Most incredible free gift ever

Archive for the ‘Small Business Success Tips’ Category

Are You Really “IN” Control?

By: Dan Kennedy on: June 27th, 2011 9 Comments

Years ago, you’d walk the streets of New York and see homeless folks all over the place, many with mental problems, muttering to themselves, or talking loudly at no one or at everyone or at each person who passed.

It was disconcerting at minimum; intimidating, frightening or depressing at times.

These days, a lot of the homeless problem there seems to have gone away – I can’t tell you why. But they’ve been replaced by a better-dressed population who appear just as addled…they rush through the streets, all talking loudly, seemingly to no one. And this population has expanded from city streets to airports, supermarkets, theater lobbies, everywhere. Even public bathrooms.

Sometimes I don’t realize they are talking on their invisible phones and I think they are talking to me and I respond. They think I’m an idiot. I know they are.

People are now plugged in and connected non-stop from eyes opening to eyes closing, iPod in one ear, invisible phone in another, computer and TV integrated, text messaging, checking e-mail, ad nauseum.

They think that’s making them more productive. It is not, anymore than running faster in the wheel gets the caged hamster anywhere. In fact, it makes them less productive simply because they are less in control. Less in control of their time, their order of priorities, their very thoughts. Less in control of the environment in which they sell and communicate.

Contrary to simplistic interpretation, I am not anti-technology. I like using it to make money, solve problems or enhance productivity. But that’s not what’s happening for most people.

In his best and most important book, ‘Grow Rich With Peace Of Mind’, Napoleon Hill wrote of having his phone disconnected to shield himself from a rising tide of intrusion he could not control. He preferred using it only to make calls, not to receive them (just as I do, all these years later.) Imagine what he’d think of what the telephone has become: an out of control octopus.

Those who teach and sell “time management” often say ‘time is money’ and everybody conceptually concurs – although few actually treat it as such; and they often say that your income reflects your use and value of your time….but the precise truth is, your income reflects your control of your time. And you really want to pay close attention to who (or what) is in control of or interfering with your control of your time…your energy, your thoughts, your opportunity to perform whatever functions you perform at peak performance.

All successful people fight, constantly, to regain control they let slip out of their grasp from one day to the next, one relationship to the next, one project to the next. It gets away; I get it back. It gets loose; I round it up and fence it back in. That’s the way it is.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • Ping.fm

One Step At A Time?

By: Dan Kennedy on: June 20th, 2011 4 Comments

Within 12 weeks of deciding that every store needed an HR manager, Home Depot had interviewed 3,000 people, hired 1,300, trained them and had them in place. Also, during their peak growth year of 2004, they opened a new store every 48 hours. What do you make of such things?

Most of you know my favorite Iaccoca story, of impulsively having the roof removed by blow-torch, to test drive a new convertible. However, reading Iaccoca’s autobiography’s account of his turnaround years at Chrysler, you’ll find many more stories with three similar themes: speed; massive action; and many initiatives launched simultaneously….in his case, even while under financial duress.

At Glazer/Kennedy, in just 12 months, we launched the local advisor program, developed and launched the Gold+ online community, went from two to five events, developed and launched the new Peak Performers program – and the list goes on.

On the flip side, I see companies actually bragging about getting one new thing done all year. You’ll read their annual reports and discover they spent the whole year to get into the catalog business or get a web site up or create a slogan. These are companies to avoid investing in, or get money out of if you are invested.

Here’s the uncomfortable truth about success: you do not get there as taught as a child…one step at a time.

One of the things I learned, in part, thanks to Dr. Maltz and his Psycho-Cybernetics work is that instruction and advice given to us as children may have been valid and useful at the time but needs to be jettisoned like old skin as we mature; it can be crippling if carried into adulthood, especially if you choose to be an entrepreneur or sales professional. “Don’t talk to strangers” is a classic. Good idea for an 8 year old; bad idea for a 28 year old. ‘One step at a time” is a very similar admonition. Useful for the toddler learning to walk. Crippling for the entrepreneur.

People often ask me – puzzled – how I get so much done. The answer is not comforting at all. I put all sorts of things in motion before I am prepared and ready to give them all due attention or they are fully crystallized as step-by-step plans, then I chase them. I over-commit myself, then press to juggle and honor the commitments. I create then complete; I don’t create complete. I rarely do one thing at a time. I never take one step at a time. It’s my observation other high-performers follow this same path.

If you want to learn the secrets to accomplishing more in your next 12 months than you have in the past 12 years go to http://www.gkicresourcecenter.com/product/phenomenon-online-training/

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • Ping.fm

Just Stay Away From Them… If You Can

By: Dan Kennedy on: May 31st, 2011 7 Comments

The Shadow knows. And so do I.

