4 Strategies That Will Help You End The Decade Strong And Build Momentum To Keep Going

I’ve been having some conversations with someone about some potential business opportunities that we could have together. As we’ve gone back and forth, there have been some things come up that I could get real excited about. There is great potential for us to work together and have it turn out very well for both of our companies. 

Yesterday I asked to set up a time we could get together to work out some of the details and get going. I was surprised by his response, but as I thought about it, I started to wonder how many other businesses do the same thing he’s doing.

When I asked for the meeting he informed me that he’s swamped right now with things he needs to wrap up before the end of the year. This, I can understand. But it was the next part of the conversation that has been on my mind since we talked. He told me that he’d rather wait until January to meet because their company basically looks at December as a write-off month. He said they all start to get in holiday mode and don’t do much before Christmas, and then as it gets closer to the 25th most of them start booking time off until the end of the year. For those that don’t take the time off, for the amount of work they do they may as well have taken the time off.

Is this how you approach December? I hope not! 

Why not use the next 27 days to finish this decade off strong and set up 2020 to be great? What you do this month can really determine how your next year goes. Now is the time to get focused and get a jump start on your competition to start the new year.

If you give the following four areas your best effort, you can end 2019 strong and get a great start on 2020

Focus

This is a habit you need to work on daily throughout the year. But as we get closer to the holiday season and the distractions around you increase, you’ll need to be even more disciplined to keep focused

How much time do you actually spend being focused and working? With so many distractions so close to you I can be difficult. Taking a quick look at your inbox can turn into an hour of reading and replying to emails. Looking at one of your social media accounts can turn into mindless scrolling. Phone calls, employees, texts… The list of distractions can go on and on. 

Identify the things that distract you and determine how you can prevent it from happening while you put all of your focus into your work for a specific amount of time. Turn off the phone. Close everything on your computer. Lock your door. Do whatever it is that you need to do so that you can completely focus for whatever amount of time you’ve scheduled.

You can start this today by determining your top three priorities for tomorrow. When you start your day tomorrow, your number one task is to complete the things you have identified as your top three priorities. Don’t look at your emails, texts, social media or anything else that will distract you until you accomplish your top three priorities.

Schedule

Fill up your January calendar now. With so many people wanting to put things off until January, they’re going to be swamped when it rolls around. People are more likely to set January appointments in December than they are in January when things get crazy.

Too many people are just on a day-by-day schedule. They put more time and effort into figuring out their vacation schedule than they do with their daily schedule. Don’t come into Monday and wonder, “what am I going to do this week?” Don’t come into any day without it already being set up and planned.

Someone should be able to take a look at your calendar, and what you are trying to achieve this year is obvious. You have the meetings, events, presentations, follow-up and prep-time scheduled to make you succeed. It’s not about scheduling every second of every day, but it is about moving forward with intent.

What are you doing next Tuesday that is building your business?

Build and Strengthen Relationships

This is a great time of year to make the emotional deposits into your most important personal and professional relationships

Simply taking the time to call someone or take them to lunch can mean a lot to your relationship. Do you or your company give gifts at Christmas? Send cards? 

Take some action today. What can you do today to strengthen a specific relationship?

Personal Growth and Development

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey identified Habit 7 as Sharpen the Saw. He said to “seek continuous improvement and renewal professionally and personally.”

As we approach the end of the year, now is a great time to give this some extra attention to help you to be ready for 2020! 

How you start 2020 will determine how you finish it. 

Schedule some time for reading, attending courses, working with a coach, or anything that is going to help you improve your personal growth and skill development.

Take a look at our Guided Tour and learn how our online coaching system can help you grow and succeed both personally and professionally as you transform your business.

In 27 days we begin a new year. Those 27 days are going to come and go regardless of what you do. Don’t waste them. Do the things that will amplify your business and your life and allow you to finish 2019 strong and to build the momentum you need to begin 2020 and make it great!


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Book Quote of the Week 163

Be the person you “could have been” now!

Darren Hardy

Mortar Makes it Happen

Today I’d like to talk about the three keys to business development and how you can put the right bricks in place to build a solid foundation.

There are three main areas of business development:

  • Innovation
  • Quantification
  • Orchestration

If done well these three areas will help you build a solid foundation for your business. Let’s talk about each one of these for just a minute.

Innovation

Innovation should not be confused with creativity, which is the expression of ideas. Innovation is taking these ideas and putting them into action. This is where a large amount of your focus should be in the beginning and even throughout your business’ entire lifespan.

Quantification

This, of course, refers to the numbers. We are talking about the value of your innovation. The best way to gauge this is by your customer response. Look to positive responses for what you are doing right and keep doing it. Look to your negative responses to find out what you’re doing wrong and fix it. This will enable you to keep growing and progressing with the needs of your customers and business climate.

Orchestration

Once you’ve had a chance to find what areas are working, you can narrow down those areas and concentrate on making them stand-out ideas. You shift your focus here to get the most out of your business and to meet the needs of your customers.

We can help you work through these three areas to put together your franchise prototype during your GUIDED TOUR.

In the next few lessons we are going to transition to the 7 specific areas you need to consider in your franchise prototype process:

  • Primary Aim
  • Strategic Objectives
  • Organizational Strategy
  • Management Strategy
  • People Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Systems Strategy

These 7 areas will fine turn your plan for the ultimate level of success.

Expand the Life of Your Business

Today I’m going to talk about the life cycle of a business and how to get the most out of each cycle while also extended the lifespan of your business.

The four different stages of a business life cycle are:

  • Infancy
  • Adolescence
  • Growing Pains
  • Maturity

We’ll talk a little about what each of these cycles means and how they can each help expand your business’s lifespan.

Infancy

This is generally considered the technician’s phase, which is the owner. At this point, the relationship between the business and the owner is that of a parent and new baby. There is an impenetrable bond that is necessary to determine the path your business will follow.

The key is to know your business must grow in order to flourish. You cannot stay in this stage forever.

Adolescence

In this stage, you need to start bringing your support staff together to delegate to and allow growth to happen. The first line of defense is your technical person as they need to bring a certain level of technical experience. This cycle really belongs to the manager though. The planning stage needs to start and a relationship should be built with the entrepreneur to plan for the future.

Growing Pains

There’s a point in every business when business explodes and becomes chaotic. This is referred to as growing pains. It’s a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. You are often faced with a number of choices:

  • Avoid growth and stay small
  • Go broke
  • Push forward into the next cycle

Maturity

The last cycle is maturity, though this doesn’t mean the end of your business. Your passion for growth must continue in order for your business to succeed. You need to keep an entrepreneurial perspective in order to push your business forward.

