Tag Archives | business success

Business success: the one simple secret

Business success is determined by one key concept. When you understand and use it, you will be able to face and overcome challenges and continually improve, in both your business and personal life. This simple concept is called above and below the line.

business success, life success, above the line

 

Picture an imaginary horizontal line. Above the line is a way of living in which you take ownership, accountability and responsibility for everything in your life. In business this may be the amount of money in your bank account, the type of clients you are working with, or the quality of your relationships. Up here you’ll find solutions and results. You’ll have the mentality of a successful victor over your circumstances.

Living below the line is using blame, excuses and denial to avoid responsibility for improving your life. Here you play the victim, come up with reasons you don’t have what you want, and focus on problems.

Playing above the line is a decision

It’s human nature to go below the line daily. Science shows that we have a negativity bias – an inbuilt protection mechanism to look for threats and weaknesses over opportunities, to ensure our survival. The challenge arises when we live below the line on a regular or permanent basis.

There are many things we can’t control in life. To live above the line, we must focus only on what we can control and influence. We can’t control Australia’s economy, but we can choose our financial decisions on a daily basis. We can’t determine which political party will get into office, but we can have our say by voting and contributing positively to politicial discussion.

No matter what life throws at us, we can always choose our thoughts, attitudes and behaviour. It’s important that we don’t ignore problems and challenges, as they don’t usually go away on their own. Dealing with them when they first appear is key.

It’s also vital to deal with stress by venting when needed. If we find it hard to be above the line in our office, we give each other a 3-minute time limit.  We have fun and blame everyone, make every possible excuse, and deny any responsibility for our situation!  Then we ask, “now what’s the outcome we want, and what are we going to do to get it?”.

 

 

(Thanks to Justin Maybury, team member of a great business we work with, for creating this image of his progress one day trying to stay above the line. We call it “One foot over!”)

How do you live above the line to ensure business success?

When things are not how you want them to be, focus on the solution, not the problem.

Instead of complaining that there’s not enough money to pay the BAS, ask “how do I find the money to pay what’s due, then ensure there is enough in time for each future instalment?”

Rather than blaming the economy or your competitors for a lack of leads, ask “who are the clients I want, and where can I find them? What can I offer that’s valuable to them?”

Replace “why is this employee continually needing supervision?” with “how can I be a better manager?”

Success guru Tony Robbins says the quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask. When you make a mistake, don’t ask “why does this always happen to me?” but “how can I ensure I get the result I want next time?”

We all have challenges in life. Leadership and personal development expert Brian Tracy describes business as: Problem – problem – problem – problem – CRISIS! Imagine business challenges as waves on the ocean (which means every seventh one is likely to be a dumper…). You can choose to get out of the water, or learn to surf.

The secret to life and business success is to focus on solutions rather than problems.

Are you living above the line?

If you’d like to achieve greater success in your business, whether it be more money, a stronger team, or greater freedom – contact Yellow Coaching to see if you’re eligible for a complimentary 90 minute consultation on your business. We work with businesses and organisations throughout Australia. We look forward to hearing from you.

The 3 Pillars of Business Growth

No matter how well your business did last year (and we hope it was a brilliant year for you), there are 3 fundamental things you need for continued business growth and mastery.

The new year is the perfect time to reassess where you are now, and where you want to be when Christmas rolls around again – and trust us, this will seem sooner rather than later!

Over the last 15 years we’ve helped business owners and teams achieve everything they want. We focus on the 3 things that are essential for continual business growth and mastery. We call these the three pillars of business success. Here’s more about them, and how to get them to support you and your business in 2018…

business growth, business success, business advice, business mastery,

1  Mindset

If there’s one thing we’re sure of, it’s that successful people have positive mindsets. They look for solutions rather than problems, and focus on the end goal rather than obstacles. Knowing that challenges will continually appear, they face them directly and quickly to ensure they get back on track with minimal detour.

As Brian Tracy says in his talk The Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires (get it here on audible.com), problems in business are like waves on the ocean that come in sets, with one towering above the others: “Problem, problem, problem, problem, CRISIS!” Successful people understand that as they learn to deal with challenges they grow as business leaders.

Successful business leaders learn the skill of goal-setting. They challenge themselves constantly by pushing outside their comfort zones. Familiar with perturbation – that uncomfortable feeling of tension when you’re moving past your previous limits – they have learned to think big and dream bigger.

