Building high-performance sales teams is a key priority for any business, especially a sales team company, aiming to achieve sustainable growth. A well-aligned and motivated sales force can drive revenue, boost customer satisfaction, and propel your organization ahead of the competition.
In this blog post, we will explore five effective strategies and actionable tips in building high-performance sales teams and proper b2b sales team structure that consistently delivers outstanding results. Learn just what makes a successful sales team and how to build a sales team from the ground up.
Building high-performance sales teams is a journey that requires careful planning, continuous improvement, and a supportive environment. By defining clear objectives, providing comprehensive training, leveraging technology, promoting a performance-driven culture, offering regular feedback, and encouraging adaptability, you can cultivate a sales team that consistently achieves outstanding results. Next you'll be learning how to build a sales team structure. Invest in your sales team, and they will become a driving force behind your business's success.
In today’s blog, I have a question about your business… Why are you here?
Why did you start a business? Or why are you thinking of starting a business?
Why do you want to grow your business? Why not just go get a job?
Remember in a previous blog I talked about building a business as a mindset and not a skill set? Maybe you don’t have the right mindset. Why are you willing to go through all the pain and the bullshit it will take to succeed in what you’re doing? Why do you want the headache when it would be so much easier to just get a job and get a check every week. With a job, you’d have a steady income, stability, and benefits. You wouldn’t have to worry about making payroll, and funding everyone else’s 401K’s. You wouldn’t have to worry about not getting a vacation. You’re not going to get sued. Customers aren’t going to call you at night. People aren’t going to post stuff about you on social media calling you all kinds of names. You’re not going to have employees asking you for pay raises and advances. The advances they’re never going to pay you back.
Wouldn’t a job be just so much easier than everything you have to go through? So why are you doing this?
I hear people say, Oh, well, I’m gonna make a lot of money. 30% of businesses fail in the first year and 80% fail in five. And by the way, only 42% of all businesses make money in any given year. So is that really why you’re doing it? Is it the freedom you think you’ll have to be your own boss? Every single customer you have is now your boss. Is it the idea that you can do it better than anyone else? You know what, even if you’re good, somebody’s better. Maybe you need to prove something to yourself. Be careful what you’re trying to prove. You might prove something that you didn’t really want to know. Is it because you have a passion? Most things you do for fun, stop being fun when you have to do them for a living. I’m a pilot. I love being a pilot. I’m a divemaster. I love being a divemaster. If I had to do that for a job, however, it probably wouldn’t be that much fun. Are you doing it because you saw your friend start a business and he made a boatload of money? Maybe he is and maybe he is not. OR…. maybe he has skill sets in business you don’t have.
There are a whole lot of reasons to go into business for yourself. I want to know, what is yours? What is going to make you do what’s necessary to stay in the fight? What’s going to drive you forward? Being a business is grueling.
Maybe you should get a job. Or maybe you should keep your job, it’d be much safer. It would be better for your family. Businesses are tough. Your chances of success are not good. It’s probably not worth the risk. You could lose your savings. You could end up divorced. You’re gonna cause stress in your family. So why in the world would you want to take all those chances? Maybe you just shouldn’t do it? Does that make sense? Or wait!!! Did everything I said just piss you off? Because that was the test? How did you do? I find that if I can talk people out of business, they never should have gotten into business in the first place.
So you need to answer that question. Why are you here? Are you willing to go through it? Did what I just say make you mad? Do you have absolute confidence in yourself? Do you have what it takes?
Are you willing to fail and learn? And are you willing to take advice from people who know more than you do about how to make your business run better?
You better really want this…. or you shouldn’t do it.
In today’s blog, we are going to talk about your business… and why anyone should buy anything from you!!
This is a tricky question. A lot of business owners can’t answer that off the top of their heads. I remember, somebody told me once, I need to be able to wake you up from a dead sleep and ask you why people should buy from you. And you should be able to rattle it off without even thinking.
So with that in mind, I have a few questions for you.
What is it that you do?
What product do you sell or what service do you offer?
Why is your product or service better than everybody else’s?
In other words, and this is the key…
Why should I buy this from you, instead of somebody else?
