Every moving entity has a spirit called culture. In business, that spiritual culture is very crucial to achieving your goals and growing towards success. Just look at Google and all the other successful companies out there. You’ll notice how they have a distinct company culture. You don’t have to be a religious person to learn and tap into this spirituality. All you have to do is ponder and self-reflect on these five spiritual questions. They will help you realign your goals to your entire business together with your employees. You will find your shared visions and dreams, eventually propelling you forward.
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The 5 Spirituals
This is part two of a two-part series on The Five Spiritual Questions You Can Ask Yourself. I’m not talking about religion, I’m talking about the fact that every business and every moving entity has a spirit. The common word for it is culture, meaning what is your culture? What is your feeling? What is the energy inside your company? As you can probably imagine, Google has a culture. Apple definitely has a culture. Every company, whether you like to admit it or not, has a culture, a spirit. That spirit is a product of what is called the genetic code, the leader, the founder. I remember reading so many books on Thomas Watson, the Founder of IBM, and the culture he built, the spirit he built, that army of men wearing white shirts with red or blue ties. It was an amazing culture of performance, drive, desire, and work habit.
On Episode 270, I gave the backstory that my wife and I travel the world over speaking on how we are able to manage 900 money-making websites, 900 different businesses that take individual plans, individual marketing, individual effort, but how do we keep them going? We’re racing to a thousand. How do we do that? Prior to that, how did we coach 3,100 companies into growth from 1992 to 2009? With all of that, the most common questions we would get, we would answer differently every time. I’m getting to the point where the second most common asked question is, “If you could give one piece of advice to an upstart, a startup, a 30-year business owner, what would it be?”
Every moving entity has a spirit called culture. Click To Tweet
I’m selling myself that I can distill that into one piece of advice. I would say, “If you could ask yourself the following ten questions on the first of January every year, it would change, alter, and completely grow the company you’re running no matter what industry or what size.” On Episode 270, I did the first five questions that all people should ask themselves and they were all mechanical. They were very structural. They were very corporate almost. If you don’t ask the five spiritual questions, you’re going to be rowing your boat in circles. You need to line up the five spiritual questions, the culture-based questions. In that way, you can get a rudder on your boat so that you’re now rowing with a rudder, you are pointing in a direction, and you’re steering the ship.
As you’re going to find out, you’ll come to terms that you cannot just ask these five without the five mechanical questions. It’s simply not going to work. You can’t do the five mechanical questions without the five spiritual questions. It’s simply not going to work. It is a set of ten questions. If a person running any entity can ask them themselves these ten questions every January, like we do every January, you’ll understand why we continually get letters from the editor of Inc. Magazine saying, “Ken and Kerri, congratulations. You once again hit the Inc. 5000 list out of eighteen million US companies. You have passed them all again. You’re one of the 1,000 fastest growing US companies. Congratulations.” For the fourth, fifth or sixth time, how do we keep doing that? The fact is we don’t even sell the same products as a few years ago. We have rebuilt our company completely twice in five or six years.
No matter what your spiritual beliefs are, there will always be a source. We are not independent. Click To Tweet
How do we have the ability to be a new company and yet still grow? It’s because there are mechanical things and quite frankly spiritual things that if applied and put in place in order, they can run, grow, and steer anything. Have you ever felt rudderless where you’re working so hard but you’re going nowhere fast? You are efficiently ineffective. I’m going to guess that if you currently feel efficiently ineffective, you’ve got a huge to-do list, you’re constantly busy, you’re checking things off, but you have not grown at all in one to three years. I’m sure this is resonating with a lot of people. I’m going to bet you that when I read off these next five questions, there’s a great chance you go all for five.
I’m going to bet you that if you can get an A-plus and immediately go five for five and come back to this podcast in a year, you are going to be a new person. I would love for everybody reading this to email me at Ken@IncomeStore.com and tell me what your current state is. For any of you willing to admit that you are all for five and willing to admit it, email me and you had the guts to admit, I will find a way. I don’t know how but I will find a way to be your accountability buddy. I will email correspond with you and check up with you every 90 days. Maybe even do a phone call or two if you make the corrections and go five for five with the spiritual questions.