You see how all three of these cycles are connected and depend on a strong foundation for each one of them for your business to be and continue to be successful. All three of your key roles must also work together to work through these cycles.

If you’re having trouble putting together your business life cycles and figuring out which of the key roles you fit into, try our GUIDED TOUR and work with one of our amazing coaches.

Success Is Hard – Learn How to Separate Yourself

Success is hard. 

In business, in life, in whatever you do, achieving and sustaining success is difficult

When you reach the top there’s always someone or something trying to knock you down or overtake you.

I was visiting with a friend last night, engaged in his stories of his days playing basketball in college. He had a great NCAA Division One career that began at the Junior College level. His JuCo team was great. They made it all the way to the national championship tournament. He was an amazing point guard with a great shot. He achieved success and reached the top, breaking the record for most three point shots made in a game with 9! What an incredible personal achievement. I’m not sure how long the previous record stood, but now he was the one people would be gunning for. He had the record to beat. That incredible achievement, setting a new record was hard to achieve and was accomplished by all the dedication and hard work he put in for years up to that point. He sat at the top of that throne until the next game of the tournament, where someone else made 13 three point shots. When you get to the top, there will always be others trying to knock you down.

On the path to success you’re going to hit walls and face challenges. This is where many will fall off the path and the crowd gets thinner. As you get past each wall, the weak are eliminated and it’s the achievers who are still going. The more difficult it is, the less competition there will be. But those left to compete against will be the best. The weak have been left behind. The more walls of difficulty along the path, the less that will stick with you and the further you separate yourself from the competition.

Accept the fact and understand that the path to success will be hard. But as you get past those hard things it becomes easier. But know that when you feel the coast is clear, or that you are at the top, there’s more coming that you need to be ready for.

Success is going to require you to do hard things. Start today by doing the hard things first. Climb over that first wall today and keep going. The more you do this, the more you will separate yourself and achieving your success becomes easier.

If you are hitting these walls in your business, I can help. Take my free guided tour and learn about my E-Learning Marketing System. You can learn more HERE!

More Leads – Joint Ventures

Chapter Two from my book, “45 Minute Business Breakthroughs,” to download a copy of the entire book you can do that HERE

Do you currently have any established joint venture partnerships?

JV’s involve two or more businesses who decide to form a partnership to share markets or endorse a specific product or service to their customer base… usually under a revenue share arrangement. The key to creating successful joint ventures is to find partners who service the exact same type of clients that need or want what you sell.

Let me give you an example and I’ll use one we’re both familiar with… a florist. One of the most financially lucrative product lines for a florist is providing flowers for weddings. The average floral bill for a wedding often exceeds $3,000. But what we discovered about florists is they fall into what we refer to as an “event chain.” An event chain simply refers to a series of businesses that customers purchase from in a specific sequence.

For example, a wedding will never take place until an engagement ring is purchased from a jeweler. So jewelers are at the forefront of every wedding chain. Once the young lady accepts that engagement ring, this event chain kicks into high gear. First, this young lady knows EXACTLY where she wants to get married, so number one on her agenda is to book the church, chapel or synagogue where she wants the ceremony held.

Second on her list is to line up her wedding planner. Weddings today are a really big deal, and often women like to use the services of a professional wedding planner. Next up, she wants to secure the venue for her reception.

She knows most venues book out months in advance, so locking in that venue is high on her priority list. After that comes the wedding dress, so she begins the search for the perfect dress at an affordable price.

Next is our florist. The bride-to-be will want to begin selecting her floral arrangements for both the wedding and the reception. Then after the florist comes the wedding cake… the printer for the invitations and thank you cards… and depending on the financial ability of the bride to be, she may also be interested in hiring a limo… a DJ for the reception… a travel planner for the honeymoon… the hotel… catering and so on.

This event chain is typical of this industry. And for the florist, it specifically identifies a multitude of potential and very lucrative JV partners. But here’s why this becomes so important.

Every business ABOVE the florist has the potential to ENDORSE and SEND prospects to the florist. Unfortunately, the florist has NO control over that flow of prospects. Every business above the florist controls the JV relationship, so it’s critical the florist create such a compelling offer and relationship with these businesses that they feel obligated to send prospects their way.

But here’s what’s even better. The florist controls the prospect flow to ALL the businesses BELOW them in the chain, and by establishing specific processes and procedures to make sure their customers use those businesses, the florist can negotiate compelling offers with those business owners as well. So consider these numbers.

Let’s say this florist cultivates a JV relationship with at least one of each business throughout this entire chain. Staying ultra-conservative with our estimates, would you agree this florist… since they have NO control over the flow of prospects from these businesses… is it likely they could obtain at least ONE referral each month from just one of the businesses above them?

OK, would you also agree conservatively that since the florist controls the flow of prospects to the businesses BELOW them… that they could easily send at least ONE referral to EACH one of them every month? Keep in mind these are VERY conservative estimates we’re using here.

Since the average floral bill for a wedding is $3,000… then just ONE referral per month from those businesses ABOVE the florist increases their annual revenue by $36,000. Now let’s consider the businesses BELOW the florist where the florist controls the referrals. Let’s start with the wedding cake maker.

The average sales price for a wedding cake is also $3,000, and the florist could easily negotiate a 10% referral fee. So, just a singlereferral per month produces an additional annual increase of $3,600 for the florist.

Now consider the printer. The average sales price for printing is $1,000, and the florist again could receive a 10% referral fee, so that single referral per month produces an additional annual increase of $1,200.

If we stop there, this florist has just increased their annual revenue by more than $40,000… and that’s using ridiculously conservative numbers. Imagine if you continued to add up the revenue produced by all the additional referral fees the florist would earn from all the other vendors in this chain.

This same process holds true for businesses that aren’t in a chain. But just like the florist, they simply identify partners who service the exact same type of clients that need or want what they sell. Now I realize this looks easy, but it’s not… and here’s why.

You not only have to properly identify who would make an excellent joint venture partner for your business… but you also must determine the order to approach each one… how to approach them… and when to approach them. It’s critical you do this properly or you wind up burning through all of your potential JV partners and come out with nothing in return.

Let me ask you a quick question. Just off the top of your head, how many potential JV partners would you estimate might be a fit for what you sell? Would you believe that I could identify more than a dozen for your profession? So conservatively, how many referrals would you estimate might be possible if a dozen other businesses were compelled to refer their customers to you for additional purchases?

Conservatively, let’s say you only get 3 referrals every month that buy from you. That’s less than one per week. How much additional revenue would that add monthly? Now multiply that by 12 to see your annual revenue increase.

One more thing before we move on. Remember earlier we discussed the critical importance of creating a highly compelling informational offer that would promise so much value to prospects that they would knock your door down to get it?

Suppose the florist offered this informational offer in their marketing, “5 Things Every Bride Should Know to Avoid Disaster on Their Wedding Day”. This offer would place TONS of prospects into their drip campaign and result in a tremendous increase in sales. Those new sales can then be referred to their new JV partners and they collect multiple referral fees every month.

This would absolutely dwarf the revenue we just uncovered for the florist in this example. What I find really exciting about JV’s is this is a strategy I help my clients implement immediately… and it begins generating instant cash flow for them right out of the gate. 

In a recent case study I conducted, I found $75,000 in additional annual revenue just using the JV strategy.

And again, that’s revenue that business will generate year after year after year.

$75,000 in additional annual revenue increases the valuation of that business somewhere in the range of $225,000 – $300,000.

This article was taken from my book, “45 Minute Business Breakthroughs,” to download a FREE copy of the entire book you can do that HERE.

If you would like to explore other options of how I can help you take your business and your life to the next level, find out more about my one-on-one coaching programs by clicking HERE

Another option to consider is our online business coaching program. The E-Learning Marketing System is the most powerful and dynamic do-it-yourself client attraction program ever created. It was designed to give every small business owner unrestricted access to the tools, resources and support they need to build whatever size business they want. Check out our FREE Guided Tour to find out more about the E-Learning Marketing System by clicking HERE

More Leads – Marketing and Advertising

Chapter One from my book, “45 Minute Business Breakthroughs,” to download a copy of the entire book you can do that HERE

Let’s face it. The major hot button for most small businesses these days is the ability to generate leads. All small businesses want more leads, but few of them know how to successfully attract customers to their business.

As a coach, I have in-depth knowledge and skill when it comes to generating leads. So here’s the process I use to do this.

If you’re like 99% of the business owners I speak with, you may often feel lost or overwhelmed as you try to navigate through all the various options available these days. Websites, social media, SEO, email marketing, Facebook, pay-per-click and so on.

Let me do you a favor right now and completely remove that overwhelm from your life forever. Are you familiar with the 80/20 rule?

For business owners, it means 20% of what you do every day is generating 80% of your total annual revenue.

In other words, you’re only doing a few things daily that makes you most of your money. I can tell you specifically what makes up that 20%, and that’s all you really need to focus on after today.

There are 5 areas that make up that 20% – leads, conversions, transactions, pricing and profits.

I’m going to be focusing on just 2 or 3 of these 5 areas, so you can imagine what you could actually generate revenue-wise if you implemented all 5 areas.

In fact, let me show you what’s possible, and why these 5 areas are so critical.

I use a tool called a Profit Growth Calculator. Do you by chance know the exact number of leads and sales you’ve made over the past 12 months?

No! That’s OK… let’s plug in numbers for a make believe business. Let’s say your business generated 1000 leads in the past year… and your average conversion rate was 25%.

Let’s also say your customers bought what you sell 10 times throughout the year… and they typically paid on average around $100 per purchase.

Finally, let’s say your profit margin per sale is only 25%.

The Profit Growth Calculator

Notice at the bottom that you’re earning $62,500 annually. But, look what happens if we simply increase each of these 5 areas by a meager 10%.

You would see your annual revenue almost double from $62,500 to over 6 figures. By the way, that’s the ballpark most business coaches play in… the 10% increase range. Nothing wrong with that either, believe me.

Most business owners would KILL to almost double their revenue, wouldn’t you agree? Now, watch what happens if you could increase each of the 5 areas by 50%.

Your business would skyrocket from $62,500 to almost half a million dollars annually. Now, you may be thinking 50% gains in each of these 5 areas would be next to impossible. Let me assure you, a 50% increase is child’s play, and I’m going to prove it to you right now.

When asked, most business owners tell me “word of mouth”, or more often than not “referrals”, are how they generate leads. Referrals are obviously an excellent lead source. In fact, it may be the best one by far, but the problem is you never know when you will get them. They’re not reliable and you certainly can’t generate them whenever you want.

99% of businesses today do have a website. Do you know for sure how many leads your website generates every month? Do you know for sure how many sales your website produces every month?

Can I show you why your website isn’t generating leads or closing sales for you? In fact, would you like for me to give you the deeply hidden secrets that the marketing gurus DON’T want you to know?

Here’s the key to successful marketing. You MUST be able to enter the conversation taking place in the head of your prospects. Or, another way to look at it is to be able to address the number one question on your prospect’s mind at just the right time. So how do you do this? It’s actually quite simple when you know and understand the fundamentals of marketing.

The conversation that’s taking place in EVERY prospect’s mind revolves around two major points. There’s a problem they have, and they don’t want… and there’s a result they want but don’t have.

Now believe it or not, there is actually a marketing formula we follow that takes these two points into account and spits out a message so compelling it practically forces your prospects to buy what you sell.

It’s called the Conversion Equation, and it looks like this – Interrupt, Engage, Educate and Offer. The Interrupt is your headline – which means it’s the first thing someone sees when they visit your website, read any of your marketing collateral, or hear you speak. When someone asks you what you do, it’s the first words out of your mouth. That’s your headline… and it MUST address the problem your prospects have that they don’t want.

The Engage is your sub-headline – which is the second thing your prospects see or hear. It MUST address the result your prospect wants but doesn’t have. The Educate is the information you provide… either verbally or in writing… that presents evidence to your prospects that you and your product or service are superior in every way to your competition.

Unfortunately, MOST businesses aren’t different from their competitors, and that’s why you MUST innovate your business to create what we refer to as a market-dominating position.

You MUST make your business unique… it MUST stand out from the crowd. It MUST make your prospects say to themselves that they would be absolute idiots to buy from anyone else but you – regardless of price. And finally, the Offer. You MUST create a compelling offer that makes it so irresistible your prospects can’t turn it down.

But, here’s another critical fundamental of marketing. Because of the saturation of marketing messages these days, most prospects have become numb to most marketing.

Following our Conversion Equation can dramatically overcome this, but even with this powerful tool in play, it will still take multiple “touch” points before your prospects will buy what you sell.

For most businesses today, it takes anywhere from 20 to more than 100 touch points before a prospect makes their buying decision. Following the Conversion Equation reduces the touch points to somewhere between 5 to 12 points of contact.

But here’s the key… most businesses don’t follow up with their prospects at all, and this provides a HUGE window of opportunity for ANY business that does follow up… to position themselves as the dominant force in their industry.

But, in order to have the opportunity to get your message in front of your prospects 5 to 12 times, you MUST find a way to collect their contact information, and that’s the purpose of your Offer.

