Be The Best You

by Frank Thomas

I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to help others with their business ideals. With running a business, I’ve been able to gather some pretty interesting insights and I’m truly glad to offer help to others to help them avoid the same pitfalls.

One thing that I encounter as a problem quite often is when people just don’t seem to be making headway in their career. They are usually frustrated and annoyed because things are not working as planned. A lot of the time, this is more of an issue of clear direction then anything else. Let me explain.

I’ve discovered when I become laser focused on a job or a project, I can accomplish quite a bit in record time. This is normally when I do the most learning, doing and earning. But it does require this extreme focus. Nothing can get in your way. This sort of behavior is also great in seeing results quickly too. Which in turn motivates the doer even more.

Let’s look at the other side of this, when someone is complaining about having little or no success. Analyze the list and tell me which are you guilty of?

Doing Work For Work’s Sake

This is a great catch phrase coined by Timothy Ferris, the author of The 4 Hour Work Week. He states that we will do things that are technically ‘work’ but don’t really help you get to your goal. A good example of this is checking email several times per day. I know I can easily waste two or three hours per day dealing with email.

Now that’s a time waster. And I’m thinking that I’m pretty busy – but really I’m not. I’m wasting time on things that don’t help me get the desired results.

Another great example of this is designating work to others. In today’s day of the Internet, there’s no excuse to do $5 per hour work when you can get a great virtual assistant to do it for you. You have to make your time worth $100, $500 or maybe even $1,000  per hour. If you find that you are completing tasks that are $5/hour tasks, you are wasting time.

You could argue that it will cost money! I personally would rather spend $5 per hour for someone’s help then to loose $95 per hour because I’m doing it all myself!

No Clear Business Plan

Everyone touts that you need a business plan. And you do!! Just because you have a great idea doesn’t mean that it will be a great idea to everyone else. If you have an idea, test the market first before wasting a lot of time and money. As a matter of fact, my most profitable ideas have been from others.

For example, I was helping people on a forum on how to use two pieces of keyword research software. It didn’t take more then a month for someone to tell me, if I ever built this into a course, he’d buy it. I listened and compiled all my notes and made a three hour training video series illustrating all of my concepts.

It took all of two days to make the product and market it. After four weeks of sales, I sold more then $4,000 worth of instructional videos. Guessing I spent maybe 12 hours on the project in total, I made $333 per hour for my efforts!

Next I built another video course that took me two weeks to build and several hundred dollars of expense. But it wasn’t a tested product. I ‘thought’ that it would be well received. Well, I sold exactly $37 – one customer. That stung. But it also taught me a great lesson. Find the pond with the fish before casting your fishing rod.

Have no clear business plan does go beyond this initial point. What are you ending up with is critical, but how are you going to get there? What time and funding will you need? Is the market big enough to even bother with this idea? Do you really know what your customer is looking for in your product?

These questions can easily get flushed out by  listening to others. But you have to answer these questions before you take the time to move forward. The small amount of time you spend building a good plan is well worth the time that you could waste if you don’t.

No Staying Power

If you find that you drop an idea before making it profitable, then you may have a short attention span. This is something that I’m guilty of. I have to have a plan as I mentioned above to stay on task and keep going even if I’m not seeing the results yet.

It’s very important to stay focused on your goals – and have mini-goals along the way as you work towards your success. If you let distraction sink in, you’ll be starting something else that is new and shiny – before profiting from your current efforts.

Know right now that anything worthwhile will take years to really come into long term profits. If you are looking for a fast results business idea, you may be very disappointed. If I had a dollar for every time someone tells me that something doesn’t work, I’d be rich. The funny thing is that most things do work, they just take time.

Getting Wise Counsel

I added this to this list because to me, if you are trying to figure out everything, you are truly a fool. Sorry to be blunt, but it is true. Seek counsel in all things so you can move forward as quickly as possible. You may not follow all the advice given, that’s your choice, but do seek counsel. One of the primary reasons that Henry Ford was so successful was not because he was brilliant. It was because he wasn’t afraid to get the counsel and help he needed to move his ideas forward.

Getting wise counsel does have some caveats though. Be sure you ask a baker how to make good bread, not a butcher. In other words, be sure that the counsel you seek in an area comes from someone who really knows that they are talking about. Next, make sure you seek counsel from someone who IS successful in the area you are asking them about.

Why would you ask someone who is mediocre about a particular topic when you can ask someone who is excellent in the same topic. I’m sure the advice given will be night and day. There’s good advice and there’s great advice. You always want great advice.

Finally, you must always filter advice through your goal’s filter. If you do the thing recommended, will it keep you on track or even speed things up? Or will it cause you to be de-railed for a period of time. There are times when you have to back up to go forward but always be careful when the advice doesn’t line up with the end goal.

Expecting Others To Build Your Success

Probably the number one things that does frustrate me more then anything else is when someone believes that success hinges on another person. Let me give you an example of this. Some time back I offered to help someone with a bit of the web design part of their business. I did get a bit overloaded at the time by paying clients and I had to put this favor on the back burner.

It probably took about two weeks but this person came to me and blamed me for holding them back! Sorry – wrong again. Yes, what I promised wasn’t yet completed, but it really didn’t add to the bottom line. It did help – in the long term but in the short term, not at all. This person had to start prospecting for clients in their business and got stuck because the web site wasn’t a 100%.

Think of this another way. Let’s say you need to line up appointments to meet with people to tell them about your business or product. Would you wait two weeks to get business cards from the printer before you head out? No! The business card isn’t the sale, the prospecting is.

Another example I can offer you is I had a young man approach me with a great idea in the financial sector. We talked about it and came to an agreement that I could offer the technology side and he could offer the financial smarts side. But again it required him to get out and start pounding the pavement.

After about six weeks, he approached me and was upset that things were not progressing. But the parts I was to do, were completed. He was upset because he was terrified to prospect. He wanted me to prospect clients instead! Being I have no financial smarts in his idea, or little at best, I was totally unqualified to prospect for him.

At the end of the day, if you feel someone is holding you back, then get a new someone. And please don’t expect the moon and the stars if someone is helping you for free. If you need an employee, or virtual assistant, then hire one. You will not be sorry in the long run.

Wrapping It Up

To be honest, I could go on and on with this topic. But it always comes down to these fine points. Make sure you have a marketable product/service that you can afford to bring to the market in a timely manner. Be ready to find your prospects and be sure to engage the manpower or brain power as you need it.

To your success!

Share this article

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *