This week marks the 300th episode of the Misfit Entrepreneur! When I started the podcast, I was excited just to do it for my daughter as a passion project. I never expected that I'd be sitting here at 300 episodes writing to all of you who support the show in over 150 countries. I am so grateful for you and want to thank you for all of your support and feedback over the years. 300 episodes is big milestone and it would not be possible without you.
I am also excited because the 300th episode is a Lesson for Hannah episode where I speak directly to my daughter giving her lessons to help her in life. I hope you have been able to take a lot from these episodes as well.
As move on to the next 300 episodes, we will continue to find the best entrepreneurs in their fields and share their best wisdom and success habits with you, but we will also be looking at expanding the impact of the show and doing more with you. So, stay tuned and again, thank you for all of your support!
Having interviewed hundreds of the most succesful entrepreneurs in the world, you start to notice patterns over time - consistencies across these highly successful people. There are more than you think. Things like be highly organized and structured, taking care of their health, focusing on the most important things that they are best at, committing to continued personal growth, etc. are just a few of these consistencies.
But, there is one thing the highly successful do that is often overlooked. They schedule time to "think" each week.
That's right, they make sure to set time aside to "exercise" their mind outside of the day to day where they think and let that thinking show them opportunities and answers in their lives and businesses. There are a lot of different processes that these people use and in many ways, it is personal to them, and should be personal to you, but at the very least, you should set aside 30-45 minutes once per week to think.
You should find a comfortable place, outside of your normal work environment. During these times, you should let your mind wander and use a journal to take down unique insights or thoughts that come through. You should ask yourself key questions and think through current challenges and write down potential answers to them. You should also create some action items from each session.
As stated earlier, the process for each person is different, but if you can get into the habit of thinking at least once per week and design a structure that works for you - it will go a long way in helping your success. Make time to think!
No matter what you do in life and business, you will not succeed without the help of great mentors along the way. Many times we have mentors in our lives without even realizing it. They can come in the form of a teacher who spends extra time making sure you understand the material so you can get a better grade, or maybe in the form of a great coach in sports. Mentors come in all different ways.
And at times during our lives, we must seek out mentors to guide us and help us to level up.
But, what makes a great mentor? I have been blessed with many great mentors over the years and as I have looked back on them, I have noticed 5 traits consistent across all of them.
They are Wise
Good mentors are wise. Now, this may seem like a given as you seek out a mentor for guidance. But, what is wisdom? Wisdom is not just being smart. Wisdom is true experience. It can only be found by being in the trenches and having gone through the ups and downs and everything in-between in the area of life you are looking for their help. Great mentors are not just smart, but experienced and wise in practical ways because they have been there and been through it. When looking for a mentor in an area of your life, make sure to look for someone who has "been there and done that" and gained true wisdom in doing so.
They Hold You Accountable
Mentors hold you accountable and discipline you when needed. They are not afraid call you out or disagree with you. They keep you disciplined and focused when needed. In fact, you will know that you have a mentor that truly cares if they are willing to hold you accountable and impart discipline into your life. In this area, in some ways, they are like a parent who is raising a child. A parent who cares will hold their child accountable and discipline them as needed to help them learn and grow in the right way. I've often told those that I coach, it is when I stop challenging you or holding you accountable is when you need to worry, because that means I don't care anymore. Find a mentor that cares and embrace them holding you accountable.
They Challenge You In Ways You Don't Expect
Another thing that good mentors do is challenge you in different ways - unexpected ones. They do this because they see the things you don't see, blind spots, and they help bring them to light. A good mentor will help you work on the areas that you are not good at as well as fostering the ones you have talent. They have an ability to see the whole picture and help put it together in the best way. They are not afraid to tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear, and then help you in your development.
They Help You Live Into Your Potential
As discussed above. good mentors can see the bigger picture and potential blind spots. In doing this, they can help you live into your potential. In fact, they can help you realize your true potential and that you are capable of much more than you realize. They not only help you understand this, but more importantly, they help you to take the actions to make it a reality. This is one of the most exciting parts of working with a great mentor, finding out what you are truly capable of.
