Archive for July 2014

Having a Good Road Map for Your Business

plan-your-work-work-your-plan1

Most of us like the idea of being an entrepreneur. The idea of working for ourselves, being out of the hand of bossed. What most of us do not go into is having a plan for your business. Most of us just get into businesses without a good road map of where they are going, without having a clear idea of what they would like happen to their business and anything that happens is a positive result. I am going to challenge you about having a good road map for your business in today’s episode.

I will be the first one to admit to you that for all the seven business I have started, I didn’t have a plan for all of them. I started some on the side, just to get something to do. I started other big ones with lots of debts without any plan of how the business was going to play out. I have learnt several lessons from that and I will share them with you today and hopefully you will learn from the experiences, mistakes and successes of other people.

The major lesson of which I would like us to make the theme of the day is that if you do not have a destination in mind, any road will take you where you want to go. If you do not have a destination in mind, any road will be good enough for you. If you take that logic in running your business, you will find out that you will just be taking whatever road that presents itself. However, without a plan or a known destination mind, the probability of being successful is going to be reduced. It is also important to understand that your definition will also in the same way determine your probability of becoming successful in your business venture. However, if you have reasonable goals built with the SMART acronym, it is possible to grow your business that way. The great thing about having this plan and knowing where you want to go is that it actually helps you make decisions. Knowing what your goal is and having a good road map for your business will give you the clarity and confidence to make decisions that helps you move positively towards that goal.

[Full Transcript Follows]

Do you have a good road map for the direction that you’re going? Or you just created your business and you got some far off idea what you’d like to see happen but you know what? Anything that happens has a positive result. I’m going to challenge you on that today on this episode of 7 Minutes in the Morning, stay tuned.

Hey there folks, good morning and welcome. My name is Thom Rigsby from thomrigsby.com and this is 7 Minutes in the Morning. It’s your daily dose from me, your Business Coach. I want to take a chance today to talk to you about having a road map. A lot of us like the idea of having a business, we like the idea of working for ourselves, being out from under the thumb of a man, being an entrepreneur. But we don’t really going into it having a plan. As a lot of you know and I’ve shared my story a lot here through the podcast, this is my 7th business that I’ve started. I’ll be the first one to admit to you, I haven’t had a plan for all of them. I was just like you. I just, I wanted, I started on the side, I wanted a little business to have something to do. I even started some big businesses with lots of debt and lots of money and didn’t really have a plan for how that business was going to play out. It’s one of the things that I’ve learnt, and hopefully you can learn from the experiences and mistakes and the successes of other people. That’s one reason why I share them with you here on the podcast. If you don’t have a plan and if you don’t have a destination in mind, any road will take you there. That’s our theme for the day.

Without a destination, any road will take you where you want to go. This really comes from Alice in Wonderland, where she’s asking the treasure cat which road she should take. He says where do you want to go? And she says, I don’t know, anyway from here. He said, well then any road should be good enough. If you apply that same logic to running your business, then
what you’re going to find out is that you’re just taking whatever road presents itself. Without a plan, without a known destination in mind, without some intentional direction and leadership, the probability that you’re going to be successful is decreased.

We also have to understand that success is often the meaning your definition of success is going to dictate the probability of you being successful also. If you’re starting from nothing and you want a billion dollar business next year, and that’s your definition of success, let’s just say you’re going to be challenged with that. If you have some reasonable goals about using the SMART acronym, then it is possible that you can roll your business that way. The great thing about having this plan, and knowing where you want to go is, it actually helps you make decisions. A lot of times as business owners we are faced with this question, I don’t know when should I…should I sign the three year lease or a ten year lease? The ten year lease is cheaper and God knows I could use cheaper right now. I don’t know, you’re planning on your business being around for 10 years? Is it going to be in this location for 10 years? Who knows? Is that a smart thing to do? It really depends on you and your situation. But you have to know what that goal is, if you don’t what your goal for 10 years from now is, I would tell you absolutely not, not in a hundred years you don’t want to sign a 10 year lease. Understand what you’re goals are, understand what your road map is, and then that would give you the clarity and the confidence to make decisions that help you move positively toward that goal.