You might have to go think about that for a while. Because you need to be able to answer that question instantaneously. It is the single most critical question you need to answer before you can effectively market to the public. If you can’t answer the question to yourself, the public isn’t gonna buy from you.
I’m going to give you two examples of what I’m talking about. Recently, I got a call from a guy. I used to work with. He is in Portland, Oregon. I was an interim CEO for an insurance company. He had left the company and started his own business selling insurance. Open enrollment was coming up and he called me one day and he said, “Hey, Brian, I need to ask you a favor.” And I said, “What’s that?” And he said, “I need an opening line or a pitch to get in the door or past the gatekeeper in these companies.” He was looking for a magic bullet. And I said, “Well, let me ask you something. Why should I, as a customer, buy from you? And he said, “Well, because I offer great customer service.” And my response was, “So what! Everybody tells me they offer great customer service, but most of them don’t.” And he said, “Well, you know, I care about your employees.” And I said again, “So what, telling me that you care about my employees means nothing to me. And by the way, everybody says the same thing. Why do you care more than they do? You’re gonna have to do much better than that. Because right now, you sound like a salesperson.”
At this point, he didn’t have an answer. And we sat there in silence for about a minute. And I said, “Listen, here’s what you need to do. You need to take some time. And you need to figure out the answer to that question, and it needs to roll off your tongue, and it needs to make sense. And when you have that answer to the question, “why should I buy from you” call me back, and we’ll talk through it.” He said, “Thanks”, and hung up.
Now, truthfully, if he figures out the answer to that question, he doesn’t need to call me back. And here’s why, when you figure out why… that’s your pitch. When you figure out why… that is your magic bullet. When you have something that nobody else has, or that you do better than they do, or there’s a reason why they should buy from you… THEY WILL BUY. So that was example number one.
Now, this is kind of an opposite example. When I wrote my first book, I was looking for an editor. I looked at a few large companies. And then I got a referral from another friend. So I called the referral, her name was Hillary. I shared with her what I was doing, and the companies I was looking at. I told her, I really liked this one company in particular, and I thought I was gonna go with them. We talked for a few minutes…She was very knowledgeable about the industry, and the job I wanted to be done. She also knew the company I was talking about. She then said to me, “You know, I actually talked to them about working for them in the past as a subcontractor, because, you know, they don’t really have all these editors in-house, they subcontract this work out, and ultimately, I decided against it and chose to keep growing my own business as opposed to working with them.”
So she told me what her fee structure was and that she felt like the company was overcharging their clients. She thought she could finish the job and be much more cost-effective. I would get exactly the same thing the company was selling me for less money. BOOM…that is what hit home. I realized this company was basically going to take my money, and subcontract out the work to someone like Hillary. I would be paying a middleman, I would not get any more value for my money. But if I went with Hillary, I’d get the exact same service…for less money.
This is what she was offering To me that I couldn’t get from the other company. It made sense. By the way, she did an amazing job and I’m super glad that I went with her. She answered THE question. And it’s funny, I look back, and I don’t even know if she realized what she was doing when she did that. But she had the single most critical piece, which is why and so I chose Hillary. That is how you get people to buy from you.
In today’s Blog, we’re going to talk about what I like to call… CEO truths
This is another one of my favorite things to talk about. I love CEO truths. People think being a CEO is sexy. It’s awesome. It’s cool to walk into a room… and people ask you “what do you do?” When you tell them you are a CEO, they think you must be important. There are a lot of aspects to being a CEO, and today I want to talk about a few of them.
If you’re a current CEO, you probably have experienced most if not all of what I’m about to talk about… If you’re thinking of starting your own business, here’s what you need to look out for.
The very first thing you need to accept and understand is that the world is not designed for you to succeed. The system is not designed for you to succeed. I’m sorry to tell you this, but the world and the system are designed for you to be average. That’s just the way it is. America is an amazing country. It’s the best country in the world in my opinion. I bleed red, white and blue. I served in both the Air Force and the Army. I have a giant flag hanging in my house. I am an American. But I’m telling you that America is not designed for you to succeed, it is designed for you to be average, I will go one step further and say the entire world, the invisible hand, our government, our society as a whole, your employees, all of these will try and hold you back from achieving great success.
