Have you ever set a great plan or strategy to grow a product, service, or even a division and found out two months later that it bombed miserably? Or on the flip side, have you ever been around an entrepreneur where every 60 days there’s a shiny penny out there or a better way to do something or a new product they want to sell and they’re just constantly shifting? The reason is simple, an event happened that distracted them. There are two huge factors that cripple growth, the minutiae and ice cream events. Learn more about these and the three-part guide that will allow you to have growth simplified in your business by becoming deaf to these two crippling factors.
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Growth Simplified: The Three-Part Guide
I just got a ping on my calendar that I’m supposed to mention that this episode is sponsored by Digital Footprint. I’m laughing because this spring is our first year and I don’t know how long that we’re not holding a Digital Footprint, which is a business accelerator conference we used to do twice a year. They’re so daunting because we take our top 30 employees and fly them from the East Coast to the West Coast. It basically interrupts our workflow by two full weeks and we just have too many website partners and a thousand plus websites to manage where we just can no longer afford to shut down for two weeks twice a year. We’re only doing it now in October but I think it’s pretty cool to say that the next few episodes are sponsored by Income Store, our parent company.
At Income Store, if you’re unsure of the backend engine of where we get the data for this podcast, at Income Store, people throw us money. Maybe somebody sells a property or a rental property and they’re sitting on a hundred grand or five hundred grand or whatever and they say, “I heard you guys can take this money and go out and buy digital assets maybe at two to three times earnings and then manage them with your 120 employees and share the revenue 50-50 in perpetuity and you’ll even guarantee via something called a minimum revenue commitment through a consulting performance agreement. You will even guarantee a set amount of revenue from the asset.” That’s what we do at Income Store. I don’t want to spend too much time on it, but if you’re looking for a second, third, or fourth revenue stream, I would suggest going to IncomeStore.com. As any of the revenue streams that can be physically purchased there, you’re creating an income that doesn’t solely rely on yourself.
I’m titling this podcast Growth Simplified. Growth Simplified. Often growth, let’s say there’s a strategy in place to grow a website, grow a product, grow a product launch or grow a service, they often get derailed due to an event, not a poor process or not even a mismanaged strategy. They often just simply get derailed because of an event. This podcast is going to go on a 360 turn right in the middle. It’ll sound like I’m not even on track and then it’ll come back at the end and I’ll give an example of what exactly I’m talking about.
Have you ever set a great plan to grow a product or service or even a division and you know going in the strategy is sound? It has worked for other people, it has worked for you in the past and you know this is going to work. It’s a matter of just putting in the numbers and sitting back and relaxing in the numbers. All of a sudden, you find out two months later that not only did it bomb, it bombed miserably. On the flip side, I have been around entrepreneurs. It’s like every 60 days there’s a shiny penny out there, there’s a better way to do something or a new product they want to sell or they’re just constantly shifting and the reason is simple. In both cases, the strategy that bombed, I’m going to say definitely half the time in this entrepreneur syndrome an event happened that distracted them.
I have recently started something that puts a weekly checklist together for me personally and different divisions in our team that as we go through the week, they are literally checking certain boxes and it’s keeping us on track. Bottom line is I’ve created something that has three parts. The three parts are preset, check, and then confirm and deny. On Monday per se, you’re going to preset a goal. That’s a growth goal. It’s going to have a numeric top end. It’s going to have not only a growth goal of maybe how much dollars you spend on Facebook or pay per click or radio commercials or direct mail or salaries to a cold calling sales rep. It’s going to have some type of an activity or financial goal, but it’s also going to have a guesstimation of success goal. That’s the preset. Mid-week, there’s a checkpoint. Then Friday, there’s going to be a confirm and deny, and this has to be done on a week. It can, in the case of radio or TV commercials, be done monthly or quarterly, but from what I’m finding when it’s especially financially related to a Facebook or a pay per click situation, the data is immediate.
I call this a guide, guiderails. I previously did a podcast talking about kids bowling. If they’re six years old, they put up guardrails or they blow up bumpers so the kids’ bowling ball can bounce off the guardrails and hit some pins or at least one pin. I’m calling this three-step process guiderails or bumpers that will guarantee growth.
Here’s how this works. Have you ever found yourself working in chunks? You think you’re setting your calendar right, you think you’re setting goals, you’re setting meetings, you’re talking to your team, you’re talking to your vendors, you’re reading the data reports coming back from analytics or the radio commercials or whatever it is you’re doing? Yet a couple weeks go by, you know there was activity, you think you did everything you could and yet you’re still not seeing it. In a lot of times, people are doing the first part, they’re doing the preset. They’re setting the goal, they’re setting the benchmark but there’s no mid-week check to see if there’s anything broken, see if things are on track. There was no confirm and deny at the end for a weekly adjustment to what might be an overall, monthly or quarterly goal. I want to go through this and show you how an event gets in the way.
Backing up one more step one more time. I just want to be clear, these guiderails or bumpers allow you to become deaf to two huge factors that cripple growth. If you’ve got a pen and you’re not driving in your car, there are two critical growth annihilators. They annihilate growth. There are two things. First one is a singular word, minutiae. The second one is funny, ice cream requests.
Minutiae in my world is running to the bank, even taking a picture of a check and then scanning it in and sending it to the bank. Going to the post office, checking email. What a waste of time. Text, Skype, the constant pings of the day. It’s all 100% minutiae. Underneath some of the minutiae there is critical data and critical news that is necessary, but do I need to be the filter of what’s minutiae that could be delegated to somebody else or what is real news? Definitely no. My brain is built for other things.
