Here’s a cool infographic for you to check out from Villanova University about how to use Twitter (and other social media tools) better to improve your social media results.
Check it out…
Untangling Complexity in Your Career, Business, Life - so you can move forward with confidence
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.
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.
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.
Learn something? Please share/like/comment.
Is it the end of the world?
Or just a cool looking moon?
Heavenly occurrences often are used to explain dire consequences. Whether it is an eclipse or a blood moon or flood, famine, or earthquake. You name it, people impart meaning to it.
So how can this tie to marketing?
Well look a a couple key elements here.
Check out the news, dates in history, pop culture. The unexpected, rare or unusual catch people’s attention. And catching attention is a critical element of marketing. Until you get someone’s attention, you can’t get them to listen to what you have to offer. And you definitely can’t sell them your product or service.
Talking about something when it is trending on Twitter or showing up on TMZ or Breitbart or the Huffington Post catches people where they are. Talking about old news doesn’t move the needle with people. But tie it to the current buzz in the media, and you have the start of something good.
Getting attention is a great start. But if you can translate that into how it matters relative to your offering, it is just amateurish bait and switch tactics that your prospects will see through.
But if it is something that you can tie in with a beautiful transition. And even better reference the item in your offer (like a “Blood Moon Eclipse Halloween Sale”) then you’re moving in the right direction.
The Blood Moon Prophecy promoting the end of times could be just enough supporting information to guide an “End-of-Times Clearance” promotion. Your opportunities are only limited by your imagination.
Anyway, celebrate the Blood Moon in all its glory. And enjoy your last days. And if the prophecy doesn’t happen…well there’s always the next end of times marketing message to promote.
Starting a new business.
It is exciting. Scary. Fun. Hard Work. You name it. All wrapped into one bundle of joy/pain.
So as a newbie entrepreneur, what pitfalls do I need to avoid?
Here are 10 gotchas you need to watch out for…
You have a great idea for a new product or service. You work on it night and day. Craft it carefully. Making sure it is just right. A little tweak here, a touch-up there. Almost ready to go to market. But not quite. Is the pricing right? The color. The texture. Placement on the shelf.
You could go on for days, weeks, months…even years before you’re satisfied with it.
You will never make any money doing this. You need to launch. Things will never be perfect. You need to get your product or service in front of prospects. You can adjust and improve your offering based on the results you get from TESTING in front of live customers. Don’t try to make it perfect.
Cash, cash, cash. The lifeblood of your business. Without cash you’ll be back looking through the help wanted adds and tossing your business into the scrap-heap of other failed business ventures.
Sales is not cash.
Credit is not cash.
Growth sucks cash.
Overhead eats cash.
Everywhere you turn your business is temped with the siren song of offers to take your hard-earned cash.
So what do you do? Carefully monitor your cash needs. Make sure you know where your money is going. Sometimes the old fashioned budget is just what you need.
Also look at your conversion of sales to cash. Good old accounts receivable. Do your customers pay cash at point of sale? Or do they pay at 30 days, 60 days, or whenever they get around to it.
Also look at your margins. When you make a sale, what percentage of it is profit after you back out the cost of the product or service delivered to your customer. This doesn’t include overhead costs of your office or staff not contributing to the direct delivery of your offering. The bigger the margin, the less impact sales on credit has on your cash needs. The tighter the margins or the faster your growth, the more you need to keep tight tabs on things.
Oh, overhead. The shiny, cushy, so-called necessities, that make your work easier. But do they actually contribute to increased sales and profits? And do those increases more than justify your overhead costs? If you’re not getting at least 2 or 3 times the profits on your increased overhead costs, then suffer and put it off til you’re able to make it work for you.
Too many people think they need an office (and a nice one) to show clients through. But I can’t count the number of times a client actually comes to most service business offices. If they don’t visit, why not have a minimal office that does the job rather than have something that costs twice as much and doesn’t add anything to the bottom line of your company?
Now that doesn’t mean you can’t outsource certain things like accounting to keep you focused on your highest value tasks. It also doesn’t mean you couldn’t look at an office sharing arrangement (I can’t count the number of businesses who are only using a fraction of their office space and would love to sublease a portion to someone with a similar business profile). So think outside the box a little and don’t just spend on overhead unless it really does justify the expense.
I’m a real estate agent. Or a marketing company. Or a clothing store. If you are referred to that way then you are likely a commodity in your customer’s and prospect’s eyes.
Being a commodity means all the prospect hears is price. They don’t see you as distinctive, proprietary, unique, different from all your competitors.
You can’t remain in that role or you’ll soon find yourself scraping by on the scraps left over by your competitors.
You need to look hard at where you are and what the possibilities are. Look at each of your key competitors. What are they best at? What are they promoting as their competitive advantage on their website? To their clients? Where are the holes in their offerings? Where are the opportunities you can capitalizing by promoting yourself as the best in the world in that micro-niche? Dig deep. By doing so you have the potential to drag yourself out of that hole and move to the top of the pile. Become the top dog among your competitors.
The greatest ideas of all time. The greatest products and services. All will be worthless if their originators never take them to market. And think of what a shame that would be. Your greatest ideas sitting on the cutting room floor because you lacked the courage or money or initiative to proceed.
