The 8 Questions That Will Change Your Business And Life

The eight questions that will change your business and life: 

Why do I do what I do? 
Your ‘why’ has to be bigger than your pain – bigger than your fear – bigger than your stress – louder than the naysayers – louder than the voice of self-doubt – stronger than the pull of the mediocre – stronger than the push of impatience. Your why needs to be clear – be your passion –and it does not have to be from work or centered around money, materials, trips, etc… Fill in the blank here – What is my why? ____________________________ This is what you should center your decisions on! Without it you will go through life like a kite in a tornado. 

What language do I speak?
Believe it or not we all have a love language. I know – I know…here comes our Oprah moment. But…it’s true. We each have a way we liked to be loved. Some it’s touch and some it’s gifts; there are a number of ways. Do you know yours? If you don’t, how can you help those in your world better communicate their love to you. Now – check this out – we each have a language we speak at work too. We each feel rewarded different ways. Some, it’s time off – others a public pat on the back – money – or maybe growth opportunities. If you don’t know how others can build you up –
then how can they really invest in you and your success. Know thyself. 

Merry Christmas And Happy New Year

The 17 things I learned in 2016. Hopefully they will help me move on to bigger and better in 2017 – you may find some meaning in them as well. So here goes: 

1) You can’t change ‘them’ – You can’t change people. Stop trying…but also stop denying that we do influence and affect people. You are not responsible for their choices and actions…but you do contribute.  

2) You will change when you want to – When you get tired of feeling how you feel and living like you’re living…you will do what it takes to change it. Period…until then…just keep complaining.  

3) Cash flow is king – Of all the numbers you can look at and monitor…this one is the most important to track and trend. Cash flow buys you time to work on other issues or problems…no cash…the clock is ticking. 

Fishing For Clients

So if you want to fish there are a two ways to do it - dynamite (we don’t recommend and you will go to jail for) and fishing.  And, if you really want to increase your odds of catching bass then you probably need to know some things. 

What time of day is the best? What do they like to eat? What part of the lake are they found most? How deep are they? Bank fishing versus boat fishing – which is best? Seasons and temps can affect the fishing? Cloud cover versus sunny.  

So with all that being said, what is the one variable (I am sure there are more, but for the purposes of this rhetorical article…we will pretend I left just one thing out) I left out?  

What type of fish? I mean a lot of the things we mentioned above will change depending on if you want to catch catfish or if you want to catch bass. And there are different types of bass that goes into play as well. Now once you have that answer then the questions and variable above will start to fall in place.  

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What Does Your Company Smell Like?

So, what does your company smell like? Odd question, right? Well let me see if I can somehow herd the cats in my head and make sense of the silliness. Ever bought a new car? I am not talking about a ‘new to you preowned’ car – I mean a brand new – rolled off the transport truck – automobile? 

You know the one that just smells like you should buy it? The leather, the carpet, the newness of it. Why do you think the sales person wants you in that car to drive? Well there are a few reasons, the least important is so they can give you facts about the car.  The most three important reasons are: 

Establish a relationship with you – even if it is superficial, it is the starting point of gaining your trust. After all we usually end up doing business with people we just ‘feel’ good about.  

Stop Making These Advertising Mistakes

Doing the right things in life is very important. However, knowing what NOT to do is just as important. Like you should probably stop wearing spandex pants to the grocery store (sorry…your kids called me and asked me to point it out),  stop combing your mullet at red lights (it just makes the rest of us envious…no need to show off),  and you may want to consider removing the ‘Y2K - The World Will End’ bumper sticker (I am not judging…I had 65 gallons of water and 150 cans of spam in the basement). In my world I see business owners who have developed mindsets and habits about their marketing and advertising that may not be the most advantageous for their business. I have found that there are three things you can STOP doing right now that will give you more perspective and bring you new opportunities for growth.

