Janna's Blog Article

This article was also recently published in the Colorado Springs Business Journal.
 
Colorado Springs is a wonderful place to live. We have beauty all around us, weather that is fantastic, and residents who would never want to live elsewhere. As business owners, what more could we ask for as a foundation of the local economy?
 
While we love Colorado Springs, we have all felt the impact (literally) of potholes on our streets. Having lived in the pothole capital of the US--Boston--for many years, I never thought I would say Boston roads are in better shape than those in Colorado Springs. Yet they are.
 
As a community we have not taken care of our infrastructure (roads, storm water, etc.). There are many excuses. Yes, I did say excuses. The beauty of the local area is compromised by the effects of not caring for its physical foundation.
 
This concept also is true of business owners. We want to live here, start businesses here, and retire here. Yet what have we learned from the lack of attention to the foundational infrastructure in the community that we can apply to our businesses? In other words, what potholes do you have in your business? How will those potholes affect you when business challenges storm against them? 
 
Investment in our business is critical. Investment in our city is critical. Yes, it will cost us money. Yes, I expect the taxes will go up. To be clear, I don’t like to spend money. I am, however, willing to invest money in building a stronger local business environment that reaches outside of our wonderful city. Investing is very different than spending. We must invest.  Investing creates wealth; spending creates little.
 
Is the local business community investing in the creation of solid companies that can build wealth? Or are we building something that will fall apart the minute we as business owners stop propping it up? The terms "wealth," "creating," and "building" are not dirty words. Business owners have a responsibility to build a strong foundation in our companies, investing in the infrastructure of the company so it can withstand the storms of changing competition and economic uncertainty.
  
Building wealth is not just about more money but also includes the riches of having qualified employees and true leaders in our companies. It is a diverse business environment that makes other businesses want to move to Colorado Springs, not just for our natural beauty, but because the business community has learned how to build true wealth that comes from strong and resilient organizations, people, education, and leadership.
 
Business owners, what are you truly doing with your time? Yes, you are busy, but are you busy doing the right things for your business? Too many business owners are spending too much time working on things that keep the business afloat. The business owner needs to stop doing the $20 and $30 and $50 per hour jobs and start doing the jobs that few in the company can accomplish. What innovations, new technology, or new ways of looking at old problems can you generate? One idea from the owner can often generate tens of thousands of dollars for the company and the community. Those new ideas do not come when you are working ten-hour days on bookkeeping, purchasing, or customer service.
 
True wealth comes from leveraging your time to actually make new ideas happen. This doesn't necessarily mean revolutionizing your business the way Cirque Du Soleil did the circus, but key results can come from continually stepping away, learning new concepts, implementing new ideas and strengthening the foundation of the business you have created.
 
Potholes on our roads come from harsh weather conditions, poor road maintenance, and improper road foundations. Potholes in business come from harsh economic conditions, poor investment in our business infrastructure, and inadequate business foundations.
 
What are you ready to invest in your business infrastructure to ensure potholes don’t have a lasting effect on your business? 

(Without one you can die!)

The best way to fail at a business is not having a plan; the best way to wander through your career and get stuck in a rut is by not having a plan; and--you guessed it--the best way to get lost on a mountain is not having a plan.
 
There are tools that help us stay on-track in life. On the trail it is a compass, a map, and possibly even a GPS that, used in tandem, will generally keep you on course. For example, you can be in the woods with only a map and still get lost, but add in a compass and you'll probably find your way. Because the magnetized compass needle always indicates magnetic north, you'll consistently know how to find this direction even if you go in circles. So using a compass in conjunction with your map keeps you adapting to stay on the right track.
 
Your business and career plan, if you use it, accomplishes the same purpose. First, you step back from the day to day environment to create the plan of what you want to accomplish and how you'll do it. On a regular basis - at least monthly - you measure your actions against the detailed steps you of your plan. If you are straying off course, you step back again to review your plan, realign your focus, and redirect your steps.
 
How does this relate to business? Without a plan, you risk going off track. Are you heading into new sales situations, new markets, and new projects without doing your homework?  Are you resting on the knowledge you gained last year or five years ago on how to sell? Did your education process stop the day you graduated from high school or college? Are you finding the new employee that was just hired is getting the better projects, the better office, and the better promotions?
 
