Promise Keepers Rule. It is common for us to have customers that we enjoy working with as well as ones that we loathe or make our hearts sink. Your easiest way to improve this is always to be working towards duplication of the most favoured client.
You need to be focused on the type and preferred client, but also the desirability and need of a future income stream with them.
Repeat and growing business from the best type of client is the heavenly business.
So, let me ask.
What does that client look like to you?
Do you have any already?
Where could you find more of them?
What would you need to have in place to be easily referable to that type of client?
Al this relies on having a relationship. A strong and healthy one. Even if it is on the internet.
You need to ask yourself, how this can be nurtured? Do you know anyone who is doing this already?
One of the main reasons is that if you don’t, someone else will.
It is easier to court the great client and have them come on board, than it is to keep finding ‘ones that will do for now’ clients.
It is more productive, satisfying and meaningful, as well as being the only way to go to have a future business you can rely upon. The future of your relationship with your client will be exposed by your competitors as well as social media. It is the new secret weapon and is easier than you think.
Dinosaurs didn’t see what was coming but we can.
It’s amazing to think that there are many companies out there that have yet to embrace the need for a digital platform as well as a relationship built on trust and reliability.
How often are we caught out by the service providers who promise the earth, then do not deliver? Just by keeping our promises, we can shine.
We can shine by showing we care, showing appreciation and going the extra mile. This alone will keep us above the 90% that do not do it. To be blunt, it is easy to be ahead of the competition than you think.
Amazon, deliver. Fed Ex deliver. Domino’s, deliver.
They promise, and they deliver. Why? It works that’s why. It’s no good thinking, we’ll deliver our promises most of the time, and then just be mediocre at it.
Once you get known for not keeping your deadlines, your integrity becomes questionable.
The preference to refer to you is will be less than it was.
Your option for price increase becomes tougher. Your confidence is tainted, and clients start to feel unloved. It is that simple. It’s not hard to promise something and then do better. What is hard is to be unsure about what you can deliver, and then making it up as you go. It is the hardest way to run a business.
Being great is easier and a lot more fun. If you were to forecast the future of your business based on the clients you deal with now, where would you be? You can choose that destination.
for your business
- I felt I could make more money doing (what I do) myself
- I wanted to be in control of my own time
- I did not like the way I was treated at my last company
- I had a great idea that I wanted to put into practice.
This skill of understanding how to run a business well is significantly more important than knowing how the work of the business is done.
Review your company goals – are they set around the high road or the low road?
Should I put a hammer through my TV? – The life-changing power of rituals
Ok, I admit this is a rhetorical question as my significant other would go mad if I actually did it. However, spending what I consider to be too much time watching TV has been a bad habit I have unsuccessfully tried to crack for a long time. The failure to date does, however, teach me something about building good habits and using the power of rituals to help embed them.
Therefore this post is a live example of how I intend to crack this particular nut.
I have just returned from 18 days on my honeymoon in the Greek Islands which both Heather and I love visiting. Heather and I finally got married after living together for 22 years. – Don’t ask.
As I had just got married, I thought would be a good time for a life review. I started by reviewing my life goals in all the different areas using the wheel of life system. I then wrote down habits that would help me achieve the desired outcomes.
During the time on flights and ferries between islands, I decided to set up some rituals to embed all of those excellent habits into my life. Ok, so I get many coaches would tell you to concentrate on one habit at a time which is good advice. However, I thought I would try a different approach and try and instil a whole range of habits at the same time by using the “don’t break the chain” method. This is simply recording on an app or spreadsheet whether you took action on an intended habit or not on any given day. You then review at the end of every week and month which ones were not getting done and then exploring what was stopping you.
So, for instance, I want to be fit, healthy and highly energetic and be able to ski and kitesurf well until I am at least 90. So that’s the broad goal. This type of goal is different to a SMART goal as it has no specific timeline but is ongoing for as long as I live. The question I asked myself is – What habits must I embed to achieve that goal and how do I ensure that I follow through 95% of the time. This is where the power of rituals come in.
