Over the years I have coached and spoken to many entrepreneurs surrounding money, debt, and business finance. I remember just over a decade ago, I was massively in debt to the tune of $172,000. I always share the story of climbing out, and the challenge of conquering debt and kicking it in the face.
The reality for many entrepreneurs I speak with is, they are not climbing, conquering or kicking anything in the face. They tell me they feel like they are drowning. They work all day to produce income only to see it get washed away by a current of debt. They swim up towards the light and the surface, only to have another wave come crashing over them to knock them back down, many times below where they began. Not only are they drowning, they are not coming towards to surface to catch any air. Can you relate? Do you feel this way in your life or business surrounding your finances and debt.
As I have coached very successful entrepreneurs, and spent time with self-made people, millionaires, billionaires, here are a few points they have shared about getting to the surface.
- Do you even care to not drown? Many people are drowning in debt and that has become a lifestyle and mindset. Are you okay living this way? If so, the rest of this blog really does not matter. If you are fed up, pissed off, and done being in debt and drowning, keep reading.
- Forget becoming a millionaire for a minute. For now, have a plan to get to the surface. Create a baseline savings, and then pay off all debts except your house. Dave Ramsey would call these ‘Baby Steps 1 and 2’. When you have no savings and all your income is eaten my monthly commitments to unnecessary debt, that is where drowning occurs. When all you want to do is breathe, all that must happen is popping your head above water to grab some air. What is your plan to get to the surface? How long will it take?
- Remember, the swim is one stroke, one penny, one dollar and one small win at a time. If you are 500 feet under water, or $50,000 in debt, you kill that debt $1 at a time. Are you putting one foot in front of the other every day as you attack debt?
- Money is simple. It flows one of two ways. It flows to you, or away from you. If you have more leaving then coming, you lose. More coming than going, you win. Changing your financial snapshot requires creating new habits, wirings, and mindsets surrounding money and how it flows in and out of your life? How does money currently flow in or out of your life?
- As you look forward, look back a little. I encourage you to look back every 6 months to a year to see how far you have come towards the surface. Many times, as you are still drowning, it is easy to forget that you are now only 25 yards away from the surface, not 500. Looking back is important, not to remember the past and the pain, but to see the advancement. When is the last time you have looked back to see how far you have come?
- Label and categorize your financial out-go. Determine if your payments are absolute needs, or only personal wants. Which of these out-gos currently fuel your debt? Is it truly a need?
I hope this inspires and ignites you to own your financial situation with excellence.
To continue to get caffeinated with me on a weekly basis, click on the coffee cup to the right. When you do, I will send you a free business building tool kit. It is packed full of resources to inspire and ignite you to own and run your business and life with absolute excellence.
Leadership matters. Entrepreneurs live in a day and age of business happening at the speed of light. As we run and grow our companies, we can tend to forget one of the most crucial and important elements that allow it to do so. This crucial component is leadership.
Leadership has the ability to become a buzz word, thrown around with other buzzwords like integrity, customer service and value. Leadership means nothing if it is not actually happening in your organization. Here are a few points to consider when it comes to doing leadership, and not just saying it.
- People matter. A business does not grow unless the people in it grow as well. When an entrepreneur learns how to inspire, connect with, get to know, and grow their team members at the heart level, this fosters an environment for leadership. How well do you know your people?
- Purpose matters. As an entrepreneur discovers what makes their people tick, one key element is helping that person define and declare their purpose. There is a saying that you have two birthdays: the day you are born, and the day you discover your purpose. Do you know your team member’s purpose? Do you know yours?
- Trust and time matter. When it comes to fostering an environment of leadership, there must be a mutual level of trust between team members. This does not happen overnight; it takes some time. What are the levels of trust in your organization? Have you spent the proper time to get those levels to desirable?
- Transparency matters. Entrepreneurs and companies with an open door, open books, and 100% transparent policy always seem to win. When there is nothing to hide and everything to share, trust naturally occurs. An environment of full transparency shortens the time it takes for trust to be built. How transparent are you and your organization?
To continue to get caffeinated with me on a weekly basis, click on the coffee cup to the right. When you do, I will send you a free business building tool kit, packed full of resources to help you run, lead, and grow your business with absolute excellence.
As entrepreneurs, we hear voices everyday. We hear voices from the outside and hear voices from within. These voices, when received, processed and implanted into our lives, businesses and permanent thought patterns are what ultimately determine our outcomes.
There are two kinds of voices we hear. We hear voices of fear, doubt, and discouragement. These voices cause us anxiety, stress and negative emotional energy. These voices stop us dead in our tracks, and paralyze us with lack of decision, action and forward progress.
We also hear voices of encouragement that uplift us and tell us we are good enough. We hear voices that confirm our gifts, purpose and entrepreneurial superpower, and tell us to keep moving ahead.