The process of learning, growing your skills, and adapting to new environments are critical tools to stay on track and reach your goals, whatever they are. 
 
One of my clients sells cars. This process is dramatically different today than it was even five years ago. Fifteen years ago, everyone cared about what was “under the hood.” What was the engine like; how did it run? What was the torque? (I learned from my advertising client that people used to care about torque. Yes, I had to look it up – so you can, too, if you're interested.) Today, anyone selling cars better know how to use a smart phone. They better know how to connect it to the car. They better be able to look up the competitor information on that phone and discuss it out on the lot. To close the deal, they better be able to talk accurately to the customer who has done the research and possibly knows more than them about the car.
 
When hiring a new sales person, the car dealership cares more about whether that person can understand and discuss the car's technology versus knowing how the engine runs. If you are an auto sales person who's selling the same way you did ten years ago, there is a good chance that your job might be in jeopardy. And it's not about age. My client has an 82-year-old sales person that is very successful. He owns a smartphone and knows how to use it. He created a plan and has learned how to adapt. Have YOU?
Critical ThinkingWhat is critical thinking? There are multiple definitions, some very complex, yet the simple definition is not just the possession of skills but the ability and habit to continually use them in new and different ways. Put another way, critical thinking means using the normal to create and then apply the new.
 
Over the last five years I have often challenged clients and workshop attendees on their critical thinking skills. These are bright, qualified, skilled and hardworking business owners and executives who have accomplished significant challenges in their careers and business. They have worked through significant challenges and look at the world in ways that many of us don’t comprehend.
 
Yet, when posed with out-of-the-box types of problems they find it challenging to come up with not simply a good answer, but with that “best” answer. I wonder if the day-to-day challenge of running their business environments has reduced their ability to be creative critical thinkers.
 
I had the opportunity to be the guest speaker for a high school leadership training class. There were about 30 students from about five high schools.  It was a fun time of encouraging them to consider their classroom and personal goals for the next school year. Don’t I wish I had that opportunity when I was 17! (But that is another topic.)
 
I presented them with two out-of-the-box scenarios and was looking for that elusive "best" answer. When presenting similar scenarios to business owners, they throw ideas at me for a couple of minutes – and then I give them the “best” answer. So it amazed me that within about 20 seconds a number of the students had thought of the “best” answer for my hypothetical situations.
 
I was surprised, yet it made me extremely hopeful. For all the criticism of today’s youth and millennials, maybe their critical thinking skills are a lot better than we think. Maybe their fresh way of looking at things is that advantage we need in our business.  We do need to stop, listen and allow them the time to say things – even things that we may not fully understand.
 
Did we somewhere along the way - in running businesses, fighting the daily fight of life - stop thinking critically? Have we stopped being creative in our thought processes and now default to what is easy or normal? We believe we are the harder working and wiser generation, but we seem to have stopped using any critical thinking skills that are outside our comfort zone.
 
My challenge to you: Change your thinking process--start thinking like an 18 year old. It might revolutionize your business, you just might have some fun, and you'll ultimately prepare your business for the growth that comes with a new generation of leaders.
 
 

Curiosity is critical in business. Accepting status quo, what others tell you is right and looking at the world the way everyone else does will and does get you in trouble.

Instead we need to step back and watch a 2 year old. What do they do?

• The explore everything, hold it upside down and look at it in every way possible.

• They challenge what others say and ask WHY? and keep asking WHY?

• “I can do it myself” is their mantra (well maybe we need to moderate that perspective.)

• There is nothing they can’t do in their mind.

• They are ready to take on the world.

Have you lost your natural desire to be curious, ask questions, challenge how others think you should act? If so then stop, slow down and watch a 2 year old. Start exploring your own world. There is so much at our fingertips that passes us by every day.

Curiosity may have killed the cat – but it will grow your business!

Control freak is often an apt description of business owners. We like the ability to control our destiny, make our own decisions and see the impact of what we accomplish. The challenge comes with:

• understanding how little control we actually have – just a perceived control,

• learning how to relinquish control i.e. delegate, for the business to grow and

• how to leverage our controlling nature into something successful.

