Mindset. Do not listen to the voice on your shoulder that tells makes you feel embarrassed, scared, fearful, second guess yourself. If you want success, un-fucking-leash. I see a lot of entrepreneurs that worked their asses off when they were a W-2 but now that they have their own business, they get timid on selling. Stop that, play full out. It’s your life, your PASSION, or change what you do so you can go all out.
Sales. Sales are all that matters. Kobe and Shaq loved each other when they won championships. They broke up when they did not. Sales is the same. More sales, more WINS, more Championships to celebrate. Never take your foot off the gas pedal on sales. Never get comfortable or you will be very uncomfortable when your bank account isn’t where you want it to be. You are probably really good at selling, you just don’t know it yet. Hire a sales coach or someone in charge to do your sales for you. No company can survive without sales. When Apple sales are down, look at their stock. When it’s up, look at their stock. Get high on sales. Watch books, pick 1 or 2 sales mentors you like, and stick to them. Pick carefully so you know they are legit.
Customers. Know your customer’s goals. Offer and only sell what your customers need. They will then buy from you for a long time, in many cases anything you recommend to them. You will have turned into their M.D. of whatever you do. Don’t push your services, prescribe them to them so they can grow and be in a better position after they buy. Then you will have someone for a long period of time that will be loyal to you. The bigger the problem you solve, the more you can charge to solve it. Say you need a haircut, that may cost $10-100. Say you need brain surgery, the cost is anything it takes but a quick google search said $50,000 to $150,000.
Mentors. Listen to those further ahead of you. I didn’t, this cost me millions. I know you may be thinking, how do you quantify that? I am including missed opportunities of deals with huge companies that I miscalculated my presentation by not listening to people that wanted to guide me. Ego got in the way. Fuck your ego, be a student the rest of your life and take advice from those that have been there and done that. Watch out for them fakers, they are easy to identify, they tell another person’s journey and pawn it off as their own.
Process. Create one folder on your drive and call it “Process”. Type them out as if you are training a 4-year-old to do all the tasks you do. Billing a credit card, how to submit your end of day work report, how to pre-qualify a lead before booking a call. Write them all down and make a training video. I didn’t, guess what happens when you don’t have this done? You lose money and time. BOTH. Want that? Do you like training while you are using your time, your contractor/employee’s time and all in the middle of your day when you should be selling services or building the business? You pay with your time and money for this. Just pay with the time of the contractor or better yet, have them train before you bring them on if that is part of your hiring process.
Focus. Stop doing shit that does not matter. You what that is. If you feel like you did a million things, but still have a million more, you probably are off alignment with what your goals are. Audit your day, write down what you do every 20 minutes for the previous 20 minutes. Pretend you are playing your favorite video game and you will do all it takes to win. Use that method to your business. Be efficient. Cut the shit out. Deal with the hard stuff and the most important stuff first.
Hiring. This is something I really suck at. I still do. I can write the process, know the person I want, but hiring isn’t my jam. I had my friend hire my best team members or others referred them in. I also had my dad help me, he was better at this than I. So they hired and introduced me before we gave any offers to have a conversation. If you suck like me, ask a friend or someone good at this for a favor to help and do something in return like a nice dinner or a Laker game.
Paying it Forward. Help people reach their goal and you will reach yours. But do not overlook your own goals. What I mean by this is simple. In order for you to have the most impact, it’s great to help people but if you need help too, it’s like the blind leading the blind. Take care of yourself so you can be in a better position to help more people once you have more freedom. I spent a lot of time helping other people solve their problems which made mine bigger. To pay it forward most effectively, take care of you first.
Say NO. Say no to everyone and everything that will take you off track. Want to get drinks? NO! Want to go to the Laker game? NO! Want to drive me to the airport? NO. Say fucking NO. You owe it your business, yourself, your future, your bank account. There are millions of distractions out there waiting to fuck up your day. Just stay true to your mission and say fucking NO as much as you can to shit that does matter. This is one of the most important things of your day.
Delegate. Learn to delegate as much as you can. Today there are so many tools for delegation and delivery. Trello, Asana, Google Drive, Door Dash, Amazon, etc. You can literally automate and delegate almost everything the way things are today. Learn how to do so effectively so you do more things you LOVE to do that can help you reach your goals. Some people want money, others want freedom, some want to travel. This is yours to choose. Free up your time and delegate starting with lower-level tasks to someone else and start to add more work to them as they pick things up quickly.
Love. In order to show you for yourself, your team, and your clients, you must LOVE what you do and be passionate. Not to get all Gary Vee on you but fuck, you only live once. Why the fuck live in misery or not as happy as you can be and live every moment thinking – is this a damn dream? I did shit I hated, some I still do and that’s okay as long as you are aware. Make small shifts to get to where you want. It’s hard because the fear of the unknown and leaving a secure paycheck may hold you back. If nothing changes, nothing changes.
Self Care. Go to the gym. Eat healthy. It will help you feel confident, work more effectively, you’ll be less likely to be inclined to destroy your body with drinks, fast food or other bad habits. When I work out and eat healthy, I feel confident AF, I have so much more energy, I am nicer to people, annoying things bother me less, I am more focused, I don’t fall prey to my friends (**as much) to go out drinking, and good shit happens J. Your body is your personal shrine, take care of yourself.
Celebrate. Own your damn WINS. Share the fucking wins. Inspire others to win, with your wins. It’s not bragging, it’s sharing, caring, helping others get motivated or light a fire under a stranger’s ass and change their life and you won’t even know. You are a mentor, an authority, a leader, a role model to many people you never met or will ever meet. Trust me, you will find out one day. People watch, study, and learn from you and will never tell you. Just remember to celebrate not only to be selfish but to inspire.
Fail. Fall down 7 times, get back 8. Failing is the ONLY way to succeed. Failure is temporary, it is a bruise, not a tattoo. Failing is good, just like a child fails to walk at an early age, they never give up, next thing you know they are walking, running, playing sports all out. Failure in business is your best learning lesson. Learn as you go, improve as you go, be a student all the time. Learn lessons to improve your brain processing and apply it to life and business.
Innovate. Ask customers, colleagues, mentors and other people you look up to about the trends in the market. Like the great Wayne Gretzky said: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” The same applies to business. Know where your market it going and have the 6th sense of anticipation. Look at Blockbuster. Netflix didn’t put them out of business, Blockbuster just failed to innovate. Innovation is just fancy for making small tweaks to what you do or offer so your customers can gain the edge by hiring you. I still see so many friends and agency owners selling shit that won’t work to customers which will, in turn, put them out of business or in a major deficit position.
There are so many lessons to be learned. Don’t get overwhelmed and try to stay composed.
I hope this inspires or helps anyone else.
If you have more lessons to share, please share them.
If anything stands out to you, I’d love for you to share in the comments below.