Most businesses offer something that only appeals to prospects we call NOW buyers – prospects ready to make an immediate purchase. Unfortunately, NOW buyers make up less than 1% of the total number of prospects that are in the market to buy what you sell.

These businesses typically offer prospects a free consultation, a discount, a coupon, a free assessment, a complimentary quote, or the biggest mistake of all… CALL US!

For most businesses, all of their marketing material… their website… their business card… all list their phone number as their sole offer… and that ONLY appeals to that 1% of NOW buyers. The remaining 99% of viable prospects are “investigating” and gathering information about what you sell.

They’re searching for information because they want to determine who is offering the best value. You see, prospects DON’T shop price – they shop VALUE!

The only reason prospects consider price is that most businesses don’t give them any other value proposition to consider except price.

Remember what I said a moment ago about making your business unique – creating a market-dominating position?

Most businesses don’t do that, and since they… and all of their competitors… look exactly the same, prospects are FORCED to shop price. So, with these fundamentals in mind, let’s see how your website stacks up to them.

Let me show you a website we just revised for a child psychologist so you can see what I mean… and then let’s take a look at your website as a comparison. Here is the child psychologist’s original website.

This is typical for this profession, and 99% of his colleagues’ websites look EXACTLY like this. Notice the generic headline – Parenting Advice and Resources from Dr. John Smith.

He has to have a headline like that because he’s attempting to be all things to all prospects. Basically, this doctor helps parents deal with adolescent problems. Look at the 9 areas he services – emotionally disturbed kids, behavioral problems, teen pregnancy, peer pressure and so on.

So, let’s compare this site with the fundamentals we just discussed. First, you MUST create a market-dominating position. This doctor could actually create 9 of them by simply positioning his specialty in each of his 9 individual areas of treatment.

For example, let’s say he decides to start with the top condition on his list… emotionally disturbed kids. These are kids that yell, scream and constantly have a highly belligerent attitude toward their parents. They scream at them and are known in some cases to threaten the parents. These kids can’t be reasoned with and these poor parents have NO clue how to deal with this situation.

So, here’s what this doctor needs to do. Forget the website completely – this doctor needs what we call a squeeze page. This is a single page that’s online and specifically addresses ONLY this one condition. So, what should this page look like… and what should it say?

Remember the second fundamental – you MUST enter the conversation taking place in the head of your prospect. There’s a problem they have they don’t want… and there’s a result they want but they don’t have. This is where we implement the first two components of the Conversion Equation… Interrupt and Engage. The headline is the Interrupt and it must address the problem they have and don’t want.

Here’s the squeeze page we created for this doctor that did that.

Notice the headline – Are You Sick and Tired of the Yelling, Screaming and Belligerent Attitude of Your Child? Does that address the problem these parents have and don’t want? Would you say that’s a 100% bullseye?

Now, for the Engage which is the sub-headline. It MUST address the result they want but they don’t have. Notice it says – Now You Can Discover the Secrets to Controlling Your Child and Instantly Restore Peace and Quiet in Your Home. Would you say that’s bullseye number two?

Now, let’s look at the third Conversion Equation component… Educate. In the doctor’s original website, because he’s trying to appeal to all prospects, his video said this – “Greeting parents. I want to welcome you to remarkable parenting. You will find tons of great information here with hundreds of pages of articles.”

Think how ridiculous this sounds if I’m one of these parents with a kid that has a belligerent attitude. Do I want to read hundreds of pages of articles? Or, am I searching for a specific solution to a specific problem? Do you see why most websites these days are basically a total and complete waste of money? They don’t address the things your prospects are truly looking for. Here’s the new script we created for this doctor.

“As a parent, are you struggling to gain control of your child’s attitude and emotions? Is your child yelling and screaming at you, while often displaying a belligerent and sometimes threatening tone that no matter what you do or try… you just can’t seem to get under control?

My name is Dr. John Smith, and I help parents like you every day learn the techniques that will solve these frustrating and destructive behavioral patterns once and for all. In fact, let me prove it to you. Enter your first name and email in the box to the right, and I’ll send you a series of 60-second techniques that will immediately restore peace and quiet in your home.”

Think that just might get more prospects to respond to this message? And that brings us to the final component of the Conversion Equation… the Offer. Look at the doctor’s original offer. It was for a free consultation. The only prospects that will accept that type of offer are those NOW buyers. Remember, they’re less than 1% of the total number of prospects looking for this type of help.

When your offer is to “call me,” that basically says “let me sell you” to your prospects. We are so used to getting non-stop sales pitches these days that we resist calling anyone with every fiber of our being. Most people won’t answer their phone unless they recognize the caller ID. This type of offer is called an incentive offer, and incentive offers only work for common purchases, emergency situations and impulse purchases.

And remember, most prospects don’t buy until they have been exposed to your messaging somewhere between 5 to 12 times. If you tell prospects to “call you,” and most won’t, how do you keep marketing to them? Obviously, you can’t. The secret to effective marketing is to offer what most prospects truly want… INFORMATION!

Look at the last sentence in the child psychologist’s video script… “enter your first name and email in the box to the right, and I’ll send you a series of 60 second techniques that will immediately restore peace and quiet in your home.” That offer is ZERO risk to a prospect, and it offers them something they truly want… a solution to their problem.

They can receive it by simply providing their name and email address… WITHOUT having to speak to anyone… or be subjected to any type of sales pitch. That’s why the offer on this doctor’s squeeze page says, “Learn the Secrets to Gaining and Maintaining Complete Control of Your Child in Less than 60 Seconds.” Is that a highly compelling offer that would appeal to a majority of the prospects directed to this page?

And do you now see why we call this a squeeze page? There are NO navigation buttons on this page to distract the prospect. In fact, there is only ONE action they can take… enter their contact information. Otherwise, they have to close the page completely… and if they do, THAT is when we can redirect them to the doctor’s main website to see if there is something else that might grab their attention.

That informational offer provides them with proof that this doctor can actually get them the results they’re looking for, and then within that information is an offer for them to schedule a consultation with the doctor, which they are now more likely to do.

But consider these numbers for this doctor’s original website. He could easily generate 300 or more leads per month using a pay-per-click campaign on Facebook. Those leads are then sent to his original website. He will then average around 10% of those leads… or 30 prospects… will see his offer for the free consultation and will call to inquire about it.

Notice I said INQUIRE about it, NOT request it. Out of that 10% that will call… only 10% of them will actually consent to the consultation… which equals 3 prospects.

Fortunately, for most professionals like this doctor, they typically convert 100% of the prospects they get in front of… so those 3 prospects will more than likely become patients. Note that out of 300 leads, the doctor winds up with 3 new clients. That is the national average today – 1% of all leads generated will typically convert into a new client. That’s pathetic!

