The Real Reason Your Business Exists

People have asked me why I am so focused on money.  Some have even gone so far as to imply that it seems selfish, insignificant or petty to be focused solely on money.  I have two responses to these questions.

First, let me immediately make the point – which I feel should be obvious – that the main motivating reason to be in whatever business you’re in should be profit. Profit is what I’m focused on, not just the money.

You see, profit is simply recognition for services rendered. The more people you serve – the more profit you’ll earn. The more value you provide the people you serve – the more money you’ll make. If the service you are providing is moral and ethical and has your customers’ best interests foremost in mind, then profit is your just reward!

If profit is not the focus, you don’t belong in business for yourself.

Yet as a consultant, I find all sorts of people in all types of businesses who are not primarily profit-motivated. They’ve got their priorities mixed up. Business decisions made with something other than profit as the prime consideration are almost certain to be bad decisions.

Here is why I believe your business exists, in the first person:

“My business exists to satisfy my needs, to fund my lifestyle and to give me the ability to live the life I want to live.”

Now some of you are probably reading this and thinking that this way of thinking sounds awfully selfish and self-serving – and I would agree – because it is. But your business must operate this way, or else!

One of the biggest lessons I learned from my mentor, Dan Kennedy is that the purpose of your business is:

• NOT to provide jobs
• NOT to pay taxes
• NOT to support the community
• NOT to improve customers’ lives
• NOT to improve employees’ lives

Sure, it may do all of these things (to one degree or another), but only as a by-product of achieving its true purpose.

Read that again: “only as a by-product of achieving its true purpose”.

And its true purpose is – satisfying YOUR needs.

Think about it:
• How can you provide jobs if your business can’t support you and your family?
• How can your business support the community if it can’t support you and your family?
• How can you improve the lives of your customers or employees if you can’t improve your own life, or don’t live the life you want to live?

So think about why your business really exists. What are your (and your family’s) needs? How much will you need to live the lifestyle you want to live? What is the life you want to live? Who do you want to be? What do you want to have? What do you want to do? Your business can help provide all of those things if your focus is on profit.

This article adapted from the book “How To Double Your Profits In Six Months or Less” by Brian Kaskavalciyan. To Order your copy CLICK HERE.

12 Ways Successful People Are Different Than Unsuccessful People. (Part 1)

1. They take decisive and immediate action.

Sadly, very few people ever live to become the success story they dream about. And there’s one simple reason why:

They never take action!

The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing. Growing happens when what you know changes how you live. So many people live in a complete daze. Actually, they don’t ‘live’, they simply ‘get by’ because they never take the necessary action to make things happen – to seek their dreams.

It doesn’t matter if you have a genius IQ and a PhD in Quantum Physics, you can’t change anything or make any sort of real-world progress without taking action. There’s a huge difference between knowing how to do something and actually doing it. Knowledge and intelligence are both useless without action. It’s as simple as that.

Success hinges on the simple act of making a decision to live – to absorb yourself in the process of going after your dreams and goals. So make that decision. And take action.

2. They focus on being productive, not being busy.

In his book, The 4-Hour Workweek?, Tim Ferris says, “Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference. Being busy is often a form of mental laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.” This is Ferris’ way of saying “work smarter, not harder,” which happens to be one of the most prevalent modern day personal development clichés. But like most clichés, there’s a great deal of truth to it, and few people actually adhere to it.

Just take a quick look around. The busy outnumber the productive by a wide margin.

Busy people are rushing all over the place, and running late half of the time. They’re heading to work, conferences, meetings, social engagements, etc. They barely have enough free time for family get-togethers and they rarely get enough sleep. Yet, business emails are shooting out of their smart phones like machine gun bullets, and their daily planner is jammed to the brim with obligations.

Their busy schedule gives them an elevated sense of importance. But it’s all an illusion. They’re like hamsters running on a wheel.

The solution: Slow down. Breathe. Review your commitments and goals. Put first things first. Do one thing at a time. Start now. Take a short break in two hours. Repeat.

And always remember, results are more important than the time it takes to achieve them.

3. They make logical, informed decisions.

Sometimes we do things that are enduringly foolish simply because we are temporarily upset or excited.

