Do you know the #1 Killer of businesses? And it is NOT cash-flow.

Red top girl working “4 Strategies to Ignite Growth for Your Business: And The One You MUST Have to Guarantee Your Business The Sales and Cash Flow You Want and Deserve!”

Join us for this live, FREE Webinar on {December, 5th, at 12:00 Noon Pacific Time}!

I am an expert at working with small businesses to ignite sales growth, and drive cash flow.  I hold a franchise record of most sales in a week and my diverse background from serving in the British Army to Sales and Leadership positions with a major national Bank, gives my clients access to a wealth of experience.

During this live presentation, you will learn:

  • The Identity of The #1 Killer Of ALL Small Business … and How To Avoid It
  • What Your Biggest Competitors are Doing that You Aren’t …(Hint: It Isn’t Social Media)
  • How To Grab Market Share from Your Competition Without Spending A Dime on Marketing
  • and Why Christmas is the Perfect Time to Work on Moving Your Business to the Next Level

And more!

Click here to register for this webinar! Or copy and paste the link below:

http://bit.ly/accelerator30

Warm regards – Rupert

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What is your credo? Share to win!

 

Get this book for inspiration on why and how to set a purpose for your company.

I was just reading this awesome book, Built to Last by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras.  It is incredibly well written and researched and it tells me what I have known for a long time but until now had lacked the data to back me up.

Suffice to say that businesses with a purpose, businesses who look beyond profit and businesses with underlying value do better in the long-run than those without.  I can only assume that they are also much nicer places to work.  All of these stellar businesses make profits, huge ones generally but that is not their raison d’etre, something far more compelling and unifying is at their core.

I have  this fundamental conversation with all of my clients.  Some really struggle to nail what their credo (their statement of intention) is.  We work together to build the business as best we can based on their vision but knowing all along that when the penny drops on why they really get out of bed in the morning their results will rocket.  Some still haven’t found it.

It would be poor coaching for me to suggest my own examples for what might be my clients’ credo so I wanted to ask you, my audience of business owners and successful professionals, to reply to me in private with your written statement of purpose or mission so that I may use those as real-life peer-to-peer examples.  These will spark the thought process in my clients both now and in the future.  Your mission may launch many others.  If you would like to state your occupation or sector and have me omit that example when dealing with your potential competition then I will be happy to oblige.

All respondents will receive a copy of Brian Tracy’s e-book Eat that Frog and the winner with the most compelling “I have to work with/for that person/business” statement will win a month’s free coaching from me valued officially by Mastercard as PRICELESS.

Fly-on-the-wall documentary sheds light on poor coaching

Steven Gerrard after Liverpool lose again. Not a surprise having seen the coaching that they are getting.

I recently caught an episode of “Being Liverpool” on Fox.  It is a fly on the wall documentary about this season with Liverpool FC in England.  As a former sportsman myself I was left astonished at the tiny gap in attitudes and clarity of thought between the million pound-earning premiership and the semi-pro (verging on amateur) rugby that I played ten years ago.

The manager/coach Brendan Rodgers is frequently seen giving pep talks to his players during training and before games that leave his players no wiser as to what to do.  He strings together generic, vague platitudes that give no direction.  His players may be among the best in the world but they are operating in a fast paced, dynamic team environment and even they need something to hang onto by way of nuggets of wisdom, themes to work with.  He gives none.

If you haven’t seen it this program is not a reality show and, as far as I can discern, this is not an impression created by malicious editing.  These are talks to the team just before they take the field.  Having been in my fair share of dressing rooms I know that there is little additional time for the manager to get his final points over.  He just abjectly fails to convert that time into anything equating to value.  I was astounded.  I had a coach like that in 1997 and we thought that he was actually suffering from some early stages of a mental disorder his talks were so vague and pointless.  Mr Rodgers is, I hope, not suffering from any condition other than being put in charge of the hopes and dreams of hundreds of thousands of people and just not being up to the task.

I see today that Liverpool lost again in an important match, having been ahead.  My money is on one of two things happening – Brendan Rodgers is quite correctly sacked before the end of October or Liverpool finish in the bottom half of the Premiership for the first time in decades.  Top quality teams simply cannot thrive with such an abject lack of clarity and direction.

I see that he has apparently delivered a 180 age manifesto detailing roles and responsibilities within the team but based on what I saw in the footage I have seen, the fact that he was hired on the basis of that manifesto speaks more to his writing skills (or that his audience were too busy to read it) than his other communication skills.  It would be the right thing to do to get so granular but sadly the execution seems lacking.

