Do you remember your parents and teachers telling you to mind your P’s and Q’s?
Basically mind your manners. There are a few other explanations as well – click on the link above to check it out.
But today I want to talk about P’s and Q’s as they relate to your success in your business and in life.
As I was preparing to write this post I was intrigued by the P’s and Q’s that represent so many things it is necessary to pay attention to when growing your business or achieving more in life.
So let’s jump in and explore some of the words that carry so much impact with them.
First the P’s…
1 – Purpose
Your purpose. This is your mission. Your passion. Your reason you do what you do. And where possible it needs to be tied to how your community of customers benefits in a way from your contribution that they wouldn’t even think of buying from someone else.
2 – People
People in your life can be the difference between abundance and minimal impact. You need prospects that you turn into customers that become repeat customers.
You need great vendors to support your vision by providing you with the raw material or services to achieve your objectives.
You need employees or independent contractors to handle all the administrative elements that would otherwise slow your progress.
You need mentors and peers to hold you accountable and help draw out your vision and help you see what you are blind to being inside your company.
3 – Presence
Presence is your brand, your marketing, what people know and think of you. Is it doing what you want? Does it represent you accurately? Is it compelling enough to make them want to buy from you?
You need to own your presence. Your marketing and advertising, joint ventures, and sales efforts all must continually and reliably keep your pipeline of business full.
Are you a proprietary brand? Are you a thought leader? A maven in your industry? How are you leveraging that?
4 – Potential
Potential is all those ideas, experiences, relationships, concepts, plans, etc. all ready to work for you. Have you identified those areas of you that are waiting to be released? Do you know how to harness that potential? Are you working with mentors or consultants or peers who can hold you accountable for tapping that potential? And making it translate into repeat, fully satisfied, raving fans?
5 – Persistence
Persistence is what translates ideas into results. It is keeping going when times get tough. When you struggle to make payroll. When you’re pounding the pavement trying to make that next sale. It is pursuing your vision even though your friends and family think you’re crazy and try to talk you out of it. It is having the inner fortitude and willingness to buck the trend, that keeps you going when things look bleak.
Nothing incredible was ever achieved without persistence. And with persistence, almost anything is possible.
6 – Priorities
What are your priorities? Is it work? Or family? Or pro football? Or “Survivor” on TV?
In your business are you working the priorities that will make the biggest difference on your company’s success? Are you measuring the results and actions to make sure they’re effective? Are you leveraging the most impactful and making those areas your priority from the time you wake up in the morning to when you go to bed at night?
Are you handling the most important items during your most productive hours? Proper prioritization can move mountains. Make sure you’re prioritizing appropriately for your goals.
7 – Perspective
Whether it is your perspective, your unique view of things that makes the difference in your success. Or whether it is “having perspective” – letting stuff go that really isn’t that important. It is what you bring to the table.
Your unique vision for your business is what sets you apart from everyone else. Your perspective is what keeps you from losing it when things go wrong or people don’t do what you expect.
Sometimes that takes decades to fully develop – getting in those pressure-cooked situations and clawing your way out.
By gaining perspective over time you’re training yourself for success in the higher stakes games that are played when there is more money at stake. Learn early and often.
8 – Power
Knowing who holds the power and gaining that power yourself at the right time is a skill that can pay dividends. Power can be granted by title (i.e. CEO has a certain built-in power generated by the title). But it can also be conveyed due to expertise. If you learn, work hard, and build up an area that you are insanely good at, you can be the power broker in a room of CEO’s.
It may come down to who has or controls the scarce but critical resource or skill set that everyone else desires and requires. In those cases the lowly receptionist or office manager can make top salesmen and CEO’s quiver at their feet. Why? Because they control entry to the top decision makers. They are the gate keepers. They may not be paid the most but at times they wield incredible power.
9 – Preference
What do you prefer? Sometimes there is not right or wrong answer. It is just preference. But just because it isn’t black or white, doesn’t mean your preference doesn’t matter.
If you are company CEO or leader, you often don’t realize how much your preferences play a part in how those team members around you react to what you do and say. So make sure you are aware that innocuous comments you make could be driving behavior around you.
10 – Pain
The strongest marketing offers make liberal use of pain. They uncover an existing wound, scratch it, irritate it, make you feel like jumping out of your skin. Then they point to their product or service as the way out. The magic pill to take you away from all this pain.
11 – Pleasure
The other side of the pain coin. Pleasure is the good side of motivation. It is the carrot that goes with pain’s stick. What is the incredible benefit your customer can expect by choosing to buy from you today? You need to be dimensionalize it for them. Make it real.
12 – Progress
Are you making it? Are you tracking it? Are you setting goals and reviewing them regularly (quarterly, annually)? No real progress is made without clarity as to where you’re headed and reviewing results along the way.
13 – Prevention
Whether it is compliance requirements, getting the appropriate business entity in place. Insurance. Addressing governmental regulations. Planning for the unthinkable so you’re not caught in a business killing situation.
As entrepreneurs we often are optimists – even the most pragmatic among us. How are you ensuring your optimism doesn’t send your business into the abyss? You need people, processes, and paperwork to handle those potential eventualities. And make sure you survive.
And now on to the Q’s…
1 – Quality
Being the best will take you far. But even if you can’t be the best at everything, find something you can be the best at. That can be tied to a personal or professional unique selling proposition or competitive advantage that sets you apart from your competitors.
2 – Quantity
You need volume. The more the merrier. Don’t rest on your laurels. You need to keep pushing ahead. #1 and #2 in a market often rule (think AT&T and Verizon, Coke and Pepsi, Bud and…). Everyone else is fighting for scraps. You don’t want to be below #2 in any competitive arena for very long.
3 – Quibble
Don’t. Just don’t. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff. If it isn’t material to your success, then just deal with it and move on.
4 – Quiet
Ahhh…the quiet time. As a leader this is often very underrated. This is your planning time. This is where your greatest ideas often come from. You need to step away from your business. Step out of the day to day. And work ON your business instead of IN it.
By doing that in the quiet recesses of your mind you’ll find the solutions to your most pressing problems.
5 – Quit
Never. No business ever reached success by giving up. No leader ever succeeded by quitting. Do you think Richard Branson would quit? Donal Trump? What if Thomas Edison had quit? What if Disney had given up on his dreams?
Whatever you do never quit. Now go take on the world and make your mark in it.
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