The Top 20 Lessons we’ve experienced first hand, which funnily enough tied in to every one of this year’s cracking speakers. Check it out …
#1 Business can be Hard
If you are a business owner I know you get this. There are always hard times, but 2020 has thrown more curveballs than most years. It can be hard. It will be hard again. It’s a fact. But the hardness is surmountable when you can see the Opportunity and not the Oppression.
Mainly because of #1 – Business Being Hard – you don’t want to nor should you do it alone. Community is everything. If a rising tide lifts all boats, make sure you are actually in the water.
Strangely, the predominant human reaction to crisis is to withdraw. For some reason, leaning in feels unnatural, but from what we saw through our membership base and our speakers this year, those that did challenge themselves and LEAN IN to their networks were the ones who came out on top. Lean in. Don’t withdraw.
#4 Surround Yourself with EPIC
If you are what you eat, you sure as H*ll are who you spend the most time with. If you were hanging with the rolling mainstream media this year, you will have missed the hundreds of stories of Pivot and Profit that rolled out even through this tough time. Stories inspire (or expire) you. Make sure you are accessing the best ones. We have a rule in our business … When you are asked to score something out of 10, you can’t score it a 7. It’s either a 6 (which is not great) or an 8 (which is good). No middle ground. It’s either 8 or we need to change it. EPIC isn’t a 6 out of 10. Don’t settle for 6’s. Our October speakers Dan and Dani from The Block gave us some great stories about the doors they’ve opened from hanging with EPIC.
Both our April and May speakers highlighted this point. Whether you are in a war zone (as Retired Army Major Ed Plant spoke to), in the midst of the country’s worst bushfire crisis on record (as spoken to by former NSW Rural Fire Services Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons), or dealing with an ‘unprecedented’ economic operating system, you must Adapt of your will Die. If you can not drive the resilience you need to cope with what IS in front of you, versus what you WISH was happening, your chances of success are low.
The song “From little things BIG things Grow” sums this up. Keep chipping away at the small things, the small wins, follow the momentum and the successes will grow. This year your successes may not have been as BIG as you wanted at the start of 2020, however those that found small successes and followed them created momentum, which lead to more success. Olympic Gold Medallist Natalie Cook’s presentation in August taught us all this BIG TIME.
#7 Blame Game = End Game
Our Speaker Platform Pin-up Boy for this topic was Theo Varaktaris from the Usher Group. His sentiments echoed the success stories of the hundreds of business owners who managed to grow through this year: In times of Pivot, look internally on how you can grow.
You have to look for the Opportunity, not blame the world around you. You have to ask, ‘What can I control?’, ‘What can I do to change my world?’ Those business owners who were living and breathing the problems, the updates, the changes, were consumed and had no space to change, to adapt, to grow. That path for most, led to the end of their business.
This year, Ed got sick. Really sick. He could have lost his eyesight … all because he’d given work, family, Reno’s and life everything. And my body shut down and said enough. So many lessons, so much needed to change. I’d been working my arse off to create wealth for my family and it meant I nearly wasn’t able to have time with my family. If you don’t look after yourself you won’t be around to live. It’s that simple.
#9 A Killer Sales Process is more Critical in Tough Times
And we don’t just mean how you talk about yourself. We mean the ENTIRE journey. Getting leads and sales at the best of times can be tough for some people – times of crises they can completely dry up. Your sales system must be completely measured and tracked and your sales process needs to position you and show your customers amazing value. In tough times, opportunities become harder to find. When they cross your desk you need to capitalise on them.
#10 Your Network = Your New Worth
This year has highlighted one of our Rules inside The Business League: the “Rule of 100”.
Our Rule of 100 is that to successfully grow a leveraged business you need at least 100 people in your immediate community that you can draw on. These people include your top customers, your support network, advisors and mentors, people who have your back. If you have an amazing NETWORK (of 100+) you will have an amazing Net Worth. The money is in the 100. Find them, build them or join a tribe that can connect you with them quicker and easier.
#11 Spotlighting the problem areas
When the going is good, it can be easy to just ‘make do’, ‘wash over’ or except the clunky or inefficient processes inside your business. When times dramatically shift, the first thing that is going to go is your weakest link. If that happens to be your lead attraction and generation efforts, it’s going to be incredibly noticeable (to the point of ending the business) and if it’s your innovation or mindset that’s outdated, your business is in real trouble.
One of our mentors says: “I’m not smarter than anyone else … I just F$*&-Up more and I recover from my f&*$-ups more quickly than anyone else”
#12 Finding problems is GOOD
This next bit is for us as much as for you … Stop beating yourself up about the mistakes, the problems, the not achieving as much as you want. Learn to embrace the bad stuff. Embrace the mistakes (See #11). The problems make us better. Be OK with this. Instead of getting despondent when they come up. Celebrate them. Because out the other side you will be better, your business will be better and you will have grown. That is GOOD.
#13 Striving for perfection will KILL your business
Crisis calls for QUICK THINKING. If you didn’t already know that Progress is better than Perfection, 2020 sure called you out.
Our March speaker, Craft Beer giant Burleigh Brewing’s CEO Peta Fielding says this best: I don’t know everything, but I’ll share what I’ve done to get me to this point. And it’s a perfect reminder to Always Be Learning. The same level of thinking that got you to where you are, won’t necessarily fix the problem you are faced with and it sure won’t take you to where you want to be next. Change requires a Change. Always be learning and always be willing.
When times change the same old product or service may no longer be relevant. You need to evolve with the market place and the changing environment. Know the threats, know the needs of the environment, then work out how you can best serve them. Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur, Leanne Kemp (our February speaker) talked about this thinking as the launch pad for her global company, Everledger. Know the problem, plug the gap.
#16 Redefine Value
When times get tough, don’t keep promoting the same stuff. You need to repackage, reposition and dial-in what your customers really need and want. In a changing, evolving and/or constricting market you need to reposition your value. You need to make sure that what you are giving is amazing value, is seen that way and more importantly, delivers. November Speaker, Kill Kapture Founder Mark Wales hit the points on this one … When you’re up against the big guns, you need to create something valuable they can’t give.
#17 A rising tide lifts all ships
Together we can all succeed. Get away from insular, petty, exclusivity thinking. Find people who are going to lift you, who are going to challenge you and can drag you with them. Find that tide that you can ride and get on it.
#18 Burn the F$*&ing Boats
Be like the vikings and be all in. When the vikings invaded somewhere they burnt all the boats so there was no Plan B. There was only Plan A – take over the country. There was no retreat. They were fully committed. You need that in your business. Give 2020 the finger and get all in to making 2021 your year.
In this complicated world “Keep it Simple Stupid” helps you and everyone around you. Complicated is hard AND it’s confusing. Keep it simple. You don’t need fancy things. You need simple things. The complicated expensive things become redundant. You need to step up your hustle on the simple things. Know your numbers, make the calls, reach out to your community, create conversations. Keep it real and simple and results will follow.
#20 FINALLY, Celebrate Success
This year deserves the finger … because of that, EVERY win (big or small) deserves a space of reflection and celebration. And if you think they’re NOT there, look harder. At our 12-month Growth Club Review process, even our clients in the US who have experienced multiple lock-downs, appreciated the value in stopping and recognising small and large successes this year. Pop the champagne and give yourself a high five. We ALL deserve it this year.
Want to know how to implement this stuff? Join us in February when we turn on the 2021 tap for our clients and their guests.