If you have been a business owner for any length of time, than like me, i am sure that you have made your share of some really dumb and stupid business mistakes. I’ve also coached a number of people to start their own businesses, and I’ve seen many of them make similar mistakes. This advice is geared towards small business owners, particularly people who are just starting (or about to start) their own business.
1. Stop selling to the wrong people.
When you start your business, people will tell you that sales are vitally, vitally important to the survival of your business. They are not wrong. But here’s the thing – the worst thing you can do is to try to push your business on everyone you meet, especially your friends and family. It really is a waste of your time and efforts to try selling to people who simply don’t need what you’re offering.
I have learned that some clients are much harder to work with than others. If a potential customer is broke and obsessively worried about every nickel they spend, then they won’t be a good client in the long run(though there are exceptions to the rule). Michael Port in his book , Book Yourself Solid advises that you should implement a Red Velvet Policy , where you should feel free to say no to customers that are more trouble than they’re worth. Let your competitors sell to them instead. You’ll save yourself many headaches, and you’ll free up more time to focus on serving the best customers.
Often the people we’d most like to network with are also the least accessible. Busy people are bombarded with endless emails, phone calls, social media connections, and more. Making contact with such people can be difficult because so many others are trying to do the same thing.
Nevertheless, busy people can make very valuable contacts. They’re usually busy for a reason – lots of people want to connect with them, either for business or personal reasons.
I believe I have some solid, practical advice to share on this topic for two reasons. First, I’ve dealt with hundreds of busy people during my 20+ years as an entrepreneur and HR Leader at some of the largest global brands. I’ve had to learn what works and what doesn’t in the real world of business. I also know how busy people tend to filter and process their communication.
In this series I’ll focus mainly on business and professional networking, although many of these ideas can be applied to personal networking as well. I admit that the line between the two can be rather fuzzy, depending on which field you work in.
Some people maintain a crisp separation between their business contacts and personal friends. For me there isn’t much difference since I work in a field where people tend to be very open and friendly, and the people I meet in a business context are the same people I enjoy having as friends anyway.
So here are my best tips for networking with busy people.
It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.
Are morning people born or made? In my case it was definitely made. In my early 20s, I rarely went to bed before midnight, and I’d almost always sleep in late. I usually didn’t start hitting my stride each day until late afternoon.
But after a while I couldn’t ignore the high correlation between success and rising early, even in my own life. On those rare occasions where I did get up early, I noticed that my productivity was almost always higher, not just in the morning but all throughout the day. And I also noticed a significant feeling of well-being. So being the proactive goal-achiever I was, I set out to become a habitual early riser. I promptly set my alarm clock for 5AM…
… and the next morning, I got up just before noon.
I tried again many more times, each time not getting very far with it. I figured I must have been born without the early riser gene. Whenever my alarm went off, my first thought was always to stop that blasted noise and go back to sleep. I tabled this habit for a number of years, but eventually I came across some sleep research that showed me that I was going about this problem the wrong way. Once I applied those ideas, I was able to become an early riser consistently.
David Ogilvy called direct marketing his secret weapon. And he used it to build his agency into one of the most successful in the world. Here he is speaking to a group of direct marketing advertisers about how direct marketing advertising has an edge over general advertising.
A great way to have job opportunities to come to you is to use a little-known feature on Google. You can use this feature to have Google notify you about new jobs in your field as they come on the market. Watch the video clip below and it will tell you step-by-step how to set this up for yourself.
Warning: Don’t get confused. Even though the example given here is for a Legal Secretary in the UK, it will work just as well if you are looking to get notified about any type of job opportunity — whether it’s for a Marketing Manager or a Senior HR Vice President job.
lt’s not easy to admit our mistakes in front of others. But it is so incredibly liberating! As Lena West says, “You have to be willing to look like a complete ass to make progress in life. Sometimes it works out and you’re a rock star, and then sometimes you’ve got egg on your face.As Oprah Winfrey puts it, ‘when you lead a big,full life, it’s idiotic to think that your missteps are gonna be small.’ And to me, that’s a risk worth taking. –