Rituals are a set of habits which fit together and are implemented together in the same order on a daily basis. The idea is that the habits you may already have in place help you jump start into a new one you are trying to build. The power arises from the fact that as you do one habit directly followed by another in the same order and for the same length of time. The series of habits become a habit in itself.
There is a comfort in rituals, and rituals provide a framework for stability when you are trying to find answers. -Deborah Norville
Before setting any goals, the first question is to have clarity in my mind of a strong enough reason why I want to achieve the goal. If you have enough motivation, it should be easier to take the required action.
So WHY stop watching most TV habitually?
Ok, I do watch some interesting documentaries from which I learn some useful information. However, the majority of TV is not at all beneficial except as possible relaxation.
The vast majority of the time I spend doing it is not aligned with my life purpose which should be reason enough. However, it has other knock-on effects. The problem is once I settle in I don’t stop until bedtime and sometimes past my set bedtime which stops me from getting enough sleep. Worse still this longer stretch of TV time is also a trigger to eat unhealthy snacks.
So as I have decided (and it’s a proper MUST DO decision) to only watch prerecorded programs for say 1 hour a night at most – How do I implement?
So I bought a “don’t break the chain” app for my phone called Habit Bull. It’s simple and effective. I then set up all these rituals on it.
As an example – The following are my current morning rituals – “Fit body and Mind” rituals
Fit body ritual – 2 hour
- The alarm goes off at 6 am every day so get up immediately
- Plug in my phone to charge it to the max for the day
- Go to the bathroom, take out my overnight contact lenses and clean them stringently
- Put on my training clothes and have a glass of filtered water
- 5 minutes – Go outside and skip as a warm-up
- 15 mins – Go to my Home Gym and do my mobility/ flexibility routine
- 30 minutes train hard 4 days/3 days stretch instead – See My training routine
- 5 minutes stretch after training days
- 20 minutes of meditation for breath recovery
- 10 minutes Win Hof Breathing
- Make the wife a cup of tea
- Drink a glass of water with a half teaspoon of Pink Himalaya salt to wash down my supplements – on my strict real food diet I get little other salt
- A warm shower followed by 4 minutes of a fully cold shower
- Shave, brush my teeth, tidy my bedroom and get dressed for work or weekend
- 8 am ready to rock and roll my day.
Fit Mind ritual (already started with Meditation, Win Hof and Cold shower) – 1 hour +
- 10 mins Gratefullenss diary
- 15 minutes Journal
- 30 minutes blog or book writing
- 5 minutes check this month personal and professional goals
- 15 mins – plan the day on Trello
- My team start work at 9.30 – so 15 mins leeway built in.
So what all the above to do with giving up TV?
So besides just being a waste of my life, I mentioned staying up too late and or eating unhealthy snacks. They both have a negative impact as I don’t have the energy for my morning Fit Body and Mind rituals. If I don’t get up at 6 am, there is simply not enough time to get all my scheduled activities in, and it throws out my day.
I do have some afternoon rituals like writing which I try and keep to, but they get disrupted for various reasons. In my opinion, it is more effective that important habits and rituals are set to be implemented before the working day and after the working day. Like many people, my working day has to be highly flexible. I have to fit in seminars, training for myself and my team and seeing clients in and out of the office. This all serves to make my schedules for each week different making it difficult to stick to regular habits.
So my challenge is to set up and stick to an evening ritual for the evenings when I am not out on a social event. This is currently more difficult as after dinner at 7 pm I feel I have less energy than at the start of the day. However, this may also just be a limiting belief I need to work on
The following is a proposed 2-hour “Skills” ritual for the evening to substitute for watching TV. This will still leave around an hour to catch up on anything worthwhile
- 15 minutes Win Hof breathing – to generate more energy
- 30 minutes of ukulele practice
- 30 minutes of book or blog research
- 30 minutes of language learning practice
- 15 minutes meditation
Hopefully all of the above gives you an idea on how to set up and use the power of rituals as a strategy for integrating excellent habits into your life.
