There are a lot of things that you can do to affect your life and business, and give you a better chance to succeed. You can practice DCP, hustle, work hard and smart, build great relationships, and even have the right mindset, but there is one thing that is not necessarily in your control that has an impact on your success as well...that is timing.
You can have all of the above, but still fail because of bad timing. Just ask MySpace (if you even remember or know what it is). MySpace was essentially Facebook before Facebook. It was the right idea, but at the wrong time. The market wasn't ready yet. The same thing happened with a lot of the initial "box subscription" companies. There were numerous "Blue Apron's" and Hello Fresh's" long before those came out that failed because it wasn't yet a normal part of life.
Timing doesn't just mean market timing for a product or service, it can be timing in your business for an initiative or in your life for a meaningful change, etc.
In fact, I once lost an A-Player from my team simply because of bad timing. This person was doing a great job in the role they were in, but they knew, and we knew, that they were capable of much more. We wanted them to do much more and move into a bigger role. We had even discussed it with them in the past.
As the business grew and got to a point where the role was finally needed and we could afford it, we (my business partner and I) started putting everything together for the role and making plans to do the promotion with a big celebration, etc. We started that process 2 months before we were going to announce it to the A-Player. We had planned to do it in December going into the New Year, but we knew everything in October.
In late November, the employee came to us with his notice that he was going to leave for an executive level opportunity. We were literally a week out from promoting them and they were leaving! We did everything we could to save them. We explained our plans, the role, and how much time we had put into crafting the perfect role for them - but they had already made the commitment and given their word to the new company. On top of that, we didn't look that great, because it was after they told us that we came to them with the new role, etc.
Needless to say, they moved on and we remain friends to this day, but our poor timing cost us a great asset to our company and a great team member. We could have easily told them what were planning in October when we had done it. We may not have had all the details, but it would have made a difference to them and probably would have kept them from even taking the interview in the first place.
And that is the lesson, in life and business, there are moments of opportunity when you know the timing is right and you need to seize them - don't hesitate. Act in spite of the doubt, fear, or even complacency. Equally as important is to know when the timing isn't right for something and to table it. That doesn't mean that there won't ever be a time for it, just not now. The hardest thing to do is to see reality when you have worked really hard on something, or someone, and are emotionally invested in it. But, it will make a huge difference in your life and business if you can muster the courage to do so.
Be conscious of your timing, especially on big initiatives, and make sure to always be ready to seize the moment when it arrives.
In celebrating 100 episodes at the Misfit Entrepreneur, we poured through all of the episodes to narrow down the Top 10 Lessons we have learned from our guests on how to succeed and thrive. In fact, we created a guidebook that highlights each less and gives you a Misfit 3 of action items, resources, and hacks that you can use to implement them.
We hope you enjoy the guidebook as much as we did creating it for you!
Just click the link below to download your copy...
The Misfit Entrepreneur 100th Episode Top 10 Lessons to Thrive and Succeed
Here's to you success!
Dave and the Misfit Entrepreneur Team
Are you at a point where you are frustrated? Are you fed up? Are you sick of not having what you want or reaching to levels you think you should be? Are you close to giving up? Or maybe you just did.
Everybody reaches points in their life where they hit a wall. And the emotion starts to take over and those thoughts begin to creep into your mind. "Maybe I am not good enough...Maybe I am just not destined to be where I thought I could be..." These self doubts creep into our heads and mess with us. They plague us and for many are the killers of dreams.
If you ever find yourself in this type of situation and your subconscious begins to sabotage you and those feelings of doubt, fear, and giving up fill your head, here is the question to ask yourself:
Am I willing to do it just one more day?
Chances are the answer will be "Yes." You can do it just one more day, right? Just one more day. But, here's the beauty of the question. Tomorrow, when you feel like giving up, ask it again. Just one more day. All it takes one more day. That one more day maybe tomorrow or 6 months or a year from now, but if you keep doing it "just one more day" you will break through and you will find that you are capable of reaching the levels you are worthy of.
It takes Discipline, Consistency, and Persistence and the One More Day philosophy delivers just that for you. Now go out and give it one more day!
"Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." -Andrew Carnegie
No matter where you are in business, you will only be as good as the team you surround yourself with. Even if you are a solopreneur, you have a team. It comes in the form of your vendors, partnerships, etc. And that means that whatever stage you are in your business or in building a team, you need to make sure first and foremost that you have the RIGHT people. This is most critical. It is not enough to have people on your team...To really make things go, you have to have the RIGHT people doing the Right things Right!