But, now let’s look at the doctor’s new squeeze page. First of all, let’s leave his number of leads at 300 per month. That squeeze page won’t impact that number whatsoever. But let me ask you this and give me your open and honest opinion.

Do you think this new page will increase the number of prospects that will request this doctor’s secrets to gaining and maintaining complete control of their child? The doctor was getting 10% with his old site. What percent do you think would request this new, more compelling offer?

Most responses I get average somewhere between 50% to 70%. Well, suppose we stay really conservative and say that just 20% request the new offer.

That would mean 60 prospects would receive those secrets and actually see for themselves that this doctor’s methods really work.

And once they do, what percent of those do you think might request the consultation with the doctor? Remember, that originally it was just 10%.

Again, most responses I get average between 50% to 70%. I would tend to agree with those numbers, but we know he originally converted 10%, so to be really conservative, let’s just leave that conversion rate the same… 10%.

So, out of the 60 prospects requesting the doctor’s secrets, 6 of them now request the consultation. And let’s assume like we did originally the doctor converts all 6 of them into patients. That’s an additional 3 patients per month, isn’t it?

Now, let’s say this doctor only charges $800 for his services, even though in reality it’s typically 3 times that amount. $800 times 3 new patients is an additional $2,400 per month… which is an annual increase of $28,800. That’s obviously a dramatic increase in revenue considering we’re being ridiculously conservative… and all we did was make some slight changes to this doctor’s site.

So, let me ask you this. Do you think we could get similar results for your business? How many leads have you generated in the last 12 months?

How many leads would you estimate you’ve generated this month? How many of those leads requested your offer? If we could create a similar process for your business… and offer compelling information to your prospects just like we did for the child psychologist… do you think more prospects would respond? By what percent?

Could we conservatively agree that a 10% opt-in rate is easily a no-brainer? Do you realize just that one change alone would double your current sales revenue?

And that’s assuming we don’t increase your number of leads or your final conversion rate… which we will. If you said your last month’s revenue was $25,000… then just this one change alone adds an additional $25,000 to your bottom line.

In a recent case study I conducted, I found $58,000 in additional annual revenue just using this one simple strategy.

But consider this!

That additional revenue is NOT just a one-time increase. That’s revenue the business will generate year after year after year.

And… $58,000 in additional annual revenue increases the valuation of that business somewhere in the range of $150,000 – $200,000.

This article was taken from my book, “45 Minute Business Breakthroughs,” to download a FREE copy of the entire book you can do that HERE.

If you would like to explore other options of how I can help you take your business and your life to the next level, find out more about my one-on-one coaching programs by clicking HERE

Another option to consider is our online business coaching program. The E-Learning Marketing System is the most powerful and dynamic do-it-yourself client attraction program ever created. It was designed to give every small business owner unrestricted access to the tools, resources and support they need to build whatever size business they want. Check out our FREE Guided Tour to find out more about the E-Learning Marketing System by clicking HERE

Marketing Strategies: Discounting & Bundling

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This video clip was taken from an Inner Circle Mastermind call discussing the marketing strategies of discounting and bundling. Learn about more of our marketing strategies by taking the free E-Learning Marketing System Guided Tour.

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Sometimes Everybody Else Is Wrong

How much confidence do you have in yourself?

Do you have enough confidence to stand alone?

Larry H. Miller shared the following story in Driven, An Autobiography:

“One day in my second-grade class, my teacher, Miss Issacson, posed a math problem for her 30 students to work out on the blackboard. Row by row, we each walked to the board and wrote 5 + 0 = and filled in the answer. I was in the last row, and after completing the problem on the board I returned to my seat. But when I studied the blackboard, I noticed that I was the only kid in the class who had written “5” as the answer.Reasoning that the rest of the class couldn’t all be wrong, I returned to the blackboard and changed my answer to “0” and went back to my seat. “Why did you change your answer?” Miss Issacson asked. I explained, and then she revealed the answer.That day I learned that it is possible to be a small minority and still be right, and I learned the value of  having confidence in your own abilities.”

Success will not come without any risk. Sometimes that risk may be standing for what you believe while everyone around you is telling you that you’re wrong. 

When you’ve done your part to the best of your ability, trust your gut. 

“Sometimes everybody else is wrong.”

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Have You Failed Trying To Sell Online? Here’s Why…

Successfully selling online comes down to some key strategies.

You MUST be able to enter the conversation taking place in the head of your prospect. Another way to look at it is to be able to address the number one question on your prospects mind at just the right time.

DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?

RUSSELL BRUNSON

The conversation that’s taking place in EVERY prospect’s mind revolves around two major points…

  • There’s a problem they have and htey don’t want
  • There’s a result they want but don’t have

Knowing this, there are three steps that you need to take to convert your prospect into a buyer. If you’ve tried to sell online without much success, it’s likely because you are doing a poor job in one of these areas.

Hook

The first step is to get their attention. You need to interup them. If you can’t get their attention, you’re done before you even begin.

Story

The second step is to educate them with a story that uses emotion and builds belief and trust.

Close or Offer

Finally, the third step is an offer which must be so compelling and so irresistible that your prospects can’t turn it down.

If in the past you have not been successful selling online you’re probably not doing a good job in one of these three areas, the hook, story or close/offer.

If being able to successfully sell online is something that you want, you need to master these three areas. If that is something that you desire, then you need to join the next One Funnel Away Challenge!

Registration ends at 9PM EST on October 27. Don’t miss out! Click on the button below to learn more about the One Funnel Away Challenge and secure your spot!

  • Are you just getting started, and have NO IDEA where to start?
  • Are you in a dead end job that you hate, and you want to start your own business or start working from home?
  • Do you have a copmany that’s been successful, but for some reason you’re feeling stuck?
  • Are you trying to figure out a way to reach more people, or have a bigger impact on the world?
  • Are you convinced that you need a funnel, but not sure where or how to start?
  • Are you about to launch your next funnel, and wan to make sure it’s a huge success?

If anything on that list fits your situation, then you will definitely want to join the One Funnel Away Challenge!

The One Funnel Away Challenge is 30 days of coaching and live training that will help you to kick start your online business or take your online business to the next level. It will require work on your part, but the results will be woth it.

The materials you will recieve as part of the challenge are just as valuable as the course itself. Anyone that follows me has heard me talk about the book you will receive. This book is incredible. It’s filled with 30 different, fully detailed business plans from successfful experts.

If you’re tired of being stuck and you’re ready to do the work and make a change, join the One Funnel Away Challenge today!

