Ten Top Ways To Succeed In Spite of It All
By Karen Hood-Caddy
1. Let Yourself NOT Know How To Do It:
Take the pressure off yourself. No one knows how to do something until they actually do it. Think of Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, He knew nothing about how to set up a social networking site—in fact, his motivation for the site initially was to create a place to meet girls! Now, according to an annual list published by Forbes magazine, Mark is the youngest ever self-made billionaire. The magazine put the former Harvard student’s personal wealth at 1.5 billion dollars.
Don’t worry about not knowing how. That’s given. Put all your energy into figuring it out.
Even if currently you feel as if you’re failing at your business, that doesn’t mean you can’t still figure it out and turn it around. Think of Thomas Edison who had over 10,000 filed attempts at the light bulb.
Or, Richard Bach, the author who wrote about a seagull! He was turned down by 18 publishers for his 10,000 word story about the soaring bird before Macmillan finally published it in 1970. By 1975 it had sold over 7 million copies in the U.S. alone.
It’s even okay if you find yourself questioning your ability to do what it takes–you’re in good company:
* Beethoven was told by his teacher that he handled the violin awkwardly and called him a hopeless composer.
* Charles Darwin, was considered a very ordinary boy with nothing special going for him.
* Henry Ford went broke 5 times before he finally succeeded.
ALL THESE PEOPLE FIGURED IT OUT—YOU CAN TOO!
#2. Increase Your Supports:
In my coaching practice, I see this as a big reason businesses work or don’t work—they don’t give themselves enough support. This is even more crucial in hard times or when the odds are against you.
Everest Example. If I asked you, could you climb Mount Everest, you would say you couldn’t. And you’d be right. But if you had mountaineering experts helping you and all the right equipment, you could do it.
Remember, when you run a small business, it’s crucial to give yourself support of every kind.
Here are some of the many ways I support myself:
1) I have 2 co-coaching relationships or accountability partners. These are people I talk with regularly to help me in my personal life and business. We each take some time each call. One is every week and one is once a month.
2) I have a drop in membership at the gym.
3) I have relaxation meditations on my iPod, ready for whenever I need them.
4) I regularly buy inspirational books and subscribe to many inspiring newsletters.
5) I have a meditation practice that I do everyday.
6) I have a screen saver that is always giving me inspirational words.
7) I take courses.
Exercise: Write down 3 ways you could increase your support. What courses could you be taking, what mentors could you be having lunch with to give you ideas, what equipment could you be buying? Consider trading with another business person and being an accountability partner to each other.
#3. Resolve to work SMART not HARD:
Take time every week to work ON your business, not just IN your business. You need to be constantly assessing where you’re going and how you’re going to get there in the easiest way. Every entrepreneur needs to have at least 1 hour a week, or one morning/afternoon a month to be looking at know to run their business better. This is a great thing to do with a coach or with an accountability partner.
Some other SMART ways to work:
* have FEELING GOALS not just task goals. Know how you want to BE…. eg: relaxed, inspiring, warm, energetic.
* set these “energy goals” in the morning and set your intention.
* spend time inspiring yourself every morning. You’ll be much less tired and people will be far more likely to buy from you. Enthusiasm sells.
* visualize your goals being actually true right now. Let your actualization have colours, tastes, smells and sounds—make them as real as you can. The subconscious doesn’t know the different between real and imagined. To realize how true this is, take 1 minute to imagine yourself crunching down on a wedge of lemon and watch the saliva enter your mouth.
#4. Think in terms of ‘energy’ bites not ‘time’:
We are moving away from a ‘time’ determined world to an ‘energy” determined world. Become aware of what activities feed you and what activities don’t, both at work and at home. Do more of what feeds you. One of my clients, who is a trainer, hates cooking, so I advised her to hire a cook. She did and pays a woman to come into her home $20an hour to cook dinners. This client makes $200 an hour so it’s worth it for her. Do what you love and offload whatever you can of the rest. Doing what you love will bring you more energy and you can do it for longer. It usually brings you far greater financial return.
Exercise: Write down what your biggest ENERGY expenditures are? How could you lighten these up?
#5. Refuse to multi task:
It looks good and is tempting, but a new study that came out last August shows that we do NOT work faster or better when we multi-task. And it’s more tiring for our brains. Think of what happens to your computer when you give it too much to do. It gets slower and slower.
Have specific times in the day when you answer emails, and when you return phone calls. Keep your high performance times for YOU and your most important work. Often that’s first thing in the morning, so I support people in NOT answering anything for the first 2 hours. Get your own work done. Put this on your phone message. “I’m not available right now. I answer my calls at 11—I’ll get back to you then.” Soon, you’ll have people trained to call you then and only then.