Which voices do you listen to? Which voices do you allow in? When they come in, do you allow them to stay? What do you do with them?
Only one set of voices will ultimately drive you towards your purpose, towards success and towards leaving a massive impact on the world.
To get caffeinated with me on a weekly basis, click in the coffee cup to the right. When you do, I will send you a free business building tool kit packed with resources to help you run your business with excellence.
As entrepreneurs, we wake up every day and face the challenge of growing our company and driving forward. As we do this, unexpected issues arise and road blocks present themselves in front of us. As much as we do not like them, these roadblocks, which I call adversity, are necessary for entrepreneurs and for anyone looking to drive forward and grow in life, business and leadership.
Right on the other side of adversity is where we see what we are made of as entrepreneurs. Right on the other side of adversity is where the magic happens. As humans, we tend to live within the boundaries of our comfort zone. Inside this comfort zone, we know what to expect, how things generally happen, and we feel good and comfortable in our abilities to produce a desired outcome.
The other side of this comfort zone is scary, outcomes are unknown and fear exists. Many people will never step to this side to experience, manage and conquer this fear. Adversity presents itself in our lives so we can be placed in an areas where we must be resourceful, creative and fight and face fear head on.
When we conquer that fear, our comfort zone is now expanded. We now know that we have managed and produced an outcome while working in that newly lived in area of our lives. Adversity is a must, it is a necessary experience. It never happens when we plan.
During my journey, I have learned the most about myself from experiencing massive adversity. I encourage you to lean into it, appreciate it, and learn from it.
To continue to get caffeinated with me on a weekly basis, click the coffee cup to the left. When you do, I will send you a free business building tool kit packed full of resources to grow and run your company with excellence.
Children teach us a lot. They have a different and unique view of the world where they know and believe they can have anything they want. This view teaches entrepreneurs a lot about sales and life in general.
Entrepreneurs who learn how to close business, and teach others to do the same, will consistently grow their business. Sales is an art, and perfecting this art is a must. As a business grows and scales, entrepreneurs must pass this art across the culture of their company and inspire it in their team. My five-year-old daughter recently reminded me of a few important lessons about sales.
Two years ago, my daughter, Hailey, was involved in a photoshoot to help M & E Painting with a marketing and PR campaign we launched in Northern Colorado. A few weeks ago, I was driving to Dunkin Donuts with her for our Friday morning date. As we were driving, I asked her if I could use one of the photos from that shoot for my new book coming out in December. She immediately asked me, “How much are you going to pay me?”
This was no surprise to me, she is my daughter and we have imparted the value of hard work and entrepreneurship into both of our children. I responded by asking, “What do you want?”
“$100,000!”, she replied.
We continued to discuss what would be involved with making that kind of money, and I asked her how we can make that happen. Over donuts, we discussed up front payment vs. royalty, profit sharing and driving sales of the book. At the end of our date, we struck a deal.
Here are a few lessons she reminded me of that day about sales:
- You will close nothing if you never ask, so ask, always ask. Do you always ask?
- Asking for a donut is no different than asking for $100,000 or $1,000,000 and Hailey saw no difference between the two. She has not constricted her dream due to measuring the outcome. Do you?
- Never stop after the first try, the second try, the tenth try, keep asking, be persistent. Are you?
- When everyone wins and receives value, selling is not needed, business just happens. Are you creating winning scenarios for all sides?
- Everything can be negotiated to create a win-win for all. Are you doing this?
After donuts, I drove Hailey to school and was inspired and ignited to go out and build my company even more.
To get caffeinated with me on a weekly basis, click the coffee cup to the right. When you do, I will send you a free business building tool kit packed with resources to help you grow your business with excellence. I will also keep in touch with you weekly with drips and drops of inspiration, ignition and practical wisdom for your life and business.
One of the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur is they consistently make profit. Along with making a profit, they consistently keep and reinvest their profits to win financially. Last week, I wrote about how to be more profitable as an entrepreneur and discussed three key things relating to being more profitable.
One thing I failed to cover was this; profit is not just about money. Most entrepreneurs say and hear the world profit, and immediately think money. Money in (sales and revenue) minus money out (costs and expenses), equals your profit. This is typically measured in currency.
Profit is so much more than just currency. In life, leadership, business, and humans working together under a common goal and vision, things are exchanged all the time. Money is one, so are emotions, action, and energy. In any exchange, a tank, bucket, account, or domain of life is filled (sales and revenue) and is also expended (costs and expenses). What is left is the profit.
How profitable are you? How much is left? How much is left financially? How much is left emotionally? How much is left spiritually? How much is left of your accounts, buckets and domains of life?
How much are you holding onto, reinvesting and growing in these domains to consistently win in life and business?
My good friend Mike Michalowicz would smack me around for asking why your profit and our profit is a leftover. Click here to watch him on the Ted stage sharing why your profit formula is broken and how to fix it.