But how does this relate to you and your business?  Well, are you being clear with your teams (employees, consultants, alliances) about what it is that you need them to do?  And using terms like “do your best, have fun, the result will be a win.” does not cut the mustard.  What does “step up” mean specifically? (BTW that is a commonly vague management term not a direct Rodgers quote)  No matter how good your team are, unless you are clear about your expectations they WILL disappoint you.

If you are a Liverpool supporter I am genuinely sorry for your loss and I hope to offer a retraction to this post within weeks.  I don’t think that I will have to though.

Eat Like a Business Athlete

ImageIn my workshop “The Seven Lessons That Any Business Can Learn From the Vancouver Canucks” I address the little things that they do to help their team perform at the highest level.  One of the many advantages that they give their players is personal chefs to prepare the right food at the right time to nourish the players bodies before and after games and practices, and even during rehabilitation.

But you don’t need to look after your body like that right?  No, you have never slumped in your chair at the end of the day exhausted from a day of tough sales calls, negotiations, management, planning, learning.  That doesn’t happen to you ever.  Right?

Image  Of course there is and if you ever wonder why you feel worse than a penalty killing, shot blocking hockey player it probably has a lot to do with your diet.  I clued into this after engaging the services of a nutritionist, Kristen Bell RRD, last year. Together we have worked on my diet to create easy to make, easy to eat, tasty meal plans that I can look forward to but that also serve my business athlete needs for a (more) consistent energy level throughout a long day.  Since then I have lost 12lbs and have a far better level of productivity due to avoiding that dreaded afternoon energy crisis.

What follows is the summary of our work together and as we move into fall and winter I will be asking her to provide some more recipes for us all to enjoy. Thanks Kris.

Energy Management for Business Athletes!

Do you ever wonder why you get sleepy around mid-afternoon and feel less motivated to get your work done? Studies show that having a higher carb breakfast is related to how tired and hungry you will feel throughout the day.  As a business owner myself, every hour counts to be as productive as possible, and I can’t afford to have these crashes. I have made permanent changes in my diet to keep my blood sugar levels steady throughout the day (spikes in blood sugar causes low energy and cravings), maximize my energy by eating every 3 hours, and combining any carbs I have with a protein or fat source. This not only keeps me full for a longer period of time, but also keeps me alert and productive.  Use these tips below to maximize your energy throughout the day, and prevent those energy crashes.

DON’T leave the house without breakfast –

A complete breakfast should consist of all three: Carbs, fat and protein.  Instead of grabbing a bagel and running out the door.  Cut the bagel in half, spread some all natural peanut butter on it, and grab a hardboiled egg for some protein.  Breakfast should be consumed within 30 minutes of waking up.

Avoid the vending machine after lunch. Your crashes and waistline will only get worse if you give in to your chocolate cravings reaching for the snickers bar at the nearest vending machine. Be proactive, bring your own snack.  Try a handful of trail mix with some beef jerky, a ready to drink protein shake, or maybe some of your left over lunch.

If you fail to plan, you will plan to fail. We have all heard this saying before, but couldn’t be truer when it comes to your diet!  Avoid eating out of emotion or convenience. Instead plan to bring healthy food so you will not give in to the pressures of unhealthy food around you, but have healthy choices that are comparable so you still feel satisfied.  Such choices are things like vegie sticks, some nuts (not too many, don’t be greedy or use the salted type which tempt you to a) stuff yourself and b) go to the bar!)

Try this recipe for a healthy, high protein lunch you can take with you to work!

Thai Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

·         1 head fresh iceberg lettuce OR prepackaged lettuce for wraps

·         3 cloves garlic, minced

·         1 thumb-size piece ginger, grated

·         1 red chili, minced, OR 1/4 to 1/3 tsp. chili flakes

·         2 shallots, sliced finely

·        1 pound ground turkey – extra lean

·         1 carrot, grated or cut into thin strips

·         5-6 mushrooms, thinly sliced

·         1 egg

·         1/2 cup shredded cabbage (any type will work)

·         3 spring onions, sliced

·         2 Tbsp. lime juice

·         2 Tbsp. soy sauce

·         1 Tbsp. Thai sauce

·         TOPPINGS: optional

·         1/3 cup fresh basil OR mint, chopped if leaves are large

·         1/3 cup fresh dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

·         Fresh bean sprouts

Preparation:

1.       Drizzle oil into a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, chili, and shallots. Stir-fry one minute, or until fragrant. Stir-frying tip: add a little water if the wok/pan gets too dry instead of more oil.