With that said, once you have your team in place, it is your job to inspire and motivate them to greatness.
First, you must be able to create a vivid picture and vision of where you are all going for everyone. Then, you must make sure that everyone sees it and understands it.
Next, you must believe in it with more conviction than anyone and show that to your team. You must show that by believing in them and helping them realize where they fit into making the vision a reality. Help them realize what you believe they are truly capable of and how it contributes in a large way to manifesting the vision.
Third, in order the belief in the vision and your belief in your team's ability to make it happen, you have to get in the trenches with them. You have to get down in the dirt and work with them and help them overcome challenges and obstacles - especially in the beginning. This does not mean that you do the work for them, but it does mean when they don't think something can done, you help show them the way, or work with them to help them figure it out. When they see you working with them side by side and see progress happening, it will ignite their passion even further and accelerate your pace toward your goal.
Fourth, listen to your team. They are the ones in the trenches all day. They are in the field and at ground zero with clients. Some of the best insight comes from their day to day interactions. Listen to what they have to say, analyze it's impact, and take action if appropriate. Your ability to listen and synthesize the acres of diamonds they unearth will help you even further in getting to your goal and reaching greatness as a team.
Lastly, ask for help and tell them to do the same of each other. People support what they help to create and you must foster an environment that collaborates and makes things happen. The only way you can do this well is by encouraging people to ask for help where they need it and help others when they need it. It should be a badge of honor to ask for you help because that means you are striving and getting closer to your goal.
If you take these principles and use the with your "teams," you will be amazed at what they (and you and your business) can accomplish. Here's to your success!
Last week, we had an amazing group of entrepreneurs at the Grow Thrive Revive event that Evan Money and I hosted. While, we did a lot of teaching, there was plenty to learn from the group as we all worked together to help each entrepreneur put a plan in place to double their business over the next year.
Here are some of the best takeaways that you can use in your life and business.
My first takeaway is how amazing it is to watch someone become aware to a concept and "get it." Their eyes light up. Their passion grows larger. And they have a new sense of empowerment. Knowledge is power and when you get a group of hungry entrepreneurs in a room and get them out of their day to day allowing them to thinking bigger, it is amazing what can happen. We had breakthroughs happening every hour. It was incredibly energizing. My advice to you is to find a group of entrepreneurs or other people in your field and meet with them regularly to discuss the bigger picture and the possibilities for your life.
Second, we had one of the original founders of Billabong-Hurley speak to the group. He gave some amazing wisdom, but one point really stood out to me. He said that when business owners are asked what the most important asset is in their business, they typical say "their people." He clarified and made an important distinction. He said "the most important asset is the RIGHT people." I could not agree more. Make sure that you are choosing the right people or partners for you business. Be picky and make sure they truly align. These decisions can be one of the biggest determinants of your success.
Third, Evan and I covered a number of topics that we have talked together about before, but it is amazing how I still learn things. Evan gave a talk about the power of real reciprocity and said something very important. He said that you should strive to "'do things for others that they couldn't or wouldn't do for themselves." And what he meant is that you have capabilities and connections that others don't have. Use them for good and help others - but don't expect anything in return. Just do what is right and helpful. To me, this is so important because most people want a quid pro quo for helping others, especially in business. You'll get much further along in life if you focus on others and help them reach their potential, than focusing on yourself.
Lastly, believe in yourself and give yourself permission to be great. A lot of people go through life seeking permission to be who they are from outside influences when they already know what they need to do or be. They just want confirmation that many times they never get. Just remember, it is not what you get that makes you valuable, it is what you become through finding and unleashing your best self that does. I think everyone who attended became a better version of themselves last week, including Evan and I. And that is all you can hope for.
"Dave, you coach individuals throughout the world and your own companies helping them with their biggest challenges, why do you need a coach?"
It was great question and one of the easiest I've ever answered. Below is a list of all the reasons I hire the top coaches and mentors I can find each and every year.