With another holiday weekend behind us, you may have encountered “friends”, family and relatives, and others with evil intent, conscious or not.

Some will attempt to slime you with GUILT. Simply because you are doing better than they, notwithstanding that you exhibit initiative and they exhibit none, they will attempt to guilt you into giving or loaning them money, paying their bills, repairing their car for them…or, at bare minimum, feeling queasy and uncomfortable about you own success.

They will advance their notion that you are “the LUCKY one” in the family, thus undeservedly more prosperous or happier than they. Whether they attempt extorting money or merely seek to “bring you down a peg” and s*** on your self-esteem doesn’t matter much.

Either way, they bear you ill will, they resent you. Welcome them into your home if you must, but dare not welcome them into your mind – or the mind of your spouse. (Incidentally, I encourage giving generously, but 100% voluntarily, and preferably to individuals who exhibit initiative.)

Some will attempt to tar you with DISRESPECT. Maybe it’s your brother The Doctor or his snooty trophy wife or pipe-smoking College Professor or the M.B.A., who is secretly jealous of your independence; who eagerly shines a spotlight on the odd and unexplainable nature of what you do as an entrepreneur or on the ugly, silly advertising and promotion you insist on doing.

As Mrs. Roosevelt said: no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. But that won’t stop them from trying. The cocktail party at your neighbor’s house might very well be infested with desperate, empty shells of men, vying for superiority by making others inferior. Small people try to be bigger by making others feel smaller.

Some will be eager to rub everyone else’s noses in their latest accomplishments – could be having remodeled their game room or traveled to Italy or bought matching new BMW’s or some such thing. When you hear it, think: DEBT. Unlike us, most of what these pompous show-offs’ll be showing off is financed to the hilt. Such one-upmanship is a juvenile game. Act as you would if playing chess or Monopoly® with a mere child; let him win.

Genuinely bright, successful serenely confident individuals play none of these games. They prefer talking about IDEAS, and seek out others who do the same. Find them and spend your time with them. And beware the rest.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • Ping.fm

Should You Pay Attention?

By: Dan Kennedy on: May 23rd, 2011 7 Comments

Very Good News: You can finally, completely stop worrying about Al Gore’s global warming. We are all destined to die of something else instead.

A front page headline on USA TODAY read:

90% of the ocean’s edible species may be gone by 2048, study finds

Having North Korea, Iraq, Iran, etc. isn’t enough. They have to devote half their front page to scaring us about the potential scarcity of Mrs. Paul’s fish sticks forty-two years from now.

Since I will either be dead or eating mush, this matters little to me. For many of you, though, it’s permission to cease all worry about global warming. The lack of crab cakes will kill you first. Hooray!

It might interest the boneheads behind this survey and those reporting on it as fatalistic gospel at USA TODAY that I have, in my files, news reports of academic studies projecting the end of seafood by the year 1967…..the melting of the polar ice caps and drowning of us all by 1959…..and, well, you get the idea.

Scientists, psychics, cult leaders, politicians and ignorant, irresponsible journalists have frequently predicted the end of life as we know it – via over-population (a scare popular in the 60’s), under-population, starvation and famine, flood, asteroid attack, the earth veering from its axis, killer bees, or – the latest – mad cow disease, etc. – and they have all been wrong.

Eventually ONE will get to say “See, I Told You So.” But this is a charlatan’s game, and nothing more.

For some, it gets taxpayer monies to support all manner of silly research. For others, it sells books or newspapers.

It’s hard to tell Stanford’s much hyped ‘doom research’ from the plot of an old Star Trek episode. One is no more credible than the other.

Why should you pay attention to any of this? That’s the point – you shouldn’t. In fact, you should be pretty rigorous about NOT paying attention to anything that doesn’t advance you toward your goals, enhance your important skills, or inspire and motivate you to be your best self and achieve your greatest ambitions.

Unless it is your hobby, be that golf, football, gardening, or ulcer assured, politics.

All else ought be filtered out. Blocked. Ignored. Just because USA TODAY feels compelled to fill its front page with silly, decidedly unscientific drivel, with scary stuff about the future-without-fish, does NOT mean you must swallow it.

I even choose most of my pure entertainment with some purpose, to extract from it some useful ideas or content or examples, in addition to being amused or entertained. I don’t need distractions provided by silly soothsayers looking 40 to 400 years into the future.

I’m perfectly capable of manufacturing sufficient distractions of my own! Success requires FOCUS. You have to guard the gates of your mind. You have to ask: what will I gain by paying attention to this?

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • Ping.fm

Are You Too Jaded?