They acknowledge that they can’t do it all on their own. Their support team includes a proactive accountant, responsive business banker, trusted legal advisor, and qualified and experienced business coach to help them reach their goals.

 

Business growth, business goals, business success

2  Knowledge and Education

Successful business leaders know what they don’t know. They commit to continually improving their knowledge, and rely on experts to assist them to achieve business growth. Instead of stretching themselves too thin by trying to be the best at everything, they work with their skills and talents. They focus on their core strengths, while learning what it takes to achieve business growth and mastery.

Clear on the difference between being the technician and the business owner (as defined in Micheal Gerber’s classic business book The E-Myth Revisited), they are free enough from daily business operations to work on business growth. Rather than learning from their own mistakes, they use a business advisor or mentor to fast-track their success. They learn and grow from the mistakes and success of others.

3  Accountability

Taking responsibility and being accountable for your own business success is critical for business growth. When you accept that your past, current situation and future are all a result of your own actions, your can truly make improvements. Yes, the unexpected will happen. Challenges will occur (refer to point number one above). But with resilience, grit, and taking charge of your own destiny, you will hold the keys to everything you want.

Masters of business growth rely on a business coach to keep them accountable to their goals. Just like a sports coach, a business coach will push you to work harder than you would on your own, and ensure you’re operating in top form to reach your desired results.

 

Business Growth, Business goals, business success, business mastery

The Next Steps For Your Business Growth

Have you achieved a certain level of business success but are ready for more?

Are you not only interested, but committed to business growth and mastery?

Are you are ready to take the action needed to get the results you want from your business?

Yellow Coaching will help.

Discover if you’re eligible for a free 90 minute consultation to discuss the future of your business.

We look forward to hearing from you.

How to make 2018 your best year yet!

Whether you’re a manager, business owner, or employee, one thing we’re sure of: You want 2018 to be a great year!

Your wish-list might include work-life balance, a profitable business, a happy and productive team, and achievement of your personal goals.

So how do you ensure you get what you want in 2018, and what happens is by design and not default?

This week with clients we are creating 2018 business plans. If you’d like to ensure your year is everything you want it to be, in both your business and personal life, read on and follow our 4 simple steps below …

2018 business plan, business plans1. Review 2017’s Highlights

Before making a 2018 business plan, it’s essential to see where you are now and how far you’ve come.

Start by thinking back to January this year. How different was life and business then? What have you accomplished in the last 12 months? How has your business grown and changed? What’s happened in your career? What personal goals did you achieve?

Write down your achievements in all areas of your life and work – business growth and mastery, career, learning, family, fun, health and wellbeing.

Take a moment to appreciate how your life has changed and what you’ve done to create that. Congratulate yourself on your achievements so far.

2. Picture Your Future In Review

Now imagine yourself this time next year, December 2018, doing the same exercise. If you were looking back on 2018, what would your achievements be?

Take at least 10 minutes to really think this through. List all you’ve gained in terms of business turnover and profit, the types of clients you’ve attracted, career moves, office relocation or upgrades, success you’ve helped your clients to achieve, fitness or family wins, what you’ve learned… any result you’d like to see by the end of the year.

business planning, 2018 business plan, business success, business goals

3. Create Your 2018 Business Plan

Bring your mind back to the present day. The list you’ve just made is now your goal list for 2018. Make sure each goal passes the test of being measurable, realistic, and time-framed. Get specific. Instead of grow business you might write increase turnover by 30% and profit by 15% by 31 December 2018.

Put a date next to each goal. If you can’t be specific, narrow it down to be something you’ll accomplish by end of Q1, Q2, Q3 or Q4.

And make sure what you want to achieve is within your sphere of influence or control. There’s no point stating what you want someone else to do if you have no power over their actions! Instead of Get supervisors to perform to standard you could write Learn skills to more effectively manage supervisors and enforce their KPIs by 31 March. You can choose to be a better manager and hold them accountable, but their response and actions will ultimately be up to them.

4. Get A Coach To Help You And Your Team

As our clients know, setting goals and having a 2018 Business Plan is just the start. Finding someone to support you, guide you, and keep you accountable will ensure your success. A great business coach will work with the business owners, managers and team to ensure the business reaches its goals. A great business coach will also support you to achieve your personal and lifestyle goals.

