A question I receive often from many small business leaders is this: Which is the MOST important when it comes to growing and leading a small business, people or profit? The reality of this question is you cannot have one without the other.
A small business does not operate without people, period. People play the part of representing your company, your brand, and your promise. People interface with clients, vendors and the community you serve. A company is nothing more than people serving people. Through this service and interaction, participants leave a mark on each other’s stories and paths. People invest themselves and pour into your company, your clients and the community, which will in turn produce profit.
Profit is the lifeblood of a company; a fuel that propels your company forward. Profit creates runway for your business vehicle to travel down. Run out of runway and your vehicle crashes. Profit must be retained and guarded with ultimate concern, as this profit pours into your bank account as well as the bank accounts of the people who ultimately helped produce it.
So, which of the two is the MOST important? Which of the two do you ultimately pour into and invest in growing?
People, hands down.
I spent the first decade of my entrepreneurial journey focusing on and ultimately placing the most importance in profit, and as a result, I was very profitable. I climbed a mountain of financial success very quickly, achieving the goal of becoming a millionaire before the age of 30.
However, the celebration was not so sweet. When I arrived to the top of my million-dollar mountain, I realized I did not elevate, inspire or lead the people who helped me get to the top. I did not focus on people like I should have because I did not know how; I was never given a blueprint. At this point, I had two options. Keep climbing, alone or come back down the mountain, and face my people. It would have been much easier to keep climbing along the path I knew, but something inside of me knew this was not the right thing to do.
When I came back down the mountain, I committed to getting a PHD in people. Before doing so, I had to face the fact that some of the people who had helped me were gone. They were no longer there, nor willing to come back. Some bridges were burned.
Moving forward, I learned everything I could about leadership, team building, and understanding humans and what makes them operate at their core. I invested in and poured into people with every resource I had both personally and professionally, and I am so glad I did! Today, I see a bigger mountain and a bigger climb ahead. I have bigger dreams, aspirations, and goals to accomplish.
There is now one thing very different about my dreams, goals, and aspirations. They are not MINE, they are OURS. We are now climbing. We are now trekking. We are now pursuing OUR dreams, OUR goals, and OUR aspirations together.
If you focus on the people the profit will come. If you focus on the profit, the people will run.
You have a unique and special gift that you and only you bring to the world. Do you know what it is? There is power in your story that when captured and communicated can change the lives of others for the better. Have you found it?
The world is flooded with information and things that keep us tied up and too busy to look within ourselves and find our unique gift within our story. Make time for yourself. Get real with yourself. To discover who you are, why you exist and what value you bring to others, you must first decide who you are not.
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Entrepreneurs must sell something for business to happen. We sell a vision, an idea, a product or a service. Creating an environment where sales happen and the sales mentality is ingrained in the company culture is required for a business to thrive.
Here is one simple way to close more sales and to get the big ‘yes’. Go for ‘no’! Go for ‘no’ as many times as possible. As entrepreneurs, salespeople and humans, we get a little tinge of personal offense and stinging when somebody tells us ‘no’, or at least this is the case for me. We can at times be scared to ask for fear of being told ‘no’.
Sales is about creating and fostering relationships, serving others, and offering a product or service that eliminates a pain and makes a life easier. As that happens, sales can be tracked, measured and scaled with ratios. There are always a certain number people who say ‘no’ before someone says ‘yes’.
Want to close more and sell more? Go for ‘no’, and/or ‘no for now’. When you do, you will get one step closer to the ‘yes’ you are looking for.
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 your business and life with excellence. Let’s do business and life on purpose and with purpose.
Entrepreneurs hear voices. Some inspire and empower us. Some are nasty, uninspiring, and ultimately take us off our journey of moving towards purpose and success. Being an entrepreneur is an uphill battle and an amazing, inspiring adventure all at the same time! As we take that journey, make sure you never listen to these nasty little voices that creep into your mind, life, business and heart.
Have you ever heard these?
You are going to fail! You are a failure! Quit now before you fail big time! You are not good enough! People are not going to buy what you are selling! Maybe you should go back to working for somebody! This thing is not making money, why do you keep doing it! This is not really your purpose! Quit while you are ahead! Look at your bank account, your net worth is your self worth! You are worth nothing! You don’t bring value!
I have heard these voices in my life and journey as a man, leader and entrepreneur. At times, they scream loudly, at times they are a faint whisper.
Do you listen to these voices? What happens when you do? How do you capture them and eliminate them form your life?
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 your business and life with excellence. Let’s do business and life on purpose and with purpose.
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.
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.
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.