By: Dan Kennedy on: May 16th, 2011 8 Comments

This is one I am writing for myself. You can read it if you want to, but it’s really for me. (I’m toying with starting to write all these for myself. I need a lot of counseling, so it seems like a clever and efficient way to use this time.)

Many moons ago – a phrase I find appropriate with frightening frequency – I took one year nearly off from business and made a living betting on horses . To bet horses at multiple tracks or at the big-handle New York tracks, you had to go there physically; this was before simulcast.

So, every Saturday and some weekdays I flew from Cleveland to New York in the morning, drove to Belmont or Aqueduct, bet the thoroughbreds there until I won $1,500.00, then immediately left – even if after just one race, flew home, and most nights got to Northfield in time to do the same thing there with harness races.

I did just fine, I made over $50,000.00 that year, and that was in the early 1970’s, and I was young. But it took all the fun out of it. Losses were of monumental importance because too many in a row would wipe out the bankroll, and it is impossible to make money gambling without money and the courage that comes with it.

The wins came devoid of joy or satisfaction because they were a necessity. It was a grind. Doing anything to make money – or doing anything else, for that matter – without frequent celebration makes Jack a very, very dull boy.

And I do not celebrate enough. Maybe you don’t, maybe you do, I don’t know. But I know it’s easy to start taking all your successes and achievements and victories for granted, as just what you do.

For me, making $100,000.00 delivering a speech or closing a $100,000.00 copywriting contract or contemplating taking or rejecting a proposed arrangement to conduct a coaching program for a client for $750,000.00 or seeing my book on a shelf or a bestseller list or giving somebody strategies and copy that brings in $500,000.00 from a zero start in 90 days – well, that’s just what I do.

The other night it briefly occurred to me this deserved some recognition and a toast. A few days before Bill reported on a new product promotion that topped $500,000.00. Same thing. Days later, I thought – gee, maybe that ought to be celebrated.

So, my advice is: don’t become too impressed with yourself, but don’t become too jaded either. Recognize the amazing nature of your progress and accomplishments. Celebrate your victories with whoever’s in your life that matters. Be more cognizant of others’ accomplishments and generous with recognition and praise. Celebrate good times, c’mon.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • Ping.fm

4 BIG Miscellaneous Tips

By: Dan Kennedy on: May 6th, 2011 7 Comments

If you want to get cooperation from somebody – especially a busy, successful person, make it easy for them to give you what you want. A few days ago, I was asked to record some fairly lengthy audio clips for somebody’s tele-seminar, which I was happy to do – until the “system” kept cutting me off and giving me a 9 choice option menu to deal with. So much for that.

People frequently send me books they’d like favorable comments about, but hardly anybody sends a pre-done FedEx, many hide their fax numbers. (When I sent books out and asked people to do me a favor, I sent them FedEx, with $50 bills attached to the “please” letter.) People send me video to review – on DVD’s, which can’t be easily stopped and rewound; triples the work time vs. VHS – so I don’t do it at all.

If you want to sell to somebody, find out how they want to buy. Different people want to buy differently at different times. Sometimes I like to take my time shopping and I enjoy being creatively sold – the clothing salesman finding matching shirts, ties for jackets, socks for slacks, endlessly showing me choices until I succumb. But, the other day, I hit a Jos. A Bank store in a hurry and made it clear I wanted to buy “the basic uniform”: blue blazer, camel blazer, gray slacks, tan slacks, blue shirts and be gone in 20 minutes. To her credit, an assistant manager “got it” and got a $1,600.00 sale. But more often than not, I’m not asked how I’d like to buy, and I’m not listened to when I tell people how I want to buy. On two occasions, I’ve had salespeople lose big ticket sales to me because they insisted on telling me a lot of technical information instead of asking whether or not I needed and wanted to hear it.

If you want to make more money, stop yourself and your staff from down-selling. My travel agent, bless her, is constantly anguished over the money I’m spending and feels compelled to save me, suggesting less expensive hotels, resorts, suites, travel. And she’s on commission. Silly?

Well, 90% of everybody selling does this very same thing. Worrying more about price than their customers or prospects. Instantly going to the lowest priced option. At that Jos a Bank store, she wisely did NOT steer me to the “50% Off” selection of shirts (Carla found it) – because it was clear I didn’t care about price; I never asked a price question – so why sell me anything but their best? But most salespeople could be heard immediately telling each customer: ‘”Look, we have shirts at half off today.”