If you think anything about being a CEO is easy… if you think anything about starting your own business is going to be easy. You’re just wrong. The government is not here to help you. Do you think people are going to cheer on your success? 99% of them will not. In fact, this is a funny story. I have my own online hate group. They are ex-employees. I found out about it randomly from a friend they invited to follow their page. Because once they started this “Brian Will Sucks” hate group, they started sending out emails and texts to everybody I know on social media, trying to get people to join this hate group. I find it humorous and sad. They have nothing better to do in their life, other than to spend time trying to tear me down as opposed to trying to go do something for themselves. So you need to get ready, the more you do, the more people are going to come after you. Now if you want to be average, that’s fine. But as soon as you decide to stick your head up above the crowd, to do something to succeed, to have more… as soon as you start telling people you want more, there’ll be a lot of people who will tell you, you can’t. They will even go out of their way to try to prove it to you. It’ll probably be your competition, or it could be somebody who just doesn’t like you. It might be your employees. It could just be some bureaucrat that doesn’t think that you should succeed. I’ve been sued by the EEOC for something that some employee in some restaurant in another city did to another employee… and the EEOC came after me and said I was a horrible person. I didn’t even know what happened….and they tried to take my business down. It could be a naysayer, or people on social media that want to take potshots at you but don’t know anything about you. They just want you to suffer. There is no doubt there will be people that will come after you.
If you’re going to succeed, you need to be willing to push the limits of what you can and can’t do…or what you think you can and what you think you can’t do. You need to remember that you are building your family’s future first, not anybody else’s. Unfortunately, you need to remember that even your best friends and the people that you think you trust will take advantage of you. They will try to take your money if they think it’s in their family’s best interests. I love my friends, but this is my future. I had my best friend from college steal $250,000 from a company I bought and was letting him run. That was my friend. So if my friends are willing to do that, just think of what people are willing to do who aren’t your friend, you need to watch your ass-ets.
Everybody will try to stick their hand in your pocket. A million companies will come to you as a new business owner with the latest and greatest thing that you need to buy to make your business better. You need to learn that you don’t need 99% of what’s being peddled to you.
Be very careful with negotiations on products and services. you don’t have to accept the first price someone gives you. I rarely do and you would be amazed at how much money you can save just by negotiating. My employees don’t even understand this. They will approach me and say “Hey, the electrician just showed up and he wants $1,000 to rewire that outlet over there.” And my answer is always to offer him $700. They typically respond with, “What do you mean, that’s what the price is.” I said no, the person is standing here, he’s either gonna take my $700 or he’s gonna go home. We settle on $800 and I save $200. If you aren’t watching every single penny that you spend, you’re getting taken advantage of.
Here’s another one. Just because somebody works for a big company and they have 10 or 15 or 20 years of experience does not mean they are smarter than you. You’d be surprised how many incompetent billion-dollar company executives there are. The truth is, most of them are good at playing politics. They are not good at business and most of them will fail. I see it all the time, I remember the first time I got hired by a multibillion-dollar company to come in and teach their sales division how to improve their skills. They were losing a million dollars a month in this one division and they hired me to come in and tell them what they were doing wrong. Now mind you, I’m the guy who got kicked out of high school and never went to college. Ten years ago, I was mowing grass. However, after launching two startups, and selling them into private equity and venture capital, the corporate world suddenly thought I was a friggin genius. Billion-dollar companies were and still are paying me to fix their problems. These are people with MBAs and master’s degrees and PhDs who didn’t have a clue how to sell or manage a team of people.
Here is an important one, you don’t need to have all the answers. The truth is, you DON’T have all the answers. Here’s the most important thing you need to know… You need to learn to ask the right questions. This is one of the keys to success. Jack Welch, who was one of the greatest business leaders of his generation was famous for this. Jack asked questions. If one of the greatest corporate leaders in America believed in asking questions, shouldn’t you ask them as well?