Are you a business owner? Do you need a 2018 business plan?  Book your complimentary discussion with our business coaches today.

If you’re a business manager or employee, suggest Yellow Coaching’s services to the decision makers in your business. We’ll arrange a complimentary meeting with them to discuss the needs of the business and team.

Business improvement helps owners, employees, their families, and the community. When shown what’s possible and given the right tools, strategies and support, businesses and the people in them can achieve their full potential.

Yellow’s coaches work with the owners, managers and teams of established businesses of any size within the private sector; and with executives, managers and team members at all levels within Government and not-for-profit organisations.

Whomever they are working with, their goal is to assist business leaders to maximise the potential of themselves, their team, and their business. Yellow’s coaches achieve this through business coaching, executive mentoring, leadership and management training, strategic planning, conference and workshop facilitation, keynote speaking, and team member coaching. They also provide team training on numerous topics including effective sales techniques, business marketing, outstanding customer service, time and priority management, improving team culture and morale, efficient systems and processes, resilience, and change management.

If you’d like to reach peak performance in 2018, contact Yellow Coaching today.

Business Owners: Need Help With Time Management?

As a business owner, is time management one of your strengths, or are you working more hours than ever, and still not getting everything done?

Did you start your business to get more freedom and flexibility, but have less time now than you did working for someone else?

Are you starting to think that work/life balance is an unattainable myth?

If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Many business owners find there is never enough time in the day. And if you’re starting to believe that work/life balance doesn’t exist, we agree with you!

time management

The idea that at any one time there can be equal and sufficient time for work, family, friends, self, contribution, and health – while juggling day-to-day demands – is an idea that sets us up for disappointment. Life throws a variety of demands at us, and there will always be something needing more attention at any one time.

The key to time management is to get clear on your values, and what’s most important to you right now, and ensure you spend time prioritising it.

With time management, as with everything in life, there are choices and consequences. You will need to give up some things in order to gain others. They key is to be at peace with the choices you make.

In order to gain fitness, many business owners we know get up at 5am and forfeit an hour of sleep to exercise before their kids are awake and their working day starts.

Many successful business leaders give up idle time watching TV and prioritise professional development instead, or start work at 6am to ensure they are home in time to put their children to bed.

How are you spending your time?

Dr John Demartini says that if you want to know someone’s values, look at how they spend their time.

If how you spend your time is not in line with what’s truly important to you, you’ll experience internal conflict. As an example, we’ve met with business owners who tell us their family is the most important part of their lives, yet they don’t see their children Monday through Friday, as they leave for work before they wake up, and get home after they are asleep.

We also know business owners who say their health is most important to them, and despite the fact their doctor has told them they need to lose weight, they can’t find time for exercise and healthy eating.

This is not a criticism – there is no right or wrong, good or bad when it comes to values and how your spend your time, just choices and consequences! Each of us chooses how we spend our time, and we can change it.

Here are some tips to make time management work for you:

1. Ensure what you spend your time on is in line with your own values, not someone else’s. 

When you don’t know what’s most important to you, you can find yourself helping others do what’s important to them. Are you  putting others’ priorities and needs before your own? If you tell yourself you “should” do something, is that message coming from you, or someone else? Focus on how you can spend your time in the most meaningful way for you.

2. Learn to say no, or not now. 

If you are a person who finds it hard to say no, you’re actually really good at it. When you say yes to others, you are sometimes saying no to yourself. Have you missed your exercise session because someone called and needed to talk? Skipped your plan to work on your own business to fit in a client’s emergency (that really could have waited til the next day)? Make appointments with yourself and keep them (just like you would an appointment with someone else) and start to put yourself first.

3. Own your choices – Don’t make excuses!

We often hear people say “I can’t because ….” or “I would, but…” followed by many reasons they can’t find time to exercise, work on their business, or do whatever is most important to them.

Take ownership of how you spend your time, and acknowledge that you have a choice. You are choosing one thing over another.

When you spend time cleaning your own house instead of employing someone to do it, you are prioritising money over your time.

When you exercise instead of spending time with friends, you are putting your health first at that moment.

When you sleep in instead of getting up to exercise, you are valuing one aspect of your health over another at that time.

