Friday, October 2, 2009

Why Aren't People Buying?

We are in a depression, probably one that will out-rival the last one of 1929. Unemployment is at its highest, some say around 50% when you count the people no longer on unemployment, small business owners not making enough to pay themselves a paycheck . . . let alone their bills, and recently graduated students who can't get a job!

People are overcome by fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of what is happening around them. Fear of past sins.

Some take relief in pointing the fingers at big business, the banks and anyone else but themselves. The truth is, in a way, we are all to blame. The real blame might just be greed.

We are at an important junction of our economy. If we are not at the bottom, we must be pretty damn close because a lot of us can feel our butts scraping it. The real problem is how long will we hang here? Will recovery come this fall or will it come later? No one knows, we can just speculate and that speculation is also contributing to our fears.

I do know this. As bad as this economy is, some people are still spending. Not as many as we would like, but I suspect it will be sometime before we ever see those days again.

With that thought in mind, each and everyone of us should take a step back and examine what they are doing, and what they should be doing in regard to their businesses and lives. Change is here and change is inevitable.

The world and our economy doesn't have the time and money for those who will do nothing to position themselves properly. In order to survive and thrive, we need to re-examine our business models. If it is broken it needs to be fixed. If it is working can it be tuned to work even better? A company's long-term survive and thrive mode will be the result of the customer's it attracts to do business with it and your marketing will play a major role in producing your customers.

Why? Because no one can expect an overabundance of customers anymore. The majority of people aren't spending.

So choose your next step wisely in this new economy. Your newly attracted customers will talk about you. They will do the selling for you. If you neglect them or the right approach that will produce them for you, you could end up in a host of trouble.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

5 Ways to Make the Hard Decisions a Little Easier

"Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision."

- Peter Drucker

5 Ways to Make the Hard Decisions a Little Easier

How often have you tossed and turned with an important decision but failed to act because you felt like your feet were locked in cement, at night it feels as though your backbone is chewing on your stomach, you don't decide, you worry, you delay important decision making even though this one failure to decide will adversely your life and business?

How about that long-term employee whose performance has headed south, but you procrastinated out of loyalty. But you know you have to do something about this problem, but your procrastination wins out and your agony continues.

How about getting the help you need to get your business on track? You fret over the costs yet you know you will easily earn it back in no time with the right resource and guidance?

This is about those "tough" decisions" - the kind we all struggle with.

It seems to be easier to keep putting them off... but that just prolongs the discomfort.

Whenever I've had a decision weighing on my mind, it's kept nagging at me. But when I finally made the hard call, it was never as bad as I had worked it up to be. In fact, I've found that the longer you chew on it, the worse it gets.

Thinking back, there are two vivid examples that spring to mind...

Breaking Away From My Business...

One of the biggest decisions I ever had to make was whether or not to sell my contracting business. It had been my life-long dream to own a successful contracting business, to make lots of money and then be able to walk away.

However, when the first opportunity presented itself, I clearly stonewalled the decision until the interested parties gave up and walked away. But then, I remember my attorney telling me something that stuck clearly in my mind.

"Construction businesses are generally worthless and they end up in the same place. The contractors have to work until they die and are buried, or they leave the business to their kids and they drive them into the ground, either way, the business ends up in the ground! You have something of value and taking advantage of the opportunity you now have is the right thing to do."

That's when I started experimenting with what I am doing today.

Looking back, it was by far the best decision I ever made for my future.

Uncovering the Proven Business Model...

To get my speaking and coaching business off the ground, I started learning a lot about the speaking business. And then I decided to get down to business and make it work, no more dabbling. I boldly called a speaker who I had heard speak and had read his books. His name was Paul Karasik. I asked him if I could follow him around the country and help him at my own expense just so I could learn the in's and out's of the business. I wanted him to be my mentor. He agreed and I started my journey on becoming a first-class speaker and sought after business coach to contractors.

I also attended many seminars of other speakers, buying their books and tapes. I can remember my ex-wife commenting that I was foolishly throwing money away but I wasn't, I was absorbing the inside information to be successful at what I wanted to do.