An employee kept watching how the business was being run, the waste that was taking place within the business, how customers were being treated and the lack of profit being generated by the business. These frustrations led to his determination to start his own business. His premise was he would treat employees much better than his current employer, eliminate the waste taking place, treat his customers better and generate more profit. In essence, he wanted control over the areas his current employer struggled. He accomplished those goals. He learned a number of lessons in the process. These were his and others primary drivers for family business ownership (and possibly entrepreneurship in general). The business owner is tired of:

• Following someone else’s lead/orders

• Believes they can serve the customer better

• Has different ideas on how to implement the product or service

• Desires flexibility in their day to day lives and a stronger balance between work and home and

• Can make more money, i.e. profit

The lessons learned are:

• Their new boss (themselves) is not the wonderful bosses they thought they would be and they have a great deal to learn. Looking in the mirror at the new boss isn’t always a pretty sight. It is the age old statement of “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

• They can serve the customer better, but it is much harder than they thought and they start to understand their old company better. Customers can and often are demanding. Their interpretation of quality is different than yours. You may see value in something that the customer doesn’t care about.

• They do have different ideas on implementation – some of those ideas work and some don’t

• Flexibility is fantastic – you can work any part of the 24 hours per day that you want. Yes, you do have flexibility to take kids to school, pick them up, go to games etc., but there is a cost and that cost is often working evenings and weekends and other times that you didn’t previously work.

Reality:

What makes great entrepreneurs is the desire for control, but understanding less is more. To have the utmost control, we need to leverage our skills and have others in place to do the work – therefore we stop being the bottleneck to success.

The more we want and think we have control, the less we have. There is always someone else who truly has more control. It might be customers, government, laws, acts of God. It is that desire for control that if not managed well drains the business. Lack of an ability to delegate is the result of the business owners desire to have control. They can do it better than anyone else. We serve the clients better, they know the product better, therefore they don’t delegate. We truly want the control and the ego lift that comes with it. Stop it NOW. Learn to delegate and delegate wisely. 

Marketing without sales is a waste of time and money.  Yet, as a business coach, that is what I see continually in businesses I meet.  The marketing team (even if it is a team of 1) does the marketing activities: advertising, networking, strategic alliances etc.   Yet, when the phone rings does the sales team know how to close the sale?  Statistic indicate that almost 70% of sales are not closed due to the sales person never asking for the sale.  If you don’t ask for the sale, you probably won’t get it.  The sales team needs training.  I have joked that the sales team needs WEEKLY training, only to have sales people agree with me.  It isn’t a joke, train your sales team, train them well and train them often!

Who is your sales team?  My answer – every employee in the company?  Who needs sales training – every employee.  Who is the core sales team?  The team of people who regularly talk, meet with customers and prospects.  That includes receptionists, customer service, Presidents, management etc.  All it takes is one word to make the difference in a sale.

What do you train the sales team on?

  1. Conversion rate – The phone rings – a prospect – everyone is excited (or at least they should be).  How do you talk to them?  What questions do you ask PRIOR to your answering their question?  As prospects very few of us really know what we want to purchase.  We just think we know.  If you don’t help to educate us – we will then buy on price.
  2. Products – You know your products (or do you).  How do you describe them?  Do you create emotion as you share the value of your product to me?  Do you know how to create emotion for your product?  Does everyone really understand the value of the product?  For 98% of companies I believe the answers to the above questions are no.  Changing those answers will make a difference.
  3. Customer – Do you know what the customer wants?  Not what YOU think they want, but what they truly want?
  4. Competition – Who are your competitors and how are you different?  Why should they buy from you and not them?  If you are more expensive then why, if you are less expensive – then why.  Know your competition – they probably know you.
Category:Business Coaching Business Management Business Systems Executive Coaching Family Business Profitability Sales Success In Business 
Posted by: admin

Entrepreneurs and setting goals is a popular topic. Dan Sullivan had a perspective worth sharing in the May issue of Success Magazine. The concept is rather than trying to double or 2 times where you are– go for 10 times where you are. “WHAT?” I hear you all scream. “It is hard enough to achieve 2 times where I am, how on earth can I even consider a 10 X goal?” That is exactly the point.