I have a great friend and mentor, David Corbin. He wrote a fairly infamous book called Illuminate. It’s about shedding light on the things you don’t want to look at. He gives a very powerful talk. David is always one of the major keynote speakers at our Digital Footprint. We would suffocate if he did not show up, speak, and meet with our tribe and our audience members. He is such an incredible individual. In the beginning of his talk, he talks about entrepreneurial myths. The largest myth is that we are separate from the source. We are separate from our God. We’re running companies by ourselves. No matter what your spiritual beliefs are, there is a source. We are not independent. There is a source.
Why Am I Doing This?
Here are the five spirituals, spirit culture-based questions that I believe if you ask them and answer them honestly, they will correct the course of your company. They will give you a much bigger rudder and you will start to go in a singular goal-driven direction. Number one, and you’re doing this on an annual basis, why am I doing this? Why am I putting myself through the complete pain in the ass of running a business? Why am I sacrificing? Why am I losing friends in the process? Why am I probably multiple times going bankrupt? You better dig deep until your why makes you cry.
Some of you have read the previous podcast where I’ve shared why my wife and I do what we do. I haven’t spoken to a high school friend in fifteen years. I haven’t spoken to a college buddy in nine years. I don’t have any friends outside of business. I have a couple maybe. The point is why do Kerri and I put ourselves through so much stress, pressure, and constant pressing? We know why and we’re never going to stop. Our why is much bigger than the pain of running a business.
What Is Success?
Number two, what is success? Draw it out, list it out, and post it. What exactly is success for you? Is it massive amounts of cash? Is it huge annual recurring revenue? Is it taking care of your parents? Is it getting your wife out of her job? Is it protecting your children? It is going to be miserable for them trying to make a living much harder than it is for us. What is success? How do you define it? If you can’t write it down, you’re afraid of it, then you’re not going to accomplish it. I don’t live in declaratives and statements like that. I will promise you in my 25 years, if you don’t define success, if you won’t be very crystal clear to where you want to go and when you’re there, to know you’re there, then it’s going to be difficult.
Money is a magnet to true value. Click To Tweet
Are We Adding Enough Value?
Number three, are we adding enough value? Money is a magnet for true value. If your product or service comes with an incredible value proposition for the end recipient or client, the money will find you. As a matter of fact, the money will attack you. Why do we grow so rapidly? It’s because we sell a product that has a guaranteed financial return that is ridiculous. People can’t fail. People give us money, we build them or buy them a moneymaking website. We stand behind it in perpetuity and they have a guaranteed return. Why are we being attacked? Why did we present to the alternative investment division of the government of Dubai? It’s because our product has tremendous value.
Money is a magnet for true value. Does your product deliver value? Does your product add value to people or is it just cool? Is it just okay? Take TOMS shoes. If you buy a pair of shoes from TOMS Shoes, he’s going to take part of that money and put a brand-new pair of shoes on a kid who has never worn shoes before somewhere in the world. That is value. That’s why TOMS Shoes is the fastest growing shoe company in world history. Number three, you better ask yourself on an annual basis, are we adding enough value? How can our product or service add more value? How can we strengthen our product to deliver more value?
Allow people to partake in your dreams and visions. Click To Tweet
Number four, do you have dream boards posted in your office and in every cubicle of every employee in your company? There is an incredible talk given at Digital Footprint and I hope he does it every single time he comes. Jeff Hoffman, the Co-Founder of the $64 billion Priceline.com, every single time he speaks, part of his talks is about that day when he walked into his company. Every employee has a dream board in their cubicle. He walked by one guy’s cubicle and the only thing posted was a house. He knew this kid had bought a new house, so he walked up to the guy. He said, “What’s that?” He goes, “That’s the house I want to get for my mom. I want her to retire in Florida. The reason I’m working for your company is I’m setting money aside every week trying to build a nest egg for my mom’s new home.”
Do We Have Dream Boards For All?
