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Don’t Drive Down The Motorway The Wrong Way

Date - 01 August 2016/ Category - Personal Lessons
Personal lessons

When I started out I was keen to boil the ocean. I wanted to do everything I could to make my business work.

I failed to understand the value of opportunity cost when it came to boiling the ocean, I valued the act of doing something over the value of doing the right thing.

What I ended up with was a very busy schedule that didn’t add value simply because I felt guilty of not doing anything.

Yet the truth is I could have done 10% of the things I felt compelled to do and done better.

I would have done better because I could have done that 10%, 100% of the time.

The problem was I never stopped to think; what is working and what isn’t? As times got harder I added more to my schedule; I didn’t rationalise down and focus on what works.

There’s so much opportunity out there for you to do the wrong things for your business. Every networking group comes with a sales pitch, every marketing company will make you millions.

You’ll feel inundated with ways to make your business work but after trying each one out you will realise that they were all just businesses looking to make a profit.

The greatest weapon these enterprises have is the testimonial. They all seem to have someone that’s gone on to be a success and they point to their influence as the reason why.

I don’t want to say these organisations made up these testimonials as I have sat there and seen them spoken in real life, but with hindsight I recognise the power of group influences on what people say.

I have seen people stand up and say that their success in one form of marketing has bought them a holiday, and when they come down from the podium they admit they had to take out a loan!

It seems there’s a human desire to help out in the community and by building networking opportunities into a community people are willing to lie and convince others to join.

That doesn’t though mean that networking won’t work for you, but what it does mean is that you need to take these things with a pinch of salt and not let them distract you from your core way of making sales.

Networking does after all work for lots of businesses, but it won’t work for all. We forget that business isn’t a one size fits all world. There’s as yet no manual on how to succeed and our inability to understand how we achieved our own success often leads to incorrect advice being passed to others.

Take for example the person that networks for a period of say 3 months, and at the end of that period gets a million pound referral.

This is a really easy way to show that networking works, but what we forget is that although the link might have been networking and undoubtedly it plays its part, the reason for the million pound referral was a one in a million chance.

This million pound referral could have been a right place right time deal and one that won’t be repeated in anyone’s lifetime, but its sheer existence is marketed and pointed to as the norm.

As a result 1000’s of people sign up to networking and expect the same results only to get nothing.

When you’re starting out in business you need to spend time understanding what will and what won’t work for you. It’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of unproductive activity simply because other people are doing it or because some fancy sales person has dressed it up as a necessity.

The only way you will learn whether these things work are by asking around or doing your research, but it’s often better to pick only a few core things to do well rather than many to do badly. If you’re not sure then don’t do it, it’s a simple as that.

Sacrificing 90% of your time on things that don’t make you money will ruin your work life balance and add needless stress. You need to remember that doing less can be better for your business.

Chapter Summary:

• Work out what works for you and concentrate on it
• Don’t believe every example of success can apply to you
• Doing less can actually be more beneficial to your business
• Not all testimonials are the truth

Read our next blog post “You need to be 150% better”.

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