A 2 X goal is really just pushing what you are already planning into the future (assuming you are planning). The ability to achieve the 2 X goal is a probable anyway. There really isn’t rocket science, you know the basics—hard work and you will achieve the 2X goal.

Now for the 10 X goal that starts pushing you out of your comfort zone. I can already feel the squirming. A 10X goal forces you to look at what is really going on in your business. It forces you to look at inefficiencies. It challenges you to think out of the box, to put systems in place to handle 10X, to understand your business, structure your business, and PLAN. You must now think differently, observe differently, plan differently and execute differently. Once you start thinking 10X you will notice opportunities, changes, and perspectives. Then you can start making the changes that are required.

Here are my perspectives and 4 ¾ downsides to this type of thinking:

1. Shooting for 10 X – you might not make it, you might only reach 5X.

2. 10 X thinking creates perspectives on your business and forces planning.

3. You don’t know how to think 10X? What better way to start looking at everything from a different perspective? Read, ask, get advice, reach out to others, be humble. Even if 10X is achieved, I guarantee your 3, 4 and 5X will be more profitable.

4. For 10X I need to look outside the box, and that creates FEAR. False Expectations Appearing Real – so what are your real fears? Figure them out, since they will probably keep you from achieving 2 X. There is no better time than the present.

4 ¾ Reality is I don’t see any downside to 10X type of thinking. The danger really lies in 2X thinking. Thinking too small limits your potential, who you can be, and can lead to my favorite quote: “Hell on earth is seeing the person I could have been!”

False Expectations Appearing Real
Forget Everything and Run
Face Everything and Rise
 
Each of the above can be our reaction to FEAR.  Often it saves our lives or keeps us from harm.  When we are young (hopefully) we learned not to put our hand on a hot stove.  That fear keeps us from getting hurt.

Yet, sometimes our fears keep us from moving forward.  Fear of  failure, fear of being embarrassed, fear of public speaking, fear of upsetting an employee, fear of holding them accountable, fear of scarcity... the list is long.   Then there is the age old fear of spiders, unless you lived in my house growing up.  My mom didn't like spiders and would vacuum them up.  My dad and I would rescue them before she saw them and hide them in a plant (unless it was a black widow - those we killed).

How do you use your fears?  Do you use them as a motivator to overcome and move forward?  Do you use them as an excuse to stay in your comfort zone?  Do your fears hold others back?  You are afraid of heights so you won't allow other family members to stand close to the edge?  You are afraid of failure, so you won't allow your employees to take a risk?  Yes, you see the potential for high rewards, yet, there is a high potential for failure as well.  

Where we end up long term depends on how we challenge ourselves to face our every day fears.  When I started to write, The Family Business Book, my fear was having the first person (outside my own family) read it. Would they like it? Did it make sense?  Was it worth purchasing?  If I had allowed my fears to control my actions, it wouldn't be published.  The book wouldn't be helping family business owners look at their business in new ways and have new and different conversations with family members.

Now the idea for the second book has been born and is in the works.  Are the fears there?  Yes they are.  Will I move through them?  Absolutely. Will I breathe a sigh of relief after the first presentation on the topic (which is before the book is published) is done and I get feedback - absolutely.

Yet, even if I failed, I have learned a great deal on the journey.  So what are your fears and how will you face them - starting today?

 

 Why do we, as a society, have such a hard time dreaming?  As children, we dream on a regular basis.  We fly, conquer the world, create imaginary friends, and plan to accomplish things never considered by anyone 20 years of age or older. 

 Then the aging process starts and conformity begins.  We conform not only in our behavior (which is mostly good), but in our ability to dream.  One by one, we are told (and often not outright), that our dreams are impossible. Our dreams are unreasonable, unreachable, or even unthinkable. You might have even heard, “Why would you ever try that - you might FAIL!”

 What this creates is a society of control freaks.  Some control freaks become business owners and owners who want it done their way, believing their way is the only right way.  What they end up losing is the ability to leverage the world to get things done for them.  They don’t hire for new ideas, they hire for fitting into the box the business owner created.  The problem: business owner wealth creation is often best accomplished by people with the desire to dream in a world without boxes.

