June 28, 2015

Luck or Work?

We all know people that seem to be lucky. Everything that they touch turns the right way for them. They go about their day, seeming to drift along, and they discover only success. Nothing seems to faze them. It seems to others that these people never see anything but success, and they don’t really do anything to make that happen.

Are these assumptions true, or are we wrong? Are these people that lucky? Does success follow them through life with no effort made by them to promote this success, or is there some other factor at work? Is it possible that these people work for every bit of success that they receive, that they actually deserve what they receive?

People ask me every day how they can become lucky in their business, how can they reap the success that they believe should come their way through very little, if any, effort of their own. I try to explain that success in business, like success in every part of life, requires work, good old fashioned work.

That work includes doing their job as their business requires, working their business as a business, not as a hobby. It requires serious effort, over time that may include various times of the day or night, multiple days of the week. We may place our families first, and aim to devote time to them, but we must learn to balance our time to devote whatever time our businesses require, at the time that is best. We must manage our time.

Someone asked me what my normal day is like. That depends on what I have scheduled versus what is required. I may include personal and business efforts in the same day, piggy-backing whatever I may need. My business is my fulltime effort, but I balance my personal life into whatever I do for business. That allows me to enjoy what I do, have fun doing it, and help others be more successful than they would be otherwise.

There are some basic efforts that everyone is required to perform in any business. Marketing includes everything that you do, or need to do, in your business. It includes networking, prospecting, delivery, collections, customer service, follow-up, and fixing any errors that are made. It involves work on your part, and by others.

We all must ask ourselves why we do whatever it is that we do for a business. Whatever it is that is our “why” must remain prominent in our thoughts. To satisfy our “why” we must manage our efforts, our “work”, that we must put forth to make our business a success. We must do whatever is required to complete our “why”, whenever needed.

So, is it luck, or is it work that makes anyone successful? Can anyone honestly say that their success is due to their incredible luck, without any work on their part? The next time we believe that someone is just lucky, we must look harder at their work that they have performed as a basis for their success, perhaps imitating their efforts ourselves.

Does a successful person rely on luck or do they concentrate and apply themselves to the “work” of their business, at the same time factoring Gratitude Marketing into their efforts? That “work” reflects the “why” that is the driving force behind everything that these people do to make their business, and themselves, successful. Please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691 to let me have your input.

June 21, 2015

A Meaningful Day

Every day when we awake, what are our thoughts about the day to come? What do we think about when we start planning our day? Do we look forward to the day’s activities, or do we dread what is to come? How do we feel, and what do we do about those feelings? Do we take charge of our day, or do we just accept it as it happens?

Our day is ours. We may not believe that, but it is true. We can make our day reflect our attitude and feelings. Otherwise, we can let others dictate how our day’s activities impact our feelings and those of others. We need to take charge of our lives and make each day as good as we can for everyone.

Every day I wake up and look into the mirror to see if I am vertical again. At my age that fact may not always be true. When I verify that I am indeed alive and able to look myself in the eye, I think 3 thoughts. First, I know that I am going to have good, maybe great, experiences that day. I know that I am going to do something good, maybe great, for someone else during the day.

In my effort to spread the word regarding Gratitude Marketing, I get to help others learn how they can build relationships with others. These others may be clients, prospects, family, friends, or anyone else. These relationships will benefit everyone involved and help businesses succeed and individuals improve their lives. Those facts make me feel very good about what I contribute to others with Gratitude Marketing.

The second thought that I have each morning is that I am going to have fun during the day’s activities. Everyone who knows me understands that I believe that everything that we do should contain some fun. If we are not having fun, we should stop what we are doing and decide how to include fun. Having fun should be one of our main daily objectives and will make all of us better people.

Laughter is very healthy for us, lightens our mood, and relieves stress. It does not replace professionalism, but it can make your daily contacts feel better about themselves and about you. Isn’t that a vital part of business success? Isn’t that a vital part of a successful life? It sure makes you stand out from others.

Finally, I think each day that I will finish the day being proud of what I will do during the day. I know that whatever I say or do, I will not be ashamed of the actions, conversations, or written words that I put forth with others, no matter who they may be. I will be truthful, supportive of those who need my support, and provide help to those who need my assistance. I will practice Gratitude Marketing.

This does not mean that I will agree with everyone whom I meet. It does mean that I will come to the defense of those who are wronged and make suggestions to right wrongs done by anyone. Whatever I can do to assist others be better is what I try to provide. Karma doesn’t mean that we can ignore what we do; it means that we will be rewarded for our actions, words, and even our thoughts.