2.       Add turkey, carrot, mushrooms, cabbage, and spring onions. As you stir-fry, add the lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce (or vegetarian substitutes). Stir-fry about 1 minute.

3.       Push ingredients to the side of the wok or pan, and crack in the egg. Stir-fry quickly to break the yolk. Mix in with the other ingredients.

4.       Add the bean sprouts and stir-fry briefly to mix (avoid over-looking or it will go limp). Remove from heat and do a taste test for salt, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough.

5.       Cut off the stem part of the iceberg lettuce so it’s easier to separate the leaves. Now place the lettuce, stir-fried filling, and the toppings on your table in separate bowls/plates, allowing family or guests to make their own wraps.

6.       To assemble, take a whole lettuce leaf and place 1-2 heaping tablespoons of filling in the center. Top with a sprinkling of fresh basil and peanuts plus fresh bean sprouts if desired. Then wrap up and eat! (For those who like it extra spicy, fresh-cut chili can be added as another topping.)

ENJOY!

So in summary, treat your body as well as an athlete would.  Let’s face it you expect your career will be longer that theirs and you have to set yourself up to succeed – starting with your diet.

I never thought that I’d do it – I just recommended a Donald Trump book

A surprisingly easy and fun read – if taken with a pinch of salt!

As a long time avoider of all things Trump I was surprised to find myself drawn to a copy of a book given to me by a friend recently.  It was not a recommendation but more of a dump of books he didn’t want to include in a relocation. It therefore sat there staring at me for weeks unopened but daring me to read it.  Eventually I picked it up.

It is a series of blunt, broad-brush, black and white observations from “The Donald” and I found it weirdly fascinating.  I learned a little business but a lot about what makes him tick and I was astonished to find myself actually liking the guy.  I don’t agree for a moment that some of his tactics would apply in business in general but that they work for him consistently is interesting.

The big thing that I learned was the care he takes to hire people for whom he has respect.  Too many businesses hire too quickly and are surprised when the quality of the work is poor.  If I could emulate one thing about DT it would be to surround myself with only the very best people that I can find.

It’s a quick read, you can pick it up used for peanuts.  Talking of peanuts, take what he says with a pinch of salt and hang on for the ride at the end when he takes you through a week in the life of DT.  Very interesting.  There I said it.  Donald Trump is an interesting guy.

You can buy the book off amazon here at My Store.

Lessons from a brain break – Careful what you measure

Before you bring out the driver check that distance really matters.

I just took a brain break and had some lunch in front of my TV.  I was watching an old recording of the Haney Project from the Golf Channel.  I like to see world-class coaches in action regardless of their specialty.  At the bottom of the screen was a ticker of top performers on the PGA Tour this year.  The number of people I had never heard of alerted me to the fact that these guys were ranking in the top 10 in certain criteria in their chosen profession yet they were unknown to me, and believe me I watch a reasonable amount of golf.  So I scrolled back and took some notes.

There are seven categories that are measured and they all make some kind of sense that you would measure them:  Average score, driving distance, driving accuracy, total driving, greens in regulation, ball striking and scrambling.  This was preceded by the top 10 in earned money (from prizes not endorsements).

Here are some interesting facts that I noted:

▪  In the 80 available top ten positions, there were no fewer than 47 individuals. That is an average of 1.7 rankings per player.  The most categories that any golfer was in was four. i.e. No-one was great at everything and some were ranked highly in just one area.

▪  Of the top 10 highest earners there were three who had not made the top ten in any of the previous categories. Their average earnings were about 25% under the top performer (Bubba Watson) who had showed in 4 categories but were equal to another top performer (Tiger Woods) who had showed in 4 categories.

▪  Lee Westwood showed in the top ten on four of the categories but not in the top ten in earnings.

▪  There was no correlation between high earnings and high ranking in any of the seven other categories.  Even being in the top ten in lowest average score only gives a 50% chance of being in the top ten earners.

▪  Rory McIlroy was 2nd in earnings yet only showed up in the overall lowest score category.

▪  Only three players who showed up in any of the driving related categories (distance and accuracy) made it into the highest earners thus reinforcing the cliché “Drive for show, putt for dough!”

I can acknowledge that without any further research it is hard to draw any fixed conclusions from this quick survey other than to point out that measuring and managing some variables clearly has little direct impact on overall results.  The statisticians measure not what is important but what they can easily measure.  This leads amateurs like myself to do ridiculous things like count my GIR (Greens in Regulation) on social rounds.  Unthinking copycat that I am I fall into the same trap as the rest of us when we aren’t paying attention.  Copying what others do rather than thinking for ourselves about what is important.