It’s a little bit shorter show today, I’m actually on the road again and recording this in the hotel room. I hope that this has helped; if it has I’d love to hear from you, this or any topic this week. Send me an e-mail or you know what? I’d love to get some topics and questions from you that we can build shows around also. In either case, send those e-mails to thom@thomrigsby.com. Love to hear from you. I’d love to get your feedback and work some of that in the upcoming episodes. You can find me on Twitter at Thom Rigsby and you can find me on Face book, its facebook.com/thomrigsbycoaching. It is Friday so as usual, I’d like to remind you, be sure and get some rest this week, be present, be generous, be engaged in the relationships that are important to you. It doesn’t have to be on the weekend, that should be all the time but that’s when they are looking for you to be present and engaged as well. If you do have to work this weekend, I hope it’s profitable for you and that things go well. That’s it for this week on 7 Minutes in the Morning. We’ll be back on Monday with a brand new set of shows. Until then, remember knowing is not enough. Success requires action. Write your action for this weekend, work on that plan, understand where you’re going so you’ll know how to get there. I’ll be back on Monday. Till then my name is Thom Rigsby, I’m your Business Coach.

Getting Honest Opinions about Your Business Idea

 

Advice-300x300Your baby is ugly! That’s something that’s likely to offend anyone who has a baby. However, when it comes to a business idea, it’s important to get someone to tell you straight to your face whether your business idea is ugly or not. Why is this important? It’s because you are likely to be biased for your idea, maybe because you’re the one who came up with it and see a personal need that it will address or simply because you’ve gone a step further to invest in it.

There are a number of assumptions that might linger in your mind regarding the idea. You might look at the general population and conclude that there are many others like you who are likely to embrace your idea. Although this might be true, it doesn’t make the business idea viable, profitable, scalable, or that it will fulfill your vision for success.

What You Need To Do

Why not share the idea with some trusted friends? Or an expert? This is to help you get their honest and hopefully professional opinion about your idea. You also need to reevaluate your idea from an outsider perspective. When doing that, you need to be ready to listen to the voice of reason. Don’t ignore their opinions and don’t get into something that’s obviously unviable simply because you’ve invested in it.

Still it doesn’t mean that the final idea that you come up with will offer you a smooth ride to success. Why? There are a number of challenges that will come along the way and not everything that you’ve set out to do will work out. You’ll definitely fail in some. Don’t magnify your failure though. Don’t continue doing it the same way that doesn’t work. Make adjustments and know that these failures are just lessons for you to learn from. Like Albert Einstein once said, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” You therefore have to be ready to make adjustments as you pursue your goals.

It’s advisable that you don’t wait until it’s too late; make the adjustments early enough when it still doesn’t require massive changes.

[Full Transcript Follows]

Hey there folks, Thom Rigsby here, from thomrigsby.com. And I am warning you now, I am starting the show out today with an insult. If you want to hear with that insult is, stay tuned “7 Minutes in the Morning” is coming right up.

Hey there folks, good morning and welcome! This is “7 Minutes in the Morning” where you can get your daily dose from me your business coach, my name is Thom Rigsby. Now, I warned you in the open I am going to start the show out today with an insult. Here it goes, “your baby is ugly”. Now, if you do not have kids yet you are probably not very offended by that but you will be in just a minute. What that means, no I am not really talking about your kid. What I am talking about is your business idea. You know, sometimes we get very unarmored with our own business idea and because we came up with it, it looks more beautiful to us than anything anyone could ever imagine. You know, kind of like your kids. Sometimes though, you need people to tell you when your baby is ugly and just because you came up with the idea and you would be a great customer for your product or service, does not mean that it is a viable, viable product or service for everyone. Sure I mean, there might be a murders I mean look, there is 300 million people in the United States alone, couple of billion people in the world. Surely, somebody else needs the product or service that you have come up with. That does not mean that it is going to be profitable. It does not mean that it is going to be scalable. That does not mean that it is going to be something that fulfills your vision of success. It just means that yes sure, somebody else wants it. Every once in a while, you have to look at what you are doing and just really ask yourself, “am I doing the right thing?” You know I have said, I have already shared this week that I took last week off because now, I am really on the roll with going through and critically looking at the different aspects of my business and examining them for the value that they are adding to the bottom line. And not just the financial bottom line, but the bottom line of success and what that means for me. I want to encourage you do that also. If you cannot do it, I would suggest to you that you are probably not the best person to do this. Sure you can be someone objective but you are always going to be biased.