Jeff didn’t say anything but he walked on by. As the weeks and months went by, as people saw Jeff Hoffman staying late in the office, they said, “Jeff, why you staying late?” He said, “I’m working on Johnny’s mom’s home.” They finally started to understand Jeff was not working extra for his dreams. He was working extra because he makes his employees dream. He makes his employees have a reason of why they’re doing what they’re doing and they post it for the world to see. In essence, they’re claiming victory. That allows other people to partake in your vision. Dream boards are for all. When everybody is allowed and it’s even promoted that you need to have a dream board in your office, it allows others to partake in your dreams.
This is part of the spirit of the culture at all of Jeff Hoffman’s famous companies. If you’ve ever walked into an airport and you went to the kiosk, you pressed a few buttons and out prints a ticket, that was Jeff Hoffman’s invention. The companies that Jeff builds which are built on spirit. They are spiritual-based companies, they are spirit-driven companies, they’re dream-built companies, they’re dream-driven companies. They’re not mechanically-built companies. They are value-add companies. Priceline is maybe one of the best value-add companies in US history. You ask yourself on an annual basis, “Have I updated my personal dream board? Have I added new pictures of where I want to be, where I want to go, and where I see myself? Do my people have a dream board? Is it being updated on an annual basis?” Number four, do we have dream boards for all?
Do I Post, Claim, And Review Our Personal And Company Goals?
Number five, post, claim, and review company goals. Number five, do I post, claim, and review our personal and company goals? The key is claiming. You’ve got to claim it. You’ve got to tell the world your goals. Once you tell the world, you’re in essence being hung by the tongue, you’re embarrassing yourself into success. There are two incredible books, Hung by the Tongue and The Tongue: A Creative Force. They’re spiritual-driven books. They’re spiritual-based books about how we are hung by our own tongue. You first post your goals. Then you claim to people. You need an accountability buddy, a board of directors, or whatever. I don’t care to whom you tell your goals to but you tell them to a human being, not a dog. You tell them to somebody. Then you review them on a quarterly basis to see if you’re on track.
In 1953, Yale did an incredible study. As the Yale Faculty handed people their diploma, as they were walking them down the steps on the other side of the stage, they said, “By chance, do you have written goals as you leave this institution?” Only 3% had written goals and they wrote those kids’ names down. Then Yale followed up with those kids twenty years later to the day. They found out that the 3% of Yale graduates had accumulated more financial wealth and success than the other 97% combined. Were the other 97% of Yale graduates stupid? I don’t think so. Jeff Hoffman, Co-Founder of Priceline, went to Yale. Yale grads are sharp people.
Why? How is it possible that those 3% can accumulate more than 33 times the body of students? It’s simple. They posted, meaning they wrote down their goals. Action step number two, do you write down your goals? You got to add fuel to that. You’ve got to claim it to the world. The world knows Income Store is 100 websites away. We’re looking for 100 more people who want to play with us. We’re managing 912 websites. We’re waiting for 88 people to find us, to throw us money, so we can build them or buy them a revenue-generating platform that they can will to their kids. The world knows it. It’s on our website. We talk about it at our meetings. We talk about it when we speak from the stage.
Everybody who knows us knows we are racing for a thousand. It’s been a posted and claimed goals since 2009 and we’re not stopping. We then review it every 90 days. How are we doing? Number one, why am I doing this? Number two, what is success for us? Draw it. Are we adding enough value as number three? Number four, do we have dream builds for everybody? Number five, have we posted, claimed and reviewed our goals on an annual and quarterly basis? Here it is, episode 271, the five spiritual questions everybody must ask. Here’s the key. As you’ve read in episode 270, you can’t just do the five mechanical questions and ignore the five spirituals. You certainly can’t do the five spiritual questions and ignore the mechanical.
If somebody comes up to me and says, “Ken, what one piece of advice can you give to a startup and entrepreneur, a legacy business owner, a serial entrepreneur?” I’m going to say, ”For the rest of my life, the one piece of advice would be to study podcasts 270 and 271 and list out the ten question that every entrepreneur must ask on an annual basis.” These ten questions are what allows us to grow 20% a year in employees and double every year in revenues every single year. If we can do it in any industry, which we have done in every industry, anybody else can do it in any industry if you understand the laws of success, which are built into these ten questions. I hope this helps.