Tag: success

Simple vs. Complex Solutions

What will help take your business to the next level? Perhaps the next level isn’t even a goal.

Perhaps getting started with revenue is your goal. I see so many small business owners looking for “magic dust” to solve their revenue or business challenges in this economy.

This is, of course, fantasy land.

One school of thought focuses on the brutal harsh reality that being successful requires complex solutions.

You want to hold your own seminar because you were at one recently, and there were 150 people in the room. You saw all the sales in the back of the room, and you thought, “Wow, at least 50 people invested in programs to improve their business and the average price was $2K, which means that event generated over $100K in sales plus ticket sales! That was simple. I can do that.”

What no one tells you is that to get 150 people to show up at an event (especially in this economy), it can take a 75-150 step process, with everything from emails, to postcards, sales letters, marketing pieces, preview calls, training calls, affiliate efforts, etc.

It is a very complex process.

Unfortunately, most things work the same way; an effective website that drives traffic and converts leads to sales is a lot easier said than done.

In the search for solutions for your business challenges, first, realize that each step required to succeed may involve complex solutions.

Nothing wrong with that (other than the hard work and time involved), and when you realize that and become consistent and frequent in the steps you do to create more business, you will be a huge success.

As I’ve mentioned before, Dan Kennedy has said that 99% of the people are poor, and 1% are rich because the 99% who are poor want to buy simple solutions to complex problems. The 1% that are rich realize that complex problems require complex solutions, but when selling, you offer simple solutions to complex problems because that is what people want to buy!

They want simple.

Any tools you invest in to improve your business (some software programs are exceptions) will require a lot more work, time, and probably expenses involved than what you are told on the front end.

We prefer to work with those who realize that it really is complex solutions involved at one level or another.

On the other hand, simply does have a role in your business success. Some will say, “your information is too basic, too simple, I need the advanced stuff.” Yet, they are the same group who are not doing the fundamentals to be successful.

John Wooden, the UCLA basketball team’s great coach, won 8 NCAA championships in a row always preached: Do the fundamentals well!

He never spoke about winning, do the fundamentals well.

This may be viewed as keeping it simple, but really, for most, doing consistent fundamentals may be rather complex. And just because they are easy to do, they may also be easy not to do.

Here is a great list of business and personal fundamentals to help keep your life simple and moving towards success!

  • When leaving a phone message, repeat your phone number twice (anytime I have an ad for salespeople and leave their phone number only once, I delete their message).
  • Follow up when you say you will and do what you say. This may include scheduling an action on your calendar to follow up or send an email. It involves being organized before, during, and after a call!Most wing it and get on a call, then jump to the next one. These are the same people that jump in and start their day without any plan or focus and are reactive day long. This does not lead to financial success.
  • Make sure you and your staff are consistent with your vision, brand, and unique value proposition. If I call your staff, will I get 5 different answers as to what you do, or will it be the same,
    a consistent, powerful message?
  • Answer the phone positively and uplifting (same with your cell phone or voice mail message).
  • Take time to plan your day each day before you work on your plan!
  • Minimize interruptions, including Facebook, Twitter, email, staff, spouse…
  • Don’t overpromise. If you can’t do something by an expected timeframe, don’t say you can.
  •  To become more interesting you must become more interested in others!
  • Ask for referrals and value how you will take great care of their referrals.
  • Pay your referral fees on time.
  • Improve your website (one that NCP is doing soon), your marketing materials, tools for your clients, systems, and training…You must be improving (growing)… or sliding behind.
  • Be consistent with your blog posts, article submissions, video uploads, don’t do two or three articles, and then let 6 months go by without placing another.
  • Set up a marketing calendar and business calendar to track your time. Carve out time to work on or improve your business. That must be scheduled otherwise. It will not get done.
  • Meet with staff and follow up on projects weekly.
  • Train, train, and train your staff and yourself to be better.
  • Drink lots of water, get to bed early, eat well, and exercise!
  • Offer value first to others. Always come from a place of offering value.
  • Track your personal budget and business budget. Take time weekly to measure your ratios and results.
  • Take time to rest and recover.
  • Focus on your outcomes, what you want, not what you do not want.
  • Do something to have fun weekly, something you love to rejuvenate yourself!
  • Laugh more often.

This list looks simple (I am sure you have more to add). The key is to take an honest evaluation to determine if you are doing each of these consistently. If you are, congrats, you’re on your way to more success.

If you are missing any, create an outline to measure your current success in each category, then set a goal where you would like to be 90 days from now.

Then list a few tips on what has to happen to make the changes to make your life and business more successful.

The key to success is to take IMMEDIATE and MASSIVE ACTION NOW.

