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.
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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.
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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.
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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?
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Entrepreneurs constantly focus on being as efficient and effective with their time as possible. Time management is a topic covered by many keynote speakers and small business coaches. Unfortunately, time management is a myth. Time can not be managed. It ticks away second by second, hour by hour. It is never controlled and you never get it back.
What you can control and manage are your tasks. Life is busy. Business is busy. Entrepreneurs are notoriously famous for taking on too much and then beating themselves up when it all does not get completed. When, where and how you complete tasks as well as understanding why this is important will turn you into a entrepreneurial task management rockstar. Here are a few things I have implemented into my life and business to improve my task management.
- What’s important now? This is a question I frequently ask myself and others. In a meeting, a phone call, a sales call, a morning leadership session, I ask, what constitutes success for right now? I was guilty for a long time of entering an engagement such as a company meeting and trying to cover what was important three months from now while ignoring what was important for that meeting that ended in 30 minutes. Are you trying to cover too much?
- Why is it important now? Assuming you determine what is important now, ask why? What is the drive behind completing and addressing what constitutes success? Being clear on why you are doing what you are doing and when it is important allows you to filter tasks and boil them down to an order of importance.
- Instead of a task list, schedule your tasks. I recently got into the habit of scheduling my tasks just like they were appointments. A growing list of tasks always overwhelms me as well as many other entrepreneurs that I coach and speak with. Once I started scheduling my tasks, I felt a strong sense of control of my time, and was no longer overwhelmed in business.
What is important now in your business? Not next week, not tomorrow, but right now? Why is it important? Will it generate revenue and profit? Will it build culture? When are you completing these tasks? Are you scheduling or being overwhelmed by a task list?
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Every entrepreneur desires to win, grow, learn and be profitable. In my years of being a small business coach and keynote speaker for entrepreneurs, I have met and connected with some amazing people. In conversations with these people, I always search for the common themes attributed to their success and consistent patterns of winning. Just a few days ago, a great friend of mine hit the nail right on the head during a phone conversation we had.
My friends name is Dave Sanderson. Dave is an international keynote speaker and entrepreneur. Dave was a passenger on the Miracle on the Hudson flight that occurred back in 2009. I met Dave in 2013, when we both were speaking at an Entrepreneur’s Organization event in Atlantic City. Dave has presented his message close to 600 times since 2009, and is a seasoned, inspiring and phenomenal keynote speaker and entrepreneur. What I admire about Dave is his dedication to his craft, as well as his willingness to pour into others pursuing the same craft and profession of public speaking.
During our phone call, I asked him how he has been so successful as an entrepreneur and keynote speaker, and what he does to prepare to consistently deliver phenomenal level 10 keynote presentations. His answer was this:
“Treat every presentation and speech as if it were the Super Bowl. Get yourself into a state where failure is not an option. Make every presentation shine like it was the last one you will ever give. Leave it all on the stage.”
To win in business, to win in life and to win as an entrepreneur, every interaction, every deal, every relationship you pour into must be treated like the Super Bowl. Set outcomes, not goals. Super Bowls are not won because a team has a goal to win, rather they set a desired outcome and make it happen. Play like it is the last game you will ever play! To what degree are you playing and doing life, leadership and entreprenurship?
Click on the coffee cup to get caffeinated with me on a weekly basis. I send a weekly newsletter with practical wisdom to inspire and ignite entrepreneurs to own and run their organizations with excellence.
Entrepreneurs are familiar with setting goals. Any leadership and entrepreneurial material such as books, conferences, keynote speakers and blogs frequently cover the topic of how to set goals. As a small business coach, I consistantly see entrepreneurs stumble across one of the inherently wrong mindsets and failure programs surrounding goals. Understanding these failure programs will ensure that goals are properly set and achieved.
Most entrepreneurs are familiar with a SMART goal. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable/Acheivable, Realistic and Timely. This means your goal in one statement must have these five things happen. Example, I want to lose weight is not a SMART goal. What is a SMART goal is: I will lose 15 pounds in 60 days. Other leadership experts and speakers also add the suggestion that goals should be written down to be seen daily. I always recommend writing on your mirror, since it is the first thing you see in the morning and it shows you who is ultimately responsible for your goals happening. One last thing that goal setting experts share is that you must have a strong WHY behind your goals.
Sounds good right? Ready to go set those goals and try to achieve them?
I have done this type of goal setting for years. I have hit many goals and missed many marks over these years. One of the underlying themes, energies, mindsets and observations I have seen, in my experience, is this. For me, the word goal is like the word “try”, or “attempt”. It is a word marked with “failure with honor.”