Don’t let that happen to you and your ideas. Action is critical. And no one but you, the one who cares most to make your ideas a reality, can push them across the finish line.
So get started and make a difference in the world. You do matter. So make it happen.
As in the perfection trap, not testing will eat up your money and your potential success. The market will tell you if something works. It will define success. It will point out to you what is effective and what is not.
Whether it is a headline (testing different headlines can increase results 2, 3, 100, 1000 times) or a product color or placement or advertising source. You name it, test it.
We all make mistakes. But the biggest mistake is not learning from them. Entrepreneurialism is often about making thousands of mistakes and adjusting based on the results you get. As you must test, you must constantly learn from those tests.
You need to take notes. Write down your assumptions and expectations, note your approach and implementation details, and then review and assess the results. Keeping a journal or notebook will help you leapfrog the competition who just coasts along.
When you’re starting out it is often necessary to do most everything yourself. However I’d caution you that that can be the biggest trap of them all. None of us are experts at everything. We don’t have all the answers. We don’t have endless amounts of time or money to hope we get things right.
There are reasons successful people don’t mow their own lawns, clean their houses, or wash their cars themselves. For these people time is money. They recognize that freeing up their time for what they see as the most impactful use of their time helps them achieve their goals.
Now that’s not to say you go out and outsource everything if your time is not generating more than the outsourcing cost. But if it is then jealously guard your time and go outsource crazy. For salespeople this means hiring someone to handle the paperwork so you can spend time in front of customers selling.
Starting and running businesses suck your time. That is why relationships often take a back seat when running a small business. That doesn’t have to be the case if you prioritize appropriately. But it does mean you must protect your time. You’ won’t likely be watching much TV. You won’t be going out with friends all the time (unless you can convert that to marketing time and sales results).
Don’t underestimate the time required. But if you prepare and understand that, then you can take on the world.
Problems are life. You make great plans and goals. And as soon as you start they’re now obsolete. You need to plan for the problems, have backup plans to backup plans. You can’t dwell on that and let them drag you down. But you can’t have a Pollyanna attitude about it either. Problems will come. And over time you will get better and better at dealing with those problems. And the problems you though we’re like climbing Mt. Everest in a few years start to look like speedbumps you laugh at as you hardly slow down for them.
So take charge. And avoid these 10 blunders. And you’ll see success come faster than you ever thought possible.
I’ve spent a good part of my life buried in books of all kinds. But none more than business and self improvement books. Taking notes and getting the best gems of information out of them.
Books I’ve read decades ago still provide ideas that are just as effective today as when I first read them. And re-reading these books (particularly if you’ve read them a while ago) can provide you new insights that you might not have noticed originally.
And so here are over 50 business and personal growth books for you to dive into. They’ll be like rocket fuel for you and your business.
I’ve read nearly all of the books on this list and highly recommend them. A few others are on my upcoming reading list but have good reviews from others who are in the know.
So jump in and enjoy.
These books cover everything from high level strategy to in-the-trenches tactics to grow your business. These ideas work for everyone from small business entrepreneur to medium and large business leaders.
Sales is one of those topics that have hundreds of books written on them. These are some great classic sales books. You’ll likely find at least one that fits your selling style. And regardless you’ll learn a lot about what it takes to be successful in the selling profession.
Many of these authors have quite a few other books on related topics that are worth checking out as well.
Particularly Zig Ziglar (I saw him several times in person and he was a wonderful person, speaker, and salesman), Brian Tracy (all his books are easy reads and covers a variety of business topics but mostly in the sales category), and Jeffrey Gitomer (a leader in the field today).
This section covers everything from how the brain works to small business marketing tactics to how to differentiate yourself and classic advertising tomes. A ton of great reads in this group.
Starting with the persuasion classic by Cialdini and moving into some newer persuasion experts like Kevin Hogan, you’ll learn a ton about how to influence and ultimately prepare better offers for your prospects that are more likely to convert to a sale.
The management/leadership section covers everything from general management topics (One Minute Manager) and leadership (Five Dysfunctions) to technical situations (Fierce Conversations). If you have a management problem, here’s where you need to head next to solve it.
You can’t lead unless you’ve developed your own personal power and understand how to get the most out of yourself. These are books from each of major change leaders in the personal growth industry both past and present. All are good reads (although the 7 Habits takes a bit to get into – once you’re past the first few chapters it picks up and is definitely worth the investment of time).
If you can’t handle the money on a personal level and don’t understand how to make the most of your working life, then the rest probably won’t matter. There are some great ideas here as to what it means to be financially successful, how to get there, and how not to let debt take over your life. These are focused as much on overcoming human nature (that causes your financial life to come apart) as it is the mechanics of handling money and investing.
Hope you enjoyed this journey from some of the most read and most influential business related books of all time. If you have others you like and would recommend, please add them in the comments.
P. S. After this first posted, Jay Abraham posted his Jay Abraham’s Readers Choice “Book List” (Shade # 19 of Jay’s “50 Shades of Jay” series) for which I provided five book suggestions and reasons why they were my favorites.
Below is a listing of those books (from the full list at the link above) and how they impacted me.