Archive for November 2013
10 essentials to taking your business to over a $1Million – Millionaire Mastermind special report.
Modern Day Napoleon Hill reveals the top 10 things Your business needs to make over $1 Million days this year
By Douglas Vermeeren
At a recent TV interview that I did I was asked an interesting question. The reporter asked after researching more than 400 of the world’s top achievers and greatest business successes of this generation what would I say are the top 3 things that I believed contributed the most to a businesses or persons success. While on the air I gave 3 simple answers, but since then I have had a chance to really think about that question and I believe after some careful consideration I now have an answer that I would like to share. For starters I will say that I don’t really think that there are 3 things, but instead there are 10 things that I think are fairly consistent with all of the top achievers that I have studied.
Before I share these top 10 things I want to point out two things.
First, Some of these things may appear to be fairly common sense. Some of these may not. As I have conducted seminars since constructing this list it has been interesting to sometime introduce this list by asking participants to list what they think I am about to share. In other words, what do they think based on their experience should included in the top 10 list. It is always interesting to see that sometimes four or five of these things are considered, but I have yet to find a group that is able to anticipate all 10. These are obviously things that we don’t always think about. I would invite you to also paused right now before reading the list to begin by making your list of ten things. It will be instructive to you to notice the differences.
Secondly, While many of the things on my list may seem common sense and valuable there is a significant difference on how the average person does these things in comparison to how they are done at a high achiever level. According to the statistics bureau of the United States 85% of entrepreneurs (which includes home based businesses) report incomes of under $200,000 annually. A small percentage of 5% are above $200,000 but under $1 Million dollar. And then there’s the last group of 10% that has reached a level where they are making over $1 million dollars annually. When analyzing the data and considering the research I have personally conducted on self- made millionaires the reason for the difference is simple. It can be summed up in the words of Martin Luther King, “If you see some one more successful than you the only difference is that they know something you don’t.” In other words, you may feel like what I am about to see may have elements of common sense attached to it, but if you are not yet generating over $1 million dollars annually you may not yet be implementing these lessons at a depth that will allow you to reap the benefits and create the results.
So are you ready for the top things that can help you make over $1 million dollars this year. I’ll share a few quick comments on each but natural the discussion and specificsgoes far deeper. If you really want to learn how to implement these 10 points keep an eye out for a new book I am working on called ‘Taking your Business to $1 Million or more.”
1.Focus & clarity
Focus and clarity are keys to creating success. You must have clarity on what you want and then absolute focus in getting there. In my studies of the top 400 achievers I found the thing that destroyed success the quickest was not having these two essential elements in place.
A goal that is specific and clear becomes attainable and near.
And once you really know what it is you want you can eliminate time or resource consuming activities that take you away from your most important goals.
The problem with most entrepreneurs is that they split their focus among too many things. I like to share this analogy to compare to your energy and resources. Imagine you had a glass of water and a room full of plants. If you tried to water them all most of them would die and you would produce very little. Yet if you focused on watering just the plants you wanted to live they would grow and produce fruit. Choose your mission carefully and then focus on it entirely.
2. You need to learn sales and negotiation
Sales is the process by which you exchange your goods or services for money. It only stands to reason then that if you want to be highly successful you have got to learn this as an essential skills.
In my experience with entrepreneurs this area can often be the most difficult. Many entrepreneurs have a very difficult time placing an appropriate value on their goods or services and then have a harder time securing contracts and asking for the money. In other words they often lack the ability to close the deal.
Negotiation is also something very difficult for many entrepreneurs. They don’t understand how to construct deals that create the best possible outcomes and as a result a lot of money is left on the table.
3. You need to learn marketing and branding
Marketing and branding is how people hear about you and perceive you in the marketplace. Marketing and branding goes way beyond advertising. In fact, it covers every aspect of how you are perceived in the marketplace. How you are perceived directly affects your bottom line and the opportunities that will be made available to you.
Many entrepreneurs entirely overlook the importance of marketing and branding. The bottom line with marketing and branding is that if you aren’t telling people about you they will never hear about you. And also if you don’t deliberately control the message of your brand it will be created in the marketplace for you.