Enjoy the Journey
Muhammad Ali – Inspirational thoughts
Muhammad Ali – I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.
I must admit to being very surprised when I first came across this quote. “Hated every minute of training?” and yet he still went on to become what many would regard as the greatest boxer who ever lived? He was certainly an icon who transcended his sport.
Muhammad Ali must have spent thousands of hours training to become the best at what he did. This training is a testament to his basic beliefs. If you want outstanding results in your field of endeavour you have to train long and hard.
Many business owners wonder why their business is not progressing. They believe it should be performing better. And yet they have spent very little time training as opposed to “fighting in their ring.” They seem to believe their business is completely different to all other businesses. They ignore the benefits of a great training and coaching program.
This is a misplaced point of view. Every business may indeed be different. Indeed, every athlete is different. If those athletes want to become great, the same principles of coaching apply to all athletes. In business, the same applies. Coaching will help you to develop as a person and a business owner.
How much time do you spend in the training zone?
How much time do you spend in the performance zone?
The training zone gives you help and feedback to improve your skills. In the performance zone, you have to achieve excellent results.
Nobody wants to have an operation done by a surgeon who is in training.
You want him to have trained to an excellent standard beforehand and then produce outstanding performance in your operation.
Allow yourself time to train to be the best you can be. This investment in yourself is the best investment you can make.
The results of such a change will have a huge positive impact on your life and business profitability.
If every great athlete like Muhammad Ali in the world has a coach why don’t you?
Do you know your clients? Yes, but do you really know?
We often think we know our businesses, and its true most us have a handle on the numbers and the history. However, Sir Clive Woodward, at a recent conference talked about ‘The Data’, and the story behind the data is not often a true explanation of the facts.
Get the Facts. Truly, deep down can’t get any more data Facts.
You can look at your ROFE, yet behind that could be just a handful of great profitable customers that are masking the truth behind the vacuum of profit customer. Averages help get an overview but break them down and the character of the good bad and the ugly, start to show.
Ask your team, who is a pain to deal with, and why is that so. A client may serve you better by being referred to a nearby competitor. That client may have come from them in the first place.
I remember letting a client go once, and he was horrified. He got quite angry too. So, I explained to him that my average customer spent 20 hours a month of my time and gave me £300,000 turnover a year. I explained that my profit from my average customer was £100,000. On the other hand, he gave me 30 hours work a month and only contributed to £80,000 to my turnover.
Once I had explained the ‘Facts’ to him he calmed down and realised why I was making the decision and that had he known more, he would have looked at what I offered differently.
The result with this client was that I offered to charge him an hourly rate. He declined as he knew he could go and take advantage of a competitor, without paying the fees for his time. So, we agreed to no longer work together.
Unless I had got to the bottom of his way of dealing with us and backed it up with enough comparable facts, I may have continued to be bossed around by this client. It turns out the staff loved that I had ‘let him go’ because he was the proverbial heart sinker. A double win.
Working with clients you like is always a bonus. Ones that are profitable as well make a great business.
The sweet spot of what you offer is one number crunching exercise. Looking at clients who could be ten times more profitable than your average is another.
Which of your clients have the capacity to do so much more? Fewer clients to deal with could be a new option. The numbers will reveal them.
It could be that your top clients are not top clients. It could be that your low turnover/profit clients are capable of so much more, or, would refer you to others that can. Getting to know your clients in depth is important.
By getting ALL the numbers, the decisions are so much easier.
Yes, it felt good to remove Mr Pain. It was easier than I thought because I had got the facts. Numbers never lie if you dig deep enough.
So do you know your clients well enough?
Celebrate being a procrastinator
We all do it. We don’t like to admit it. We consider it a failing and would hate to have a reputation of being a prolific procrastinator. I heard someone say, ‘ I used to procrastinate, but I keep putting it off now ‘. That’s a much better view.