Although emotional ‘gut instincts’ are effective in certain fleeting situations, when it comes to generating long-term, sustained growth in any area of life, emotional decisions often lead a person astray. Decisions driven by heavy emotion typically contain minimal amounts of conscious thought, and are primarily based on momentary feelings instead of mindful awareness.

The best advice here is simple: Don’t let your emotions trump your intelligence. Slow down and think things through before you make any life-changing decisions.

4. They avoid the trap of trying to make things perfect.

Many of us are perfectionists in our own right. I know I am at times. We set high bars for ourselves and put our best foot forward. We dedicate copious amounts of time and attention to our work to maintain our high personal standards. Our passion for excellence drives us to run the extra mile, never stopping, never relenting. And this dedication towards perfection undoubtedly helps us achieve results, as long as we don’t get carried away.

But what happens when we do get carried away with perfectionism?

We become disgruntled and discouraged when we fail to meet the (impossibly high) standards we set for ourselves, making us reluctant to take on new challenges or even finish tasks we’ve already started. Our insistence on dotting every ‘I’ and crossing every ‘T’ breeds inefficiency, causing major delays, stress overload and subpar results.

True perfectionists have a hard time starting things and an even harder time finishing them, always.

Remember, the real world doesn’t reward perfectionists. It rewards people who get things done. And the only way to get things done is to be imperfect 99% of the time. Only by wading through years of practice and imperfection can we begin to achieve momentary glimpses of the perfection.

So make a decision. Take action, learn from the outcome, and repeat this method over and over again in all walks of life.

5. They work outside of their comfort zone.

The number one thing I persistently see holding smart people back is their own reluctance to accept an opportunity simply because they don’t think they’re ready.

In other words, they feel uncomfortable and believe they require additional knowledge, skill, experience, etc. before they can aptly partake in the opportunity. Sadly, this is the kind of thinking that stifles personal growth and success.

The truth is nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises because most great opportunities in life force us to grow emotionally and intellectually. They force us to venture outside of our comfort zone, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first. And when we don’t feel comfortable, we don’t feel ready.

Significant moments of opportunity for personal growth and success will come and go throughout your lifetime. If you are looking to make positive changes and new breakthroughs in your life, you will need to embrace these moments of opportunity even though you will never feel 100% ready for them.

6. They create S.M.A.R.T. goals and pursue them.

Successful people are objective and have realistic targets in mind. They know what they’re looking for and why they are fighting for it. Successful people create and pursue S.M.A.R.T. goals.

S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Let’s briefly review each:

  • Specific – A general goal would be, “Get in shape.” But a related specific goal would be, “Join a health club and workout 3 days a week for the next 52 weeks.” A specific goal has a far greater chance of being accomplished because it has defined parameters and constraints.
  • Measurable – There must be a logical system for measuring the progress of a goal. To determine if your goal is measurable, ask yourself questions like: How much time? How many total? How will I know when the goal is accomplished? When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued efforts required to reach your goal.
  • Attainable – To be attainable, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. In other words, the goal must be realistic. The big question here is: How can the goal be accomplished?
  • Relevant – Relevance stresses the importance of choosing goals that matter. For example, an Internet entrepreneur’s goal to sell 75 units by 2:00 p.m. may be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Timely, but it lacks Relevance to an entrepreneur’s all-inclusive objective of building a profitable online business.
  • Timely – A goal must be grounded within a time frame, giving the goal a target date. A commitment to a deadline helps you focus your efforts on the completion of the goal on or before the due date. This part of the S.M.A.R.T. goal criteria is intended to prevent goals from being overtaken by daily distractions.

When you identify S.M.A.R.T. goals that are truly important to you, you become motivated to realize ways to attain them. You develop the necessary attitude, abilities, and skills. You can achieve almost any goal you set if you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps.

Goals that once seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them.

To be continued next month…where we’ll talk about #’s 7 through 12.

Six Rituals of the Ultra Successful

Many of us think successful people do strange rituals to reach their success.

The truth is that they follow simple routines. They wake up and stick to a game plan. They find freedom in their routine while average people see routine as imprisoning.