Marketing and branding also include positioning in the marketplace. Positioning will determine who you do business with, your price points, customer expectations and a host of other considerations. Invest the appropriate amount of time to determine carefully who you want to be in the marketplace.
4. You need to build and maintain relationships
When all is said and done business is about relationships and people. If you want to be successful in business you have got to remember the importance of people. You have also got to remember that the quality of people you attract will determine the quality of your business. I often like to demonstrate this by taking the word NETWORK and dividing it into two. NET and WORK.
Let’s focus on the word NET for a moment. The first thing to consider is that the word net is like a safety net. If you have high quality people in your network your safety net will provide a level of solutions, support and answers that are high quality. When you experience a challenge you can go to your network for answers. The second thing to consider with the word NET is that your network in many ways resembles a fishing net and the better quality on your network also means a bigger draw in your fishing net. In other words, the better your network the more money you can expect to pull in. Network isn’t as much about quantity as it is about quality.
The second word WORK is also important. It requires work to maintain a network. And a different calibre of work is required to maintain a network for businesses at $200,000 than at $1 million dollars.
When the quality of your network improves the results in your business do too.
5. You need to learn how to recognize and take advantage of opportunities
Often when I am in a seminar I will have someone ask the question ‘what does a good investment look like?’ That’s actually two questions, the ‘where’ relates to the geography, but the idea of a ‘good investment’ is also a question. Most people wouldn’t know what that looks like and so when it appears they miss it altogether.
This is very similar to opportunity. Most people don’t know what opportunities could really help them in their business and because they don’t know what they are looking for they also don’t know where to find them.
To often entrepreneurs stop at creating a product or service and they neglect seeking out and nurturing opportunities where their offerings can thrive.
Opportunity doesn’t just come along. Opportunity must be created or hunted down. To do either of these things requires preparations. And like we have talked about earlier there is a specific way to create a $200,000 opportunity and a specific way to create $1 million dollar opportunities.
6. You need to get organize and create balance
Organization is the key to creating a strong business. Often the word business or company is substituted for the word organization. In some ways it is fair to say that if you are not organized you don’t have a business at all. When you are organized you are also positioned to move faster at implementing new opportunities and can meet customer needs faster.
Organization is essential to your business but there is a consideration even more important. My experience with entrepreneurs over the years has highlighted a major challenge that has been the destruction of enormous growth and profit in business. That challenge has been focused around balance, specifically life and business balance.
Many entrepreneurs have the mindset that they will work at a task until the job is done. While this is a noble sentiment over the long period it may prove more destructive to a company than beneficial. Many entrepreneurs as they begin their business don’t understand the idea that if they don’t take care of balance they will eventually burnout. And if you do manage to survive as a workaholic your quality of life and the quality of life for those around you will suffer. It is impossible for you to do everything in your business and if you try to do so you can never get to and sustain the $1M mark.
But it is isn’t enough to hire support or ask for help. Organization in your business is an essential tool to building a business that can receive support. I have seen many businesses that have hired help but their organization did not benefit from the extra hands because those hands did not know what to do.
When something is organized it can be built upon and grow. But more importantly you don’t have to carry the entire burden of your company on your shoulders. You actually get to have a life!
Your current level of effectiveness and income are a direct reflection of your ability to organize and manage what you already have.
7. You need to learn how to create wealth
I know that this article called taking your business to a million or over, but I thought this was an essential principle to building a foundation of wealth. Here’s the principle: Look for ways to take money out of your company to create additional investments.
In other words use cash flow from your business to diversify your risk. This is a similar strategy to something you might use with your own personal investment portfolio.
There are several reasons why this is an important strategy. One that I have experienced with many of the clients I coach is that some businesses are seasonal. If you have established additional income streams for your business by investing in other opportunities you won’t feel the full effect of income shortages when your business is impacted by slow periods through out the year.
The other reason I endorse this concept is the freedom I have experienced within my business when I know there is money coming in through sources other than my direct activities. I have been able to have more free time and less pressure because I know the company’s money is working for me.