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Do you have a High Degree of Intellectual Curiosity?

Several patterns are common among entrepreneurs that are financially succeeding in this current environment.

Most people miss, the one that is not spoken about often, yet is the backbone of success, is a high degree of intellectual curiosity.

I would estimate that 85% of entrepreneurs or small business owners do not have it…a leading indicator of financial failure.

create discover

My definition of a high degree of intellectual curiosity: it is the enthusiasm to consistently ask intelligent questions, especially with those who are succeeding in this economy (no matter the niche) and calibrating to that distinction and regulating what impact would that make to your business and your bottom line.

This includes asking intelligent questions consistently to those who did not get the results they were expecting, especially those who had a high degree of success in the past and now have failed in this economy.

As a side note, for those who were never successful and continue not to succeed, those patterns are typically consistent. It is unnecessary to spend a lot of time there; yet, being curious and asking a few questions is always important.

That was a long definition.


“They never miss an opportunity. They take the time to meet up with a successful colleague in person or on the phone to ask a few intellectual curiosity questions, for example…”

  1. “Bob, I am curious, what 1 or 2 main things have you had to do differently in your business the last 24 months to continue with your success?” or
  2. “Bob, may I ask you a question? What is the one main distinction you have made in your ___________ (marketing, sales process, hiring process, online presence…) that has helped you succeed in this current economy?” or
  3. “Bob, what has changed the most in your business during the last 24 months?” or
  4. “Bob, what advice would you give to a struggling entrepreneur to use during the next 12 months to get on track to profitability in their business?” What about your own clients or prospects?
  5. “Bob, when you went to our website, what part of the site did you like the most, and what prompted you to call today? What part did you feel was missing that would have helped your online experience?” What do most people do…how did you hear about us, which search engine and keyword did you use. Hopefully, that is a minimum of an online lead called. Some don’t even do that…really mind-blowing.
  6. “Bob, since you have become a client, what part of our process would you improve? What part did you enjoy the best?” The language of “what part” is key because that will help the client or prospect focus on a part they liked or did not like, vs. a more generic question, Did you like our website? The prospect says, yes…how did that help you make any improvements or keep something that was working? What do most do that fail? The bottom line, they don’t ask many questions.They either stand in awe of the successful speaker, training, entrepreneurs or more likely, they assume…I hear you speak, read your book, attended your webinar, and I already know what you teach…so no questions in my mind. That is a great pattern for failure.

The best and most specific story I had heard of this a few years ago, that shows a great example of a high degree of intellectual curiosity with great focus on a sales process and looking for a way to model to their already multimillion-dollar business, is one that Dan Kennedy told at an event.

The learning opportunity is not the story setting but the example of a high degree of intellectual curiosity. Dan Kennedy (one of the top marketers) was hosting a small event with about 20 successful entrepreneurs (all men in this one group).

The event was across from a big strip club, and the men wanted to go. Dan and Pastor Rodney were leading the group, and they knew the men would go without them, so they wanted to supervise (tough job).

While in the strip club, one of Dan’s group members was missing…Dan went to find him (call him George), and Dan found him in the strippers’ dressing room, with a notepad, pen, and three topless strippers around him.

George was not paying any attention to the state of dress or undress. He was asking them math questions. “Tell me how the upsell process works here, what is the first step, second…how much money do you clear in a night, what is your split? What is the turnover…”

No wonder George ran a $30 million business.

He had a very high degree of intellectual curiosity about everything!

Even in this environment, he was focused on what strategies he could learn to apply to his business.

Disney does a great job of this. Part of the job requirement of the imaginers is to be a guest in their own park, ride the rides, ask questions to other guests (who do not know they work for Disney), and find out what is working and what is not working… one of many reasons Disney is a big success.

I remember asking Armand Morin, one of the top internet marketers in the world, about his belief system about watching TV…he does the opposite of what most people do. He fast-forwards through the TV program to watch the commercials! Why?

He wants to learn the latest strategies and marketing angles that influence people.

In fact, he studies infomercials and the process to find out what he can apply in his own sales process.

No wonder Armand’s business does close to $20 million per year, working from home with a team of only 7 people working remotely for him.

By the way, I have his entire business model on how he runs his week and business. How? By having a high degree of intellectual curiosity. Does every part work for me? No, but I would rather learn from success than reinventing the wheel. The latter is too expensive.

Do you want more profits? More choices? Better results?

Here is the solution: Your income long term will equal your ability to develop a high degree of intellectual curiosity and consistently ask better questions when you have the opportunity.

Calibrate to what is working and what is not working.

Incorporate the great ideas into your business daily, and success will be yours!

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