For me what is important in reducing my score would be something that only I can judge like the correctness of my shot selection (regardless of the outcome).  That has far more bearing on my score than my GIR which tempts me to hit longer shots into the green whereas a conservative approach would make an easier up-and-down or certain bogey.  Sorry if I am turning off my non-golfing readers here but the point is simple.  Instead of managing my game I use irrelevant, even harmful measures because THAT’S WHAT OTHER PEOPLE USE!  Let’s face it, any correlation between the game of professional golf and my game is purely coincidental.

But thankfully I am talking about my golf game.  My income and wealth do not depend on my success or otherwise at that.  So my question to you is what are you measuring in your business?  I hope that you measure a number of metrics but now ask yourself, does this metric directly impact my success?  How do I know that for sure?  If it doesn’t actually impact your success you have you fallen victim to the two common errors in metric setting; copying and/or measuring only what it is easy to measure?  Step back and decide FOR YOURSELF what you should be measuring to get a dashboard of success that means if you hit the top ten there you’ll be in the top ten in earnings too.

I hope that this brain break of mine has given you pause for thought and reflection about the measures at play within your business.  If you have any questions (for instance how can you tell if a measurement is critical or not?) then please call me on 604 339 5369 during Pacific Time office hours and I’ll be happy to have a chat with you about this fascinating subject.

Did you warm up for the game of life this morning?

You expect elite athletes to warm up and down – Are you an elite business person?

I played rugby at a reasonably high level in England and if I had one regret in my twenty or so gloriously happy years of playing my beloved sport it is that I rarely if ever PROPERLY warmed up or down.  Consequently my career was about ten years shorter than it should have been and I suspect it was not as successful as it would otherwise have been either.  I had plenty of muscle but it was all incredibly tight and not very useful to me when it mattered and it has taken me close to ten years of not playing to repair the damage that I did.  I was young enough to repair pretty quickly but I did so in spite of how I treated my body.

How does this apply to your business?  Well if you are charging headlong into your day in the same way that I used to rush on to a pitch, ready for the battle then you aren’t setting yourself up for optimal performance.  Equally if you leave the pitch (the office/working day) in the same way that I used to – i.e. headed for a bath and a beer rather than warming down and letting my body readjust then you are storing up tension and problems that can easily be avoided.

Try this.  Every morning take a few minutes (2-3 only) to prepare your mind.  Write out your goals for the week or month or life and take a moment to remind yourself of what you have to accomplish that day – what’s your game plan?

And when you are done, take some time to decompress through meditation, gratitude exercises, dumping all your to-dos down so that you can relax knowing that you won’t forget them.

This will not only extend your ability to work on what is important to you but it will also immediately improve your performance in the process.

Achieve more consistent performance – For FREE! Today!

What would happen to your business?

This was the marked increase in the performance of an amateur golfer using visualization over his normal pre-shot routine. How does this apply in your business?

Last Friday I took a highly valued client to the golf driving range to help him learn a valuable business lesson.  One about the power of visualization.

I got him to hit single shots with a 3-wood, 4-iron, 7-iron and wedge in rotation until he had hit 10 shots, scoring himself on each shot on a scale from 1-10 based on how satisfied he was with the result (10 being a very good shot).  The point about single shots was to ensure that muscle memory played as small a part in the results as possible.

After ten shots we paused and all I asked him to do for the next 10 shots was to visualize the flight path of the ball to its intended destination.  Nothing else.  I didn’t change his stance, swing or anything mechanical.  My sole instruction was to use his imagination to create a clear image in his head of the ball’s flight.  I asked him to think of it like those images that you sometimes see on the TV coverage where the ball flight is tracked on the camera.  We gave him as long as he needed to get that image clear in his head and it typically took him 20-30 seconds.

We then repeated the exercise of hitting the different shots in rotation.  The graph we created shows the rolling 5 shot average score for the two exercises.  The red ones being his usual pre-shot routine and the green ones being the shots he made after making a concerted effort to visualize the outcome.  Although they both ended up at the same average point for the final shots (which included the last shot being interrupted by the range staff) you can see the huge improvement in the earlier shots.  Regardless that both sets ended up pretty much in the same place I would take that improvement, wouldn’t you?

So don’t underestimate the power of visualization.  In a business context it is useful in determining the outcome of a meeting, a presentation or any other business event.  In this case the goal was short-ter but it works equally well if not better on longer term goals.  Try it for yourself.

