part of the night was when the drummer, Dean could not locate his drum sticks before they played a few numbers that needed the percussion support. But within minutes he had improvised and enabled the group to ‘bring the house down’ with a brilliant performance.
They say necessity is the mother of invention. And in business it’s during these times that if we allow ourselves to do so, we start to use our ability to innovate and create something new.