There are two different types of entrepreneurs. Some become wildly successful because they’ve learned from and adapted to their mistakes, while others suffer in mediocrity because they’ve simply ignored and repeated their mistakes over and over again.
Let’s look at an example of each:
The Potential Client
A potential client called me over a year ago because he wasn’t getting the results he needed from his website. In a nutshell, his business collected and sold leads for a particular industry. Only, he wasn’t selling. The traffic he received didn’t convert, so he didn’t generate any leads that he could sell.
We talked over several options, including redesigning his website to improve conversions, an SEO campaign to drive targeted traffic to his site, and developing methods that would enable him to continue marketing to his visitors long after they’d left. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the budget for any of the strategies.
In a last-ditch effort to help, I offered a consulting session, which would give him the information he needed to improve his conversions. You would think that for a modest fee, he’d be more than happy to learn how to make improvements so he could start generating revenue.
Instead, he wanted to wait until his website began making money before he invested any into it.
In other words, this potential client had invested time, money and energy into a website that produced absolutely no results, and rather than fixing the problem, he wanted to wait until the site magically began producing the results he wanted.
That’s sort of like waiting until a broken-down car starts working before spending any money on repairs.
This potential client is the type of entrepreneur that waited for the magic to happen for over a year. Can you imagine your business not making any money for a year and not doing anything about it?
The Real Client
Another potential client came to me with the same problem: a website that wasn’t producing the results the company needed.
We talked over several options, including an extensive redesign, an SEO campaign, and a variety of print marketing solutions. Just like the first potential client, this one didn’t have the budget for the proposed strategies…
But he understood that nothing would change until the company changed how it was responding to the situation.
So rather than waiting for something magical to happen, this type of entrepreneur made sure his company scraped together what it could afford, then went out and raised the rest of the necessary investment. They didn’t jump right into every solution I proposed, but they did move forward aggressively enough that the website began producing results, which increased the budget.
Over the next year, the company’s traffic, leads and revenue increased dramatically and even created an opportunity to work with a well-known Fortune 500 company, bringing revenue to a completely new level.
The first potential client wanted results, but he wasn’t willing to do anything to create them. He wanted to benefit before he made any commitments or took any risks.
The second potential client wanted results too, but his company was willing to find ways to help create them. They pulled together the funds they could, negotiated with investors, started small and built on the success.
Realistically, most companies probably won’t land a multimillion dollar contract with a Fortune 500 company, but that’s not the point. The point is that tremendous success is certainly attainable by anyone… but only if you take massive action and risks.
And most people won’t take risks, because that means moving well outside of their comfort zone.
Easy Ways You Can Start Taking Small Risks
You don’t have to rush out and invest thousands of dollars in a new website or an aggressive marketing campaign, but you do have to make continuous forward progress. You need to constantly improve your business so it achieves results.
Here are a few small, easy changes you can make to bring yourself the leverage you need to create positive results. The best part? They’re affordable:
- When you want better results from your existing website or are planning on launching a new site, a website checklist helps make sure you have everything you need so your website generates more revenue.
- Most businesses have a blog, but few use them effectively to market their company. That’s where Beyond Bricks and Mortar comes in: it’s an ebook that provides tons of practical advice on using your blog to promote your business.
- Most of the challenges you face in business are mental ones, and Peter Shallard’s Seek and Destroy is exactly what the doctor ordered to overcome those limitations and achieve the success you want.
- You’re probably wasting a lot of time on unproductive tasks, which limits the available time you have to spend making real money doing the things you love. That’s why I highly recommend the 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss (and I know James enjoyed 168 Hours).
Now it’s time to really get to work.
- Start writing every day. It doesn’t have to always be a blog post; you could write a white paper, work on developing an info product or even start writing a book. The idea is to put your thoughts down on paper (or screen) so you can improve your communication skills, help inform and educate your prospects and even help you launch info products that you sell.
- Advertise small, test each one, refine the message, increase volume and repeat.
- Connect with other peers in your industry. You may be great at what you do, but you can always learn from others. Plus, the more connections you have, the more quickly you can accomplish your goals. And you can probably teach these peers something in return. Remember, it’s not always about you.
- Use social media properly. Connect with people. Discuss, share and contribute. Don’t be the guy that posts, “Check out my website www.xyz.com,” thirty-five consecutive times on Facebook or who always tweets links on Twitter.
- Measure performance. Taking action can lead to great things, but if you don’t measure results as you go along, you’re probably leaving a lot of money on the table.
- Do some digging and find your competitors’ weak points. That was one of the ways we helped the client I mentioned earlier. We saw some amazing opportunities that the competition was ignoring – leveraging that ignorance produced nearly $100,000 in additional monthly revenue for the company. If multimillion dollar companies miss opportunities like that, you can be damn sure your competitors have missed some already – find out which ones!
- Invest some time in guest blogging each month. If you can spare a little more time, try for each week. No matter how influential your own site might be, there’s always an opportunity to reach new prospects. Plus, it helps build your brand recognition while you hone your writing skills.
Take Action, Learn, Adjust, Repeat
As a veteran Marine, I know that even the best of plans change drastically once the first round is fired. Business is much the same, though there is a lot less danger involved!
You may have the best plan in the world, but it won’t produce any results until you’re willing to put your fear aside, take a risk and act. You also need to be prepared to adjust on the fly, because business is complex and dynamic. Learn from your successes and failures, and use that new knowledge to develop better plans in the future.
Finally, keep moving forward towards the future, because yesterday’s accomplishment is just that.