An ice cream request. You’re driving down the road, you’ve got a three-year-old in the backseat. “Daddy, I want some ice cream,” or three-year old sees the Golden Arches of McDonald’s and all of a sudden, “Mom, I want some French fries.” Yet they have a cartoon on the back headrest of the seat in front of them and they’re watching the cartoon and also, they get back to the cartoon and they do not request ice cream again for the next three days. Do they really want ice cream or was it an impulse? How often is a manager or a business owner, does your employer or vendors say they want ice cream for the first time? Meaning, they make a request because they were just on a conference call there and they were just reading a blog and it’s a knee-jerk reaction. They’re requesting something that you know in your heart doesn’t align with what the company needs. It doesn’t even align for what their industry needs. It just looks like it might help them short-term. You’ve got a series of employees or vendors, you’ve given them their one week, one month, one quarter assignment, and yet your employees are doing exactly what you want them to do. They’re studying blogs, they’re going to these conferences and they’re getting great ideas, and yet they’re then saying, “I want ice cream. I want this software.” It’s going to be amazing.
There is a method that you can use. It’s called ARI: Acknowledge, Repeat, Ignore. You can acknowledge what they’re saying, repeat it back so they know you’re hearing them, and then ignore it to see if a couple of weeks or a month go by and they request it again. I’m here to tell you, I think everybody knows where I’m going with this, 80% of the time they’re not going to request it again because they’ll do their own homework and they realize there’s even a better product out there or it wasn’t everything that they found when they did the homework, and so it’s worth a try.
Let me say this one more time. You’ve got minutiae where you’ve set a goal, preset goal. You said, “I’m going to do this.” Then the minutiae of life Monday through Friday kicks your butt and you don’t follow through with the strategy. That’s the killer number one. The second killer, and this even happens to you yourself, it happens to me, is the ice cream request. We’re involved in something, we see a shiny penny, it might get us to the goal faster, and even though we’ve already set the strategy, we then jump and go after the shiny penny and we forget the strategy we set.
Now, let’s get back. First, I’m not talking about the employees and the vendors requesting ice cream when it is a real legitimate request. I’m not saying throw away everything they’re saying and acknowledge, repeat, and ignore. I’m only talking about the things that distract you from a growth strategy. I want to clear that up. Here’s how this works. You set a preset growth strategy. Preset means before Monday, even though Monday is the launch of the preset, maybe early Monday morning or Sunday night. With really good quality downtime, peace and quiet, you set a strategy. Monday then comes and you’re going to go Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Monday 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM is preset. You’re going to preset two things, a numeric growth goal and a numeric result.
Let’s say the growth goal is we’re going to do a $100 ad spend in Facebook. That’s the growth goal. That’s the numeric. That’s what you can control. The result goal, which you’re hoping for, might be, ten leads a day. It’s numeric or financial growth goal that you can control, you can’t control the number of leads. You don’t even know if this is going to work, but you can guesstimate. What I would like to do is, “If we can get ten leads a day per $100, that will be financially profitable. That’s our goal.” Monday preset.
Then what we’re going to do, unlike normal, we’re not going to allow minutiae and ice cream requests between Monday afternoon and Friday to get in our way. We’re going to schedule a Wednesday check. What are we going to check on? Did the ad spend go through Monday and Tuesday? Sometimes it gets derailed. Did the lead start coming in? You might want to run a software called Clicktale to see if people are even going to your website. You’ve got the preset on Monday and a lot of people do that, but then you set the mid-week check. Is everything still working? Are the radio commercials airing? Are the direct mail pieces going out on time? Are the sales reps knocking on doors? You are checking. You are micromanaging the process because it’s shame on you entrepreneur, shame on you leader, shame on you division head, if you are not micromanaging. It’s better to set a system so they can micromanage themselves like the software called Rhythm or some Six Sigma software where lights turn red and green if activity’s being done. Then you have to micro-manage that they can do it themselves, but shame on you business owner if you’re not micromanaging the process. Wednesday is checkup day and at 9:00 AM, you’re going to check all systems go.
Friday is confirm or deny day. Friday between 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM, you are going to confirm or deny that the preset growth mechanism is working. If you’re not sure what growth mechanisms to check, I believe podcasts 62 to 72, somewhere in there, I cover the twelve main growth mechanisms we use, and I put a rocket ship infographic to allow you to go through these podcasts and track along with us. If you don’t know where to start and this is one of your first podcast you’re hearing, I would start there. I would also go back down to the two Facebook trials for $50. I think those might be in the teens to the thirties, maybe even podcast number 50.
Friday is confirm or deny day. Now, watch the power of this. There is so much power in denying the thing you started on Monday. What if it’s only producing one lead a week, a day, whatever? Either way, it’s not profitable, so you can make a tweak over the weekend and Sunday night and say, “We need new creatives for the ads. We need new copyright for the Google pay-per-click. We needed a new radio commercial for the what-have-you.” You now have the ability to look at micro information for one week of what was probably a three-month strategy, instead of waiting three months and spending a gargantuan amount of time and money and then getting your teeth kicked in. More important, this podcast is about getting your teeth kicked in because you allow the minutiae of life and or the ice cream requests from employees, vendors, and associates to distract you from even checking or from confirming and denying. This is a little bit of a long-winded way to say in episode 342 here, you set something in motion numerically and you measure accomplishment, not activity.
If you want to do a deep, deep dive on this, dig into older podcasts. It may even be in the Today’s Growth Classics, which is a different podcast in iTunes as that’s probably one of our more downloaded podcasts. It’s probably been moved to classics and it’s called Activity Versus Accomplishment. I’m sure it is. It’s in one of our top twenty downloads of all time. For episode 342, sponsored by Income Store, probably the fastest way to add a second, third or fourth revenue stream to a household or business, IncomeStore.com. For more info, I am Ken Courtright. This is Today’s Growth Growing Business Today. Hope this helps. Take care.