If you want to get more done, kick the asses of people who interfere with you getting more done. Recently, I consulted with a Member who has leapt from $300,000.00 to $1-million in yearly income in 1 year. I told him: your hour is now worth 300% more. Waste you might have tolerated last year, you can no longer afford to tolerate. Of course, if you make $300,000.00, a fast path to making $1-million is treating your time’s value as if you were already making a million.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • Ping.fm

It’s Like a M.A.S.H. Unit Around Here

By: Dan Kennedy on: April 27th, 2011 7 Comments

Remember how the M*A*S*H episodes started? Helicopters heard coming in the distance. Somebody yelled ‘Incoming”. And the crazed, frenetic pace ensued.

Incoming! Faxes, contracts, FedEx’s, a weekly carton of mail sometimes the size of a suitcase or two. Endless stream of requests for this or that, from my C.P.A.’s, other financial folks, clients. Back-and-forth fighting with the Coalition Of The Ignorant, Incompetent And Unwilling vendors. As fast as I bail, more pours in. I am like a Gumby, being pulled and stretched in ten different directions. Outside my door, a pack of hungry “wolves” all wailing for attention. Paper’s out of control – the piles from the tables have birthed piles on the floor, piles up the steps, on each step. Aaaargh.

No, that’s not just YOU. That’s me. And every other entrepreneur actually attempting to get things done, to build empires, to achieve more. You are not alone. Nor are you horribly disorganized or out of control or inept. This is the way it REALLY is around MOST places where big things are being made to happen at a rapid pace.

And every so often, one of those days occurs where no headway is made at all. But every so often, one of those days occurs where everything aligns perfectly and mountains are moved and money pours in and work rolls out and people are orgasmically happy. In between, most days are mixed bags of accomplishment and frustration, progress and regression, pleasant and unpleasant surprises, profitable advancements and costly mistakes, ingenious creativity and bad decisions. This is how Success is manufactured: in a very, very messy kitchen, with overflowing pots, spilled bottles, spaghetti sauce on the ceiling. This is how Progress is forced into being by the determined warrior-entrepreneur: with wounded on the battlefield, blood on the floor. Anyone who thinks otherwise is naïve or a drone making minor money and minor accomplishments in a minor league.

Don’t feel badly about the mess or guilty about making it.

Neatness is vastly over-rated. And there is a gigantic difference between “neatness” and “organization”. Someone can have everything neat as a dollhouse in a glass display case but be completely disorganized – as in, going nowhere. Someone else can be as messy as Pigpen in a hurricane dancing with the Tazmanian devil, but be very organized – as in, moving measurably forward toward worthy goals, day by day. Besides, the neat freaks are forever derived of the sheer, unadulterated, passionate joy of finding a lost file.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • Ping.fm

Are You Addicted?

By: Dan Kennedy on: April 15th, 2011 6 Comments

On a Sunday morning ‘Today Show’, I watched a woman interviewed (and, incredibly, taken seriously), describing her trauma as a ‘psychic addict’ and her use of her own Tarot cards as a ‘nicotine patch.’ Apparently, she has spent a lot of money visiting and calling psychics, thus she is an ‘addict’.

If this addiction gets a name assigned to it by psychiatrists, she’ll qualify for disability money from Social Security.

If a person gambles and loses his paycheck, he’s a gambling addict.

A few attempts have been made, so far unsuccessfully, to get eating too much fast food classed as an addiction that the food companies can be held liable for causing.

To the psychic addict: nobody suggests that the person spending every Sunday morning and three nights a week at Joel O’Steen’s mega church or their local Catholic parish is a religion addict.

We are selective and judgemental, aren’t we?

In any case, we are far too willing to say that ‘choice’ is ‘addiction’. We let people act irresponsibly and hand them the excuse. Of course I recognize there are real addicts. But I am convinced, for every addict, there are a hundred excuse-makers happily accepting the addict label.

A zebra ain’t a horse, but an excuse is an excuse is an excuse. And I’ll bet I’ve heard 1,000, all positioned as something other than choice.

For example, I hear “I’m not a good reader” or “I’m a slow reader” a lot. As if that was some genetic handicap that ought to qualify somebody for disability payments or somebody provided by the government to read to them.

No, that’s being blind. Not a ‘slow reader.’ Pfui. Pathetic.

Here’s a thought: read faster. That’ll cure that disability. Take a course, hire a coach, go to a class. You are what you choose to be.

In the Eden Ryl film ‘Pack Your Own Chute’ I used to show in seminars, she interviews people about their biggest problem with their job. Most said: getting there on time.

Each had a different “disability” that prevented them from getting to work on time. When I was young, I would turn off my alarm clock and keep sleeping. I cured my genetic disability by buying five alarm clocks, putting each under large coffee cans, each ten feet further away from the bed, the last one in the bathroom.