 Make 2014 a year of Dreaming without Boxes!  What does that mean?  It means stepping out and doing things differently.  A perfect example is Steve Jobs who created something that was new and different that we didn’t know we needed!  Yet how many of us want to revert back to what life was like prior to first Apple computer?   As a business owner, you need to get away from the day to day operations at times and give yourself time to dream, to challenge the status quo, your current thinking process, and to be open to new ideas. 

 You also must be willing to let others challenge your thinking – they also have dreams that might allow you to fly, conquer the world, and accomplish things you were told were impossible.

Dream big dreams for yourself, your family, and your business in 2014.  Dreams do come true, but only if there was a dream in the first place!

 

As children return to school after a busy summer, teachers are busy preparing activities to assess the knowledge they have retained from the previous year.  As a business leader, you must take the time to annually assess your business plan in order to grow your business.  You might look at your business plan as the “answer” to the test of what you have learned about growing a successful business.  The following are three tests that show what you have learned along the way.

Have you met your time line goals during the year and are you on track to finish the year strong.  This shows you have learned valuable lessons in time management and project management including the development of good work flow systems.  If you are behind in achieving your goals, put them through the SMART test.  Are they specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely? If they are and you are having trouble meeting your goals, this may indicate you need a bit of extra support and a business coach may be needed to help you succeed in your attaining your business plan. 

 Is your financial picture is on target or exceeds expectations for the year.  A healthy financial bottom line is a good indicator that your business goals for the year are being met.  However, closer scrutiny of both income and expenses is essential to ensure any financial gains and drains were derived from expected sources.  Any deviation may indicate a need for an adjustment in your business plan.  If you are unsure of where your money came from or went to give me a call and we can lay out a plan for getting your business financials in order.

 Are you ready to provide added value to your product line or services for the upcoming new year.  It is a satisfying feeling to review your business plan and check off the successes and milestones achieved.  A successful business is developed by scaffolding the lessons we’ve learn along the way, the lessons learned are simply a foundation for those yet to come.  You’ve heard the Marshall Goldsmith saying, “What got you here won’t get you there.”

  • Where is your next “there”? 
  • What will you need to learn to propel you to the next level?
  • What lessons will you need to learn to master the next test? 
  • Will you need a business mentor to help you get there? 

Test yourself throughout the year and be ready to evaluate what you have learned and what you need to learn to grow your business and achieve the success you deserve!

(Photo compliments of renjith krishnan/freedigitalphotos.net)

Rubber Bands and Leadership

Law 10 is the Law of the Rubber Band – The only time a rubber band is worth anything is when it has tension. The value is the stretch. Yet if we lose the tension of growth, we lose. No great discovery of life was found by a satisfied person. Be grateful for the tension in your life, it shows you are alive. Where do you want to be? What tension are you creating to help you be there? Then what is the next level you strive for.

I lived in Massachusetts for 30 years. The last few years were all about determining where we would get to live. See we were making a choice to move, making a choice to get out of our comfort zone. We spent time researching, learning, visiting and making a decision. It was fun, it was challenging, it was scary. We were leaving where we had lived for a long time, going to a place where we knew no one, we had never lived, and jobs were unknown. We did it, survived, loved it and have always been thankful we made the change. Yet, the challenge really came after the move, there was a time of restlessness – especially for me. What was the new challenge, what was next on the horizon? I needed a new tension. My rubber band was all out of tension. I wasn’t growing, stretching and pursing a new goal. That had to change – which it did – it was called opening my own business.

What I learned was – never complete the stretch without choosing the new stretch, the new place to go and grow. When there is no tension you are under the ground – and I am not ready for that!

One opportunity I have is to work with the local Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce on their Chamber University.  These monthly workshops are provided to the local business community as a tool to help them in their business.

During the last 2 years of assisting with the planning of Chamber U it amazes me that the only topic people want month after month is marketing.  If the title of the topic includes marketing people attend, if it doesn’t then they don’t attend.  So what is the mystic about marketing?  Why is there such a “demand” for marketing information and education, yet what most business lack is systems and sales processes?