Finally, Let’s talk about Apple Computer. Apple Computer is the biggest company in the world. The CEO is a guy named Tim Cook. Most of the people listening to this probably have an Apple phone. As the CEO, Tim Cook has what’s called a board of directors. The board is made up of people from different industries. They come in once a quarter and meet in the boardroom. Their job is to talk to Tim Cook about Apple and what’s going on. The meeting will elaborate on the issues Apple is having at that time. The board’s response is to give Tim advice on how to handle all of those issues. Tim Cook sits at the head of the table. He’s the chairman of the board, and he says, thank you, I appreciate all your advice, and he wraps it up. He then uses that information to make the decisions necessary to help Apple move forward.
Now, let me ask you something. Here you are in business and maybe you’re a new business, or maybe you’re doing a million dollars a year or maybe you’re doing 10 million dollars a year. If Tim Cook needs a board of directors to help him make decisions. Why don’t you think you do? Are you smarter than he is? Have you built a bigger company than he has? Are you more profitable? Or is your ego just too big for you to understand that you need to be able to take advice from someone else?
You need a mentor. You need a coach. You need to join a mastermind. You need people to help you grow your business. Maybe you think you just don’t need anyone else to help….But I’m willing to bet that you probably need the same type of advice he does to build your company.
Get a mentor or a coach… you are not that smart!!!
Today we’re going to talk about being a CEO. It can be both fun, and exciting, it’s an ego boost.
Sometimes however it can suck. And it can be a drain, depending on how your business is going. If you’re the CEO, this is your baby. It’s your deal. It’s your responsibility. People’s lives depend on you. People’s families and children depend on you.
In my businesses, I’ve had several instances over the years, where I have had the opportunity to stand back looking at all these people who work for me. They’re all relatively well-paid folks. I remember thinking that every one of them relies on me as the CEO, to keep this company going. They pay their bills, they buy cars, and they pay mortgages. They raise families and pay for their children’s school activities and buy clothes. Their entire lives depend on money. That money comes from their job. And that job comes from me. And in this instance, if you’re the CEO, those people are relying on you. It’s quite a responsibility.
Another question to think about is what are you building? Are you building a lifestyle business? Or are you building a legacy? Are you here for fame or money? Can you take vacations? I love this question. Can you put your phone down? Are you taking calls at dinner? One of the things I’ve always done is build companies that didn’t require me to be there daily. In my case, I would call it both a lifestyle and a legacy. I like to joke that I can run my company from my cell phone in bed. In fact, I’m going skiing in two days. I’ll be out in Park City for a couple of weeks. I can run my business from my cell phone, in the ski lift line, when I have nothing else to do. I can look at an email, I can send a voicemail, and I can answer a question. And then I get on the lift and I’m gone.
What are you building? I have another business in Atlanta. It’s a small chain of restaurants. I could sell those restaurants today…And very few people would even know I’m gone. Most of my 150 employees don’t even know me. So that’s what I call both a lifestyle and a legacy.
But what are you building? What’s important to you? Are you building something that you can sell? Are you building something that pays you a lot of money? Are you the person doing all the work? There’s this interesting game I have on my cell phone, it’s called “Would You Rather” and I think this game is hilarious. It’s an app, you should get it. In the game, it gives you two choices. And more than likely, it’s two bad choices. And they’re always fun to read. I’m looking at it right now.
The first question is, would you rather save the world and nobody knows, or save the world and everybody knows you’re a worldwide hero, but you die in the process? This is your choice. Save the world, nobody knows, save the world, be a hero, but die. The app also tracks the answers. In this particular case, 60% of the people answered, save the world and nobody knows. Here’s the funny part. 40% said save the world, take the glory and die. 40% of the people would rather die just so everybody knows who they are!!
So my question to you is along those same lines. When we’re talking about you as a businessperson or a CEO…what you’re building…is it a legacy or a lifestyle. Would you rather make $300,000 a year and work all the time? Or would you rather make $200,000 a year but not have to show up to work every day? You can go to the mountains, you can go to the beach, you can go to Europe for a month. You can sit on the lake all summer long like I tend to do.
