There seems to be more and more competition everyday facing business owners. You see it everywhere especially with restaurants. A new restaurant seems to open up just across the street from another seemingly every month.
What tends to happen? These businesses stop doing what got them to where they were in the first place. When hit with a slow spell, automatically blame the economy, and attempt to diversify rather than stay focused. Most businesses 'lower' their prices and then they begin the long process of keeping their head above water or 'keeping from losing'. With that attitude they are limiting their potential. I've met with individuals that have run their businesses for 10-15 years without making a profit. Most business owners are simply overwhelmed with the thought of continual growth.
Not making a profit?
It seems starting a business is easy. Shutting one down even when the business owner knows it is only costing money is tough. Each year roughly 220,000 small businesses declare bankruptcy across Canada. Letting go of a business is not easy to do especially when so much went into it. So why do we see businesses sold, bought, and made profitable by someone else?
As eluded to earlier, one of the problems facing many businesses is over-diversification. I've walked stores that seem to offer random things just for the sake of adding random things. It's not that the customer doesn't appreciate the added menu item but if you are in business you should direct the majority of your focus on improving the things that are making you the most money. Apply the Pareto Principle (roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes) to business and we can begin to maximize profit and growth. Poor people lower prices whereas smart people raise or maintain prices but add more value. How many of you would agree that you would rather do business with someone with integrity and ethics as opposed to someone who has a bad reputation and likes to take short-cuts?
The point of starting a business is to make money. Money won't come without success. Expecting money before success is like wanting heat from a fire without adding the wood. Success is the fuel whereas money and helping people are the results. One does not use their time and money to run a business (profit or not) to see zero growth. If you like helping people then provide as much value as you can. If you DON'T BELIEVE that what you offer will make a person better off than if you did not exist then maybe you do belong where you are. Screw people and the universe will screw you right back.
I was having lunch at a hole-in-the wall restaurant the other day and noticed it had constant traffic (mostly take-out). I could not find the restaurant online nor did I see any advertising. Most businesses DON'T focus enough on sales and marketing BUT what I came to realize is that sometimes it is about helping just a FEW people. What do I mean by this? Well, just as your business grows in network marketing by talking to a few, who talk to a few, who talk to a few, you can have your customers advertise FOR you. The business owner who also prepares the food was extremely genuine and kind. He has the ability to build rapport with his customers within 30 seconds and makes you feel good about yourself. The food wasn't the best thing about the place although it was good. What kept people coming back was the business owners positive attitude and relationships with his customers.
This is big. Think back to the last time you went to a restaurant where you had terrible service? If you did not receive an apology from the manager did you go back? Probably not. You probably told all your friends not to go there as well. Most people in today's society are trampled on. If you don't have money you are made to feel worthless. In today's economy many people have no money and the ones that look like they do may actually be deep in debt. Being homeless with no debt is probably better than looking rich and having a lot of debt. Just remember the golden rule to treat others as you would like to be treated and apply it to everyone. Never pre-judge a person because YOU DON'T know what they've been through. What a person has gone through in their life is not always outwardly reflected. The saying 'never judge a book by its cover' means what it means yet so few people really understand it. Nobody likes to be disrespected and not everyone means to be disrespectful. It is just the way people are used to going about their day which is being defensive and skeptical because of something they may have experienced in the past. It is time to open up, develop a positive mental attitude, and be vulnerable because that is how to welcome an abundance of (insert positive) into your life. Read books. If you don't change don't expect anything else to change.
"If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done." - Thomas Jefferson
Regarding businesses that diversify. Don't be the Baskin Robbins or chiropractor/dentist/landscaper/architect. Chances are high that 80% of what you make comes from 20% of what you do. I've been struggling myself with this issue. I enjoy starting things. I'm sure you've heard of the saying 'jack of all trades master of none.' If you do too many things and don't focus on one thing that you are best at you cannot achieve your true potential. I know business owners who diversify as a means of avoiding prospecting for new clients. One of the reasons they don't work on direct sales and marketing is because they view rejection as bad. If you struggle when dealing with rejection read 'Go For No' by Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz. That book will increase your prospecting results because it will enhance your attitude towards the approach.
I've made thousands of dollars selling electric fireplaces, several tens of thousands in the course of 1 month in landscape architecture, tens of thousands in jellyfish and recently got involved in network marketing. I read a book on focus and it hit me... I needed to give up something one way or another. If my goal was to make a 7-figure annual income my best bet would be to build the custom rock waterfall business into a franchise across North America. However, I don't like the idea of having to own a franchise.Furthermore, my WHY is so strong that money is not my main focus. What I've experienced personally is all tied to what I now focus on which is my network marketing business. Helping people achieve their dreams when they 'didn't otherwise have an opportunity to do so, reaching out to those struggling for help not only financially but mentally/emotionally/personally, and helping businesses stay in business and protect what they worked hard for.