You  can have the best marketing plan on the planet, yet if the team can’t close the sale, why bother.  If there aren’t systems in place to follow up with the leads that marketing generates then it is a waste of money.  If the target market for the business is not identified, then throwing $100 bills off the highest building might generate better results.  Marketing is math nothing more nothing less.  If the calculations don’t add up then the results become questionable.  Here are a couple of tips for your marketing math:

  1. Target – Who is your target and don’t have the words anybody, everybody, anyone etc.  A target is just that a target.   What is the geography, age, likes, dislikes, economic boundaries etc.
  2. Copy – What do you say to them when you advertise?  You have less than 3 seconds to grab your attention – how will you do that.  Hint – Only you Mom cares about your logo so make it small and at the bottom of the page – stop wasting space on your logo.
  3. Planning – Create a simple marketing plan, lay it out for weekly activities, get specific.  Test and measure results.  Too often the marketing plan lacks the action of planning.  What are the short, medium and long term anticipated results?  What will you do today that will bring in business tomorrow, next quarter and a year from now?  Get the details on paper, be consistent, be ready to throw out what doesn’t work and make it happen.

What is an executive coach and why would I want one?

Advance a career.
Transform a company.
Achieve incredible results.

With Executive Coaching all this is possible. Plus more.

For executives who want to take their career to the next level – certified practicing executive coaching can get you there.

So why executive coaching for your organization?

In business, the only thing that really counts is results. Executive coaching promises to deliver results within a relatively short span of time.

High achievers continually deliver results and they do it by performing at their best each and every day.

In today’s dynamic business world, these high achievers also need the guidance, support and motivation of an executive coach to accomplish this.

Peak performance is based on a few key factors, and no matter what business you may be in, the fact is:

• High performing executives achieve more
• High performing teams deliver more
• High performing companies make more profits and enjoy more market share.

All this is made possible through executive coaching.

How can you leverage your current skills, experience and resources in today’s fast-paced economy? How can you stay competitive in an increasingly competitive business world? How can you remain a top performer in a top performing company?

The answer is simple –by using the services of an executive coach.

So how do I pick one?  How do I know they can really help?

Here are 4 tips for choosing an executive coach:

  1. What is their track record? Who have they helped and what measurable results have occurred due to the coaching.  If there are no measurable results, then find a coach that can provide them.
  2. Do they have a system that will help you get the result YOU want? This about you and your results, not the results the coach wants.  A good coach will coach you to achieving clarity on where you want to go.  They will provide you the education you need, help you implement what you learned and hold you accountable to the results
  3. Do you fit you? Not every coach can results with every person.  Every person has a personality and becomes motivated by different styles.  A good coach will alter their style to fit the individual, yet not all coaches have that gift.  Make sure it is a good fit to what will ensure the right results are achieved.
  4. Do they practice what they preach? Is their business growing? What do their goals look like – are they willing to share them with you? Do they have a coach (if they believe in coaching, yet don’t have a coach how good are they)?  What have they learned in the last month?  What are they reading?  Make sure the answers to these questions and others fit with where you want to go and what you want to accomplish.

If you have any questions – give me a call – I will help you find the right coach for you.

The critical impact of attitude is seen every day in the business world.  What one business owner sees as a disaster, another sees as opportunity, and capitalizes on that opportunity.  Those who have spent their lives in below the line thinking don’t even realize the impact it has not only on them personally, but their families, businesses, customers and potential.  If their team is below the line, where did they learn it from?  Most likely they learned it from the business owner.  An owner who is below the line will hire staff who also first turn to blame, excuses and denial. It is someone else’s fault that the project is delivered late, someone else’s fault that the customer is upset.  To change they will need someone to hold them accountable to point out where they are below the line.

As I work with clients on this concept, the tendency is to swing to a point where issues in the business are not discussed with the excuse (notice the tendency again) that the issue is below the line.  This doesn’t give permission for a business to white wash issues in the business.  What is does change is the ownership and responsibility for changing the issue at hand.  If projects are late, that is a fact.  The question is what must change in the business to ensure projects are not delivered late, that your customers have the experience stated in all the promotional material.

Businesses have lived for years in below the line thinking and attitude.   They stay in business, they grow, they pay the bills and serve customers.    What impact would the business make with an above the line attitude?  Profits would increase.  Less time would be spent on blame and poor productivity.  Productivity would increase with energy due to the positive atmosphere in the business. The examples abound.