However, it is ok to stand up and admit that you are. We all are to some extent. So, what is it that this seemingly poor habit creates in us and how is it best to deal with it?
When you analyse what procrastination is you start to uncover that your decision to avoid doing something, is pointing out the following three things;
- That you need more information
- That you may need to learn a new skill
- That you may need help from others to be able to move forward.
Your cautious self is struggling to decide for fear of making a bad decision. That’s natural!
You don’t know what you don’t know and the importance of the decision or action could be very far-reaching. So, first, let’s look at the need for more information.
If you can’t decide which of the two candidates for a job to make the offer to, it maybe that you need to dig a bit deeper into their character or their abilities to help you sway your decision. If you put off finding out more, you procrastinate more and the postponement of choice, could mean you lose both candidates because they get snapped up by someone else.
If you made some more enquiries or another phone call and sought more information, you can help break through the procrastination. Find out all you can.
You may need to learn some new skill or read more about the subject.
Procrastinating about going to the gym, maybe because you do not have a routine that benefits your needs and goals. Going to the gym is too easy to postpone. If you had a plan that had been taught you by a great trainer, you would be more motivated to act. Knowing that the benefits would be far greater than just muddling along with what you already know, you start to avoid procrastination because you have learnt a new skill that helps your performance.
In other words, learn about what can be improved to enhance how efficient you can become. Learn a new skill or technique that will help you avoid the procrastination.
You may need other people’s help, opinion or ideas.
Their point of view will be different to yours. They may be able to offer help, to take you forward or give you an idea you previously had not considered. Some people are so inspiring that your natural hesitation gets diminished and you become spurred on.
Others may even know other people that would be useful for guidance, counsel or just a kick up the backside. Read a book, talk to those that have faced your hesitation before too.
Procrastination is a positive thing, if you use it to develop a new skill, seek help, destroy a fear, gain a new insight or even decide not to go any further. It is a sign that you can progress if you just recognise why you are doing it.
Ask yourself why you are procrastinating. It is a great question that changes your habits and your ability to eliminate too much procrastination.
Using a very strong system of accountability built into our Giant Leap program will help you avoid procrastination and eventually build a habit that will reduce it significantly in your life helping you to achieve your goals and dreams.
After a tiring day what do you do?
You know that sometimes the first thing to do after a tiring day is to get a meal, possibly a glass of wine, slump in a sofa and perhaps sit in the quiet or watch some favourite TV.
You know that the day has been a challenge and that you have earned some downtime and with a fair chance you can nod off and get an early night. Perhaps tomorrow will be better.
As we get older, that becomes an easier decision too. The next instalment of your latest chosen box set is on Netflix and is begging to be watched. The meal will be easy to devour because you put in such an effort today, there is no guilt about it and relaxation follows a meal quickly too. Bring it on!
Are we suggesting anything different? Is all the above what makes you happy? So why not? Well surprisingly most of us will either do this if we can or hope to and focus very hard on making it happen, so, not so much a change.
However, can we suggest a review?
If you find that a day has been challenging, the best you can get from that day is to review it. If you spend ten minutes asking the following questions of yourself, it can be a fabulous day.
Three questions then:
- What did I learn from today that can serve me going forward?
- What progress did I make that allows me to feel better about the challenges I had?
- How can I use this to make tomorrow a better day, with fewer challenges?
Ok, we know, it is enough that the day was challenging anyway. However, everything that tests us makes us stronger. Especially when we use it to improve going forward.
To make the same mistakes every day and then just keep repeating them, is improving our resilience, but not the outcomes. Our ability to reflect and review is incredibly powerful. Each progress step made is a motivator, and the plan to make life better makes us amazing.
Looking back to enable us to look forward and plan sets us apart from the reactionary world. Ask the three questions above and then a short to do list for tomorrow. You will enjoy the food, the TV, the wine and the company you share so much more then. The advantage it gives us is release from the day and a buzz about the seed of growth potential.