A third reason that has been very appealing for me is that I have been able to use funds generated from company investments to pay bills for the company. For example I have one investment by the company that pays a monthly dividend of $18,000 per month. As you can imagine that covers a good portion of my expenses every month and I don’t have to worry if my income takes a deep during a slow part of the year.
Building income streams that are not reliant upon my efforts has given an extensive amount of freedom.
8. You need to create systems for growth
Systems are the key to growth. You cannot effectively add other people to your organization unless there is some organization to bring them into. Systems allow people to repeat results that you have created. the more can systematize a process the easier it will be to acquire help.
Systems also allow you to measure what is working and what is not. When you can see what is not working you can eliminate it and when you know what is working you can direct more resources to those areas of your business.
In my past I had an interesting experience that taught me the importance of systems. When I was in my late high school years I opened my own t-shirt business. The company produced t-shirts for martial arts tournaments and other extreme sporting events. (Kind of int he same direction as Tap out.) My t-shirt company was called ‘Intensity – in a world where substitutes just don’t cut it.’
I had a substantial amount of success selling the t-shirts to small sporting goods stores and providing the t-shirts for several martial arts tournaments. It was about this time that I encountered some interest in buying my company.
The first few discussions went well as I was able to show promotional materials from events we’d been involved with and stores who had carried my shirts. Our initial discussions to buy company included dollar figures that I’d never seen before. i was very excited.
Then the bubble burst. My potential buyer started asking about systems and how to duplicate what I was doing. It wasn’t long before I discovered I had no systems and other than the company name and a few designs all I really had was me. My buyer decided he was no longer interested.
If I had systems that someone else could duplicate I would have had a sale. Duplication is the key to being able to grow to over a million dollars annual. Duplication can only be achieved with effective systems.
9. You need to become an innovator
Innovation has often been defined as the act of introducing something new. I think that definition needs to be innovated. Innovation doesn’t just mean new, it also means better and more effective. Innovations without an audience to use them come across as just plain weird.
Innovation is really the gift of understanding what direction people are heading and then to be there when they are ready to receive it. It reminds me of a quote from Hockey great Wayne Gretzky. When asked what made him so successful on the ice he answered, “I don’t skate to where the puck is, I skate to where it is going.”
Innovation requires you to consider carefully where things are headed. Innovation is an exercise where creativity meets practicality.
Innovation is an important part of business that is often over looked. In the marketplace generally speaking the first organization to market with the new product owns that space. A great example is Apple with the ipod. However Apple did not invest digital music players instead it innovated them to the extent where they could be consumed by the public en mass.
Another great innovator is Thomas Edison. Most people think of Edison as the greatest inventor of all time. He is credited with inventing the electric light bulb, the motion picture camera, the dictaphone, the phonograph and more. But if you do your research carefully you’ll see that variations of all these inventions were patented long before Edison came on the scene.
What Edison did was innovate these devices and make them accessible for the most part to the masses. It was here that he became attached to these devices in the history books.
What can your company do to become innovations in your industry?
In business there is a principle that many refer to as The barbarians at the gate. essentially what it describes is the idea that you have always got to be improving and innovating or your soon are either overtaken by your competitors (They are the barbarians at the gate.) or become obsolete by new market conditions surrounding you. Too often innovation can be the hardest thing for entrepreneurs to do. They often assume if a particular product or activity made them money in the past it will continue to do so. But staying in one spot for too long can spell disaster for you and your company.
A great example of this is the music industry. They had been producing recorded music for some many years on formats starting with records, then tapes, then CDs. They had grown comfortable in the formats they produced. When napster appeared and the idea
of downloadable music they resisted the idea heavily. They hung on to their beloved CDs.
As change continued other players entered the downloadable music game and the record stores and many labels were left behind. The other day I went into a former record store and it was now mostly filled with merchandise and t-shirts. Most people no longer are buying cds.
Another great example would be Blockbuster video. The could not adapt and so they are now gone. You would have thought that the largest video rental group on the planet might have had some relationships with movie studios that could have allowed them to do what netflix did and take their video rental program online.
