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Is it time to have a real conversation?

How often do you listen to your gut instinct (also known as your ‘Inner Voice’) when you need to make an important decision, only to have someone else say “I told you so!” when you realise you made the wrong decision?

How many times have you paid a professional for their advice, but gone on to ignore what they suggest and taken your own path?

Sometimes we don’t like to hear the advice that other people can give us. We tend to think we know best (well, we’ve been running our businesses for some time now, so we must be doing something right, mustn’t we?!). It’s natural to do this, humans are ‘wired’ with a cognitive bias that leads us to tend to put more weight on our own ideas than we put on the ideas of others.  Having said that just because we know that we can be biased, doesn’t mean that your choice in an individual situation is biased.

Sometimes it hurts to hear what we don’t want to hear (often known as to us as the ‘truth’.) But can we really grow our businesses and move them forward, without having those ‘real’ conversations from time to time?

What is a ‘Real’ Conversation?

Having a ‘real’ conversation with someone else requires a certain level of bravery and vulnerability on your part. This is because a real conversation is when you’re likely to be asked questions you don’t really want to think about – the ones that might leave you feeling a bit uncomfortable.

“Why do you do that the way you do it?”

“Do you know what you really want from your business?”

“What is your business actually about?”

“Why haven’t you done all the things you said you were going to do?”

These are just some of the probing questions that you’ll be asked during a ‘real’ conversation. They’re not there to trip you up; they are the sort of questions that will really get you thinking. The answers are the ones that will start to open up new opportunities for you and your business.

“What do I really want from my business and what’s stopping me from getting there? What am I allowing to get in the way?”

It could be about getting real clarity around what you want; it could be about facing up to some uncomfortable truths about why your business isn’t working as well as you’d like it to.

A ‘real’ conversation happens when you can sit down and really talk to someone else about your business. The more impartial they are the better. An outsider looking in is more likely to spot things that make them think “Why do they do that?” and because they’re not as close to your business as you are, it’s safe for them to ask the question!

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I Can’t Afford to Invest in My Business

How often have you looked at a course that you’d really like to attend, only to get half way through the online booking process, before you decide that you really can’t justify the cost? Do you even get as far as that, or do you look at the great course and just decide that you can’t afford it from the outset?

Is it really the money that’s putting you off, or it is something else?

Probably the biggest objection that salesmen are taught to overcome is one of cost:
“I can’t afford that right now.”
“We’ve already allocated our budget.”
“That’s just not a priority right now.”

All these excuses are actually lies! They are nothing to do with the money, but most people will use the excuse of money, or a lack of it, not to do something, like invest in their business.

A wise person once said that poor people try to do everything themselves, while rich people pay others to do things for them. You’re probably thinking that this is the wrong way around; but it’s not.

Rich people get rich by investing in the support they need. Poor people get poor by trying to do it all themselves. Their the end result is that they spend all their time battling on alone, or trying to learn technical skills that they don’t really need, all of which takes their precious time away from doing what they’re actually good at – the stuff that they actually get paid to do!
Rich people invest their money in the skills and expertise of people who already know how to do those technical skills and can do them much more quickly and accurately.

Can you afford not to invest in your business?

Can you afford not to attend this year’s Future Retreat and learn from other like-minded rich people? Go to <a href=”http://FutureRetreat.com”>www.FutureRetreat.com</a> to find out more about the investment. If you think you can’t afford to attend, what are you really saying?

If you think you can’t afford to attend, you probably can’t afford not to!
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Why is Your Business So Successful?

Someone once said that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” It might have been Albert Einstein who said it, but there is some debate about that. Whoever first said it was right. There’s no point doing the same thing again and again, expecting something different to happen. Yet this is what so many business owners actually do. They want to grow their business, so they do exactly what they’ve always done and are then surprised that they don’t see the growth they would like.

Where are these businesses going wrong? The first thing to ask yourself is “What has actually worked so far?” To answer this question, you need to measure your business and look at the activity you’ve carried out to date, that’s got you to where you are now. Look at the marketing you do – is it working? How well is it working? How many new clients or projects do you win as a result of different marketing strategies?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you need to stop reading this article and go and find out. There’s no point spending money on marketing if you’re not measuring it.

The same applies if you have a sales team. Who is hitting their targets easily, who is going over their targets and who is underperforming? If one of your sales team constantly struggles to meet their sales targets, they’re probably doing the same thing every month, expecting something different to happen.

You should also look at which of your products and services are the most profitable – not just which are selling in higher numbers. Which ones are making you the most money?

The next question to ask yourself, once you’ve done some measurement and looked at the numbers is “Why is this working or not working?” You might have been able to grow your business last year by recruiting a new member of staff. Why did that work? You need to know the answer, because trying to grow again, just by taking on yet another team member might not work this time. That new product that you developed may have doubled your turnover last year, but why was it so successful? Was it just the right time for it and you filled a gap in the market? If that gap is no longer there, or you can’t identify another gap, developing another new product won’t have the same effect. In fact it could have the opposite effect and cost you more money than you’re able to sell it for. So before you make any more decisions about the future of your business, assess why your strategies have worked or missed the mark.

Once you’ve spent some time accurately measuring the success of your business, and working out exactly how you achieved that success, then – and only then – can you start thinking about what you need to do or change, in order to get different results. Don’t rely on doing the same thing over and over again, expecting something different to happen – it’ll just send you insane!

What have you done that works? What do you need to stop doing because it doesn’t work?
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