We get the start on the next day faster because we have already given ourselves a track to start on. No more wasting thinking time to decide what to do today as it is already done.
The immediate to-do list after the event of the day is the best time to be able to focus on it fast and be accurate. Trying to remember what to do the day after, is much less efficient.
Learn to be good to yourself and pat yourself on the back. Tough day, learned quite a bit and tomorrow I will do………….
The question then is not what do you do; it is what you will decide to do?
Your life, your choices, your time and of course your outcomes.
How to determine what action to take or habits to build
We live our lives in the ever changing moment. There is nothing we can do about what has passed, and we have little control over the future. We all seek to improve either our life situation or our experience of life by our daily actions and the habits we build.
How should we keep ourselves on track to at least plan to take the right actions? It helps to determine firstly what you are currently doing and classify the experience.
There are essentially 4 classes of experience:
Class 1: You do something that feels good to you, is good for you, is good for others and is good for the greater good of the world. – doing charitable work or helping somebody.
Class 2: You do something that does not feel good to you, is good for you, is good for others and is good for the greater good of the world. – Exercise and eating healthy food
Class 3: You do something that feels good to you, is not good for you, is not good for others and is not good for the greater good of the world.- Drinking a lot or eating a lot of ice cream
Class 4: You do something that does not feel good to you, is not good for you, is not good for others and is not good for the greater good of the world. – Complaining or doing work you hate.
The first step is to make a record of the things and actions you have taken during the day and then place them as best you can into one of the 4 categories.
If the activity falls into Class 1 – Great, carry on doing it or even better do more of it.
If the activity falls into class 4 – Just stop. If you struggle to stop seek help to stop – for instance asking someone to ensure you pay a fine or donate to a cause you hate every time you do whatever it is.
If the activity is classified as Class 3 this is going to be more difficult to stop as you like doing it. Use the same habit breaking strategies as for Class 4 experiences but be more careful to get help as it will be easy to slip back into a habit.
The great movement forward in life is seeking to convert Class 2 activities into Class 1 by adjusting them slightly to make them enjoyable.
This will often require creative thinking on your part but is worthwhile if you want to build great habits into your life.
Building great habits is a core component of our “Giant leap” program. Using powerful strategies like experience classification will help you move forward rapidly in both your business and personal life.
Call us to book a place on our program today.
Hire slow fire fast
When we employ enough staff, we start to realise that employees are transitional. They come and go based on their agendas, lifestyle, circumstances, competence or even just boredom.
Hiring people is an art form. Get it wrong and you will be going through a tough time. Hire well and it can be extremely rewarding and fruitful. Good staff and stability is a great measure of how you run your business.
If you consider staff to be friends then lines can get blurred. Complacency, familiarity and lack of progress are tell-tale signs that the job isn’t the job hoped for and must be guarded against.
Building a team of people that complement each other or generate a powerhouse of work completed takes time, awareness and attention.
The question is, who does that for you and what systems do you use to ensure great productivity? How much do you develop a relationship with staff or them with each other for optimal performance?
It could be considered formulaic. However, people are people and by that, I mean, we are all different. We may have skills that are needed to compliment others or complete a team. Overall though we need to feel human, fulfilled, valued, cared for, respected, listened to and appreciated.
Even if you are all the above, turnover of staff will occur. Loyalty cannot be bought. Life changes outside work and life impacts.
When trust breaks down, fire fast. No employee should be allowed to continue in their job if the trust has gone. It is better to pay them all they are entitled to and change the locks and passwords. If you find yourself compromised, shut up shop. Get rid and move on.
The opposite is true. Hire slow. Take your time to find the right person. Do not react by getting in the first person you can. Take your time. You could be with them for years to come. Valuable people are out there. People who have skills that are rich and useful and underutilised do exist. People who are looking for a breath of fresh air and want to be part of a company that is fertile ground that enhances their natural abilities and captures their great ideas are keen to be with you.