I didn't procrastinate, I persisted. I bit the bullet and went. Another tough - but a smart - decision.

Frankly, if I had listened to my ex-wife, I know I wouldn't be anywhere near where I am today. I can directly trace the moment when everything "clicked" for me and I "got it" from all that hard up-front work. That's when I discovered the power of doing it correctly and not wasting my time trying to make something that couldn't work, work.

I've found that people regret things they don't do much more than things they do. That's not how I want to live my life - brooding over "shouldas" "couldas" or "wouldas."

In fact, I believe that most of our "tough" decisions aren't really so tough. But the longer it takes for us to get off the fence and take action, the more we magnify them in our own heads.

With that in mind, here are five simple things to try when you are having trouble making a decision:

Decision-Making Method #1: Think about the worst-case scenario.

What is the worst possible thing that can happen if you make the wrong decision? It almost certainly won't happen - but even if it does, you can probably live with it.

Decision-Making Method #2: Listen to your gut.

This is huge! Don't try to rationalize your way out of making the decision. You've got good instincts. Take advantage of them. Make YOUR OWN DECISION! Listen but do not allow others to persuade you otherwise. They are not living your life, you are.

Decision-Making Method #3: Give yourself a deadline.

If you give yourself an indefinite amount of time to decide on a course of action, you'll never do it. Not to mention, you'll drive yourself crazy! Think of yourself as the high-powered CEO of your own life - an executive who MUST make decisions quickly. Actions love success and never forget that!

Decision-Making Method #4: Visualize your ideal outcome.

This is an exercise I learned from John Harricharan. He calls it the "Power Pause." It takes three minutes - one minute to think about what you want to happen... one minute to think about how good you'll feel when it does happen... and one minute to calm yourself down by thinking about what you are already grateful for in your life.

Decision-Making Method #5: The Band-Aid solution.

You know how painful it can be to pull off a bandage (especially for those of us who are kind of hairy)? Well, the secret is to pull it off quickly. Nothing is worse than paralysis by analysis. You'll never have all the information you need to make the perfect decision. Do the best you can with what you've got. Then move on.

And here's a bonus tip: When all else fails, flip a coin. That's how I've decided many a decision!

There you go - all that angst and gut-wrenching turmoil can be avoided simply by making the decision.

May the decision-making force be with you!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Ultimate Betrayal

The liberal and progressive parasites are quietly destroying your American dream.

Beware! Life here in America as you know it, is in imminent danger!

Do you value the American way of life? If you do, you need to realize that slowly and methodically the rights and freedoms that made this country great are being taken away from you.

If you feel that you have certain God-given rights, given to you by our Founding Fathers over two centuries ago, understand that right now, in Washington, a powerful faction of self-centered politicians is undermining, in no uncertain terms, your rights, freedoms and pursuits of happiness.

The shackles and chains that are being forced upon us will stifle our dreams and aspirations and will be passed down to our children, grand-children and most likely, our great-grandchildren to burden them as well. They will never get to know or enjoy the real America as we have experienced in our lifetimes.

"Taxation without Representation," "A government for the people, by the people," and "Give me Liberty or give me death," were battle-cries from our Founder's past. They stood up, shoulder-to-shoulder to rid themselves of their present day tyranny that attempted to burden them with a monarchy that neither cared nor witnessed them as equals and most certainly, not as free men to choose their own destiny. Their blood was shed in the fields and the streets, for they valued their rights and freedoms for themselves, their children and children's children above all personal aspirations.

Today, we find the same underlying evil force masked not under the facade of a monarchy but that of liberal or progressivism, slowly and manipulatively believing that they are smarter than the people, above the people and better situated to decide what is best for us the people.

They strive to entangle us in a bigger government, to remove our alienable rights with debt, laws and restrictions. They cater to those that contribute nothing or even worse, create their own problems through greed and stupidity and do so under the pretense that they are needy. Such actions do nothing except remove the last straw of decency from a person.

You cannot reshape or redefine America. Its greatness was cast by our Founding Fathers with words that have served us well for over two centuries in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. It is not America that needs changing, it is not the Republic that needs changing nor is it our citizenship. It is the run-a-way government and it inept politicians that are concocting a witches' brew of change that will destroy our fundamental foundation as a democracy.