They Make Time For You
Mentors are usually successful people in demand or have pursuits that keep them pretty busy. Another sign of a great mentor is that no matter how busy they are, they seem to find time for you, especially when you need them most. This trait is rare in today's world. To find someone that will set aside everything they have in their life and on their plate to help another person is a blessing. And great mentors do this consistently. When you find a great mentor, you will see this from them and be truly grateful for it.
One last note is that some mentors will ask to be compensated for their time. There is NO problem with this. Their time is precious and comes at an opportunity cost to other things in their life. And they do have to pay their bills as well. If you have a found mentor that checks all the boxes above and wants compensated, don't rule them out. Work out a plan where they get compensated and as you find more success, they can share in that success by higher compensation. This may come in the form of sharing in the future success of your business in some way or a graduated system of compensation. You'll have to figure it out, but just know that it is worth it and will pay off multiple times over for you.
One of the most important, if not most important things you can do for your success in all areas of life is to master your "inner game." Your inner game directly controls your outer game.
But, what is the inner game? Your inner game is simply is the way you think. The way you think about yourself, life, success, business, relationships - everything.
And everything begins with what you believe. I have developed an acronym for how the process of the inner game works in our lives. It is as follows:
Your Beliefs lead to your Emotions, you Emotions lead to your Thoughts, your Thoughts lead to your Actions, and your Actions lead to your Results. If you take out everything in the middle and look at the first and last work, you get Beliefs = Results.
Most people don't know that much of what we believe was not chosen by us. It was put there through many years of conditioning. Think about it. You come out of the womb with a clean slate. It is the influences and experiences of your life that help to shape what you believe and ultimately how you think. These influences are things like parents, school, friends, media, culture, religion, etc.
And much of what we pick up is good and helpful for our lives, but many of us pick up some adverse beliefs and thought patterns along the way as well. And these can hold us back from reaching out true potential - many times without us evening knowing it!
Why? Because of the subconscious mind. It is the part of brain that operates without us even having to think about it. It is the most powerful part of our brain and runs us almost on autopilot. It has created responses, thought patterns, and reactions to just about every situation we encounter in life and every time one of these situations presents itself, it reacts - we react without even thinking consciously. This happens over and over again throughout each day. How much do you actually "think" to drive a car or answer a question? You don't, you just do it. This is the subconscious conditioning, your inner game at work.
Once you realize this, your next question is probably, "What can I do to create the automatic responses I want to have? "
That is THE question. And the answer is simpler than you would think. You can change your conditioning by changing your thoughts - your beliefs. Now, I did not say it was easy and did not involve a lot or work - in reality it is work you will do the rest of the your life.
But, the secret is to start recognizing your automatic reactions and start choosing if you want to keep them or change them. For example, if you are someone who has a short temper, you can recognize when your emotions are welling up. You know when that feeling of anger or frustration is bubbling up inside you. The next time it happens, just stop, ask, and choose. Stop before you react. Ask yourself if the reaction you are having is the one you want to have. Then choose how you will move forward and change the internal belief you have about being angry in that situation. Admittedly, this is very awkward at first, but once you've done it a number of times, it get easier and more automatic. Learning to live from true choice of the beliefs that you want to have will free you and give you better control over you emotions ultimately leading to better results in your life - the results you choose to have.
There a couple more important things to understand about this process. The first is that it doesn't work if you see yourself as perpetual victim. You must be willing to take responsibility for your life and choices. Doing this also gives you control over your life.
Second, and this wisdom has been passed down through generations, it's even in the Bible. What your believe becomes your reality. In the Bible, it is stated, "That which you gaze upon, you become." You can understand this. What you focus on, expands in your life and in your subconscious automatic responses. If you are are always focused on the negative, guess what, you will attract and subconsciously bring more negativity into your life and train your subconscious to look for it. Conversely, if you are focused on growing yourself and working toward your goals, your subconscious will drive you there.