This was a simple, immediate feedback exercise that I’ll be using again and again with clients.

STOP RIGHT THERE – Don’t do anything until you read this post!

Morning all,

It’s Monday morning and unless you are reading this late you’re ploughing through your emails ready to start the new week.  Which is why I say “STOP!”  Put your calls on hold.  Take 5 mins to read this post and take the action I suggest and I PROMISE you, you will have a more productive week than otherwise.

Have you got a plan for the week?  Do you have any goals that you must hit in order to make the week a success?  Most of us don’t.  We have stuff we must do, tasks to process and things to tick off a list but not real goals. Not ones that take us closer to a bigger goal.  And that is where we miss a huge trick.

So stop now, write out 5 goals for the week.

“Be sure to call Dave back about the deal.”  is not a goal, that’s a task.  “On or before Friday I sign a contract with David for a minimum order of $40,000 and a minimum gross margin of 40%.”  That’s a goal. “By Friday I will have contacted twenty new or existing contacts and held a meaningful conversation (of five minutes or longer) about my business and where I may be able to add value to their business interests or those of their contacts.”  That is a goal. “On Friday I will have a complete sales plan for the next quarter.”  That is a goal.

This should take you no longer than 4-5 mins.  Write them out by hand.

By thinking about your goals not your tasks this Monday morning you will have a much more productive week and if you can review and rewrite those goals at the start and end of each day the chances are that you’ll have reached them all by Wednesday and you have two free days to accomplish additional goals.  When you have clear goals the tasks take care of themselves.  Review this exercise on Friday and the odds are that you’ll realize that spending some time on Sunday night writing out your goals for next week is the best use of 30 minutes of your Sunday evening.

Good luck and have fun this week.

Goal Setting – Step 12 – The Final Step

Well you are still with me.  That bodes well for step 12.

In the previous 11 steps we have laid solid foundations for your goal.  You may be on your way to a new relationship, financial stability, financial freedom, a significant material purchase or a new body shape.  Whatever your goal is you have already qualified it as being important to you.  It is important enough that you have written out a long list of the ways that you will benefit when you achieve it, a long list of the prices that you are willing to pay to achieve it and a long list of the things that you must do to achieve it. You know all the people whose help you need and you know a time and date by which this will be accomplished.

That doesn’t make it easy though.  Any goal worth attaining is not easily won. That is why they are called goals. If it was going to be easy you would only have a list of tasks and that would not only be boring but also unfulfilling.  What you are about to do is go and get something that very few other people have.  Think about it.  Of the 7 or 8 Billion people on Earth today, how many have what you are going after?  Probably under a million.  That means that you are at the very least trying to attempt something that close to 8,000 other people are not willing or able to attempt.  If it is to buy a particular car or house you know that there are only maybe 1000 such cars or one such house on the planet.  You are going after something that tens of millions, if not billions of people can’t get their heads around achieving.  If you look at it that way of course it won’t be easy.

So the final step is to make a solemn promise to yourself to NEVER quit on the goal.

To be clear on this point, I passionately believe in the power of the quitter as a force for good.  Quit thinking negative thoughts, quit smoking, quit eating cream cakes everyday, quit your energy sucking job, quit that bad relationship/friendship.  But DON’T quit on working on your goal.  Quit banging away on a part of your original plan that clearly won’t work but don’t quit looking for another way to make it work.  Quit doubting yourself but don’t quit quitting on anything that doesn’t serve you.  Quitting is for winners but only the right kind of quitting.

At that, my friends, is the end of the process. You have set yourself up to succeed so all you have to do now is PERSIST.  Just keep putting one foot in front of the other with that clear goal in mind and you are certain to succeed.

And when you feel that you are lost and that you won’t achieve the goal all you have to do is go to step 12 and work back up the process to step 1 to find out where you have been going wrong.  All that you can ever need by way of guidance is in this process.  It’s a little piece of magic that you have used time and again, probably without realizing it, that you can now us consciously to focus your time and effort on what it takes to achieve your goals.

FINAL NOTE:  This process deserves a full 300 page book to be written about it but out of respect for your time I have tried to keep each step as short as possible to just give you an idea of the tasks within that step.  There are, of course, many nuances about how you approach each step for maximum effect and as a result of my summarizing you will likely encounter some apparent contradictions or ambiguity.  If that is the case please feel free to email me at rwhiting@focalpointcoaching.com and I will answer your question in greater depth.

Good luck and  I would love to hear what changes you make as a result of using this process.