New Year Resolutions are for amateurs and dabblers.
Apologies in advance, this post is going to be a bit of a rant, and I know that if you’re reading this I’m “preaching to the choir.” Your indulgence, please.
For most of the businesses we work with, New Years is just like any other day. We crunch the data from the previous year, add it to our “lessons learned” and apply ti toward setting and achieving our rolling 30-day goals, 90-day goals, and long-term goals. Why? Because the folks we work with are “committed,” not just “resolved.”
And by “committed,” I mean, they have actually invested the money and scheduled the time and thought through the logistics and obstacles as much as is possible in this crazy world. Of course it’s not always easy, or even possible to invest what we want – we understand what it’s like to bootstrap a new business and to have cash flow issues so bad that every expense must be scrutinized and it’s hard to find two credit cards to rub together.
But we’ve also discovered that “birds of a feather” tend to flock together, as they say.
When we were pinching pennies, we attracted penny-pinching clients. We had to work hard to justify every dollar of every sale. With one or two of those early clients, it seemed as though we cared more about making their businesses succeed than they did.
But we invested an unbelievable amount of time and sweat.
After years of hard work, late nights and wise financial planning (thank you, John!) we’ve been able to invest tens of thousands of dollars per year in the very best equipment (mostly Mac) software (Infusionsoft, et cetera) and assistance (writers, artists, photographers, an accountant and two lawyers) that money can buy.
Making these investments has put us into a different mindset.
It affects the way we communicate about our company, and it changes the quality of the prospects that we attract. Our current clients are willing to invest time, money and their own effort into getting the best results. They are easier and more fun to work with.
Of course there are notable exceptions. We deeply appreciate ALL of our readers and especially commenters and responders, but it’s painful to see people who are trapped in the “startup, bootstrapping” mindset.
Here are some comments and emails we’ve received, (representative of many) names have been removed of course.
- “We love your articles, and try to apply ABCI’s marketing ideas as we can. We can’t afford your Executive Brief program, but how can we solve <<this specific problem?>>
- “A colleague of mine saw your Time Management class at <<an event.>> Can you send me the slides for that?”
- “We would like to get more students for our <<Flight School.>> We asked our boss to pay for your Flight Instructor Sales Training course, he turned us down. Can you help us?”
My question for these folks, put as gently as I can, is this:
“If you’re interested in a particular result, what are you willing to invest to make it happen?”
Too many people these days have picked up a “freebie-seeker” mindset. Not just about money – they’re also unwilling to invest the time it takes to develop a healthy relationship or hone a skill. They just want to push a button and get a result. Of course, the rest of us know that when it comes to sales, marketing, and business success in general, if it were easy, everybody would be doing it!
And it’s partly the fault of our fellow marketing professionals, many of whom offer hype and overblown promises and give away low-quality “freebies” that they promise will get great results. You might have noticed their promises are not always true. 🙂
We added this image and this quote to the backs of the binders we send to our Executive Brief Program members and Marketing Flight Plan clients:
Most things require more than a “New Year Resolution” level of commitment!
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.
I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
Whatever you can do or dream you can,
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!
Mt. Everest Mountaineer,
Author – The Evidence of Things Not Seen, 1951
Photo – MilitaryWallpapers.com
This year, John and I have committed to the GKIC Peak Performers program. This is an intensive “mastermind-type” program where we have to travel four times a year to attend two-day-long, on-site meetings. There is extensive outside reading. and additional time required to work on our group members’ business problems.
We could have justified this in many of the ways we hear from prospects for our Executive Brief programs:
- It’s so expensive!
- We’re already so busy!
Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
But we’ve realized hat without commitment, there is always ineffectiveness.
And we’ve seen the amazing results that we get – every single time we make a substantial commitment toward the success of our business- we become more effective and successful. There are good, practical reasons for this:
- We don’t take the financial investment lightly. The fact that we’ve made it means that we’ve committed as an organization to this decision.
- Working in a group is a great way to hold yourself (and get others to hold you accountable) to the commitments we’ve made.
- We need those “incidents and meetings and material assistance” that result from the commitment to take us to the next level.
We’ll keep you informed about our progress with this group, and if you’re a member of the Executive Brief group – we’ll be in touch about the progress you’re making!
Okay. Rant over. Thanks for your patience.
ABCI wishes you and yours a very happy and prosperous New Year!