Find the trusted adviser; find a good friend who will give it to you the way it is. This is one of the things that-. Sometimes it is a pretty hard part of being a business coach, because people will come to me and they will have a great idea and they put a lot of time and effort into it. They really invested in it. And as we go through the idea, we start breaking it down, we start looking at it, it is just not something that is going to work long term for them to meet their goals of success , their definitions of success and provide a living and viable opportunity for them as a business owner. And a lot of people-, I am just giving it to you straight here, a lot of people walk away from that conversations, “that guy is crazy and the way he is talking about, there are a million of people in the United States somebody is going to buy this” and maybe they will. But as I shared with you yesterday, success, the big “S” Success that at the end of our lives we turn around and look and think were we successful in our endeavors or not. That big “S” is really made up of a series of small “S’s” along the way. Successes and failures, and the failures are the adjustments that get us back on the road to success. Do not make your failure a big failure. Do not go off the cliff. Run off to shoulder, you have to get back on the road, yes sure, that is fine. But do not drive it off the cliff, because you will not listen to the advice of people you have been there before.

Now, that is hard advice from me take I have probably shared with you before I know, I tell my coach this all the time and yes, I have a coach myself and the reason is because it is harder for me to see where my plan is breaking down for me, because I invested in it I am biased and that is what I am encouraging you to remember today you are biased toward your plan. Your idea, it is a good idea, all ideas are good. They might not pay enough, they might be viable but every idea is good. I had a friend of mine, tell me one time, “you know every idea is good and it will work until it does not” I thought about that for a minute, “wow, you know what, that is really true”. Every idea is a great idea until it is not and maybe you discover something in your business development and-. You are working out your business plan, maybe you just find out that this idea is not viable and that not mean that you are a failure. It just means that you found a way to not do business that is okay. And if you are in the business, you have been doing this for long, you are not getting the results that you hope for or that you need. You know, if you want different results you are going to have to do things differently and maybe you have to look at your business model, your business plan and think, “this is just not the right thing” does not mean that you are a bad person, that you are dumb, you are stupid, you are a failure none of those things. It just means in fact, that you found a way to not do things and that puts you ahead of your competition. Do not overlook the obvious, sometimes you can be so in love with your idea that you do not really realize how ugly your baby is. Take a chance, ask somebody, ask that trusted adviser what they think about your plan, what they think about your business and get honest feedback. You will be glad you did and hopefully will come in a time where it is a minor adjustment to get you back on the road not an adjustment where you have to pull the escape hatch, pull the eject button or handle and just tank on the whole business.

I would love to hear you feedback, get your questions about this topic or anything we have talked about this week. Send me an email thom@thomrigsby.com that is my email address. You can find me on twitter @thomrigsby or hit me up on facebook, that is facebook.com/thomrigsbycoaching. I love to hear from you, I love to get your questions and your feedback and I can do my very best, dead level best to answer every email that I get.

That is it for today, go ahead and let me know what you are thinking I will be back tomorrow. We will keep talking about this topic of examining where you are, the path that you are on towards success. Until then, my name is Thom Rigsby and I am your business coach.

Overcoming The Fear of Failure

Smallest Step

If you didn’t catch the show yesterday let me go ahead and apologize again for taking last week off without prior warning. Certainly there is nothing wrong with taking the week off but I ought to have given you a heads up. Some of the things that came out of that week is that I had the opportunity of spending time working on my business. There are couple of thoughts that came out of that exercise and because we are all partners in this and are involved in each other’s business I will share them with you this week and hopefully they will help you in your business.

Today I would like to talk to you about failure. A topic that comes up from time to time in this show and it’s not because we are obsessed with preventing failure but quite the opposite. You may look at it as we are obsessed with failing and we want to fail fast so that we find out the things that will not work so that we can move on to the things that will work. If you look at the dictionary definition of the word failure, it means “lack of success.” It doesn’t mean that it is the end of the road for you. Winston Churchill said “Failure is not fatal and success is not final.”

If you have put everything you have in your business and you are not getting the results that you need, ultimately you will reach a point when you will have to decide to cut your losses. It won’t however mean that it is the end of the world for you. That moment of failure gives you feedback on the things that are not going to work for you. You will simply have found a way that it doesn’t work. When I tell you I want you to fail, what I mean is that I want you to fail fast and often because failure presents an opportunity to find the things that do not work. When you dive into the deep end of the pool, failure is a possible outcome. Things do not always work out.

The most important things I would like you to do is understand your goals and visions and then understand your customers and how to solve their problems. If you do those two things right and let them guide your actions, you are going to be successful.