Yet, you must be ready to make the change.  Your dissatisfaction with the results, profitability, long work hours, people avoiding you since they dislike being around negative, blaming people, etc., must be at a point where it is higher than your resistance to making the change.  It is easy to live below the line. It may not be fun, but it is easy and there is a great deal of company.  When I ask my clients do they want to be average, the resounding answer is NO.  They want to be above average.  To make that happen, your mindset must change to one of excellence—above the line thinking— and you will be amazed at the results.

Entrepreneurs and setting goals is a popular topic. Dan Sullivan had a perspective worth sharing in the May issue of Success Magazine. The concept is rather than trying to double or 2 times where you are– go for 10 times where you are. “WHAT?” I hear you all scream. “It is hard enough to achieve 2 times where I am, how on earth can I even consider a 10 X goal?” That is exactly the point.

A 2 X goal is really just pushing what you are already planning into the future (assuming you are planning). The ability to achieve the 2 X goal is a probable anyway. There really isn’t rocket science, you know the basics—hard work and you will achieve the 2X goal.

Now for the 10 X goal that starts pushing you out of your comfort zone. I can already feel the squirming. A 10X goal forces you to look at what is really going on in your business. It forces you to look at inefficiencies. It challenges you to think out of the box, to put systems in place to handle 10X, to understand your business, structure your business, and PLAN. You must now think differently, observe differently, plan differently and execute differently. Once you start thinking 10X you will notice opportunities, changes, and perspectives. Then you can start making the changes that are required.

Here are my perspectives and 4 ¾ downsides to this type of thinking:

1. Shooting for 10 X – you might not make it, you might only reach 5X.

2. 10 X thinking creates perspectives on your business and forces planning.

3. You don’t know how to think 10X? What better way to start looking at everything from a different perspective? Read, ask, get advice, reach out to others, be humble. Even if 10X is achieved, I guarantee your 3, 4 and 5X will be more profitable.

4. For 10X I need to look outside the box, and that creates FEAR. False Expectations Appearing Real – so what are your real fears? Figure them out, since they will probably keep you from achieving 2 X. There is no better time than the present.

4 ¾ Reality is I don’t see any downside to 10X type of thinking. The danger really lies in 2X thinking. Thinking too small limits your potential, who you can be, and can lead to my favorite quote: “Hell on earth is seeing the person I could have been!”

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand and use the power of emotions to facilitate high levels of collaboration and productivity. In essence, it is the ability to effectively manage emotions.

Effectively manage emotions ?!?!?!? For many employees, employers, business owners, families the business is run by emotions. Emotions are a God given gift, yet when those same emotions are used as stick the emotional climate of the workplace deteriorates. For many this essentially becomes workplace bullying. Unfortunately many school yard bullies grow up to be workplace bullies. They have not figured out how to utilize the power of emotions in a positive way. Nor have they learned to walk away from situations which create negative consequences.

The resulting affect to the bottom line profitability is absolutely huge – to a level of billions of dollars wasted each year addressing these issues.

Most of the emotions that cause employee performance and then also business performance is anger and fear. These feelings are intense and impact their ability to think rationally. Here are some impacts to the business from the lack of emotional intelligence in the business:

• Creativity shrinks as panic is the enemy of creativity and learning

• Employee turnover goes up due to unhappy employees

• Business growth potential plummets as people lose the courage to speak up

• Cost of recruiting goes up due to training and retraining of staff

• And the list goes on.

What is your emotional intelligence?

Part 2: Building a high emotional intelligent business is well worth the time and effort.

For a starter Being effective  means:

• Understand when and what to say in certain situations.

• Knowing when to stay quiet (yes this is different than the above item.)

• Having empathy for the situation and/or individuals with whom you are dealing. That also means knowing the definition of empathy – so you can have empathy.