How about you? Do you have a coach? If not, why not? If it is because of cost and you don't think you can afford to spend the money, then you are damaging your potential. Besides, if you can't afford a coach, what is going to change to make you be able to afford one, without getting help to get you to a place where you can? If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got. Maybe it's worth the investment in yourself to carry a little credit card debt or borrow a few bucks for a short period while you learn what you don't know and then use that to take yourself to a whole new level in your life. I did for my first coach years ago and what I learned paid me back 500x over. Just remember that the most important thing with any coach or training is to put what you learn into action, otherwise you are wasting your time and your mine.
Recently, my family escaped the cold northern winter and jetted over to Aulani, Disney's Resort on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. It was what you would expect - A top notch resort with all of the Disney charm and magic in one of the most beautiful settings on earth.
We enjoyed all types of fun from scuba diving and cage diving with sharks, to traversing the island and seeing where Jurassic Park was made, and of course, spending lots of time chasing our 5 year-old, Hannah, chasing Disney characters all over the resort.
One evening, we discovered a nightly event the resort puts on where a Hawaiian "Uncle" tells stories by the large fire pit overlooking the ocean and the beach. I'll admit, the first time we attended, I thought it would take about 3 seconds for Hannah to get bored and run off to look for more characters. But I was pleasantly surprised by the "Uncle." He told one of the most engaging and captivating stories I've heard in years and kept the audience on the edge of their seats poised for more, including my 5 year-old. From that point, we made it part of our nightly ritual after dinner to go hear a story. And each time, it was the same result - mesmerizing and captivating.
Storytelling, or I should say good storytelling, it one of the best ways to connect with people. It is
hard-wired in our brains and for much of our evolution, things were passed down through story. So I started to take note of the way each "Uncle" told us their story every night and I noticed these 4 powerful elements that you can use to help engage, mesmerize, and captivate others when telling your story or the story of your business.
1.) Grab Attention Right Away with Something the Audience Does Not Expect
The "Uncle" typically did this by playing a song on a ukulele or by asking the audience if they knew what something was that related to the story they were about to tell. It might have been a Hawaiian term or tradition (which most or all did not know the answer to). This got attention and created curiosity which got people (and 5- year olds) listening. This can also be called a "hook." If you are going to tell a story, think of a way you can grab the audiences attention in a unique way quickly and keep them listening.
2.) Make the Audience Part of the Story
The other thing each "Uncle" did was to find creative ways to make the audiences part of their story. They would do this by either involving them in a song that was sung at opportune times during the story or asking them to point out certain Hawaiian words, or alert them to when they did something while telling the story. This kept the audience engaged and keeping up with the story. When you are telling a story, you should always strive to find ways to have your audience participate and be a part of the story. People support what they help to create and giving people a chance to be a part of that makes them that more excited to listen.
3.) Work the Crowd
This is probably obvious, but if you just stand in one spot and don't engage the crowd in memorable way, you will probably lose them. Each "Uncle" had their own way of working the crowd from going throughout the audience in different areas to jumping up on the lava rocks surrounding the story telling area to even playing the ukulele throughout while going to different areas of the crowd. The lesson here is to make sure you are watching your audience and meeting them where they are to bring them into your story. I would watch each "Uncle" pick out the area of the crowd that had kids that were losing interest and find unique ways to get the kids back into the story. You must do the same with your audience.
4.) Make it an Experience
This was a little easier with the backdrop of Aulani and giant lava rock fire pit, but nevertheless, each "Uncle" did a great job making it a unique experience to listen to them and their story. No two were the same. And no story was ever the same either. When you are telling your story, look at how you can make it a memorable experience. What is the one or two most important points that you want the audience to take and ask yourself how you can make those lasting memories for the audience to take with them.
Sometimes you just need a good message. Something to fire you up, motivate you, and give you perspective. Here are 10 of my favorite quotes to get you going and inspire you!
Without a good question, a good answer has no place to go...
Many sales that could happen, never do because the right questions aren't asked. Being a great salesperson takes a number of things. Focused, results driven activity, attention to detail, relationship building, the ability to read people and personalities, etc. One of the most important, or perhaps THE most important is the ability to ask the right questions.
But, what are the right questions? There are so many you can ask! Every prospect is different. Every industry is different. My products are unique. You get it.
After 20 years of leading sales organizations and growing companies, I have found there are 5 critical questions that should be used throughout the sales process. These questions will help you not only focus on the sales with the most potential, but help you to close more of these deals.
