Mastering your company’s purpose is one key factor to growth. Today, Ken Courtright guides us through some crucial questions that act as a launchpad for growth. He shares an example of the chaos that prevents growth through the sales versus engineering example. He also imparts some ideas that lead to your marketing channels. Learn more about business and personal growth with Ken as he continues his mission in spreading its importance.
Listen to the podcast here:
Two Steps To Growth
This is episode 66. We’re calling this one the Two Steps of Growth. Episode 65 was dedicated to analyzing prior growth. What was the reason and path to growth? How did you get growing before? Is it accepted that the odds of the brain trust that allowed the prior growth to stop, resurrecting growth again, is close to zero? If you look back in history, the odds of the group of people or the single individual that allowed growth that was at one point growing, that allowed growth to slow down and even come to a stop. The odds of that group of people or that individual without any outside help getting that item, product or company to grow again is close to zero. It is possible. It’s called the Einstein Law, the brain that got you into the jam can’t get you out of the jam.
Law Of The Rope
Episode 65 was designated and dedicated to the psychology behind why did growth stopped. Why did growth grow? The last episode set the table perfectly for this episode. We are inching our way up into the right of the Growth Checkup Chart, which is posted on KenCourtright.com. We’re still at the bottom left but we’re inching our way up a little bit to the right. Let’s get right to it and start growing. Let’s start with another law of growth. I call it the Law of the Rope. We’ve all heard of tug of war. Tug of war happens every day in business. For those that don’t know tug of war, you’ve got six people on one end of a rope pulling one way and six people on the other end of the rope tugging in another direction. Somebody blows a whistle and the strongest team wins. The bottom line is that rope is either standing still or inching one way. It isn’t ever going in one direction quickly until one team gives up.The brain that got you into the jam can't get you out of the jam. Click To Tweet
In business, there is an incredible analogy of sales versus engineering that is the tug of war exemplified. In 2000, I was asked to go into a telecom company that was having some sales issues. It was clear that the salespeople thought the engineers that installed the sales service they sold were slow and stupid. They didn’t understand what they were going through to sell a deal and didn’t understand the urgency to turn that phone line on once it was sold. They hated engineering. Engineering hated salespeople. They didn’t fill out paperwork properly. They jammed orders through before they were finished. They would put orders in before they had a full deposit. They would cancel. Engineering would do all this work and they would cancel. Engineering hated sales.
One simple management team decision to send sales and engineering on a three-day camp or brainstorming session unified everybody. Prior to that three-day camp where they were forced to get to know each other and realize they’re all human beings, they’re all on the same team. They get their paychecks paid by the same company. Before that, they never associated with that other side. They didn’t empathize or care what the other side had to do or deal with. After three days of living together, eating together, breathing together in the same bunk bed, engineering on top, sales on the bottom. The next day, sales was on top, engineering on the bottom. It was a camp. This team came out unified. They came out as a team.
Let’s start putting all of this in context. In that episode, that group went from a tug of war to, “We’re on the same team. I understand why you’re jamming orders through. I understand sometimes why engineering is slow. Let’s all pull in the same direction.” With that said, if you’re running a company and I gave you a grace card or a do-over to start your current company or your project all over, would you choose to sell the same products? Would you choose to rehire all of the same people, every one of them? If your answer is not an immediate, “Heck yeah,” then evaluation must be done because the first step of all growth and the first step of all successes is to stop lying to yourself.
If you think you’ve got the perfect team, the perfect product, the perfect everything, then let’s go. This is huge because growth doesn’t come from a tug of war. It physically can’t. It’s a law. It’s the Law of Tug of War. The Law of the Rope. Growth, especially rapid growth, comes from a shared vision with 100% uniformity, pulling in the same direction. We’ve heard countless times, two horses pulling together pulls the same weight as three independent horses pulling individually. Think about that. Two horses equal the effort of three. Four horses tied up together, yoked together, pulls seven. It’s not even six. It’s seven.
Explosive results happen in business when you, your employees, your vendors, your investors and your JV partners all know the company mission, they stand behind it and they’re all marching in the same direction. With all of that as a backdrop, now that we know the starting point, I want to add a layer. The starting point of growth, physically picture a race, a marathon, a sprint, it doesn’t matter. Picture the starting line and what I want you to picture behind you is that a unified team with a unified vision is a springboard. You’re not starting in blocks that are stagnant. When you start in the race of business, when you have a team that’s all unified and pulling in the same direction, they’re physically pushing you out of the starting gate. They’re giving you a boost.The first step of all growth and of all successes is to stop lying to yourself. Click To Tweet
Step In Someone Else’s Footsteps
The real physical first step is in what direction do we step first, North, South, East, West? Where do we go exactly? What do we do? The question of the day is what direction do we step in first? What we’re saying is exactly what gets analyzed or executed first? Where do we begin? How does the growth of any company or any product line begin? There has to be the first step. For many years, we have started any new growth, either consulting agreement, product line, an internally new division. We have started everything that involves growth with this question, has there been any growth by our company or others in the past that can be analyzed and reproduced? To show you how sincere I am about this, episodes number 15, 17, 18, 21, 25, 31, 32 and various others. All are either solely dedicated to or have at least half of the episode dedicated to the various methods and models that can be used to physically Digital Footprint another model, another company, another product, and reproduce the growth. It’s what we’re all about.