I am an independent ClickFunnels Affiliate, not an employee. I receive referral payments from ClickFunnels. The opinions expressed here are my own and are not official statements of ClickFunnels or its parent company, Etison LLC.

Your Path to a Bigger Future

Have you ever met someone that is an honest, hard worker but they never seem to be able to get ahead in life or achieve anything of significance? Yet you watch others who don’t seem to work as hard and everything just seems to fall in their lap? Have you ever seen someone that has been extremely successful lose it all and end up with absolutely nothing, but they soon turn things around and climb back up to the top while others just can’t seem to catch a break?

As I was pondering this topic I had a voice come into my head that told me a story that I’ve heard many, many times. One of the very first personal development audio books I ever listened to was Earl Nightingale’s 1957 book, The Strangest Secret.

This is his story that kept coming to mind:

 “The difference is goals. People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going. It’s that simple. Failures, on the other hand, believe that their lives are shaped by circumstances… by things that happen to them… be exterior forces.

Think of a ship with a complete voyage mapped out and planned. The captain and crew know exactly where the ship is going and how long it will take – it has a definite foal. And 9,999 times out of 10,000, it will get there.

Now let’s take another ship – just like the first – only let’s not put a crew on it, or a captain at the helm. Let’s give it no aiming point, no goal, and no destination. We just start the engines and let it go. I think you’ll agree that if it gets out of the harbor at all, it will either sink or wind up on some deserted beach – a derelict. It can’t go any place because it has no destination and no guidance.”

So many people are going through life like the ship without a crew. They have no goals or clear direction. They just react to life as it happens.

If this is you, it needs to change. If you don’t get clear about where you’re headed, you won’t get out of the harbor.

Where Are You Now?

The first thing that you need to do is be completely honest with yourself and look at where you are now. What is your current status? We are going to work to find your destination. This is your starting point

As you look at the truth of your situation, what are your pain points? Why are you here?

Do you want to make more money? Do you want more time for yourself or your family? Do you want to work on your health? Do you want to fix your marriage or relationship? Scale your business? Write a book? Complete your first real estate deal? Get specific.

Stop ignoring your truth. Stop avoiding it. This is for you, tell the truth!

If it’s, “I want to make more money.” Go deeper, don’t stop there. Maybe it’s, “I want to make more money because I’m behind on all my payments. I can’t get ahead and I’m scared.” Uncover the truth.

Where Do You Want To Go?

You need clarity to create the future you want. You need to know where you are going to point the ship to get out of the harbor and end up at your destination. 

In our busy, crazy lives it can be hard to set your goals and figure out where you want to go. But I learned a method from Dean Graziosi that allows you to extract yourself from all the craziness and figure out where you want to go by looking at life from a different perspective. 

Imagine that it is one year from today and you are looking back. It has been the best year of your life! What does that look like? What happened that made it the best year of your life? It wasn’t just a really good year, it was the Best Year!

You lost the weight? You made the money? You got the guy? You got the girl? You completed your first real estate deal? You sold your company? 

What happened that made it the best year of your life? Think big! In The Power of Focus, Jack Canfield says, “Think big. Create goals that get you so excited you can hardly sleep at night. Life has a lot to offer – why shouldn’t you enjoy your fair share?”

You’ve identified the things that would have happened to make it the best year of your life. Now step back to today, those are your goals.

Why Are These Goals Important?

You have your goals now, but why are they so important to you?

Maybe your goal make a certain amount of money. But why? Why do you really want that?

 Is it to prove something? Is it for significance? Is it so you can buy something?

Whatever it is, there’s something deeper to your reason. What’s your WHY? 

In Seven Levels Deep I explained how to find your WHY. 

Start with the goal you’ve identified and ask why you want to achieve this goal. Put your heart into the answer. Once you’ve identified that answer, ask why you want that answer. This takes time, it takes thought and it takes effort. But every single time you find your answer, ask ‘why’ until you’ve don’t it seven times. If you are open and honest, you will uncover the real reason these goals are important to you. Your ‘WHY’!

Your ‘why’ is going to be what drives you day in and day out to stay focused on achieving these goals. There will be days where, “I want to lose weight,” or “I want more money” won’t motivate you and keep you going. But when you’ve identified the ‘why’ behind each of these goals, that’s what will get you out of bed in the morning.

What Capabilities Are Needed To Achieve These Goals?

You know where you are. You know where you want to go. You know ‘why’ you want to go there.

How are you going to get there? Your current capabilities have got you to where you are now. What capabilities do you need to get to the next level? What capabilities do you need to achieve your goals?

Do you need a trainer? Do you need someone that understands how to market on social media? Do you need a CFO? Identify what it is you need and document it. 

Once you’ve identified what you need, you have to figure out where it will come from. 

Talk to a coach or a mentor. Join a mastermind group or a networking group. Whatever capabilities that you need and you are lacking, someone else already has them. As you serve others and as you network, keep this topic as a part of your discussion until you discover how you can get what you need.

If you really want to expand your network and have an opportunity to grow through the collective genius of a mastermind group, get your FREE trial membership to our Inner Circle Mastermind weekly video call.

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More Leads – Joint Ventures

Get a FREE copy of my Marketing Strategies e-Book for ideas that you can implement immediately into your business! “More Leads – Joint Ventures” is one strategy outlined in the book, which I’ll share here as well.

Do you currently have any established joint venture partnerships?

JV’s involve two or more businesses who decide to form a partnership to share markets or endorse a specific product or service to their customer base… usually under a revenue share arrangement. The key to creating successful joint ventures is to find partners who service the exact same type of clients that need or want what you sell.

Let me give you an example and I’ll use one we’re both familiar with… a florist. One of the most financially lucrative product lines for a florist is providing flowers for weddings. The average floral bill for a wedding often exceeds $3,000. But what we discovered about florists is they fall into what we refer to as an “event chain.” An event chain simply refers to a series of businesses that customers purchase from in a specific sequence.

For example, a wedding will never take place until an engagement ring is purchased from a jeweler. So jewelers are at the forefront of every wedding chain. Once the young lady accepts that engagement ring, this event chain kicks into high gear. First, this young lady knows EXACTLY where she wants to get married, so number one on her agenda is to book the church, chapel or synagogue where she wants the ceremony held.

Second on her list is to line up her wedding planner. Weddings today are a really big deal, and often women like to use the services of a professional wedding planner. Next up, she wants to secure the venue for her reception.

She knows most venues book out months in advance, so locking in that venue is high on her priority list. After that comes the wedding dress, so she begins the search for the perfect dress at an affordable price.