Question #1, The Qualifying Question
Nothing is more frustrating than putting in a bunch of time working with a client, running around fulfilling requests, putting together proposals, and everything else in-between, and then having the prospect not make a decision. Or worse yet, finding out they never had an intention of making a decision in the first place. They were just "gathering information."
But how do you know if a prospect is in serious buying mode or just wasting your time? Before you start running around doing what could be a bunch of unnecessary work and wasting your time, ask them this question, "What is your deadline for making a decision?" It is a simple, but powerful question. First, you are using the word deadline which is powerful in that by it's nature, it is a set date in time. Never use "time-frame," because time frames are expandable. But a deadline is not, it is locked in. Second, this question allows the prospect to reveal the nature of their request. If they don't have a deadline (ie "We want to make a decision in the next month, etc"), and say they don't know, you know that they are not buying. By all means, give them some info, find out when they might be looking to by, but don't spend a bunch of time outside of that. This question will save you countless hours and help you narrow down the prospects who are serious buyers in your pipeline.
Question #2, The Onion Question
We are not really talking about onions here, but we are peeling them back. Most sales people ask a question, get an answer and don't go any further. And they wonder why they don't get the sale. You have to peel back the onion and get to the root of the issues, needs, and wants of a prospect. That means asking 2nd, 3rd, 4th level questions and so on.
And the best way to do that is simple. Ask them, "What else?" Or "And what else?" You have to get where you understand THEIR ideas, because it is their ideas that sell the product or service - not yours. Understanding a deep level will give you this and you can simply discuss how what you are providing aligns with their ideas.
Question #3: The Problem Question
Once you have a done good job of getting all of a prospect's ideas and thoughts in a subject, wouldn't be nice to know which challenge you discussed is the most important - the real problem that needs solved?
You can get to it with this question, "Out of all the challenges mentioned, which one is the real challenge for you?" The key here is the "for you." You are smart enough to know you should be talking to the decision maker and if you are, you are bringing it home for them. Putting it right squarely on their sole reason for talking to you. It's time to find out what the most important thing is and asking the question in this way will give it to you.
Question #4: The Nirvana Question
Most salespeople focus on "what a prospect needs" instead of "what a prospect wants." Look, if your product can't satisfy what a prospect needs, you are in the wrong business. Solving needs should be looked at like the bare minimum. Finding out what a prospect truly wants, their grand vision - their "Nirvana," and then showing them how you can help them make it a reality, is where the magic happens and sales superstars are made.
You can do this by asking this question, "What do you truly want out of this solution? What does the perfect world look like for you?" You should quickly follow in saying, "I'm not sure if we can give it to you exactly as you describe it, but I'd sure love to hear what it is so we can try!" This does a few things. First, you get them thinking of something bigger, something that excites them, and second, you are not committing to it, but you are showing that you are willing to work with them toward it - to be a true partner. This shows them that you are more than just "trying to sell them something" and puts you into a different category vs. the competition.
Question #5: The Differentiator Question
So, let's say you go through the whole process and for whatever reason, the prospect decides not to buy. We all wish we could have a 100% close rate, don't we?? Two things to always remember, first "No, means not yet." and second, "the fortune is in the follow up." Most sales people, move on from a great prospect when they get a no. To them, that is the end, when in reality, it is not.
The prospect will continue buying products like yours, so it is your job to stay top of mind for when they are ready. Maybe the solution they bought instead of yours gives them issues 6 months down the road. Or, maybe, they find the service to be terrible. You never know, which is why you need to leave the door open and the way to do that is to ask them, "Can I follow up with you down the road? If so, when?" The last part is most important because this is how prove (if you are disciplined) that you should earn their business. If they tell you "Sure, call me in 6 months," make the note to the day and call them in 6 months. It is this discipline to follow up without fail that will be your big differentiator in the marketplace and win you even more sales over time. Always remember, the fortune is in the follow up!
These 5 questions obviously have their place in different areas of the sales cycle. Start figuring where you can work them into yours. Here's to higher close rates and bigger commission checks!
Throughout the year, I am always looking for standout videos and messages that really make a difference and make you think. I save them and use them at times where I need their message or a little inspiration.
Below are the Top 5 most impactful videos I found to inspire you, make you think, and spur you to action in 2018. I hope they help you as much as they have me throughout this past year. Here's to your success!
Top Video on Mindset and Mental Toughness