To get caffeinated with me on a weekly basis, click the coffee cup to the right. When you do so, I will send you some free business building tools to inspire and ignite you to own and run your organization with excellence.
Entrepreneurs are always searching for how to improve customer service, which seems to be more of a lost art these days. Basic customer service tells you, the entrepreneur, to thank your customers and appreciate them for their purchase, their time, and their investment in your product or service. As you grow your team, this basic concept is then passed down to them, so on and so forth. When customers are consistently thanked and appreciated with sincerity and passion, it becomes one piece of the formula to keep them coming back to your company.
Here is the traditional ‘thank you script’ you may have learned:
“Thank you so much for stopping in today; I appreciate your business.”
One thing that is missing in customer service is a slight flip of the “thank you” script that, the first time I was on the receiving end of, made me feel like a million bucks. Here is it:
“Thank you so much for stopping in today; I appreciate you!”
Are you appreciating your customers or their purchase? Are you appreciating the person or the profit? Are you appreciating your customer for who they are or what they do? Both are important, but one really connects at the heart level with a person.
Click on the coffee cup to the right to get caffeinated with me on a weekly basis. When you do, I will send you a couple of free business building tools right away. I will also drip and drop you a weekly email packed full of inspiration, ignition and practical wisdom for your business and life.
What does it take to win in entrepreneurship? What are the common traits a successful and impactful entrepreneur possess? Over the years of meeting, learning about and spending time with some of the world’s most amazing entrepreneurs, here is what I have determined rings true for all of them.
- Passion. If you were paid a billion dollars tomorrow, what would you wake up and do anyway? Entrepreneurs that both know this and build a business around this are the ones that win.
- People. You can not do it alone. Entrepreneurs that understand people, lead people and ultimately inspire the people that serve them are the ones that win. How well do you understand people and what makes them tick at the core?
- Persistence. Most entrepreneurs that are the “over night sensation and success” took years and even decades to get there. They failed and then reinvented, fell and then stood back up, believed when nobody else did. No matter what, they put one foot in front of the other day after day until they won. Are you doing the same?
- Process. A system and procedure for business is a must. Large and impactful companies are only grown and scaled when there is a detailed process, system and protocol that can be replicated and followed. Many entrepreneurs are not wired to follow process, yet they have people in place to make this happen. What process do you have in your business?
- Practice. A black belt is not earned overnight. An entrepreneur that comes across so smooth, so confident, so poised, and with such excellence in their trade, craft or skill set has spent thousands to tens of thousands of hours perfecting it. What are you pouring thousands of hours into?
- Profit. Profit and cash are the lifeblood of any organization. Without it, that organization will not continue. One way profit is measured is in dollars, which is the measurement of how well you served. There are also immeasurable components of profit, like culture. How profitable are you? How do you measure the immeasurable things like culture?
- Purpose. I have met, as well as have been the entrepreneur who accomplished the above 6 P’s yet felt empty inside. Without purpose, what is the point of winning? When I accomplished the first 6 P’s I was successful. When I found my purpose, I then became impactful. What is your purpose? Why do you exist in one statement?
I exist to inspire and ignite others to own and live their real story with excellence.
Click on the coffee cup to the right to get caffeinated with me on a weekly basis. When you do, I will send you a couple of business building tools right away. I will also drip and drop you a weekly email packed full of inspiration, ignition and practical wisdom for your business and life.
Las Vegas hold lots of lessons entrepreneurs can apply to their business and life. The lights, energy, emotion, experience and life on the strip is a must see for many reasons. I always view and observe things through an entrepreneurial lens. Here are a three quick insights, experiences and lessons I have taken away from my time here in Las Vegas
Business will thrive when it’s leaders understands an important money equation. Money is exchanged. It leaves one source and passes to another. Income is created when money flows to you and your company from another source. To the degree you have more flow in that out, you win with the measure of profit. What side of the equation are you on? Do you consistently have more coming to you than going from you? In Vegas, the house always wins. Is this the case for you and your company?
People make decisions when they are influenced emotionally. The strip is filled with very intentional items that connect with a person emotionally. This influences them to be on the money leaving side of the equation, while at the same time feeling great about it. What does your business do to connect with and influence people at the emotional level? How does it inspire them to place themselves on the money leaving side of the equation? When, where and how do you place your company and brand to be on the receiving side.
People will pay what you charge when their is no other option. The Las Vegas strip is like nothing else on the planet. People flock there from all over the world to experience it. As they are influenced emotionally and are placed on the money leaving side of the money equation, the amount of money leaving is ridiculously high due to the fact that there is nothing else like it anywhere. What unique value does your company bring that leaves people clearly determining that there is nothing else like you?
Click the coffee cup to the right to get caffeinated with me on a weekly basis. When you do, I will send you my weekly newsletter as well as some free tools to inspire and ignite you to own and run your organization with excellence.