[Full Transcript Follows]

Hey there folks, Thom Rigsby here, from thomrigsby.com. Have you been worried about
failing? Think that it might wind up being the end of the world? What if you put all of your
best efforts into a business that does not paying out, that makes you a failure. Those are all questions we are going to talk about right here on “7 Minutes in the Morning” stay tuned.

Hey there folks, good morning and welcome! This is “7 Minutes in the Morning” it’s your       daily dose from me your business coach, my is Thom Rigsby.

Well, you know I said yesterday, if you did not hear the show yesterday I will go ahead and
apologize again. I took the week off last week without any forewarning, certainly nothing   wrong with taking the week off, but I should have given you a heads up. One of things that came out of that week is an opportunity for me to spend some time in working on my business and there is a couple of thoughts that came out of that exercise that I want to share with you this week. For two reasons; One is, we are kind of partners in this, I feel like we are both engaged and involved in each other’s business so I want to share the things that I see, the future where I am going with my business with you. And hopefully, some of the things that I share with you will help you in your business also.

Today I want to talk to you about “Failure” a topic that comes up from time to time, maybe even more frequently than that appear here on the show. And it is not because we are obsessed with preventing failure and actually it is quite the opposite. You might even look at it as, I am obsessed with failure, but I want to fail fast. I want to find out what does not work so that I can move on to the things that do work. And even if we look at the dictionary definition of failure, it says, “a lack of success” it does not mean an end, it does not mean that we die. In fact, the quote that I shared the most around failure from Winston Churchill it says, “failure is not fatal and success is not final”.

If you put everything you have into your business and you are just not getting the result you want or you need, ultimately there is going to come a point where you have to decide to cut your losses. That does not mean that you failed, what it meant, it does not mean it is the end of your life, that certainly by the dictionary definition there is a lack of success there, so you meet that definition but that failure really, gives you feedback into what is not going to work for you. It is not, you do not have to go back and find a job with your tail tagged between your legs, ask your old boss for a job back and say “yeah you are right, I was wrong it did not worked out. I will come back here and be your servant for the rest of my life”. That is not what it means, what it means is we have just simply found a way that it does not work. So, when I say I want you to fail, I want you to fail fast and often.

It is an opportunity for you to find the things that do not work. Now, what happens more often than not, especially with business owners that do not have a lot of experience running a business, we put everything into it, we got a great idea that it is going to change the world and everybody is going to benefit from this. And so, that is the way you attack the problem or attack running the business and then everybody is not lined up at the door. Sales are not what you thought they were. That loan that you took, that lease that you signed when you thought everybody was going to buy your product, now looks like a pretty heavy weight tied around your neck. So, what you have done is you have gained experience in how to answer a lot of questions, how to understand your customers in their problems, how to develop a product, your service that solves them. How and when and how much to get into leases and loans. Those are all very valuable lessons that you have learned. Did they cost something? Yes, sure! Hopefully they do not cost the same thing that they cost me to learn those lessons. At one point or another in my business career I have had just rocket ship kind of success and just blowing and going and making-.

I have two million dollar a year businesses. And I have also been in bankruptcy because they do not always work out and when you go, when you dive in the deep end of the pool, that is possible outcome. Now I will tell you that, that has been one of the most valuable experiences in my life. I do not wish it on any of you, I hope that you will listen to the experience that I and others shared with you, so you do not have to experience that. But, for me it was a great experience, because I learned how not to do things. I learned that there are better ways to it and I learned that, the conventional wisdom, you go online and you read, you go to this small business administration, you go to the Chamber of Commerce and you take these classes and they will tell you all the right things to do, they are not always the right things to do, the most important thing you can do is understand your goals, your vision and then understand your customer and their problems. If you do those two things, and you do those things well, you are going to be successful. And let those two things guide your actions, those are the most important things. When you are looking at an opportunity you consider the risk, you think you might fail and so you are worried about stepping out and doing that, do not worry about failing. Look at it as an opportunity to learn, whether this is the right thing to or not.

That is it for today, I would love to hear your comments on that. Please shoot me an e-mail,
thom@thomrigsby.com. Hit me up on twitter @thomrigsby or find me on facebook, facebook.com/thomrigsbycoaching.

Until tomorrow, I will be back with a brand new topic. My name is Thom Rigsby and I am your business coach. Take care.