Why do you do what YOU do?
Ask most business owners why they own a business, and they’ll frequently give some B.S. answer like “To help other people” or “To provide value.” Some say, “Money isn’t what I’m after.” Nuts. If that were the REAL reason they started and continue to run a business, they wouldn’t take a salary and would live off the thank-you notes and “Likes” they get on Facebook, giving all their money to charity or letting the staff divvy up all the profits.
That’s not to say you can’t have “providing value” or “having fun” as criteria for doing business, but let’s be clear: it’s not the reason you run a business. If you had to make a decision that would require a little less “fun” but would provide significant profits, no honest person is picking “more fun” and taking a chunk out of their hide. Anyone who says so is either confused or regurgitating what they know will be the “acceptable” and “popular” answers to get the most Likes on Facebook. Not too many people will “Like” the “I’m in business to WIN and make as much money as possible for myself” post, even though deep down it’s true.
I tell you this to make a point: you need to decide what your core principles and philosophies are for running your business. YOUR principles. YOUR philosophies. YOUR reasons. I think too many people 1) have never thought about it and simply defaulted to needing something to do to pay the bills, or 2) are ashamed to say the real motives they have: to get rich, buy their dream house, drive the type of car they love, go on vacation wherever and whenever they want, pay for things to help their family and children and never have to worry about money running out. Once you’re clear on that, you can accurately extract the strategies you’ll use, which will then lead to tactics.
Example: One of the core philosophies I have is MAXIMUM return for everything we do. Use EVERY part of the pig. Leave NO stone unturned. Capitalize on EVERY opportunity. No sloth, no waste – two things I despise. That leads to the strategies we use. For example, when we plan an event, we don’t just “have an event.” I have a long checklist of things we will do to maximize the return for the time and money invested that include not only how we get as many qualified prospects/clients there as possible, but also sponsorship revenue; sales strategies before, during and after the event; recording of the content for a product we can sell later; video clips and photos for marketing in social media; client testimonials we can use for other purposes; reactivating “lost” or inactive clients; inviting key prospects there that I want to do business with, etc., etc. Of course, one of those key and critical strategies is to deliver value so people buy, refer and come back. That goes without saying. But to say I’m ONLY there to provide value is not truthful. I’m there to ALSO make money, grow the business and secure more paying clients.
Those strategies then lead to tactics: We’re going to mail all prospects in the area a special VIP invitation and attempt to get them to the event using mail, calls, e-mails and LinkedIn. When they register, we create a “show up” series of communications to get them excited about attending. Once they arrive, ensure they are greeted warmly and segmented from clients, given a gift and assigned a point person who will answer questions and integrate them with the rest of our clients who are there. Then, of course, ensure they receive value so they naturally want to buy.
Most people only think tactically and not strategically – and then have no underlying philosophies or principles to guide them. Bezos’s philosophy is clear – to be the everything store. To dominate and become the place people buy goods and services. He’s clear. From there, strategies, such as convenience in ordering, a wide selection of products and speed of the product reaching you. From those come specific tactics, like owning warehouses and a fleet of delivery trucks to ensure you get items quickly.
Jim Rohn accurately assessed that business IS a serious matter. It’s serious if you succeed or fail. It’s serious if you have a good plan mapped out for your business to thrive or not. It’s serious if you can pay your bills on time, and your employees, and deliver on the promises you’ve made. These are serious matters – which is why running a business is not *just* to have fun and serve others. You must have a plan to ensure it also functions and thrives or it cannot continue on.
That’s why it matters that you think through the underlying principles and philosophies, then develop the strategies, THEN the tactics. Not just blindly wake up every day thinking succeeding and making money is unimportant, implementing random acts and blind tactics. You’ll never convince me someone has pride in their work or themselves if that’s their approach.