If you work at home, don’t mix work stuff with home stuff. That means you don’t do the laundry while you’re working on your business. Not only does this clutter up your mind, but it creates unclarity for those around you.
Exercise: What is one thing you can do this week to increase your focus at work.
#6. Know Your Ideal Clients and Make Fans out of them.
Many people who are anxious to get a business going take on any projects and clients that come their way. Big mistake. Get totally clear on who your clients are so you can do the best job, have high customer satisfaction and high personal satisfaction.
Now, on to the idea of creating fans. Why is creating fans so important?
1. Fans tell others. You get GREAT free advertising. (95% of Saturn buyers encouraged others to buy Saturns also.)
2. Fans are loyal. They’ll stick with you even in bad times.
I decided several years ago that I didn’t want clients coming and going like so many coaches have. I wanted clients for life! That doesn’t mean I talk to all of them every week, but I have created such loyal clients that they tend to come back to me over and over again as they face challenges in their lives and work. As you all know, it’s WAY less expensive to keep a client than to find a new one.
3. Fans are appreciative and excited. Excitement sells. Think about Disneyland. What’s most effective, a multi-million dollar ad campaign or thousands of kids babbling on to all their friends about the blast they had there.
4. To get fans, you have to excel at your customer service and that’s a good thing to do. Tom Peters was talking about a stay at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta. Everyone, every staff person from bellhop to the housemaid asked him, “How are you enjoying your stay? Is there anything more I can do for you?”
There’s a great book called Raving Fans, A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service, written by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles that I highly recommend reading.
Recent studies show that number of hours people shop is down significantly, but even worse, that many people report hating shopping. As a CNN person said, “We have to remember, no one needs anything anymore. So service becomes all important.”
What is good service? It’s honouring the customer. Making them FEEL GOOD! Focus on making a customer not a sale.
Sigmund Freud on his death bed was asked to pick his most effective psychological tool to help people. Softly, he answered, “I just loved them.”
EXERCISE: Write down 3 ways to make your customers feel great. And, ask them how you can serve them better or make them happier. They will know.
#7. Create Rules of Excellence:
I have a form on my website for a complimentary coaching session. Most of the time I’d get back to someone within the day, but sometimes I wouldn’t. So I created a rule. Within 2 hours and definitely before 24.
Rules of excellence are good because they make it harder for us to step over them.
Always give refunds.
Always ask your clients/customers what worked.
Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul series and personal development trainer, suggests we say this to our customers and clients: “I want you to be 100% satisfied. Is there anything I could have done to make your experience of me or this product better?”
EXERCISE: Write down and commit to three rules or MO’s that will help you deliver more excellence.
#8. Throw Away Your “To Do” List:
To do lists are out of date as time-management tools. Why? Because they only identify the ‘what’ and the critical issue is the ‘when’. So, as soon as you are aware of something that needs to be done, identify it and put it right into your calendar.
Use your calendar for EVERYTHING– planning time, thinking time, getting there time, breaks etc. Get in also the good stuff—lunch dates, birthdays, events so you can prepare. Don’t be afraid to add in “transit time”—time to change, gather yourself, get to your commitment.
#9. Expect and Plan for Problems:
Most of us resist problems, but if can expect them and actually have a strategy for our attitude towards them and a plan of action, they we won’t lose much less energy when they appear. Which is weird, because problems are really nothing but feedback and we need that feedback to make things right.
Exercise: Make a sheet of paper and put 10 circles big and small. These are the problems I’m going to face this week. Decide in advance your attitude towards how you want to handle working with them.
Fix them once and for all. Don’t do temporary fixes, go for the whole enchilada.
#10. LISTEN TO YOURSELF and Lead From Your Passion:
There are so many people who will tell you different things about how to be successful. Your job is to listen to YOURSELF. When you act from the truth of your own knowing, you are far more likely to be successful even if it goes against the common thinking.
Example: Think of FedEx. When FedEx first offered a world-wide delivery service, people thought they were crazy! Why would anyone pay more for delivery when anything can be popped into the mail? Enough said.
Example: Walt Disney, who was a cartoonist. When he couldn’t get a job anywhere, a church finally hired him to illustrate their newsletter. In return, they offered him the space above the church to live. The space was full of mice. Mice that Walt started to draw. When he began to send out cartoons one of his favourite mice, people thought he was nuts! He and Mickey have been laughing their way to bank every since.
So, listen to yourself and honour your dream. You are far more likely to be successful if a project is fired from your own truth and inspiration.
Don’t worry about doing things YOUR way. What feels right to you is the way to go!