I talk a lot about responsibility. It’s a re-occurring theme because it’s absolutely critical to achieving big success, yet so many business people that I meet willingly give away responsibility for their future and for their lives. They do it sub-consciously most of the time.
It comes out and shows itself though, in how they talk about themselves and their business. So many things are someone else’s fault. Let me tell you now, no one ever got rich blaming someone or something else. Ever.
“No one eats out in the first quarter” a restaurant owner (genuinely) told me recently. Bollocks!
“There’s still no work. People just aren’t spending money on extensions” a local builder explained to me as he cried into his pint. Bollocks!
“Businesses in my town won’t spend £99 a month on marketing” someone else whined to me last week. Bollocks!
Now, I’m sorry if my language offends you but I deliberately chose that word to describe those (all real) comments in order to make an impression. I use it for effect because these three people are all victims.
They are martyrs on the altar of ‘Someone Else’s Fault’ – and their mindset guarantees that they will never be wealthy, never run super-successful businesses and that life will always be hard.
That’s a big price to pay for absolving yourself of blame. A shit life.
Truth is that most people blame everywhere and everyone but themselves.
Looking at those quotes in turn: I work with dozens of restaurants who had a great first quarter. Was it easy? No. Did they lose a couple of nights trade because of bad weather? Yes. But they focused and got really pro-active at persuading people to come and dine with them. They didn’t sit back and wallow in self-pity and misery. They got on the front foot. Had good offers, worked their database, went out on the streets creating awareness and asking for bookings, ramped up their marketing (at a time when everyone else cut back and therefore got a much bigger ‘share of the voice’) and, metaphorically at least, brought home the bacon.
My builder friend is like a spoilt child who’s had his favourite toy taken away. For years he didn’t need to do any marketing at all. Customers found him, through word of mouth and he’s always had a steady stream of business and a nice flow of jobs. Over the last 7 years when the ‘natural spring’ dried up he turned into a victim. All he needs to do is get off his a_*@ and go find the work. This will necessitate him doing different things to what he’s done before. He’ll have to get the list of approved planning apps from the council and approach each one.
He can go back to all his happy customers and ask them for help, “Is there anything you want doing?” Or “Do you know anyone thinking of having work done?”
He can schmooze with all the local architects, he can sort his website out and spend a few quid on PPC, he can do a bit of networking or shock horror, he could even advertise.
None of this stuff is difficult, but it needs him to take responsibility. There’s plenty of work out there – it’s just that he’s not getting it – and that’s his fault, because he’s being lazy and complacent.
The same is true of the marketing sales person. We’ve just had the best three months ever for new members into EC. All he has to do is do what we do. But he won’t. The models are there, the tools are there, everything he needs to be hugely successful is sat waiting for him to grab them and put them into action. But he won’t. He’d rather whinge and whine than work. He’d rather be a victim than learn something new. He’d rather be poor, in his comfort zone, than risk getting rich outside it. Sad really.
In the EC there are some responsible, ambitious, high achievers but we’ve also got some irresponsible, complacent, low achievers.
The first group continues to fly. They study the content of this email and every Circular and pull out what they can use. They decide how to use it, and then deploy it. Straightaway. That’s what successful people do.
The other group put the monthly Circular to one side, maybe think it looks a bit ‘heavy going’, or perhaps they skim it and decide they know all this already (even though they’re not doing even a fraction of it in their business). Heck most of ‘em haven’t even read this email. They’re too busy on Facebook.
The first group has already signed on for The Programme. The second group are still dithering. Wondering.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind which group you’re in.
But you should.
It’s your business.
Your family and your bank account…