Lastly, back to choice and choosing things. You get to choose your attitude every day. Your attitude is how you approach the world. If you don't choose it, your subconscious will revert to whatever default programming it has created your entire life. Each day, wake up and spend 2 minutes deciding your attitude and who you will be in the world that day. Set your intentions. Train your subconscious that you are in control and set the tone of your inner game.
If you can learn to change your beliefs, focus on the right things in your life and choose your attitude and how you react to the situations of life, you will find that you can change your whole world and maybe THE world. So, get going and choose your way forward!
Good things come to those who wait. But, who has time to wait anymore? I say that as a joke, but it's true right? More and more, it seems that we have very little to no patience. We have been conditioned to expect instant results and most of the time we get them. So, I can't blame people for having little patience these days.
With that said, patience is a lost art in today's world - but those that come back to it an practice it reap great benefits. For example, I recently wrote an article about questioning a business growth strategy that had worked for a long time, but had recently faltered. The article was about how the strategy had worked for years and had issues over the course of about 6 weeks or so and I found myself wondering if I should abandon it. After some diligence and stepping back, I realized that the market for the strategy had acted out of character and now it has come back in line. I had the patience to stay with the strategy and now it is beginning to pay off again.
I literally was worried about a 6-week blip out of many years of success! But that is what we have been conditioned to do. If something doesn't work, many times right away, we abandon it. We can't wait for a browser to load slowly for the for the microwave to finish. But, if we can have patience and perspective and are willing to play the long game, we will be much more successful. I've seen this time and time again with guests on the Misfit Entrepreneur - those that play the long game win. In fact, many times they didn't have the best business or solution, they just outlasted everyone else to become the one on top.
Keep this lesson in mind next time you find yourself losing patience - especially with something proven to be successful. Give it the patience and time it's due and commit to playing the long game and it will pay off for you!
As we go through life, we will have a lot of conversations. Many of them meaningful and many of them meaningless in the grand scheme of things. And there will be times we must have hard conversations whether in business or our personal lives. A hard conversation is the one you don't want to have because you know it may challenge you or the other person(s). It may also be unpleasant or in some ways confrontational. No matter what, these conversations will happen one way or another and it is best to be ready for them. Here are 3 pieces of advice for when you must have a hard conversation.
1.) Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Do not have a hard conversation on a whim. Take the time to prepare and make sure you understand both yours and the other person's point of view. Make sure to understand that emotions drive people and you must understand the potential emotional toll on both you and the other person the conversation can have. You must come from a place of solid ground and truth/fact and build from there. The only way to do this is to prepare.
2.) Check Your Emotions
Even with preparation, a hard conversation can give way to emotional responses, opinions, and perceptions that are not rooted in truth or fact. Feelings are not facts or truth, but they do matter and drive people's responses. You must make sure to control your emotions and stay grounded in the truth and fact, not getting into a battle over opinions or emotions because this leads to poor outcomes for both parties.
3.) Give a Little
No one is ever 100% right or wrong and no one is perfect. Resist the urge to have to win absolutely on your side and be mature enough cede own up to things you are responsible for in the relationship that you can do or be better at. Be willing to give a little to the other person as neither of you are 100% perfect. Admit it and own your side and ask them to own theirs. Then go to work together to make things better.
Hard conversations are am opportunity to learn and get better in the end - as long as you are willing to do so. And you should be willing to do so. Use them as such and don't be afraid of them, but don't take them lightly. Prepare, check your emotions, and be willing to give in and admit where you fall short. Then get better.
Entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to do more with less. Whether you are a seasoned veteran with a successful business or a new startup, you are always going to be looking for ways to grow. Some ways of growing are worth the expense. For example, hiring a great sales person. But, there are other ways to grow that can help you succeed in big ways that don't cost anything. Here are 3 of them.
1.) Partnerships/Joint Ventures
One of the easiest ways to grow is to create a partnership or joint venture with another company or entity that has complimentary products or services. You can then bundle your services with theirs an they with yours to create an even more compelling offer. Additionally, you can do a revenue share together when you bring them opportunities and they can do the same with you. You also get access to now sell to their customers and they get access to yours. It costs nothing to do this other than a little time and ingenuity.