1. Do the work… practice, practice, practice your craft!

Sure you can be good with a little effort, but you can be truly good with a little more effort. But you can’t be great – at anything – unless you invest an incredible amount of focused effort for a set amount of time every day. It’s as simple as that.

Scratch the surface of any successful person with incredible skills and you’ll find someone who has put thousands of hours of effort into developing those skills. There are no shortcuts in life and indeed, there are no overnight successes.

Almost everyone has heard about the 10,000 hours principle, which states that it takes roughly 10,000 hours to completely master a complex skill, yet despite sound evidence, so few follow it (except extremely successful people, of course).

Whatever you decide to do, do it well. In fact, do it so well that when others see you do it, they enjoy it so much that they want to come back and see you do it again… and they also want to bring their friends along so they can show them how incredible you are at doing what you do.

The reason so few people seem to follow the practice 10,000 hours to master a skill ritual is that when you look at it, 10,000 hours is spending eight hours per day practicing ONLY that skill, for five days a week for nearly FIVE YEARS. So, it’s approximately the same training commitment required to qualify to become a doctor.

Walk the talk every single day. Failure, small steps, persistence and action! There will be missteps and failures, but no matter what, you have to keep moving forward.

2. Build trust by standing behind every one of your promises.

If you say you’re going to do something, DO IT!
If you say you’re going to be somewhere, BE THERE!
If you say you feel something, MEAN IT!
If you can’t, won’t, and don’t, then DON’T LIE.

It’s always better to tell people the truth up front. Don’t play games with people’s heads and hearts. Don’t tell half-truths and expect people to trust you when the full truth comes out; half-truths are no better than lies.

Regardless of the business you’re in – selling products to consumers, or selling hours for dollars – the only question you have to ask yourself is: “Do they trust me enough to believe what I’m promising to deliver?” Without this trust, you have nothing.

If your target market knows you and they’re still not buying what you’re offering, they simply don’t trust you as much as you would hope. Earn their trust, and the rest of the puzzle pieces will effortlessly fall into place.

3. Focus more on less.

Having too many choices interferes with decision-making. Today – where information moves at the speed of light and opportunities for innovation seem endless – we have an abundant array of choices when it comes to designing our lives and careers. But sadly, an abundance of choice often leads to indecision, confusion, and inaction.

Several business and marketing studies have indicated that the more product choices a consumer is faced with, the fewer products they typically buy. After all, narrowing down the best product from a selection of three choices is certainly a lot easier than narrowing down the best product from a choice of three hundred. If the purchasing decision is tough to make, most people will just give up.

So if you’re selling a product line, keep it simple. And if you’re trying to make a decision about something in your life, don’t waste all your time evaluating every last detail of every possible option. Choose something you think will work and give it a shot. If it doesn’t work out, choose something else and keep pressing forward. Focus more on less, and do your very best.

4. Only use quality tools.

While we’re on the topic of focusing more on less, make sure the only tools you’re using are the only ones you truly need. There’s no point in keeping low-quality tools around. For instance, trying to cut through a thick piece of fresh lumber with an old, dull handsaw would be a pretty foolish endeavor. You would have to work extremely hard to make the even the slightest impact. This very same principle applies to everything in life.

Don’t let inefficiency defeat you. If the tools in your toolbox don’t fit the requirements of the job, find someone who has the right tools and barter with them, hire them, invite them into the process of what you’re trying to achieve.

Possessing the right tools (and skills) can easily shrink a mountain into a molehill. With a good idea, determination, and the right tools, almost anything is possible.

5. Spend quality time with quality people.

You are the average of the people you spend the most time with. And that’s why it’s not always where you are in life, but who you have by your side that matters most.

Some people drain you and others provide food that nourishes your soul. So be sure to get in the company of those who feed your spirit, and avoid those who do not appreciate your presence. There’s no need to rush into a relationship you are unsure of, or socialize with those who hold you back.

The bottom line is that relationships should help you, not hurt you. Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be. Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, people who care about you and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it.

Spend more time with nice people who are smart, driven and open-minded about personal growth and opportunity. Quality time spent with the right people actually resurfaces the foundation of our success.