Now, if you’re young in business, you need to get out there and bust it and do everything you need to do and spend some time building your business. But if you are a little more established, and you’re making some money, it’s time you started answering those types of questions. In my case, I gotta be honest with you, I spent all my time building a business. I never saw my family, I missed my kids growing up, I ended up divorced, and I probably should have spent more time doing what I’m about to tell you!
Even Sam Walton, when he was getting near his deathbed, people asked him this question, was it worth it? And here’s what Sam Walton said. “This will sound strange to people who know me. But lately, I’ve wondered if I should feel bad about having been so wholly committed to Walmart. Was it really worth all the time I spent away from my family? Am I really leaving behind something on earth that I can be proud of having accomplished? Or does it somehow lack meaning to me? Now that I’m facing the ultimate challenge? I could have kicked back in my later years, hung out with the grandchildren, and devoted my life to good works.”
That’s coming from a billionaire. Now, we’re not billionaires. But the same question applies here. What are you giving up to get what you’ve got and is it worth it?
I use all this to say that one of the principles I’ve said in businesses is that sometimes as a CEO, you need to make less money to make more money. Or do you need to make less money in order to have a better life? You need to leverage time.
To do this you need to replace yourself in every role that you hold throughout the growth of that organization until you get to a point one day where you’re not really needed. You can still sit on top of the organization, make strategic decisions, you can still guide the company, but ultimately, you have the ability to walk away. You can put your phone down. You can go on vacation. You can sell it. If you’re making $300,000 a year and working all the time, maybe you need to pay somebody $100 grand to run that thing for you. this way if something happens to you, if you get sick if you get hurt, or you just get tired of doing it, you can walk away because you’ve got an established organization that will survive without you. That’s time leverage. That’s being a smart CEO… Would you rather.
In today’s Blog, we’re going to focus on those of you who are “business owners” or want to switch from being self-employed to being a “business owner.”
When I talk about being a business owner, I am talking about a business that has intrinsic value. It has a team in place. It has processes and procedures. It is a business that works without the owner always being there.
Building a business like this is a skill set. In fact, it is four different skill sets. And therein lies the problem with most people’s businesses.
The challenge I see in a lot of small to medium-sized businesses is the owner. More specifically, it’s the owner’s ego that gets in the way. In most cases, it’s the owner who doesn’t understand who they are, or more importantly, who they’re not in their own company.
Most people who start a business, think they’re an entrepreneur. The fact is, most are not. “But wait,” I can hear you say, “I thought anybody who starts a business as an entrepreneur,” and my answer to that is no. I do not believe that is the case. And in fact, I think that misconception is what holds a lot of people back.
If you are going to build a successful business that can survive without you, you’re going to need a team. That team will generally be made up of four different types of personalities.
Number one is the entrepreneur. Every business needs an entrepreneur. Number two is the manager, you’re gonna need a manager.
Number three is the salesperson. A lot of times an entrepreneur can be a salesperson because they know how to sell a vision.
And number four, you’re going to have to have somebody who’s a technician or a specialist, the person that’s out there actually doing the work.
So we have these four personalities. Now, I would say that most people who start businesses are technicians or specialists. Unfortunately, that is why they either fail or end up staying self-employed.
So let’s break down these four.
The Entrepreneur – An entrepreneur is not a skill set. An entrepreneur is a mindset. Entrepreneurs are dreamers. They have the right kind of personal filter, something we talked about in a previous blog. Entrepreneurs tend to think at 30,000 feet. They see the future, (their own) They’re very conceptual in nature. Entrepreneurs tend to think in bullet points. They think fast. They tend not to get bogged down in the details…they have, or need people for that. They tend to operate very comfortably in chaos. I will tell you that they are the most important and the least important person in a growing organization.
In today’s Blog, I want to talk about your personal filter. This is one of the top 2 things that will lead to your success or failure in your business.
Yes, I know that is a big statement, but I want you to hear me out. Hopefully, you’ll understand why I believe this when we’re done.