You have to be your own Excuse Watchdog. Catch yourself too easily letting yourself off the hook, accepting your own b.s., accepting an “I’m not…” or “I can’t…” explanation when truth is “I choose not to….”

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • Ping.fm

Spit In The Witches Eye

By: Dan Kennedy on: March 28th, 2011 4 Comments

At a past Gold/VIP-Millionaires Group meeting, Dr. Jim Fairfield talked about running a very aggressive promotion for his practice at a time of year regarded as “slow” by his entire profession. He called it “spitting in the eye of the village witch.

Wow. Been doin’ that my whole life. You should too. Industry norms are to be violated. Rules are for mere mortals. The 212 ways it can’t be done, irrelevant as soon as you find one way it can. Criticism from others, immune to it.

Most people fear the village witch. Do everything they can not to draw her attention, not to provoke her. Actually, most people go through life like the painfully shy kid in the classroom or frightened pedestrian on a dark street at night; they actually shrink themselves and pray they go unnoticed. Don’t make waves.

When Bill McGowan at MCI challenged the entire telephone industry and the federal government and said “Who says AT&T owns long-distance?”, he spit in the eye of the village witch. Similarly, when O’Steen took the prohibition on lawyers’ advertising, when the chiropractic profession sued the American Medical Association, they spit in the eye of the village witch. When Disney ignored all expert advice and built the first amusement park with a single entrance/exit, he spit in the eye of the village witch.

After the fact, of course, everybody celebrates such courageous folks who win. (Some who lose are cursed, reviled, imprisoned, boiled in oil. There is danger.)

I don’t think you need to go looking for trouble. But I don’t think you can prosper living fearfully or timidly, either. Healthy, prudent paranoia, yes. Fear or timidity, no.

I recently visited with some very smart people running a ‘successful’ franchise company, proud of their having established 250 franchises in 10 years. A client of mine started a new franchise company less than 60 days ago and has established 6.

At that pace, he’ll hit 250 in 82 months….6 years…almost twice as fast. Although I think he’ll pick up speed and get there in less than 5 years.

Why? Because he has taken a very strong, confrontational, opposite position to just about everybody else offering other means of building businesses in his industry, to the immediate annoyance of some. Because he has taken a very different approach to selling franchises than franchising norms. Because he has spit in the eye of the village witches, plural.

Want to know a secret about witches?

Stay tuned…

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • Ping.fm

Often Wrong, Never In Doubt

By: Dan Kennedy on: March 14th, 2011 1 Comment

That’s the title of a solid business book by ad man turned TV talk show host Donny Deutsch. It’s instructive because it takes an excessive, sometimes unjustified amount of CERTAINTY to lead – a team or a company or a country.

At the top, wearing the captain’s hat, there’s little time for reflection or 2nd-guessing.

A few weeks back, one of these e-mails so offended a good Gold+ Member, he wrote me a lengthy letter, to which I replied privately, and wrote about generally in the NO-BS Marketing newsletter.

Specifically, he was offended by 4 sentences, expressing but one thought. And given slow and careful reflection, I might have made my central point just as well omitting the inflammatory thought and keeping it to myself. But were I to so carefully and thoughtfully edit my entire output, it would, by necessity, shrink to a tiny fraction.

To be prolific, you must be reckless. Were I to so cautiously edit my expressed thoughts, I would be a far less interesting fellow in very short order. Neither best serves my economic interests.

That’s always the question for the entrepreneur, of course: what best serves your economic interests? Usually, of the choices, every one of them somehow damages your economic interests. One offers benefit further in excess of the damage than others.

More often than not, decisiveness and speed are more profitable than ponderous deliberation. And a lot of 2nd guessing just slows you down.

The husband is leaving the house when is wife says: you aren’t planning on wearing that tie with that suit, are you? Obviously he was; he had it on; he’s at the door. But he 2nd guesses, goes back upstairs, re-visits mirror and closet. Somebody says: you aren’t going to mail that on that god-awful neon pink paper, are you? Same result.

As a speaker, there’s the speech you intended to give, speech you gave, speech you wished you’d given. For sanity’s sake, I stopped thinking much about that about 1,200 speeches ago.

Of course, there is a difference between bold action and outrageously ill-considered, reckless risk.

In NO B.S. BUSINESS SUCCESS, I wrote about the difference between taking, risks and managing risks. And I still like what I wrote. But I also know that true entrepreneurs put themselves out there on a shaky limb one way or another almost everyday. And I’m certain that more is lost through timidity than daring, more lost through 2nd guessing than rapid implementation.

I am absolutely certain of that. Not in doubt about it at all.

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • Ping.fm
  • Twitter feed loading