Each day belongs to us and is whatever we want to make it to be. If we plan to have a good, meaningful day, we can do that. If we just let it happen, we have to live with whatever we get. Please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691 to let me have your thoughts.

June 14, 2015

Know, Like, Trust

In his books, Bob Burg discusses the three steps of building relationships with other people, whether they may be business owners, prospects, customers, clients, family, friends, or everyone else. We do business with those who we know, like, and trust. We provide referrals to those who we know, like, and trust. We build relationships with those who we know, like, and trust.

How do we get to know anyone? When we first meet someone we must attempt to get to know who they are, how they operate their business, and what kind of person they are. This requires some work on our part. We should devote time to meeting with them, having maybe several conversations with them, and asking questions. If they are forthcoming, we decide if they are people with whom we want to form a relationship.

Maybe we ask them how long they have lived wherever they are, where they lived before, how they began their business, and how they are building it. If they are in career transition, or want to be, what do they want to do, what are their dreams, and how have they determined what their aspirations are? What are their hobbies, and how do they spend their time when they aren’t working?

Then we must decide if we actually like the other person. We might be able to build a relationship with someone whom we don’t like, but it is very difficult to do so with a person that we actually dislike. There is a difference between not liking someone and disliking them. What is there about them that we dislike? Is it their attitude, their interpersonal skills, their intelligence, or their appearance?

Never, ever, prejudge someone before attempting to discover more facts about them. As we discover more and more information about someone we may find that we actually were wrong in our initial impression. We may find out that we like someone, but we may also discover that we actually dislike them. Facts will help us be correct.

The last step is trust. Trust should not come easily and must be the true basis for any business relationship. If we are to refer someone to anyone else, we must trust both parties. That means that we are risking our reputation with both of the parties and have the trust to do that. Referrals are a two way street, and we must know, like, and trust both parties. We might get a referral wrong sometimes, but we are only human.

Trust also means that we can rely on the other party to provide advice that is meaningful and supportive, but it is always truthful. If two parties have the other’s success in mind, they must attempt to help the other towards that success, even if it means being totally truthful and not just saying what they want us to say.

As we practice Gratitude Marketing we should look to building relationships before we attempt to sell whatever we offer. Through the 3 steps of getting to know each other, deciding if we like each other, and becoming trustful of each other, we can build strong relationships that will return business and referrals to all of us.

How do we behave as we go about our normal day? Do we try to build relationships or is it all about selling? Starting to know, like, and trust others must be the basis for our future success. Please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691 to let me have your thoughts.

June 7, 2015

Who Do You Want?

There are different types of prospects. Who do you want to do business with, customers or clients? Customers are the people who are looking for the quick, cheap deal. They will never be long term clients, and they certainly will never be business partners. Customers will buy from you if you have the lowest price, but would jump to anyone else who will accept a lower price than you do.

Customers may refer someone to you, but they usually don’t listen to whatever someone else may need. If they don’t know what anyone else needs, they cannot refer them to a business to solve those needs. These customers might only refer business to someone who has given them something free to gain their business. They will definitely jump to the next free deal or to the next low price.

Clients will buy from you at a fair, maybe higher, price if they believe that they are receiving value for the price. They understand great customer service may be as valuable as the product or service that they receive. They do not negotiate each and every order and might be on a recurring order basis with you. They understand what is required to make sure they have a continued, reliable, source of their orders.

Clients will refer business to you because you have provided a reliable supply of products or services at a fair price. They also know that they will receive the same great service each time that they purchase from you. A client understands what it is involved to provide your offerings to them without having to renegotiate the price each and every time. Clients listen to your advice and know they can trust your judgement.

Business partners may be clients but are more than just a client. Business partners readily refer business to you who may also be your business partners and not just customers. Business partners will offer advice, solicit your advice, and have a vested interest in your continued business success. You enjoy doing business with them.

Would you cut a special deal for a business partner? Of course you would. The bargain that you give to a business partner is a reward for their continued relationship with you. You may discover a lower price on your raw materials, or you may find a situation on which you may partner with them. It is the special opportunity, not the norm. It is not because they have bargained you down in price so that they get something for nothing.

Business partners are the people who you have come to know, like, and trust, and they feel the same way about you. You practice Gratitude Marketing, and so do they. You may each purchase from the other, but that is not a requirement. Business partners are much more than customers, may or may not be clients, but will always be devoted to the networking relationship that you both have helped build.

Which do you want? Do you want customers, clients, or business partners? Do you know the difference, and can you recognize each when you first meet them. Which do you want to be, and what do you do to become a partner of another business person? It may very well be up to you to lay the groundwork.

What do you think about when you network and market your business? Is your business attracting the right person that actually helps your business grow? Please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691 to let me have your thoughts.