Next is our florist. The bride-to-be will want to begin selecting her floral arrangements for both the wedding and the reception. Then after the florist comes the wedding cake… the printer for the invitations and thank you cards… and depending on the financial ability of the bride to be, she may also be interested in hiring a limo… a DJ for the reception… a travel planner for the honeymoon… the hotel… catering and so on.

This event chain is typical of this industry. And for the florist, it specifically identifies a multitude of potential and very lucrative JV partners. But here’s why this becomes so important.

Every business ABOVE the florist has the potential to ENDORSE and SEND prospects to the florist. Unfortunately, the florist has NO control over that flow of prospects. Every business above the florist controls the JV relationship, so it’s critical the florist create such a compelling offer and relationship with these businesses that they feel obligated to send prospects their way.

But here’s what’s even better. The florist controls the prospect flow to ALL the businesses BELOW them in the chain, and by establishing specific processes and procedures to make sure their customers use those businesses, the florist can negotiate compelling offers with those business owners as well. So consider these numbers.

Let’s say this florist cultivates a JV relationship with at least one of each business throughout this entire chain. Staying ultra-conservative with our estimates, would you agree this florist… since they have NO control over the flow of prospects from these businesses… is it likely they could obtain at least ONE referral each month from just one of the businesses above them?

OK, would you also agree conservatively that since the florist controls the flow of prospects to the businesses BELOW them… that they could easily send at least ONE referral to EACH one of them every month? Keep in mind these are VERY conservative estimates we’re using here.

Since the average floral bill for a wedding is $3,000… then just ONE referral per month from those businesses ABOVE the florist increases their annual revenue by $36,000. Now let’s consider the businesses BELOW the florist where the florist controls the referrals. Let’s start with the wedding cake maker.

The average sales price for a wedding cake is also $3,000, and the florist could easily negotiate a 10% referral fee. So, just a single referral per month produces an additional annual increase of $3,600 for the florist.

Now consider the printer. The average sales price for printing is $1,000, and the florist again could receive a 10% referral fee, so that single referral per month produces an additional annual increase of $1,200.

If we stop there, this florist has just increased their annual revenue by more than $40,000… and that’s using ridiculously conservative numbers. Imagine if you continued to add up the revenue produced by all the additional referral fees the florist would earn from all the other vendors in this chain.

This same process holds true for businesses that aren’t in a chain. But just like the florist, they simply identify partners who service the exact same type of clients that need or want what they sell. Now I realize this looks easy, but it’s not… and here’s why.

You not only have to properly identify who would make an excellent joint venture partner for your business… but you also must determine the order to approach each one… how to approach them… and when to approach them. It’s critical you do this properly or you wind up burning through all of your potential JV partners and come out with nothing in return.

Let me ask you a quick question. Just off the top of your head, how many potential JV partners would you estimate might be a fit for what you sell? Would you believe that I could identify more than a dozen for your profession? So conservatively, how many referrals would you estimate might be possible if a dozen other businesses were compelled to refer their customers to you for additional purchases?

Conservatively, let’s say you only get 3 referrals every month that buy from you. That’s less than one per week. How much additional revenue would that add monthly? Now multiply that by 12 to see your annual revenue increase.

One more thing before we move on. Remember earlier we discussed the critical importance of creating a highly compelling informational offer that would promise so much value to prospects that they would knock your door down to get it?

Suppose the florist offered this informational offer in their marketing, “5 Things Every Bride Should Know to Avoid Disaster on Their Wedding Day”. This offer would place TONS of prospects into their drip campaign and result in a tremendous increase in sales. Those new sales can then be referred to their new JV partners and they collect multiple referral fees every month.

This would absolutely dwarf the revenue we just uncovered for the florist in this example. What I find really exciting about JV’s is this is a strategy I help my clients implement immediately… and it begins generating instant cash flow for them right out of the gate.

In a recent case study I conducted, I found $75,000 in additional annual revenue just using the JV strategy.

And again, that’s revenue that business will generate year after year after year.

$75,000 in additional annual revenue increases the valuation of that business somewhere in the range of $225,000 – $300,000.

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As a business coach and marketing strategist, I work with small and medium size businesses that have little or no money to spend on markeitng. I show them how to generate all the leads they can possibly handle without spending any extra on marketing or advertising.

One of my focuses is to look at existing marketing and dramatically reduce your existing spend while significantly increasing your response rate. I aim for a 2-10X increase in response rate, but 50-100X is not out of the question.

If you’ll invest 45 minutes with me on a video call, I’ll show you how I can find at least $10,000 inside your existing marketing. I’ll show you how to get it and I’ll show you how to put it in your pocket.

I’ll do that in 45 minutes if you’ll give me the opportunity at the end of our conversation to disccuss what I could do for your business. (with zero pressure)

If you want to generate more revenue in your business click HERE now!

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Whatever The Mind Can Conceive and Believe, It Can Achieve

It was thought that running a mile in under 4-minutes was physically impossible for any human being. Until, at Oxford University’s Iffley Road Stadium in 1954, Roger Bannister completed four laps in 3:59.4. The photo of an exhausted Bannister with his eyes closed and mouth opened appeared on the front page of newspapers around the world, a testament of what humankind could achieve.

 As important as anything, Bannister broke a psychological barrier with this run. This once believed impossible record only lasted for 46 days before Australian runner John Landy shaved 1.5 seconds off of his time. By the end of 1957, 16 runners had logged sub-4-minute miles. Since that time more than 1,400 runners have broken the 4 minute mile and the current record stands at 3:43.13. An impossible task until Bannister changed that belief.

Similar to the impossible 4-minute mile, breaking the 2-hour marathon (26.2 miles) was another barrier that seemed would never happen. In fact, researchers in Australia crunched marathon world records over the past 60 years and concluded that there was a 10 percent likelihood that the two-hour mark would fall by 2032, and just a 5 percent chance it would happen by 2024.

Last week, on October 12, 2019 Eliud Kipchoge ran the fastest 26.2 miles ever and broke through the seemingly impossible barrier of two hours with a time of 1:59:40. That is an incredible sub-4:34 mile pace for the entire distance. 

Just like when Bannister broke the 4-minute mile barrier in 1954, Kipchoge has inspired a new generation to push their limits with what is possible.

“It is a great feeling to make history in sport after Sir Roger Bannister in 1954. I am the happiest man in the world to be the first human to run under two hours, and I can tell people that no human is limited,” Kipchoge said. “I expect more people all over the world to run under two hours after today.”

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

Napoleon Hill

Believe

To live the life you truly desire, the first step is to break through the psychological barriers that are holding you back. You have to believe that you can get there. 