Where would you like to work and under what conditions? Create the type of environment that people will want to come to. They will want to work hard and feel appreciated. That must be better than trying to fill the bank account with enough money each month, just to get by. That style of thinking will never serve your businesses, the employee or others who work there.
We can stifle great people. We can micromanage them to the point of strangulation. I could not think of a worse job.
When selecting someone to take on board, they need to be self-starters. Batteries included. Your role in making that happen is important and worthy of investment.
Ask the candidate, how do you see yourself in three years’ time. You already know what you want to hear, and they will already know what you want to hear too. However, those that can easily answer and are excited about the prospect of growth and learning as well as being able to articulate that in a way that you know isn’t contrived should be sought after, cared for, protected, nurtured, cherished and included in your vision for the future.
Keeping your promises
Keeping your promises can be a measure of how well you do in business. We all know what it feels like to be let down. The disappointment, the reduction of trust levels and worse the promise you made on the back of someone else’s promise. I remember seeing a slogan from a delivery company, “Delivering your promises” and concluded that we all need to rely so much on others, it’s hardly surprising that we trip up or get let down. So many of the things we need to do rely on others and in a multi-complex interlinked society, the probabilities of things going wrong are magnified.
So, what is the solution? Firstly, know that the average person struggles with this too. To be above average, outperform or get a reputation for being reliable and trustworthy, the leap is not a big one. You do need some rules though, or you will become the also-ran we are sadly all used to these days.
Rule No 1.
Do not make a promise or say yes, unless you can consider all the elements of the equation at that point. It is better to delay a yes than to promise it and need to or be forced to break it. This rule seems simple, yet there are many layers. How do you hold a diary? Is it electronic, so that all who could be involved, would see it and you cannot clash with them if you said yes and put it in the diary now? How do you think others would feel if you said yes and as the impact would change things for them, you would be treating them to a disappointment? People, resources, timelines, other elements of impact and even your energy or commitment levels are all in play here. DO NOT SAY YES UNLESS YOU ARE SURE.
Rule No 2.
Does keeping this new promise align with your goals, your needs or does it compromise them. This test rule is easy to overlook. Clog or cleanse, enhance or undermine, compromise or build? If you are asked by a client to cut corners, how does this sit with your moral compass? Does eating the pudding mean you’ll feel less fit and struggle to play the game you promised to tomorrow with your team members because you’ll feel sluggish? BE AWARE OF THE CONGRUENCY OF YOUR PROMISE.
Rule No 3.
Can you ensure follow through? When you make a promise, and you only get 80% of it completed, you’re still letting that person down. Just because your got most of it done, you are not let off the hook. Ask yourself or the person asking for the promise, what does finished or completed promise look like? How will I know I have met my promise to you?
MAKE SURE YOU CAN FINISH WHAT YOU PROMISE TO DO.
Often, we hear the phrase, under promise and over deliver and unfortunately, this is disingenuous. What truly makes a difference is keeping your promise. Keeping your promise helps build relationships, businesses faith and families. The future seems so much more possible with a promise keeper than a person who lets you down, even if they do so only now and then.
Register for a seminar
Register to get tips on improving your business and life
- Promise Keepers Rule Ok!
- The high road or the low road?
- Should I put a hammer through my TV? – The power of rituals
- Muhammad Ali – Inspirational thoughts
- Do you know your clients?
- Celebrate being a procrastinator
- After a tiring day what do you do?
- How to determine what action to take or habits to build
- Hire slow fire fast
- Keeping your promises
- A Strategic Alliance
- Are you generating mistrust?
- How are you playing the game of life?
- Why I love the number 8
- Why I try to prove myself wrong
- Beginning with the end in mind
- Generating focus on the job until completion
- What is your story?
- Are You the Captain of Your Own Business?
- Have you ever considered what your ‘Event Horizon’ is?