Sunday, September 30, 2012


Let me put this as simply as I can. If you own a small business... and if your business is viable, that is... if you can answer a resounding YES to 13 Simple Questions, then you are poised and ready to... wait for it... DOUBLE YOUR INCOME and cut the time you spend working in HALF. 

We absolutely, positively know how to make this happen. In any economy in any kind of business. 

There is no mystery here, no big secret. Doubling your income and cutting the time you spend working in half requires the application of strategies that are known to work and nothing more. And we know what those strategies are. We do. 

The hard work part of making this happen is getting a resounding YES answer to the 13 Simple Questions.

And once poised and ready, it will take you about two to three years to get there, to DOUBLE and HALF. But, don't you think it will be worth it. Of course. So why not? Why not now? Why not you now?

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Our CHALK TALK for October is entitled “Marketing - Make Yours Work Better.” It is true that if you put your offer forward, out into the market place, eloquently enough, your stuff will sell big time. But if you’re like most small business people, you do not have a college degree in marketing. So what are you to do? You certainly want to sell more stuff. But how? What are your best marketing options, the ones that will make your marketing work better?

When you can SHOW your target market that what you do solves a problem, makes their life easier or gives them pleasure in some way, sales will happen and your business will take off. 

But if that’s not happening for you now, here are some underlying causal factors that may be holding you back. 
  • No written marketing plan
  • No clearly identified target customer or client
  • Offer is vague or not compelling
  • No measurement or accountability
  • Not enough time or money budgeted
  • Poorly organized
  • No follow-through
  • Too often caught up in the tyranny of the urgent
  • Don’t know how to talk (negotiate) so as to close enough sales

Any one of these things can kill your marketing before you start. If you have one of these issues or more than one going on, then you've found your place to begin making improvements. 

Bottom line, your marketing message must do three things. First, it must CAPTURE ATTENTION. There’s a reason why people will spend thousands of dollars on a TV commercial or on a logo design. These things have to work, to almost instantly grab the attention of whoever see, hears or experiences them in some fashion. 

Second, your marketing message must CLARIFY. It must show what’s unique or special or how what you offer will help or solve a problem or give pleasure to the buyer.

Third, your marketing message must COMPEL. It must be crafted in such a way as to make it so some people, hopefully a lot of people, respond to it by calling or by coming in or by emailing or by visiting your website and eventually, again hopefully, buying from you sooner rather than later.

If the topic "Marketing - Make Yours Work Better" is of interest to you, and you’d like to attend the October meeting of the Master-Mind Alliance as a guest and listen to what we have to say about all this, call us and we’ll make it happen. Who knows, it could change your life.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


INTEREST: Most people like doing whatever it is that they do for a living. Some love it. Can you imagine a carpenter not liking wood or nails or an accountant not liking precision with numbers? No. “The most important thing in life is interest.” John Houston, the famous Hollywood movie director said that. So if you own a business, and plan to work at it for years and years, two things stand out. First, you’d better find it interesting. Second, you’d better like it huh. Yeah.

And…similar to INTEREST…we have AMBITION.

AMBITION: How bad do you want that thing you find interesting? Whether it is building the business of your dreams, making a million bucks, becoming famous, finding eternal beauty or just having a few moments of serene peace and quiet, ambition is a part of that. Ambition drives us all…it's what the first psychology teacher in the United States, William James, called the worship of the Bitch Goddess Success.

Here’s the whole quote taken from a letter William James wrote to HG Wells, September 11, 1906. “The moral flabbiness born of the exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess success, together with the squalid cash interpretation put on the word success, is our national disease.”

Now Freud would have us believe that all drive stems from the libido. Sorry Sigmund, success is biologically determined by one’s own ability to stay focused on a task and persistence is a function of an active limbic system. Focus and persistence are influenced by desire and training and practice and discipline and determination and so on.

So INTEREST and AMBITION…what can we say about these two concepts? 