Kipchoge believed he could break the two-hour barrier. Before the event he said, “Many ideologies [have] been going that no human will break the two-hour mark but personally, I have dared to try. I am doing it to make history.” After the race he said, “there was no point that I doubted myself.”

Look around. Your biggest dreams, the life you really want is not the 4-minute mile or the 2-hour marathon. Most likely, there’s already someone that is living that life. You don’t need to wait for someone to break through that psychological barrier before you can achieve it. That barrier has already been broken.

Your first step to achieving your goals is believing you can do it.

Barriers

Where do you really want to be? What are your big goals? Identify the real and the imagined barriers that are holding you back. It’s time to break through those barriers and reach your true potential! Stop believing your own lies.

Not knowing how to do it. Not seeing the path. Thinking it’s impossible. These are all excuses that you’ve told yourself. Kipchoge figured out how to run a sub-2 hour marathon, you can figure out how to achieve the life you want.

Your Path

Once you really believe you can achieve your goals you need to give yourself a path to follow so you’ll be able to reach the goals you previously thought were impossible.

In May of 2017, Kipchoge came up just shy of the two-hour mark during Nike’s Breaking2 project, finishing with a time of 2:00:25. After missing the mark by less than half a minute, he created the path he needed to follow to accomplish the goal a little more than two years later. This included his training and preparation all the way through to the pace setters and water delivery during the run.

Planning is key to your success. Figure out how you’re going to reach your ultimate goals and follow that plan. But be flexible so you can adjust quickly and make decisions when road blocks appear.

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

Stephen R. Covey


Persist Until You Succeed

If at times you get knocked off your path it doesn’t mean it’s over. Adjust and figure out how to get back on the path again. Brian Tracy said, “Your ability to persist longer than anyone else is the quality that will guarantee great success in life. Persistence is self-discipline in action and the true measure of your belief in yourself. Resolve in advance that you will never, never give up!”

The first step in your journey is to see in your mind what it is that you really want and to truly believe you are capable of achieving it. The mind is a powerful force and when you use it to create the life and the outcomes you desire, amazing things will happen.

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He’s actually inspired all of us that we can stretch our limits in our lives and we can do more than we think we can do.

Patrick Sang – Eliud Kipchoge’s Coach

The E-Learning Marketing System

The E-Learning Marketing System is the most powerful and dynamic do-it-yourself client attraction program ever created

We created this program with the perfect combination of online resources, tools and support to get you out of any financial distress you’re presently experiencing… help you get laser-focused on your highest income-producing activities… and help you develop and then apply the fundamentals that build multimillion dollar businesses.

The E-Learning Marketing System was created to give every small business owner unrestricted access to the tools, resources and support they need to build whatever size business they want.

Click the link below to take the E-Learning Marketing System Guided Tour and learn more about the tools you would have access to:

  • A Complete Diagnostic On Your Business
  • A Customized Marketing Roadmap to Follow to Remove All Guesswork
  • Wold-Class, Step-by-Step Internet Marketing and Business Building Content
  • Bonus Content Specifically Designed To Add Immediate Cash Flow
  • Unrestricted Access To Our Proprietary Time Management Program
  • Plus Much More…

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How to Increase Your Productivity

When I sit down to write an article, or as I’m planning an upcoming mastermind call, the topics usually come to me because of conversations I’ve had throughout that week.

On our mastermind call yesterday, one of the things we discussed was how to keep focused and work efficiently towards your goals. I received a comment from someone that said they work much more efficiently and are better at getting things done as deadlines approach. This comment reminded me of a post I had written back in April of 2013. Today, I want to share that information again.

The following is portions of my post from April 18, 2013:

Last night, my daughter, Tia, finished practicing piano and was sitting at the table looking very stressed. My wife, Tamara, asked her what was stressing her out. From there the floodgates opened up and out came all of the things she had to get done in the next few days with some tight deadlines: French test, write a paper abut her experience in Africa, create a video to use at the piano recital, prepare her presentation for the Rotary Club, basketball practice, and…

That was when Tamara stepped in. She told Tia to make a list of all the things she needed to get done and the deadline for each one. She also needed to figure out which ones she could have help on and who could help her.

This made me think about Zig Ziglar and his “Day Before Vacation” teachings, which he asks:

  1. As a general rule, on the day before you go on vacation, do you get two or three times as much work done as you normally get done in a day?
  2. If you can learn why you are that much more productive on the day before vacation, and then repeat that process on a daily basis without working any longer or harder, does it make sense that you will be more valuable to yourself, your family, your company, and society in general?
  3. On the night before the day before vacation, do you take a sheet of paper and say to yourself, “Now tomorrow I’ve got to do…,” and then make a list of things you must do?… In it’s simplest form, that’s goal setting and it’s critical. Next, did you organize your must-do list in the order of importance and accept responsibility for completing those tasks?

The day before we leave on a vacation, Tamara and I both have our to-do lists. On that day, both work related and non-work related things get completed efficiently. This all happens because we have deadlines and we need to focus to get those things done.

This is what Tia will experience over the next few days. Her French test, the Rotary presentation, piano recital and all the other things coming up are going to happen if she’s ready or not. So she needs to focus and prioritize to ensure she does well at all of them.

Going back to Zig and his day before vacation example, he says “On the way to work the next day your self-talk was upbeat and centered on what you were going to get done. You arrived at work on time so you were punctual. You immediately started to work, making you a self-starter. You were highly motivated and optimistic that you were going to finish every task you had set for yourself. You were enthusiastic about your work and decisively moved from one task to the next, making good choices as you did so, even if the next job on the list was disagreeable.”

I love this example related to unpleasant tasks. “An ol’ boy down home said it best, “Friend, if you’ve got to swallow a frog, you just don’t want to look at the sucker too long. He aint gonna get no purtier! As a matter of fact, the longer you look, the uglier he gets.” That’s the way unpleasant tasks are.”

“As you move from task to task, if someone tried to interrupt and talk about last night’s television program or last night’s game, you disciplined yourself to stay on task and not be distracted from your job… Since there was no “tomorrow” for you on each job, you persisted until you completed each one… and momentum built with the completion of each task… Perhaps the most exciting part of this vacation scenario is the fact that your co-workers instinctively picked up the pace [as well].”

If this approach works so well on the day before vacation, or the days before a test or a presentation, won’t it work just as well every day?

A big part of this is in your planning. When you plan and track things, the odds of their happening go up substantially. If we plan our months, weeks and days we will be more productive and balanced.

Tia spent the evening writing about her experiences in Africa. She made her list and prioritized it. When Tamara told her to pause and to make a list to prioritize, it relieved a lot of the stress in the situation.

Plan your time efficiently, and act upon your plans so that you don’t spend your time reacting to what is happening to you.

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