As the subtitle of my first book, which is Online Income: Navigating the Internet Minefield, hinted to the safest way to walk through a minefield is to simply step in someone else’s footsteps. If you don’t see blood, keep going. If you’re in business and you’ve got a product, a service, a company you want to grow, why would you want to blaze your own trail when there may be others out there that have been kicking butt with results that are leaving cookies and crumbs all over the web for you to study and follow?Growth comes from a shared vision with 100% uniformity, pulling in the same direction. Click To Tweet
Step In Multiple Directions
Step one, all growth models, we recommend beginning with models. Is there a path? Is there a business model of growth you can step into? If there is, do it. If not, you then need to blaze your trail. You need to record everything and split test. If you don’t know what that is, you’re going to have to check out some of the old episodes. What is your second step assuming there is no model to follow? Step two is to make sure that you and your company are stepping in multiple directions at any given time, especially in assuming that you have the end desire to go into a path that’s never been blazed before. The story of my life is to make sure you are stepping in multiple directions at any given time.
Do you think there is a single Fortune 500 company with one marketing channel? Is there a major company that maybe runs radio commercials for their leads or maybe knocks on doors for all their business? No, they can’t. They have shareholders to answer to. My guess is, the average Fortune 500 company has at least twenty channels dripping in leads. Let’s break this down. Let’s pick a product. I was brainstorming and let’s pretend everybody reading this owns a company that makes and sells cowboy hats. You called me to help create a marketing plan or a growth blueprint. I call them Digital Footprint sometimes.
Here’s how this would go. First question, what have you and all of your competitors done in the last five years that’s worked? That’s step one. What marketing channels currently sell hats? You might say, “We do trade shows. My competitors does online sales and we’ve had some success cold calling distributors.” I would mark it down. I would ask a series of questions. I would nail down, “Are you aware of any marketing channels that are currently working?” The second question, immediately, do you have a budget and/or the energy to try the following? Number one is connecting with a worthy cause. That’s episode 38. There’s a marketing channel, number one.
Number two is doing a PR push about that new partnership. It is great for SEO and future sales. Number three, have you done or currently doing local radio that could eventually bleed into a national radio? Number four, have you ever done shock-and-awe mailers? That’s in a previous podcast on at least two occasions. Number five, do you have a right to succeed website? Is your website built to tell your potential clients exactly what they need to hear? That’s episode 40. Number six, do you have a platform? If you have a platform, is there a platform in front of the platform? If you’re not sure what that is, that’s episode 32.
Number seven, complete look at pricing as marketing. Do you have some hats that are $10,000? Do you have some hats that are entry hats that people could sample your products? This is episode 26. Number eight, have you ever done a six month Facebook push where you’re running 20 to 40 ads with lookalike campaigns, getting X amount of likes? Have you ever sponsored any events? Number ten, have you considered becoming an arrow in other people’s quivers or have you ever considered carrying quivers with other people’s arrows? That’s episode 25.
The point of that is these ten ideas would become your marketing channels. If you did these typical results say, half of them are not going to work at all and of the five that do work, two of them will dominate results. Based on everything I’ve ever done and seen, two of the ten will dominate. I want to make a special mention, in almost every case that two that ended up pulling the best are almost never picked up front by the entrepreneur. Meaning, usually we’ll go into this with an entrepreneur or a seasoned business veteran. We’re going to pick ten channels, two that they think are going to work are usually not the two that work best. It’s usually a shock to find out the channels that net the best results, keyword net meaning on the net time and money put in, what is the true boil down net profit?The safest way to walk through a minefield is to simply step in someone else's footsteps. Click To Tweet
Quick Episode Recap
Let’s recap the step before the step. The first step of all successes is to stop lying to yourself. For one day, can you subconsciously and consciously throw out, “We’re doing great? I’m doing great. We have a great team. I have a great team. We have a great product. I have a great product. We’re an incredible industry.” Can you for a second throw out that and get honest on how are things going. We’ve established the first step of all success is to stop lying to yourself. Do you need to remove a couple of employees? Do you need to add some JV partners? Do you need to tweak if not, throw away your complete product line? Get real. Would you start that product all over again if you had to start from scratch? You had a chance to and you had fully funded. You could do it. Would you start with a new team?
The first physical step. What’s worked in the past for anyone in this space, replicate it, tweak it, and sprint. Step two, if you’re blazing a new trail, take no less than six but preferably ten steps in ten different directions at the same time if you can. If not, and it’s just you, your time, your energy, your money, then do one a month for ten months. Try one marketing channel every six weeks. In one year, you’ve got to make a commitment that, “I’m going to try to move this product in ten different ways because Ken says I’m going to be shocked that one channel that I would never think would work might work.”
To prove my point that usually the way you think you’re going to grow isn’t how it goes, I would like you to do a little homework assignment. I challenge everybody to quickly Google and look up the backstory of how long it took and how many different marketing channels, Amazon, IBM, FedEx, Hilton Hotels and Apple had to use before they made their first dollar. This is a trick question. As you’re going to find out, it took them years, two of them into the second decade before they churned a profit. It took many years and many marketing channels were tried before dollar one of profit. If you can pull one simple nugget from this episode, please learn to master the discipline of trying and managing multiple marketing channels, preferably at the same time. I hope this helps. See you on the trail.
- Episode 65 – previous episode
- Growth Checkup Chart
- 15 – previous episode
- 17 – previous episode
- 18 – previous episode
- 21 – previous episode
- 25 – previous episode
- 31 – previous episode
- 32 – previous episode
- Online Income: Navigating the Internet Minefield
- Episode 38 – previous episode
- Episode 40 – previous episode
- Episode 32 – previous episode
- Episode 26 – previous episode
- Episode 25 – previous episode