AMBITION fuels our desire for success and INTEREST steers us in a direction in which our success can be achieved. We can say this because it’s true. One the down side, some people are cursed with ambition, it ruins their lives, for they have no interest in anything else, like relationships and love and family. But for most of us, ambition works just fine.

If you’ve ever been in a job interview you may have heard a question like the following. Can you give a brief outline of the tasks which have your specific interest and ambitions? If you are unprepared to answer a question like this it can be devastating, and your chance for a job offer...gone in a hurry.

Then there is this wonderful little question. What would you do IF you knew you could not fail? And if you can answer that, then there is this follow-up question. What should be next? In other words, once armed with the answer to the first question how will you change your life?

Okay, you say, so what now?

Well now we can ask what would make a person with a certain ambition and interest enjoy that particular interest even more. Well, a person with a certain interest might enjoy that particular interest even more if he or she got better at doing it, don’t you think? Sure, that’s logical. They would derive more intrinsic pleasure if they could pursue their interest more successfully or simply…do it better. When they would perform the activities fundamental to their interest flawlessly, that would give them temporary or even lasting moments of joy, right? Yup. They might also enjoy their interest more if they were rewarded for doing it more dramatically, as with a round of applause or more financial remuneration, you know, more money. That would probably make them happier, don’t you think? So let’s talk about how an ambitious person with a particular interest might pursue it more vigorously and successfully, and if it’s business related, make more money doing that thing they love.

Here are a couple of things that come to mind.

Create And Keep A Morning Phrase: “Today I will get all my important stuff done…before noon in fact.” Whatever you say to yourself in the morning, if you sincerely mean it and if you stay focused on it, it will most likely come true during the day. Why not taking advantage of this? Create a simple morning phrase and say it to yourself first thing in the morning and a couple of more times during the morning. Is that simple?

Change Your Work Space: Clean up your desk. Re-arrange the furniture. Add some color to that space. Make the place where you work really enjoyable. So enjoyable that work there won’t be perceived as work anymore. It will be something you love to do.

Let’s do one more.

Wake Up Early: This is not a habit, this is a lifestyle. Don’t just wake up early without a purpose. Be early. Be there before others, while it’s still and quiet. Decide what matters most to you that day. Write it down. Look for new opportunities and embrace them. Waking up early means keeping your eyes open to every available opportunity…and pursuing all your interests with all your might. 

We like positive habits. We don’t like negative habits. Positive habits are good. Negative habits are bad. Everyone understands this. We also know that we don’t like wasting time when we’re trying to be productive. I’m not talking about procrastinating, that’s a subject for another article and I have a great deal to say about that. I’m talking about distractions, going pulled off on a tangent or being interrupted. Distractions that take our attention off something we consider important abound. In fact life is one great big hailstorm of distractions…and they can ruin an otherwise productive day or string of days. Ugh! 

The 5 Minute Rule is a Get-R-DONE Habit designed to keep you on the path to success every day. Here’s how it works. 

A few times a day, you stop what you’re doing, pause, take five minutes, and ask yourself this question. What Am I Doing? If the answer is—just what I want to be or should be or planned to be doing—then keep on doing that. But if your answer is—something urgent but not important, or I’m chasing something that has distracted me and working on it is keeping me from being productive, from pursuing what will make my day today a success—then stop doing that thing and refocus your attention and concentration on the important things you have to do or should do with the rest of your day. 

This simple little habit can be one of the best focusing and re-prioritizing routines you've ever embraced.

Now, here’s what some people do make this work splendidly. We all have computers and many of us have smart phones. It is eminently possible to make these devices remind us, with a friendly beep, when it’s time for an appointment or some such thing. So, I recommend you set your computer or smart phone to beep you twice a day, at 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM. The beep is your cue to stop what you’re doing and ask yourself the What Am I Doing Question. 

The rest is easy, refocus and get more done that day.