Let’s start with this statement. You can have all the business mechanics education in the world and still fail in your own business. You can have years of experience in corporate America and still fail in your own business. Because the truth is, you don’t really know what running a business is all about if you have never run one. Business success is all about your personal filter. So… what is this personal filter I keep talking about?
In the last blog post, we talked about failure. The old adage that you have to fail to succeed is NOT true. Learning through failure is the key to success, Failure does not lead to success. Failure only leads to more failure…. unless you learn and apply. What you learn through failure is information that goes into what we call your personal filter. Think about it like this, every single one of us has a filter that sits in our subconscious mind that analyzes every single bit of information that comes at it every day. Everything that comes into your brain is analyzed by this filter. Every person you listen to…. every podcast you listen to… every coworker that talks to you… every book you read… every TV show you turn on is feeding you information. Your subconscious filter, whether it’s a success or a failure filter when it takes that data in, it makes an instant decision on whether it’s going to accept or reject that information. So if somebody tells you something that you don’t believe, your personal filter says, “Nope, don’t believe that” throws it out the window and it’s gone. If you believe what the person is telling you, it becomes a new part of your filter. Your new updated filter will then help filter every bit of information that comes at you moving forward.
This filtering process started when you were born. Your parents started putting information in that filter. They tried to make you believe in the things they believe and think the way they think. When you started school, your teacher started giving you information, and your filter accepted or rejected that based on what your parents told you. Your friends tried to feed information based on peer pressure and it was based on what their parents were feeding them. You went to college and your college professors fed you information based on their entire histories. Your brain is constantly accepting or rejecting this information. When you got out of college and you got a job, your boss and the people you work with started giving you information. In every instance, you either accepted or rejected it based on your entire personal history since the day you were born. When you get into business. Every decision you make about your business is then based on every bit of information that’s ever gone into your head. Here is the key, if your filter doesn’t know how to accept positive success information, it will reject it. And then you will use that bad decision as a new decision-making tool.
This is why people fail. If you’ve never succeeded at something, your brain doesn’t know how to correctly process the information. Your brain literally doesn’t know how to succeed at whatever it is you’re doing. It’s a simple fact….If you’ve never succeeded in business, you don’t know how to succeed in business.
Now, you might get lucky, make the right decisions and make a million dollars, good for you. But that’s not the norm. I always like to say that when I teach these things, we have to apply the 80-20 rule. 80% of what I’m telling you is right. 20% of the time there’s going to be an outlier. It’s unjust, it’s unfair. Bad people can succeed for no good reason. Good people fail. That’s the 80-20 rule. But you have to understand that 80% of the time what I’m telling you here is a fact. if you’ve never succeeded in business, you don’t know how!
Okay, so here we are. If you are a new business, or even if you have been in business and not succeeding at the level you want to, your filter probably isn’t capable of making the right decisions for you to succeed. This is the whole point of failing, learning, failing, and learning. When you fail and learn something, you take that new information and it becomes part of your personal filter moving forward. You won’t make that mistake again.
Ok so we have talked about your need to learn, the question is… how can we speed that up? The fastest way is to get a mentor or coach. Maybe join a mastermind group. You need to get around people who are five or 10 steps ahead of you, that can tell you what you’re doing is wrong. You need to drop your ego and listen to what they’re telling you.
Here’s the big challenge, If you don’t have a success filter, then you don’t know when to drop your ego. If you don’t know when to drop your ego, you’re not going to take the advice they’re giving you…. And you still won’t succeed. You can join every mastermind group in the world. You can read every positive motivational book in the world. If your brain won’t accept the advice, it’s not doing you any good. So your biggest challenge is dropping that ego. You have to understand that your personal filter isn’t where it needs to be…. for you to get where you want to go. You need to allow somebody to come in and help you make those decisions. Let them help you have some success. You need to train your brain to be successful so that you can then make the right decisions moving forward.
It took me 20 years in the business of making failure after failure, bad decision after bad decision before I dropped my ego and listened.
So…. get hard-core and honest with yourself…If you don’t have a success filter, find somebody who does. Let them help you so that you can learn how to make the right decisions.
Don’t let your failure filter keep you from dropping your ego and learning from somebody else!!