Example, I will try to get this work done by 4. If I get it done, great I win. If not, at least I tried. Failure with honor means you can fail yet give yourself credit for trying by attempting to make yourself feel better for missing your goal. The word goal, to me, fits that category. My goal is to lose 15 pounds in 60 days. If I do, great, I win. If not, at least I tried. Failure with honor is a secret assassin that is peppered into the vocabulary and wiring of every small business owner and entrepreneur that I have ever coached. Words like try, need to, have to, should, want to, will, and be able to all fit this category and will kill and stifle your business. Over the years I have also fallen victim to this assassin. Look at the picture above to the left. Seems like a great goal right? Look at the failure words peppered into this seemingly SMART goal. How many do you see?
So now what? If setting a goal has a failure with honor component, what do we do?
We set outcomes. An outcome happens, period!
Outcomes are what happen no matter what. An outcome is not wishing or hoping that something is going to happen. An outcome is not something that is trying to happen. It just happens, done, end of story. An outcome must be SMART, be written and have a strong why just like a goal. An outcome however, is a different language, it is a different energy, it is a different mindset. When you set an outcome, vision and visualize that outcome, and declare with absolute certainty that no matter what, this outcome happens, period, end of story, now its time to work. There is no trying, just happening. There is no needing to, just doing. There is no at least I tried, you either do or don’t and you make that decision.
Are you setting goals or creating outcomes? Are you marked with a target by the assassin of failure with honor? Are you trying, having to, needing to, wanting to and setting goals that may or may not happen, either way, its ok, at least I tried?
I would enjoy reading your comments surrounding these two ideas of goals vs. outcomes. As always, you can get caffeinated with me on a weekly basis by receiving my weekly newsletter and other free business building tools by clicking the coffee cup to the right. I will send you a couple of free practical tools to use in your business when you do. I will also explain what is up with this coffee cup, and why I am so highly caffeinated all the time.
I walked into Infinite Jiu Jitsu Academy/Loveland Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (formerly Infinite Mixed Martial Arts/Loveland Martial Arts) for the first time in 2007. I figured my decade of weight lifting, 300lb. bench press, supreme false confidence, brut force, and aggression combined with four years of another fighting style would allow me to hold my own against a kid half my size and half my age. Boy, was I wrong.
I was choked out by a teenager in 18 seconds. From that moment on (once I caught my breath), I fell in love with the sport of jiu jitsu. I am currently a purple belt under Royce Gracie, I compete, and I help coach the children at Infinite jiu jitsu Academy. This sport has had a large impact in my life, my leadership and my business. Here are 7 lessons I have learned from the jiu jitsu mats. I use these lessons every day as an entrepreneur as well as a small business coach.
- Jiu jitsu is the great equalizer. Technique, skill, and proper leverage and positioning beat brut force muscle and false confidence every time. A phenomenal jiu jitsu practitioner uses their opponents force against them. What are you using in your business?
- Never judge a book by its cover. Jiu jitsu is a sport filled with silent assassins. They know how dangerous they are and carry a supreme confidence that flows through every bone in their body. What do you carry in business?
- Size does not matter; resourcefulness does. Watch this video of Royce Gracie fighting Akebono to see this in action. Do you count on your size or your resourcefulness in business?
- Winning (or losing) starts in your head and is decided by you before the fight even starts. 99% of the sport is a mental game. What do you decide before you step into the fight of business? Please remember, business is a fight! Never forget that. Fighting is a good thing.
- Jiu jitsu is one of the few sports where you can go all out, 100%, maximum intensity and effort while sparring and not kill or seriously injure your opponent. Business is the same way. Do you go all out, 100%, full intensity every day in business? If not, why? If you do, will it hurt anything or anyone?
- Position before submission is a term used frequently in jiu jitsu. This means you must take proper position on your opponent before you submit them (make them cry uncle and tap out). This also means you may be in a bad position yet be in no harm of being submitted until your opponent makes another move. Bad positions are extremely uncomfortable, but it does not mean you give up. Sometimes doing nothing is best, sometimes moving at the right time in the right way is best. When you find yourself in a bad position in business, what do you do? Do you move at the right time in the right way? Do you panic and move too early? Do you move at all? Why?
- Training, time and toughness (mental, physical and spiritual) are key success factors in winning in the sport of jiu jitsu. What are you doing in business to train your skills consistently over time, and how tough are you really?
If you would like to see some of these lessons in action, here is my jiu jitsu competition reel. Here are a series of blogs I wrote a while back to dive into each topic a little bit more. Lessons from the Jiu Jitsu Mats, Choked Out by a 15 Year Old. Being Humble in Life and Business, Position Before Submission, and It’s OK to Tap.
I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, and experiences surrounding this topic. As always, you can click the coffee cup to the right to join the MattShoup.com community, get caffeinated with me on a weekly basis, read my daily blog and receive free business building tools to run your organization with excellence.