Innovation is an essential part of survival. You can’t hang so tightly onto your money making strategies from yesterday that you die going into the future.
10.You need to become a student of success
A few years ago I was sitting with Frank Maguire in a shopping mall. He was one of the co-founders of FedEx. He was also the former VP of marketing for KFC, American Airlines and worked in the White House under JFK and Lyndon B. Johnson. He was one of my cherished mentors.
As we sat there our wives were shopping and he asked me the question, “Doug, what’t the most expensive things in the world?” I shrugged and said, “I dunno I just hope my wife doesn’t come back with it.”
He laughed and then answered the question. “Ignorance. Ignorance is the most expensive thing in the world, because it costs you time, money and keeps you from making more money.” Those words have always stuck with me. Ignorance is the most expensive thing int he world.
What you learn will always be a direct reflection of what you are able to earn. Often times people think that the best way to be successful is to think outside the box. I disagree. In all my research of the world’s most successful the way they have approached a problem is not to think outside the box, but rather to find a new box to think inside of.
In other words, to solve their problems they have always looked to learn how others have done what they are trying to do. from their they improve on the answers they find and make it personal. Success always leaves clues and if you look carefully you can find that everything is ready for you to implement.
Some opportunities to learn are rare experiences. To take advantage of rare opportunities to learn you must always be prepared. And there are some things that are so valuable to learn that you need to be willing to invest the time, money and effort to learn these highly valuable lessons. In my experience I have often found that just one
simple lesson applied in the correct way can make you millions or save months or even years of time.
Who can you learn from right now that will take you closer to your goals?
Often when I talk with entrepreneurs they share a terrible lie that they believe that is really keeping them from making more money. I do’t know why they tell this lie because it doesn’t serve them. The lie is that for the most par they feel that they have no competition.
They tell themselves that what they have to offer is unique and that because of their unique nature they have no competition. The truth is that if you exist in an area that has no competition you will have little chance of staying alive as a company and absolutely no chance to be rich. Wherever there is opportunity there will be competition.
I do have some good news thought. The more you can mastery the above principles the better you will be able to place your competitors behind you. In fact, mastery of these principles will give you a monopoly. Mastery always creates a monopoly.
A great case in point is Walmart. When they first came on the scene there were many large department stores all fighting for the customers bucks. But as Walmart mastered its positioning and product it became the only choice for discount shoppers. In many of the areas Walmart has moved into the other department stores have shut their doors. I used to think that this turf war was only taking place in small towns in America, but it is taking place even in the bigger cities. In Canada, where I am from, Walmart has knocked out Eaton’s which is a department store that had been around since 1869. At one time they were Canada’s largest department store. Now they are gone. Right behind them is Zeller’s another giant Canadian discount department store. (actually at this time of this writing all the Zellerʼs stores in my city have been replaced by Target.) And the list goes on. Their failure was their inability to innovate while their competition did.
Again, Mastery equals monopoly.
So how do you master these principles? The first advice I am going to share is that mastery is never complete. it is a journey. It is like tuning a radio. To get the station you have to be precise in how you tune the dial. The only difference in business is that the target you are tuning into is constantly moving which means you have to be constantly tuning. The moment you say, ‘I’ve got it’ is the minute you lose your mastery.
If you wait until you find perfection you will never succeed. mastery is a matter of implementing what you learn along the way.
In my wealth seminars when I am talking to my students about making a million dollars or more ever year some become afraid. They become afraid of the number $1,000,000.
To them it looks very big and I think all of those zeros become frightening to them. Most of them have never seen that amount of money so they can’t even begin to put their brain around it. They begin to doubt that they will ever be able to reach that goal and so therefore most of them never really try. I have found it extremely useful to do a few things with that number.