In today’s Blog, I want to focus on your business. And more specifically, are you a business owner? Or are you self-employed?
So what do I mean by a business owner VS self-employed? These are two very different things, with two different outcomes, two sets of challenges, and two different sets of rewards. Neither one is better than the other. They are just different.
I believe it’s important to understand the differences so that you are chasing the right outcome. I find a lot of business owners haven’t thought about it long enough to understand what I’m saying. I will tell you that I have been a business owner my whole life, and now I’m moving towards being self-employed. So what’s the difference between these two?
I’m gonna talk about Joe and Sandy today. These are my two business examples. Both of them are in business. They both have a business name. Both of them have an office they go to. They both have a business checking account. They both incorporated and they have an LLC.
Joe, on the one hand, has a four-year degree. He has his architect’s license and 10 years of corporate experience. He has an architectural drafting business.
Sandy, on the other hand, is a landscaper. She has four crews out working for her. She has an office and an office staff. She has a management team.
Joe makes about $200,000 a year. And Sandy makes about $200,000 a year. They are both happy with what they do. So the question is, what’s the real difference between these two?
Joe has no employees. That’s pretty nice. He has no payroll headaches. I gotta tell you, I like that. Joe doesn’t have to deal with workman’s comp or liability issues. Joe can work from almost anywhere with a computer and a cell phone. Joe has a good reputation in the architectural community and his customers like him.
Sandy, on the other hand, has lots of employees. She has a big payroll. Sandy has issues to deal with like payroll filings, matching taxes, workman’s comp insurance, and liability insurance. Sandy has people that get hurt on the job. But Sandy also has a good team in place at her office that helps her manage the day-to-day. So what’s the real difference between these two? ,
Joe is an actual real-world example of an architect that I used to build one of our restaurants about two years ago. Right in the middle of our project, Joe gets sick and I don’t hear from him. I’m wondering why I don’t have my plans and our project is grinding to a halt. After about a week, I finally I get a call and Joe says,
“Listen, I’m sorry, I am sick, I can’t work. It’s going to be a couple of weeks. All the rest of my customers understand I’m asking for a little bit of time.”
Well, here’s the problem. I’ve got a construction project going on, and I can’t shut it down while we wait on Joe to get better. I’m sorry, Joe, I have to get somebody else to do this job. I don’t know if it’s two weeks, I don’t know if it’s four weeks, I don’t know if Joe’s ever coming back. So we had to fire Joe, and we had to get somebody else to finish the project. It sucked for Joe and it sucked for me. Joe was temporarily out of business.
With that in mind, let me ask you this about your business. If you stopped showing up for work, if you didn’t go to the job site, or if you stopped trying to sell your product, what happens to your business? Are you out of business? Or does it keep going? Do you provide most of the sales? What if you stopped? Do you do most of the technical work? What if it stopped? If your customers rely on you for your personal knowledge and expertise, and suddenly you can’t give it to them, what happens to your business? Can you go on vacation for six months? Or here’s an easy one, can you turn your cell phone off for about six weeks and just not answer it? What happens to your business? What happens to your income? And what happens to your family? If your answer to all those things is no I can’t do it, that’s okay. As long as you understand that you’re self-employed. You are not a BUSINESS owner. You don’t have a business that can carry on without you.
Sandy, on the other hand, has a team. She has managers and accounting people. She has salespeople and general workers. If Sandy is sick and she’s laying home in bed, her team goes on. Everybody is still doing their job. Sandy’s income isn’t interrupted. Sandy is a business owner. She has systems in place. Her business can run without her being there all the time.
That’s the real difference between owning a business and being self-employed.
And here’s the big one, too, Sandy is building intrinsic value in that business. She has the ability to walk away from that business one day and collect the income, or she can sell it for a potentially large one-time payout and sail away in the sunset.
Joe, on the other hand, doesn’t have any value in his business. In 20 years he is going to just quit. He’s going to get nothing more than the money he’s already earned.
So the question is, are YOU a business owner… Or are you self-employed? Are you building value? There’s nothing wrong with either answer. You just need to understand what you have, and what you’re building so that you’re not surprised one day with the outcome that you get.