Most people get started in business because they want more time and income but have you ever met a business owner who has lots of time? I don't want to be in a situation where I am too busy to do what is most important to me. This is why I decided I needed to do something to build a SOLID residual income that will continue to come in month after month and pay for my vacations while I'm on them because of the work I put in prior. I realize it may take a decade to achieve this but considering the alternatives I don't see why I shouldn't go for it. I know it works, believe in it 100% and am going to do it with or without the people who 'aren't interested.' I believe in extending my hand to those who can humble themselves and do my best to raise or lift them up. I believe in motivating and holding people accountable to their commitments because the only thing that can stop YOU from living an exciting life where you will have the resources to do good things for others is YOU (the common denominator just about every time).
If like many business owners I ever find myself 'keeping from losing' rather than being 'all-in' and playing to win, I will quit this business and work at a 9-5 desk job. It is not my intention to find a comfort zone and stay there. I'm not perfect and have many areas I need to work on. Anyone that says they are perfect and have no weaknesses is a liar. I used to deceive my own mind into thinking I already knew the best way. I am done with that. The more books I've read the more I've come to the realization of how little I truly know.
If you are like me you are excited about possibilities and opportunities. You no longer look at anything where you would be working under a thumb on elses clock as an ideal lifestyle. Wanna know what is really strange? I just realized this but every time someone tells me about their new job I naturally say 'well that sounds exciting' and 90% of the time their response is 'not really, but it pays well.' Less than a month later they tell me how much they hate their job and their boss. HMMMM I wonder if there is any way to show that person there is a better way... Obviously I wouldn't want them spreading their negativity to my team but just as I have changed I believe others can as well.
Most people simply don't see a better way or even understand there are other ways of doing things. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got from a successful entrepreneur was not to get consultation from people who are negative, liars, or broke. By consultation he really meant advice. Follow a virtuous leader who is successful. If you don't know anyone start networking. All it takes is finding a few of the right people at a time, at THE right time. The law of association states that you will be the sum average of the people you spend the most time with. You will have the average waistline, average IQ, have the average income, average beliefs and so forth. While I knew this for a very long time it didn't occur to me more recently that I wasn't applying this to my life. If you don't want to leave your friends just find MORE people that are successful and associate with them MORE. I recommend reading John Maxwell's '21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership' or any of his other books. His teaching on the law of the lid though simple is so powerful and could be a TED talk in itself.
I once convinced a friend not to get involved in network marketing (this was back when certain MLM companies were accused of being pyramid schemes). This crosses my mind everyday and I hope others don't make the same mistakes. I know better now and see network marketing as a better alternative to working at a job anyday.There is no way in hell someone can say my time is worth only $20 an hour. With those kinds of limiting beliefs I would have gotten nowhere in life really fast.
I was employed at dozens of wage-based jobs while attending university where people who didn't work as hard as me got paid the same. I was O.K. with that but at the same time I wasn't dreaming big enough or at all. For me, being an employee meant I was no longer entitled to having big dreams, goals, or aspirations. I always felt like whatever I should aspire to next was the next raise on my already crappy wages or hoping I would get my paycheck on time to keep me from being homeless. I detest income ceilings and don't believe people should be limited in terms of how much money they can make. This is not only bad for your wallet but for your mind as well.
Now that I have the ability to live life on my own terms I feel like I can do anything. MLM isn't for people who enjoy being underpaid and overworked or who are too AFRAID to do something about their situation. It is however for people who want to make a difference while making a living. Furthermore, it is for those who look forward to the big breakthroughs after going through many break-downs. Deciding to take back some control of the way you want to live, dictating how much money YOU want to make, being able to work from home and spend time with family, friends, kids, and having the ability to take time off without requiring permission from a boss are just SOME of the benefits. Being able to do this part-time, full-time, anywhere you have a phone or computer with access to the internet is amazing. This truly is a dream job for anyone that likes meeting new people. For those who aren't yet comfortable it is a great learning experience and a way to expand your comfort zone to a point where they can begin including more people into their lives.
In closing, I used to be very introverted. I came to realize in more recent years that not being able to express my thoughts and communicate clearly was actually harming those around me. Harming in the sense that I was unable to speak what was on my mind when I knew it was what the person needed to hear. We all go through this especially in our relationships. I decided not to ignore the negative self-talk but to reprogram my mind completely to a new way of thinking. If I can change anyone can change. You just need to find yourself in the right environment and find people who love you enough to say what's REALLY on their mind even if it hurts.
If you found this article helpful please share it with those you love and who you want to be successful. If you would like to know a simple formula for making network marketing work for you not against you get in touch. We have personal coaching & mentorship available for the right candidates. Visit my profile for details. This could be the best decision you ever make.
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