If you have a product that people people can buy online or without interacting with a sales team on your side, an affiliate program may be a good way to go. You can pay commission to those that bring sales to your door. This works great with influencers, brand ambassadors, and those with big networks looking to monetize them. All this takes is creating an affiliate page for people to sign up and coming up with a commission structure. You can use Paypal to start as a way to pay commissions and then go seek out influencers and those that would be a good fit with a good audience for your product or service and invite them to be an affiliate.
3.) Current Customers
This last should come as no surprise. One of the best places to get new business and grow is by getting referrals from your current clients. If you take good care of your clients, all you really have to do is ask them. But, you may consider putting in place referral program where they receive an incentive of some kind for referring you if it makes sense for your business. Again, this costs nothing except taking good care of your clients and some sweat equity.
So, there you go. 3 ways to grow your business whether you are seasoned or start up that cost nothing other than time, a little work, and ingenuity.
Read the above stats very carefully. Maybe read it a couple of times to let it sink in.
80% of the sales are made on the 5TH TO 12TH CONTACT.
How many times do you or your sales people follow up with prospects to close business? It if is not at least 5 times, then you are missing out on sales.
Why do l2% of salespeople follow up 3 times or less? I think it is because most salespeople don't want to be seen as "bugging" anyone or being "pushy." We can all understand this and don't like it when salespeople are over-aggressive with us.
The key to managing this is to find a balance between what I call being Professionally Persistent and over-aggressive. Usually, the reason salespeople become over-aggressive is because they become desperate to make a sale or hit their numbers and go after what they think is the most likely sale. This desperation shows and as such, they are not professional and come off as abrasive, annoying, and in some instances mean to the client. Conversely, being Professionally Persistent is the opposite. It comes from confidence, patience, and an understanding that the process has to play out. It is being consistent, courteously following up, and maintaining visibility with the prospect until they are ready to make a decision.
Being Professionally Persistent requires maturity and the ability to manage emotional responses. It also takes the ability to remain calm and professional under pressure and the fortitude to stick with things over time. It also requires and attention to detail.
Developing the habit of becoming Professionally Persistent takes work and time, but it literally pays to do so. Make it a priority today!
Les Brown is one of my favorite speakers. He delivery of great wisdom is un-matched. I urge you to listen to this message from Les on success and why you've "gotta be hungry" in your life and how you can truly level up. Enjoy!
There is a lot that comes at us in life and business. We seem to have problems and things impacting us from all angles. Many times, we ALLOW these things to affect us and we waste a lot of time and energy on them without getting a resolution. We spend our precious thoughts and time worrying about these things.
There is a principle from a wise Stoic that gave a great approach to living a good life. His name was Epictetus. Born a slave in 55 AD, he was granted freedom due to his superior intellect and became a mentor to noblemen and emperors. His most important work was in The Discourses which influenced many leaders to come, including Marcus Aurelius. He boiled things down to a fundamental rule and truth which says, "There are certain things you can control and certain things you can’t control, and you must know the difference."
A lot of people have written about this over the years and expanded greatly on it and Epictetus' writings. Years ago, I was introduce to his principles and the 3 C's. I cannot take credit for the 3C's although I did adapt them and change them a little over the years. Here are my 3C's to handling the problems of life and living better.
Think about those for a second and how true they are. I love the simplicity of them.
There are things we can control in our lives and things we cannot. Why waste time on things you have no control over? Focus on what you can control and do it well.
For those things we cannot control, we can recognize them and their impact or potential impact on us, and cope with them. Not dwell on them. Simply cope with the fact they exist and there is nothing we can do about them and move on to the things we can control and impact.
Lastly, concentrate on what counts and matters. We cannot be distracted or derailed by the things we cannot control or have no sway over. Instead, we must ask ourselves what really matters and what makes the most difference that is in our control and concentrate out efforts there.
If you follow the 3C's, you will find that you will have less stress, be more productive, and ultimately live a better life. Start putting them into action today!
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