If you’re not happy with the choices you’re making, change how you approach your decisions. Instead of taking a passive stance, “I can’t exercise because my business is so demanding”, be proactive and ask yourself “My business is demanding. How do I make time for exercise?” One business owner we know holds walking meetings with his team, so they communicate and exercise at the same time.

The answer is not in finding time, but taking it. We make time for things when they become urgent, pushing other things aside. The business crisis … the health emergency … the family relationship breakdown needing attention – could it have been avoided if you’d prioritised what’s important to you and made time for it?

Making time for what’s important to you is possible, and it will be at the expense of spending time on something else. Work out your values and choose how you spend your time accordingly.

Why You Don’t Want Satisfied Customers

7 Reasons to Improve Your Customer Service in 2017

Matthew had an anniversary surprise for his wife – a limousine trip to the city, dinner at a fancy restaurant, and a night in a suite at a 5-star hotel. He had planned it for weeks, and was excited to spoil her with a special weekend away.

A week later we ran into them and asked her how it was. “It was satisfactory” she said. When she saw us exchange puzzled glances, she explained, “I was satisfied with the food, the room and the service.”

customer service

Now exactly the response Matt was hoping for!

And the restaurant and hotel probably wouldn’t be too happy with her feedback either.

Now of course this is a metaphor, and hopefully any thoughtful person would at least act more excited about such a kind gesture from their spouse.

But let’s relate this to business for a moment. You started your business to romance your customers and provide them with something special, right? A quality product, outstanding service, and enough ‘wow’ factor to keep them coming back and telling all their friends.

Most business owners start out excited to provide something exemplary, and to delight their customers.

But somewhere along the way they get jaded. Customer complaints trickle in despite their best efforts, and it seems some customers are just never happy. Their energy and effort slips, and so does the level of customer service. And when team members see the business owner feeling defeated, they also drop their standards.

Sound familiar?

Even if you haven’t given up completely, you may be thinking that if your customers are satisfied that’s all you can hope for. But wouldn’t you rather have delighted customers?

We believe that if you want a successful business, it’s not only desirable, but essential that you focus on customer service.

Here are 7 reasons to focus on improving the customer service your business provides in 2017…

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1. People have a lot of choice

Unless you have a truly unique product or service, or are the only provider in your region, people will have other options. If you don’t give them the level of customer service they want, someone else will. You might remember the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld and think that if your product is good enough, people will come regardless! Rarely is a product that incredible (and if you have one, you’ll know about it).

2. Word gets around

We’ve heard that a dissatisfied customer will tell between 9 and 15 people about their experience. That’s in person. Now with online communication they could reach 2000 or even 200,000 easily. If you don’t believe us, read about American restaurant chain Applebees’ social media crisis.

This example also shows how important your online response to customer service complaints is – you want to calm the storm, not fuel the fire!

customer service

3. When you do it right, it’s free advertising

Happy customers don’t spread the word as far and wide as unhappy ones, but word still gets around. It’s human nature to ask people for recommendations, as we don’t want to make a mistake when choosing from several options. How often have you asked a friend what butcher they go to, their favourite restaurant, or how a movie was? Social proof is the psychological concept of trusting what others say and wanting to go with majority opinion (and people believe what others say about your business far more than what your advertising says!).

4. Happy customers are less sensitive to price increases

One mistake businesses can make is increasing prices without first considering if their customers are happy. As their customers leave in droves, they hear “you give us an ordinary product and bad service, and now you want to charge us more for it?” When customers love what you offer they will be more likely to stick with you when inevitable price rises occur.

5. You outplay your competition

While we don’t advocate a business strategy based solely on crushing your competitors, we do encourage you to be the absolute best you can be. When you continually improve your levels of customer service, your customers will be less likely to shop elsewhere.

6. It meets two fundamental human needs

Anthony Robbins talks about the six needs that drive human behaviour. Two of these are the need for significance and contribution. By giving great customer service, you contribute to the happiness of your customer and the success of the business. You are also likely to feel significant when your customer, employer or P&L is grateful for your efforts! We believe the majority of customer complaints occur when the customer does not feel valued or heard. Great customer service makes people feel important to you, meeting their need for significance.