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The Power Of A List

I love lists.  We all do - right?  A top 10 ‘this’.  Five ways to be more ‘that’.  Seven things you should do now.  Twenty things that will make you more whatever it is you want to be.  Who doesn't love a good list? (Put your hands down – you’re embarrassing yourself).  So now that we have established that lists are what makes the world go round – I have three lists that you should be making and keeping up with. Here we go… 

Marketing List:
“I don’t have a marketing budget.” – “I don’t know how much I spend on advertising.” These are typical responses from most companies when I ask about their marketing and advertising budget. You would be amazed at how many folks don’t plan their marketing. So – then we ask some questions: How much do you spend on business cards? Social media? Print pieces? Little league baseball team sponsorships? Events? The ‘on hold’ phone messaging system? Email or newsletter marketing? Training sales folks?  It is $100 here - $550 there - $250 a month on this - $700 on that….the final tally is either much more or less than they thought. Either way – the fact they do not know helps explain their frustration. There is no intentionality behind their budget – no framework – no direction – no united message or goal. So – the first list you should make is a list of everything you spend money on that is marketing and advertising.  

Setting Expectations Is Crucial

Setting expectations is crucial.  In all relationships.  Now I am not willing to help you set expectations in your personal relationships…that is on you.  Lie away if you want to.  Tell them you will be rich and famous and give them a life of luxury or that you are super smart only to disappoint them later…all that is on you.  (It worked for me when getting my wife to say ‘yes’ – so it may work for you too.)  However, I can help with setting expectations in your business communications. 

Before we get started there are two things to keep in mind.  First, most of these basic principles I have learned because I failed at implementing them myself many times.  Second, they can also be applied to your personal relationships if you want to use them…but again, I accept no responsibility for their success.  See…I am setting expectations. 

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5 Random Lessons Of The Week

1)   You Pick Up A Stick You Get Both Ends – 

My kids get tired of me saying this to them in regards to their decisions. Of course you do NOT have to clean your room! That is a ‘you’ decision, but there are consequences. You can also choose TO clean your room and guess what? That too comes with consequences. The same is true in your business development as a business owner, manager, or sales rep. 

You can choose NOT to invest time or money in your people, but don’t be surprised if you have high turnover and unhappy customers. You do NOT have to make sales calls, network, or ask for referrals. You are just too busy, but don’t be surprised if your business develops slower for you - than others who ‘find’ the time. The bottom line in life is this – when you pick up a stick you do get both ends; the same holds true for our decisions. Make sure you consider both ends of that stick (decision) before your pick it up!

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2016 New Years Resolutions For Your Company

I am going to stop eating donuts.  Okay– Let’s be honest that probably isn’t going to happen.  (Don’t worry Tony McInnis with Tasty Donuts…your apple fritters had me at hello) – and as much as I want to commit to watching less TV I am not sure I can do without the life-changing, motivational, true-north type of direction in life that the Kardashians deliver each week.  

As a business owners there are some resolutions you could make that would help you. Help your business grows, help you grow your network, help you with employee retention, and help you be more efficient. So get out your list and let’s go over a few…shall we? We shall: 

Get Mobile - If your website isn’t mobile…get it mobile and quick.  If you have not researched mobile advertising/marketing…look into it and see if it makes sense for your business. It is growing and it is not going to change.  

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12 Men - 12 Lessons

In honor of Father’s Day I thought I would share a few important lessons I have learned by some influential men along my journey. Most of these lessons have business and personal applications.  

Coach Lester Walls – Carson Newman
I tried to walk on in college for football – I realized after a few months that I was a much better fan than I was a player. Coach Lester Walls was running back coach at Carson-Newman and the day I quit he called me up and encouraged me to stay  – I can still hear him say: "Quitting never goes away son." I would have never started…ever, but maybe I could have been part of a team. He didn’t need me. He didn’t want me to live with quitting. If you quit….take time to learn the lessons tucked away in the disappointment.  '

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