We the people want back our Republic, a Republic that was originally designed for the good of all men, not a select few. We want the political corruption, partisanship, lies, and favoritism to stop. We want the entitlements, handouts, and 'special' interest groups ended and we want our country put back on the right track to prosperity.

We want the laws and rules to apply to all citizens, regardless of political affiliation or standing. This Republic was founded as a government by, of, and for the people. It was not founded to serve the best interests of those who feed out of our trough of tax dollars, stuffing their own pockets with our hard-earned money, nor for those in Washington who fail to obey our tax laws, yet get nothing more than a slap on the wrist for doing so because their political party controls the rule of law. Nor was it established to bail out the interests of big corporations who are victims of their own greed and stupidity, while ignoring the needs of mainstream America.

We want fiscal responsibility, a balance-budget and the complete removal of the waste and want spending that presently exists from those in Washington. If we as the citizens of this great nation have to live within our means, so should our country and its leaders.

We do not want a "second Bill of Rights." We want our present day government and courts to adhere to the existing Bill of Rights, and we want the far-fetch, loose interpretations and meddling with our existing Bill of Rights to stop right now.

We want a fair tax code, not one that consists of loop-holes and misinformation, one so complicated even the agency responsible of administering it cannot properly define its purpose. We want a simple, flat-tax that allows all people and businesses of all categories and size to pay their tax according to their spending habits without the fear or burden of reprisal.

We want the political pitting of one group of Americans against another to stop. This serves only the wants of those who are trying to destroy our great nation.

We do not want socialism or tyranny. We want this Republic to properly herald its stature as the rightful leader and superpower of democracy, freedom and fairness in the world. We do not want to be brought down to the basement level of global citizenship with countries who violate their citizens of basic human rights, who cannot feed their poor because of their political turmoil and who demonstrate their hatred for a free democracy by denying their own people such freedoms.

We want this great Republic to serve as the beacon of truth to the world's nations, providing the bright shining light so that they can navigate towards it, bringing themselves up to the level of freedom and democracy that we have enjoyed for over 200 years.

To do this, we need a President, who respects our rights, freedoms and existing form of democracy, a President and Congress that adheres to the Founding Father's proclamation to "to provide for the common defence," not a leadership that willingly gives to those who wish to undermine our democracy.

I say to all Americans, you must see we have a problem and be willing to stand for what is right. Our democracy is in imminent danger!

It is time for us the people to take back our government.

We must stand shoulder to shoulder, rally peacefully in the streets but we must make our voices heard. Let those who are undermining our democracy see our numbers and fear our reprisal. Let their ears ring constantly with our opposition to their attempts to destroy that which we value above all else.

Our change back to the great Republic will not come from those already in office but from those we will replace them with come the next elections. Do not vote for those you are familiar with but with those who preach the changes we need to re-build this country back to where it was.

Shake loose from the hypocrisy of partisan politics and cast your vote for change in the right direction. Denounce socialism, tyranny and this present governing without representation. Shout from the roof tops with your loudest voice, "No more of the insiders' Washington, no more lies, no more deceit, we want our government back!"

Be firm and united. Do not wait for change, institute it. Stand tall and firm in the greatness of our Founding Fathers' who mutually pledge to each other, as we must do to ourselves, our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor to uphold our rights and liberties that belong only to us.

Never forget, it is we the people who must put an end to this betrayal of our trust, this insanity, this corrupt abuse of our government, and it is we the people who must regain back our rights and freedom of a government by, of, and for the people.

God bless America!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hoping is not an option

The Ultimate Realty:
"Hoping for the best"
Is Not An Option!
8 Steps to Creating Success In Your Business

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein

So, right now you are probably getting hit real badly in this economy, right?

It's real and lot's of folks made really stupid decisions (like spending 3X what they make) and are now paying for those decisions - but contrary to the popular belief, the end of the world is not here.

Not even close!

Sure, some people haven't got any money. Some people are losing their jobs. Some businesses are hurting.