7. Because it’s what we’re designed to do …

This quote from Winston Churchill sums it up:

customer service

And Albert Einstein said, “The high destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule.” Who are we to argue with a genuis?

– Andrew Masi & Julianne Schwenke

3 Things You Need To Know About Business Success

Think of the successful business people you know. What makes them successful? Is it their wealth, management ability, respect they get from others, perseverance, determination, or character? People you perceive as successful have something you admire. Perhaps you see similar characteristics in yourself, aspire to have what they have, or want to be like them in some way.

Whatever it is you aspire to, if you want to be successful, there are 3 things you need to know about business success:

  1. Success means something different to everyone
  2. You need to know your values in order to achieve success
  3. Success is a result of the actions you take and choices you make each and every day.

pablo-22

What is success?

Each person has their own unique set of values and their own definition of success. For some people success means a happy and healthy family; for others it means financial independence; for some it’s quality relationships; and for others it’s about accomplishments.

Achieving what you want in areas you value essentially equates to what success means to you. 

Philosopher Dr John Demartini says to help work out your values, think about what you’d like written on your tombstone – known as your epitaph – a short statement summarising your life. It could be:

  • Loved life
  • Bloomed where he was planted
  • Never gave up
  • Made the best of everything
  • Dedicated her life to others

Interestingly, what you’d like written on your tombstone may not have anything to do with the ideas you have of what success means, such as wealth or health. But having the things you believe define your success, like money and health, allow you to live a life that’s meaningful to you and that’s in line with your values. Financial independence, for example, allows you to give to others when contribution is high on your values list. Health allows you to appreciate the beauty in everything when gratitude is one of your values.

How do you achieve success? 

You achieve success by living your life according to your own values.

Success is a by-product of the actions you take and the choices you make. When you know your values you can prioritise the many possible things that compete for your time. At each and every moment you can identify what is most important to you to do, and define and accept the cost of doing that (yes, there is a trade-off for every choice you make).

Want to train for a half marathon? You may need to go to bed early instead of staying up late watching tv, so you can be up at 5am to run before work.

Want to get a qualification? You may need to enrol in a course and reduce your work hours and income until it’s complete.

Want a more productive team? You might need to learn how to be a better manager. You could choose to read management books instead of novels, meet a mentor instead of a friend for coffee, and attend seminars instead of sporting events.

Those that say business success requires sacrifice usually follow it with a story of someone who achieved it at the expense of their family, friends, or health. Yes, we’ve seen this happen. And we agree that anything you want in life takes effort and involves some sacrifice. The simple fact that there are only 24 hours in each day means that you need to make choices about what’s important to you, and make time for it at the expense of other things you could do.

There’s never enough time to do everything, but when you know your values and stop doing things that aren’t important to you, you make time for things that are.

Does success mean having it all?

Many people believe that balance is the key to living a good life. The idea that you can have equal amounts of time for exercise, relaxation, family, business, spiritual pursuits, innovation, contribution, friends, and fun is wonderful – but not plausible!

At Yellow Coaching, we don’t believe in helping people find balance – but we do believe in helping them understand their values and be at peace with their choices. There is no right or wrong when it comes to values, just choices and consequences.

We ask our clients to list their hierarchy of values from options such as family, health, wealth, lifestyle, life partner, and contribution. We then ask them to assess if how they are currently spending their time is a reflection of those values.

An unfit business owner might list health as number 1, but has not exercised in the last 3 months. An executive may say her children are her main priority, but she doesn’t see them Monday to Friday as she’s at work early each day and home after they are in bed. There is no right or wrong, and no judgement from us! But we do ask them to decide what needs to change – their behaviour so it’s in line with their true values, or how they rank their values at this particular time of their life.

The unfit business owner might choose to prioritise exercise and commit to a program and a goal, or alternatively acknowledge that exercise is not that important to him right now, and he’s okay with the consequences of that.

The executive may choose to commit to a couple of nights a week being home earlier to put the kids to bed, or she could accept that work is her focus right now, and admit that she’s happy with the consequence of that decision.

Whatever they choose, if it’s line with their true values, it will lead them closer to their definition of success and a fulfilling life for them.

At Yellow Coaching, we work holistically with business owners and their teams, and executives and their team members, to find meaning in their work and achieve their goals, both personal and professional. Call us to find out how we can help you and your team.