The last time we chatted, I mentioned reclaiming our MOJO, and our profit money is about focusing on the Leadership of ourselves. It is about awakening ourselves from a deep sleep. So let me tell you a story.
Last summer, I interviewed an investment advisor. Y’know the type. They advise you about how to plan your money flow, set aside some funds, then invest those funds prudently, and if you are fortunate and life goes according to plan, you end up with a decent retirement nest egg. But, again, we ALL know the type.
The industry is heavily regulated to protect the consumer, and there is a limit to the commission structures. It is also a no capital business, which means tons of folks can enter it and in truth, only a handful actually make a decent living in it. Unfortunately, they pretty much all follow the exact same playbook. Wanna have me look at your financial plans? Wanna buy some stock? And too often, we, the consumer, feel conned when shepherded into life insurance plans and mutual funds that don’t pay much!
The fellow I interviewed was one of the 2% wickedly successful, and he graciously granted me access to his mind and secrets. While there were several things he had done differently, the piece of wisdom that struck a chord was this. “We all make the same amount of money on the deals. Everyone is doing x or following the y methodology. And it did work well — for a while. 30 or 40 years ago. But times changed. Here’s the thing. Most people and companies get locked into the “we’ve always done it this way, or the industry has always done it this way.” I simply looked at the industry that even today pays the exact same amount of commission money.
I said to myself, what could I do differently to bring that same money in faster or in more significant quantities? And my entire focus shifted from the product to the customer. From the offering to the experience.”
He was 28 at the time. He is now nearly fifty. The most successful and the most joyful investment advisor I know, have ever met, on three continents. With a unique offering that NO ONE can touch. He was focused entirely on the customer.
And that, dear friend, is the beginning of what I want to leave with you this week—some fresh ideas on reclaiming your MOJO and becoming the leader in your field. Last time, many of you contacted me about how my note felt like a shot of an elastic band. That is what I intended!
This week, here are some soothing salves.
When was the last time you focussed away from your product offering and onto the customer experience? In other words, have you changed up how you reach out to your customers? Let’s start with my friend’s terminology, “What could you do differently to bring that same money in faster or in greater quantities?” There are many, many different ways. Please keep an open mind.
Reach out on the customers’ terms
Have you tried to reach your customers on THEIR terms, not yours? Today, too many older generations are stuck in the same rut. Their way is the only way. So face to face, referrals, lots of content, driving to appointments and trade shows are the way to go.
Yet, in my experience, trade shows are big fat busts, content for the sake of content is wasted, and frankly, nobody wants to drive anywhere (save delivery services) if they can help it for ANY industry. And the younger generation uses its smartphone nearly all the time. It prefers video, radio and podcasts to face to face. So if you are not incorporating some of these in your marketing, why on earth not?
Tap into the YOUNGER firepower
When was the last time you asked someone ten or twenty years younger for advice on your most pressing problem? I hear a lot of nasty comments about younger people these days. However, I have yet to meet one. As a matter of fact, what they lack in experience, they more than make up in unique ideas and remarkable insights.
I have a reputation for throwing old and new ideas and concepts into the pot and making something entirely new. Why? One reason is that I keep a vast cadre of young and old nearby. Second, I value EVERYONE’S opinion — no matter how archaic or how cutting edge. I learned decades ago that everybody has at least one ounce of brilliance, and we are all wiser when we tap into that.
Get OUTSIDE more
When was the last time you said to the person in the mirror, “Let’s go completely outside our industry and business? Let’s spend some quality time with someone we trust and pick their brain to solve our biggest problem?”
The best ideas often come from OUTSIDE the industry. For years, I have heard folks inside companies say, “the silo effect here is awful. Nobody talks to one another.” Guess what? The same problems exist all over the world in every industry.
Yet each industry thinks it is its own silo and special snowflake. I assure you. Growing flowers might be different from selling franchises. But they do have ONE thing in common. PEOPLE. And people make the world go round. And since business is personal, all problems are solved by people.
Find Your Own Credible Professional
When was the last time you called in a credible professional? To review just one area of your business? And said, “tell me what I can do to take this up a notch?” Start as small as you like. Set a reasonable small budget and demand something for that budget to get a taste before you commit to something more significant.
My Personal Plea
Here is the truth. To get back to the level of money you once made or make more money than you are making today, you have to do something different. But, of course, the easiest thing to do is always to do something different on yourself.
And you will always be surprised at the outcomes you get. The cost to get there is not nearly as high as the cost of not doing anything.
Change is never easy; the best position is when you call the shots. That is why I always suggest business owners and leaders take the reins on themselves first.
Pick just one of these ideas. Pick just an area. And watch what you can accomplish. You will amaze yourself. Progress begets progress. Trust me. Awaken yourself, awaken your business.
To your success!