But not everyone!

You see . . . If you focus on "no money! no money! no money!!!", guess what you get?

You get no money!!!

You need to focus your energy and resources on what you want, not what you fear.

If you want success, you need to sharpen your skills and focus on making success happen.

So, with that thought in mind.

Turn off the T.V. and for heaven's sake quit reading the newspaper! It's all pumped-up negative B.S. anyway.

There is money everywhere. Do not believe the broke people who try to tell you otherwise.

Money doesn't go away, money doesn't disappear. It simply changes hands and multiplies.

The problem with most contractors is that they are looking for work with those who are broke, their old customer type. Why? Because that is what they know.

They are also listening so much to the negative crap that they are starting to believe it themselves. They are so use to the 'good ole days' when work fell into their lap, that they still think that is how you manage your business.

Things have changed, the 'good ole days' are gone and if you want a business that will survive and thrive you need to sharpen your business skills or the bottom-feeders will chew you up and spit you put.

Let me share with you what I mean, . . .

If you keep doing what you've been doing all along and it is no longer working, what do you suppose is likely to happen?

Repeating the successes of the past, preserving tradition, doing things as they are "supposed" to be done, will- at best - produce results like those you had before. Except that in this new future - our present - those results can't possibly be as good, as productive, or as powerful as they once were. And probably not as much fun, either.

Unreasonable success requires unreasonable approaches to the future. Especially in this future that is coming at us full speed. It requires a "change" in the way you are accustom to doing things, such as, conducting business.

Waiting for breakthroughs is not an option. You need to adapt, you need to create. You can create them at will. It is called "taking positive action."

Breakthroughs are great leaps forward, and while they can happen by accident, they can also happen by design.

Here are principles of "Taking Positive Action!"

1. Invest in expanding your business-building skill sets

You need a new set of skill sets in order to successfully circumnavigate your way in this changing economy. The past is gone and only the future lies ahead. It will NEVER be like it was 3 or 4 years ago. It will be more difficult, requiring a better business-building tool set of skills than you've ever had to have before. Start gathering the knowledge and building your tool chest of business-building skills, it is an investment in the success of your future

2. Expect the best

Make a commitment to yourself to be the best you can be. Then, do the same with those around you, expect the best from them also. Expect them to be successful. Count on it. Plan for it. Budget for it. Expecting the best gives you the highest likelihood of getting whatever IT is. Start with the best case scenario and figure out how insure it. By the way, expecting the worst has a similar, but opposite, effect.

3. Be Positive! Don't think, "Can I accomplish it?" Think, "How can I get
this done?"

If it is worth doing, and you have strong reasons for doing it, you'll find a way. Stop worrying if it is possible. Trust me, it is. Focus your deepest mind on how to make it happen. Remember, the best answer to "How...?" is "Yes."

4. Back yourself into a corner, so the only place you can go is forward.

Warrior-sage Sun Tzu wrote that nothing is as dangerous as an enemy backed into a corner. They will fight to the death for the have nowhere else to run. Don't think about "enemies," declare war on yourself.

5. Don't be afraid to ask people for a lot. They just may give you what you need.

Not asking accomplishes nothing, and asking for what you want will often get it for you. People like to serve. People like to accomplish. People like to win against great odds. Why not ask them for everything.

6. Avoid the "Dream Slayers" and "Negative Addicts" around you.

When people say, "You can't" tell them you can! Can't is the road to mediocrity. "I can", is the first step towards majesty.

7. If you're not scared, you're not doing anything worthy.

All great ventures things in life contain elements of profound risk, and the promise of failure as well as success. Courage isn't acting without fear, it is being afraid, and acting anyway. If you are not at least a little afraid, you are probably not doing anything worthy of the name great. Unreasonable people are often afraid. So what, just be sure you are afraid of the right thing.

8. Don't worry about getting it just right.

Perfection prevents progress. New ideas must be tested against human beings. If you wait until you get it perfect, it may be too late. It may be never. Think functionality and workability. Experiment in the chaos of the real world, and fix the problems that arise later.

I hope these 8 points will help you.