Archive for November, 2009

"The moment one definitely commits one's self then providence moves too." W. H. Murray

Which would you think is more likely to happen:
1. You think how nice it would be to relax on a white, sandy beach with a cold drink.   You dream of getting away, of finding that perfect beach.
2. You think of that perfect beach scene, you decide that you will spend a week in Fiji next winter.

Which of those two scenarios is more likely to come true?   Notice how the trip to Fiji gives you something concrete to work towards, and that will cause you to take steps toward making that goal a reality.   So it's much more likely to happen than your €˜wouldn't it be nice' scenario.

The same can be said for setting the goal for your business.   When you have a tangible goal set, you're more likely to achieve it.   Just saying my business is going to be successful versus my sales will exceed one million next year is just the same as dreaming versus setting a goal.

Now, do you need a complete business plan laid out in front of you when you're setting your goal?   No!   In fact, is that what's stopping you from setting a target?   Think of Fiji – you don't know what flight you're going to take yet.   But now that you've set a goal to get there, you can search for the best flight, then choose the hotel and take care of the specifics.

So, what I'm saying is – set a goal, not a €˜wouldn't it be nice' scenario.   Don't let the fact that the whole scenario isn't mapped out yet stop you.   The quote I offer in the start here is by a man named W.H. Murray, although it's often attributed to Goethe, it goes like this:
"The moment one definitely commits oneself then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way."

My goal for the past year was to reach one million in sales.   I didn't know in detail how I was going to reach it when I set the goal.   In fact, my plan for how that was going to happen didn't pan out, the path took a few twists and turns, but I still made my goal. So what you need to remember is that there is a perfect path for you from wherever you are right now to where you want to be.

Hopefully, at this point you're not throwing up roadblocks to reaching your goal.   It's so easy to do, yet so counterproductive.   Perhaps you're thinking, "But I don't have the resources, I don't have the cash, I don't have the child care in place".

When you throw up those roadblocks, you're talking yourself out of succeeding before you've even started.   So that leads me to my second favorite quote, one by Doreen Virtue:

"God doesn't give us our dreams without the ability to make them happen."

The truth is that what you see as your goal, it absolutely is possible for you.   But we don't always see the opportunities because we're so busy wishing our circumstances were different.   So, don't find excuses - set your goal, where you are now is the perfect place for you to start for you.   Why?   Because your current circumstances offer the seeds of everything you need to achieve this goal.

So, when you make it to Fiji next winter, please send me a postcard!

How many people have you asked to give you money today?

I'm not talking about begging for or borrowing money from someone. How many people have you approached about paying you for the services your business has to offer?

It could have been directly in a verbal conversation. Or you could have approached them by sending out an email promotion or by sending traffic to a page on your website where you're selling something.

So, how many people did you ask to give you money today?

If that number is less than ten or even five, and you're not getting the paying business that you want, you can't be surprised.

If you're putting all of this energy out there, but you're not directly asking for the business, that is the missing piece in your business.

You need to ask more people to give you more money.

Maybe you've got a blog. Or, you've got an email newsletter. You're on Twitter. You're on Facebook. You're doing all of these things to get your name out there.

But, as Internet marketing has become more and more prevalent, it has become easier and easier to do these things. A lot of people are using social media, email and newsletters, hoping they will somehow be discovered in the sea of names and faces in the never-ending online universe. It's just like the aspiring actress working as a waitress in a Hollywood restaurant, waiting to be discovered.

Honestly, it's extremely rare that someone is going to show up, see your article or blog or whatever, and say "Wow. What an insightful, amazing, intelligent person you are. I can't wait to give you some money. Tell me what you can do for me."

Now, all of those things you are doing do raise your visibility. They're getting your name out in the marketplace. And maybe you even have ways of then getting people to join your subscription list. But, all of that activity is not going to magically manifest into paying clients.

It is still only lead generation. And leads don't magically convert into paying clients on their own. You need to do something to nudge them into action.

Until you start directly putting specific offers in front of your prospective clients, don't expect them to throw money at you. When you say, "Here's what it is. Here's what it will do for you. Here's how much it costs. Here's what to do now," – that is when the money will start coming through in a big way.

So, if you're not getting paying business out of your prospects, start asking for the business.      One of the keys to your success is to be more upfront and ask more people to give you money.

At some point, everyone feels that there's greater potential in their business than what they are achieving. The trick is for you to recognize new opportunities when they present themselves, so you can turn potential development into actual growth.

Sounds simple enough, but the truth is that people often miss opportunities because they just don't see them. And, one of the reasons they don't see them is that they've become stagnant in their business. They are stuck in some type of rut.

And they'll remain in that rut until they get to the point of near desperation. The point where they need to find opportunities to grow their business now because the cash flow has already dried up.

I want you to see those new opportunities to expand your business and make more money before you are at the point where you are struggling.

If you feel stagnant, like things are drying up around you, it's time to get creative and think outside the box. If you're stuck in a pattern of behavior where you're just doing the same thing over and over and getting the same old results - results that you don't want – you need to refocus.

Maybe all you really need to do is just get out of your office. If you're stuck in the office doing drudge tasks that someone said you need to do, but all the while you're thinking of the other things that you ought to be doing, you are not getting anywhere. You're not giving the things you are doing their due attention. So, just stop doing them. It's like that old saying - If you find yourself in a hole just stop digging.

Once you stop, you will have created enough space to see the opportunity for the growth you want to achieve. And, it will be right in front of you. You simply need to stop doing what is no longer effective.

You also need to have a certain mindset to make this work. I know that there are moments when you are open to suggestion and absorb new information like a sponge. There are also moments when you think, "I can't do that. That won't work. That doesn't apply to me."

It's so critical that you recognize "that-won't-work" thinking.

If you find that you are often saying, "That won't work. That won't work,"
recognize that this is a type of a rut that you're in. Say to yourself instead, "I can't see how to make this work right now. But I trust that it does work. How can I make this work?"

Another great way to refocus and think outside the box to see opportunities is to belong to mastermind groups. Odds are that many of the members will have had the same questions or problems that you do, and have already found answers that they are more than happy to share with you. Being surrounded by like-minded people who want to succeed is a great way for you to stay aware of the greater potential that you know you are capable of.

I encourage you to use interactive elements like these groups and the online forums to open up your eyes to new ideas and ways of thinking.

Sometimes asking for help can make you feel a little bit defensive or lacking in confidence. But forums and mastermind groups provide a tremendous spirit of support and sharing. No one is going to knock you there.

If you recast your approach, you'll increase your confidence in your ability to create new opportunities and recognize the opportunities that are already there:

*Refocus your attention

*Effect a change in your habits

*Change your mindset

*Ask questions

*Stop doing the things that are no longer effective

*Think outside the box

Even if things are going great in your business, always keep your eyes and mind open to new opportunities. If you do, growth and cash flow will never again be a problem.

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