First, you may have heard the saying How do you eat an elephant? The answer one bite at a time. So with the massive number of $1,000,000 I have my students break it into a much smaller daily amount. To make a million dollars annually the daily amount comes to $2,739 a day. Most people have seen that amount and it is manageable in their mind. You have had lots of times where you have had that amount of money in you bank or come through your hands so you can understand that amount. Your internal money thermometer gets it, because you have held it in your hands. I have them break that amount even further down to an hourly amount: $1,000,000 = $114 an hour. This becomes even more manageable. We have all had a hundred and fourteen dollars at one point. Heck, most people have spend that regularly in a visit to the mall. Lastly, I have them break it down into minutes: $1,000,000 = $1.90 per minute. Now it almost seems simple.
From here I move onto the second step. We manage expectations and set up a goal. Most people think they can start making that $1.90 a minute or $1.14 an hour or that $2,739 a day pretty easily. The truth is that it won’t happen in one event instantly. It will take time to build the momentum. You can’t expect perfection on the first time out. Instead I encourage my students to think of it this way.
Instead of making an extra $2,739 a day would it make a difference if you made an extra $500 a day? Of course they respond that yes it would. So I ask them an extra $500 a week? They again respond that it would. I then ask them about an extra $500 a month and again they respond affirmatively. I then invite them to start there, because an extra $500 a month is pretty easy. When you have learned how to master an extra $500 a month then you can start to create that extra amount in a week, and then a day and then you figure out how to do it a few times a day.
Mastery is going to come in the same way. You start by learning how to do the smaller things in an excellent way and then you simply do it more often and duplicate your success.
What will you do right now? This is probably the most important question of this entire book. What will you do right now? right now is the most important moment that you have. Too often entrepreneurs spend too much time thinking about either the past or the future.
Your past has already gone. you can’t do much about that. Like I said in my section on innovation if you spend too much time in the past you will be left behind and overtaken by what is coming tomorrow. Other than contributing to your experience and your memories, your past has very little value. Your past will never significantly grow your bottom line.
Your future has not yet arrived. And although you can plan for it and should plan for it, there is no guarantee that what you plan for will arrive as you requested. Life has a way of throwing curve balls at you and things don’t always turn out as planned. In addition, if you run with how you calculate your future to be you will miss out on a lot of opportunities that present themselves along the way.
That’s why you cannot neglect this moment – now. Now is only the tool which builds dreams and changes situations. We have all heard before how people will take the word NOW and they will spell it backwards to get the word WON. I think this is clever but it is also only partly true. After all my research with the worlds top achievers I believe the word NOW should be used differently. Instead of being flipped around I believe each letter represents a new word.
N – No
O – Other
W – Way
If you are going to be successful you have got to use the moment NOW, because if you don’t there is no other way you are going to be successful. And NOW is a fragile word. If you even whisper it, it will disappear into the past. Your most powerful success can only come as you seize this time and make of it something that you can be excited about. What will you do right now to become a master of the things I have shared in this book? And will you start doing it right now? Your answer to these two questions will be a direct reflection of the success which you will experience.
A special invitation for you?
Now that you have these lessons and concepts before you I am confident that you also have some ideas of some things that you want to bring back into your business. My experience has shown that many people start enthusiastically but then run out steam and also run out of ideas on how to take these concepts further so they can really start to make the money they were thinking about.
It is for these people that my team and I have devised a way that we can be of service to you and help you really bring these tools and systems into your business. We call it the Millionaire Mastermind.
The foundation of the coaching program is my extensive research into the lives of more than 400 of the world’s top achievers. This research has been the basis of my books, movies, TV program and other appearances. It is this content has me coming back again and again as a featured guest on ACB, FOX, CNN, NBC, CTV, CBC and more. Most importantly it is this content which is changing and improving lives and businesses around the globe. I know it can make a difference for you too.
Douglas Vermeeren is known as the modern day Napoleon HIll for his extensive research into the lives of more than 400 of the worlds top achievers. He is the author of several books including several in the Guerrilla Marketing Series. He is also the producer of the hit personal development films The Opus and The Gratitude Experiment. Currently Doug appears on more than 200 TV shows each year as an expert on wealth growth, personal development and success. You can find out more about Doug at http://www.DouglasVermeeren.com