6. Study, rehearse, and get comfortable with the art of selling.

If asked about the one skill that top CEO’s felt contributed the most to their success, most would say that it was the ability to sell themselves, their ideas, and what they had to offer.
Keep in mind “selling” in its truest sense isn’t an act of manipulating, pressuring, or being deceitful. It is, however:

  • explaining the logic and benefits of a decision or point of view;
  • convincing other people to work directly with YOU;
  • overcoming concerns and roadblocks, and calming other people’s unwarranted fears;
  • one of the principal foundations of both business and personal success.

Selling is about knowing how to negotiate, how to deal with a “no” when you receive one, how to maintain confidence and self-esteem in the face of rejection, and how to communicate openly, honestly, and effectively with a wide range of people so that you can build long-term relationships that garner long-term trust.

When you truly believe in your idea, or your business, or yourself, then you don’t need to have an enormous ego or an overly extroverted personality. You don’t need to “sell” in the traditional sense. You just need to communicate your point of view clearly, cordially, and confidently.

The Bottom Line

So there you have it, six rituals I’ve seen repeated over and over in the lives of some of the most successful people I’ve interacted with over the years.

And today I challenge you to implement one new positive ritual in your own life. It’s all about breaking up your larger goals into tiny, repeatable, daily actions.

Obviously this can’t be accomplished in a day. It’s about choosing a set time every day to practice diligently, and perhaps even tying your practice time to a recurring trigger, like: Every time you walk into your office you will immediately spend 30 minutes doing XYZ.

If you intend to enjoy true success and happiness, then you’d better start implementing these rituals. Furthermore, what’s equally important is to use these new positive rituals to replace the old negative ones that get us nowhere.

The Connection Between Being a Wealthy Contractor and How We Spend Our Time

The typical business owner, manager, or entrepreneur spends a considerable amount of their day handling crisis and putting out fires rather than running, managing and growing their business. As a result, at the end of the day they find they’ve made very little, if any progress toward achieving their goals.

And, at the end of several years, they find they’re no further ahead (in profits and wealth) than they were years ago. In fact, in many cases, they’re farther behind, because while their expenses and the cost of doing business continued to rise, their businesses failed to grow at a proportionate rate.

If this sounds like you, and you’re frustrated because of it, don’t give up. There’s a reason for it… and thankfully, a solution. And, the good news is, the solution isn’t all that difficult.

The main reason so many business people find themselves in this predicament is very clear to those who understand the simple principle behind it. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize, have never been taught, or fail to grasp this one basic and fundamental concept:

Most people in business spend too much time working IN their business, and not ON their business.

In other words, they’re working so hard trying to keep the ship afloat, that they don’t have enough time (and sometimes energy) to do what it takes to move the ship towards its intended destination.

And, it’s not always the business owner’s fault. Sometimes, the business they find themselves in has just grown so fast that they haven’t had time to keep up with it.

In other cases, the business might be slow to develop because of insufficient cash flow, inadequate resources, stiff competition, poor location, or an apathetic buying market, and it’s all the business owner can do to keep the doors open by running it him or herself. They just can’t afford to hire anyone else to help them.

If this sounds like you, like I said earlier, don’t give up. The good news is you can learn how to work more efficiently ON your business and controlling it, rather than having your business control you by you having to spend your valuable time working IN it.

Working Hard to Grow Your Home Improvement Business Can Produce Results,
But Working Smart Can Make You Rich

You’ve no doubt heard that to grow your home improvement business, you need to work smarter, rather than harder in your business. Well, that’s a very true statement. And, like the previous statement of working ON your business, rather than IN it, there are a lot of business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs who just don’t understand how to make it happen.
Keep in mind, if your goal is profit and wealth, it’s not how much you do, but what you choose to do, what you choose to spend your time on that determines the difference.

Next time we’ll begin a discussion of The 7 Levers To Maximizing the Profits of Your Home Improvement Business. In the meantime, here are a few things to think about:
1. How much of your time do you currently spend ON your business vs. IN your business?

2. Have you defined the activities in your business that are ON activities vs. IN activities? If not, that would be a great exercise before next time.

3. If you haven’t done so already, the definitive book about working on vs. in your business is The E-Myth by Michael Gerber, go to Amazon, get it now and study it.