The next question is, do you WANT to be a business owner… or do you want to be self-employed?
I told you that I’ve been a business owner through multiple companies for 30 years, and I’m kind of tired of it. I’ve sold four companies into private equity and venture capital. I’ve made a lot of money, but I think I’m gonna go back to being self-employed at this point. I just want to work and do what I do and have fun and help people……. It’s your choice.
In today’s Blog, I want to talk about failure. I love this topic. In fact, it’s how I launched the book, The Dropout Multimillionaire.
Failure is the root of all success. So we start with this premise, right? The challenge is that people don’t really understand the point of failure. We hear it all the time I see it online, I see it in Instagram posts and I see it on Facebook. I see all these self-proclaimed gurus out there saying, fail, fail fail, the more you fail, the faster you fail, the faster you’re gonna get to your success. And literally every time I hear that I cringe, because failure is not, I repeat, it is not the secret to success. failure leads to failure.
Okay, I can hear you now…you’re sitting here saying hold on a minute, just a second ago, you said failure is the root of all success. That is a true statement…It’s the root of all success. But it’s not the failure that’s going to lead you to success. Here’s the key, it’s learning from the failure that is going to make the difference in your business and your life. Learning from failure is how you move forward, not just failing, I talk a lot about your personal filter in the book. Your personal filter is developed through successes and failures over time. If all you ever do is fail and you don’t learn, then failure is all you’ll ever know how to do.
Your job as a business person, or in any area that you want to get better at, is to do a post-failure analysis. Quite frankly, you should also do post success analysis. But in this case, do a post-failure analysis and figure out what you did wrong. If you can figure out what you did wrong, then the next time you start, you just don’t do that again. This is called learning from failure.
In the book, we talked about people who start businesses, or they are already in business. The key here is that everybody gets to start at a different level. I talk about this a lot. Some people start at zero, some people start at less than zero, and that was me. Some people started maybe positive 10 or positive 50. If you had the right parents and you had all the money you needed to start, if you had the right education and the right friends and the right mentors, you’re not starting at zero, you’re starting with a huge head start. A lot of us though, including me, started at negative 10. I had no money, I had no education, I got kicked out of high school, and I had nobody to help me. My parents didn’t give me money. I had no idea what I was doing. But I did it anyway. Unfortunately, where you start will determine the number of failures you need to go through and the amount of information and lessons you’re going to need to learn. So the key here is, what did you learn in each failure? I failed and failed..but if I had a superpower in business, it was that I learned from each one…. and I didn’t make that mistake again.
Learn from your failures. That is how you’re going to succeed. Don’t listen to people who just say fail, fail, fail. A couple of last points here….this is critical….If you don’t know what you did wrong, you need to go find somebody to tell you what you did wrong. You have to put your ego aside and listen to what these people are telling you. Just make sure to find somebody who has been successful in doing what it is that you want to do. Somebody that is five or 10 steps ahead of you. Find somebody willing to reach their hand down, to pull you up and ask them, “Hey, man, this was what I did. What did I do wrong?”
When you figure it out, the next time you start a business, don’t make that mistake again. It doesn’t mean you’re going to succeed the next time, you may fail again, for a completely different reason…. But at least you won’t make that mistake. If you fail again, learn from it, and don’t make that one again. Eventually, you will be what I like to call a “20-year overnight success.”
I struggled in business for 20 years before I finally hit it and made a lot of money. I was broke in my own business even though I was looking successful. You would have looked at me and thought…This guy’s doing well. No, I was broke. I was in debt up to my eyeballs. I was struggling day to day. I was working dark to dark and not seeing my family. That was not successful. But after 20 years of failing over and over and over and I finally learned a few things. That’s when it hit. Once it hits and you develop that personal success filter, that’s when you’re going to take off. That’s when your business will rock and roll. That’s when you’re going to make a lot of money. That’s how you succeed. Don’t buy the fail fail fail thing. It’s not the key. I like to call it graduating from FL-FL-FL-S University. Fail – learn – fail – learn – fail…..learn….SUCCEED!!