• Knowing and having a plan for WIIFM – what is in it for (me/them)

• Using diplomacy. There is a difference between being direct, diplomatic and being candid. Each of them has their place and time. My perspective:

o Being direct is telling it like it is without beating around the bush. There is no roundabout way it is straight through

o Being diplomatic gets the same point across, but there is a ramp up time, setting the stage, understanding where the other party is coming from BEFORE you deliver your message. Diplomacy is critical, yet sometimes the message gets lost in the process.

o Candid includes a level of openness, sincerity, not rehearsed. The message can be direct, yet it also takes into consideration the message and how it will be received.

Here are some practical tips:

• Ensure your leaders have the right emotional behavior

• Always be training on how to improve. You can’t improve your IQ, but you can improve your Emotional Quotient or EQ – so create a plan.

• Have a culture of continuous improvement and get buy in from everyone – or buy out (i.e., a path for them to leave the organization).

• Celebrate success which is the same for all aspects of the business. Too little is done to celebrate and too much focus is on what wasn’t accomplished. This will affect your EQ.

How does this affect profitability? According to John Maxwell, people leave people not companies. A company full of people with no EQ will be a revolving door. There will be a continual hiring process with no one staying long enough to be really good. Therefore profitability suffers due to lack of continuous improvement. One of my clients has had this issue and we continue to work on the impact the lack of EQ has on the organization. Staff is tired, demoralized and looking for opportunities that value them for their work, value them for what they offer and help them enjoy doing their job. If correcting that issues doesn’t improve profitability then give me a call, that is just the tip of the ice berg.

How well does your business understand EQ?

Entrepreneurs, business owners, leaders, managers need to step back on a regular basis and get back to basics. The temptation when running your own enterprise is to stop doing the foundational elements that made you successful in your business. What are the basics for you? Could they be?

Marketing: Testing and measuring what is working in your marketing program and what isn’t. Are you guessing as to which marketing programs work and which don’t. One of my clients swore that one of their marketing programs worked and worked well, until we ran the numbers. They were investing about $14,000 per year in this program and got about $6,000 back. Even taking into account lifetime value of the new customers, it was an expense and not an investment. Both revenue and profitability went up when they stopped that marketing program.

Sales: It is documented that sales people must be trained and retrained on a regular basis to refine their skills and ensure the basic blocking and tackling is being done. What old sales techniques need to be revisited and are there new ones? Selling today is very different than 5 years ago, however some of the basics like communicating with your prospect are foundations which often get forgotten due to bad habits.

Closing: Are you asking for the close in the sale? I have a client that lost the potential of a big new account because the prospects perception was that they didn’t want it enough. They asked for the close, but not often enough during the final presentation. Their competition asked for the sale more.

Advertising: Are you running the same old ad that you always do? It works – great, but could it be better. What is your shock and awe with your advertising? Do you get their attention, or are they yawning through the whole process?

Basics are critical. Innovation is critical, yet if the innovation is built on a rocky foundation the whole business may fail before you know it.

Basics are critical. Innovation is paramount, yet if the innovation is built on a rocky foundation the whole business may fail before you know it. The foundation of your business is the same as the foundation of a building. If the wrong materials, wrong design, wrong measurements have been used then the foundation begins to crack under the pressure. Pressure for a building can be weight, weathering, erosion of soil and much more. Crumbling of a business can also come from pressure of the growth of the business. Cracking appears when the systems are not in place to handle the growth or changing in the business. How do you know if the basics are failing within your business?

Key Business and Sales Performance Indicators:

o Are your leads increasing or decreasing? If you don’t know then that is the first sign that the basic foundation has a few cracks.

o Do you measure your closing ratios now to a year ago, last quarter, last month? Do you measure them by sales person?

o Each lead that you receive you should know where it originated? Was it a referral from a customer, generated by networking, an ad in the paper, pay for click, SEO etc.

Innovation in your business is paramount. If you have always done something the exact same way, do you need to stop and consider a new way to address the situations. Even a 1 degree difference can make a tremendous difference in the future and especially the profitability of the business.

What are your KPI’s?  How often do you measure them?

Ready to get started

Call or contact Janna Hoiberg online to schedule a free, initial consultation.
There is no obligation and you're guaranteed to learn a few new things about your business.

Contact Janna

Janna Hoiberg
Telephone : 719-358-6936

620 N. Tejon Street, Suite 202,
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
or
48 Avon Shores,
Moultonborough, NH 03254

Colorado Springs Location