1

Super Simple Marketing Plan Preparation

marketing scrabbleIn the last post about the Super Simple Business Plan, I explained how important it is to be thorough yet quick to get your business going or reinvented — money loves speed.  Business is moving so quickly these days that those who waffle will be left in the dust — as will those who don’t see where things are headed in their market.

Today’s post is all about a super simple marketing plan.  I am a Guerrilla Marketing practitioner who learned from the Father of Guerrilla Marketing, Jay Conrad Levinson.  I am the best-selling author of Guerrilla Tourism Marketing which I wrote, published and marketed in 2012.   One of the Guerrilla Marketing concepts is to create a simple marketing plan, which will be the subject of the next post (so be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed!)

To prepare for your super simple marketing plan, answer the following questions.

Super Simple Marketing Plan Preparation

What Are Your Business Goals for Your Desired Lifestyle?

Express your business goals, in terms of the amount of income (profit) you want each month and the number of days off you want each month.  Regardless of your current situation, write down what your goals are.

Year One

The amount of net profit I want is $_____________________ per month.

I want ___________ days off each month.

Year Three

The amount of net profit I want is $_____________________ per month.

I want ___________ days off each month.

Year Five

The amount of net profit I want is $_____________________ per month.

I want ___________ days off each month.

What Products Will I sell?  To Whom?

You should be thinking of multiple products to sell, from easy decisions through to large commitment.

We are going to sell [What product/service] to [Ideal Customer]  because it solves [specific problem they are urgently needing a solution for] problem for them.  We are going to charge [$x and frequency] for this product and service.

We are going to sell _____________________ to _________________________ because it solves _________________________________ problem for them.  We are going to charge ____________________________________ for this product and service.

Do this for every product / service you intend to offer.

What Are the Benefits of Doing Business With You? 

This list is extremely important because you will list all the reasons why your customers will benefit by doing business with you.  Be bold, be brave, stick out your chest and give it a double-fist-thump.  Now, in the next three minutes, list every possible benefit you can think of.  Just brain-dump, do not edit at this point.

The benefits of doing business with my company are:

What Are Your Competitive Advantages?

From the list you just created, there are many benefits that will also apply to your competitors.  So choose the items where you are different than your competitors.  This is what you’ll focus on in your marketing campaigns.  It is your positioning.  That is a huge competitive advantage and great for positioning.

What Are Your Target Markets?

The more markets where you can target your marketing, the more profits you will earn.  You may have only one target market but many of us have more than one market.

What is your Customer Lifetime Value (CLT)?

Customer Lifetime Value is how much a customer will be worth to you over the number of years they are your customer. Note that you may not know this now but it is a metric that you need to track

What Is Your Elevator Pitch?

Imagine you got into an elevator and someone asked you what you do.  In the time it takes to get to your floor you need to express yourself in a compelling, unique and intriguing way that will make them hold the door to ask you for more information.   So, what do you do?  What is your elevator pitch? 

What do you think of this Super Simple Marketing Plan preparation?  

Share your thoughts below in the comments …

Super Simple Business Plan

When I first got the urge to become an entrepreneur I needed to create a business plan so that I would be approved into a government program.   The program was designed to support those who wanted to create a business instead of looking for work.  In theory it was a great program because it supported small business owners and big-vision entrepreneurs alike.  When we succeeded, we would presumably hire employees too.

Although many applicants didn’t make it into the program and many didn’t make it beyond the first couple of years in business, I was one of the fortunate ones as I’m still in business all these years later.  The program worked for me and I was a “poster child” for the program when I won Entrepreneur of the Year in 2004.

There was one huge problem with the program though — the business plan.  I worked on that plan for approximately 8 months.  Back and forth I went with the approval committee — adding and editing the plan.  They didn’t “get” my business plan.  They didn’t understand the software component that I included.  They didn’t understand the industry.  So 75 pages later and nearly the entire “eligible time” to receive employment benefits later, my plan was finally approved.

Fortunately, I was creating my business while I was writing the plan — my business was service based and my primary marketing channel was my website (back in 1996).  However, the lost opportunities with this “distraction” of writing the plan were many.   I could have attracted Venture Capital money to support the software component of my plan as I knew — by looking at my tracking stats — that many VC firms were checking out my website .  By the time I was given their stamp of approval though my idea wasn’t unique any more.  New players had launched their software and I ended up being a reseller for them instead.

After this experience, I vowed never to waste time writing a business plan as extensive and — frankly — fictional as that first business plan.   Instead, I am all about getting clear on what you want while being flexible to readjust as needed.   You need to know your vision and mission, unique selling proposition and, of course, you need to have a product that your ideal customer is desperately looking for and willing to buy at a price that produces a profit.   You need to have a marketing plan and you need to have a business sense.  Beyond that though, it’s a trial and error learning experience.  You will do some things that will work, other things will fail.  Some of the things that work today won’t work next month.  Some of the failures today can be your biggest success stories tomorrow with some alterations.

Which brings me to the subject of this post.

A Super Simple Business Plan

SuperSimpleBusinessPlan

 

Vision

  • What are you building?  In your mind, what does the end result look like? (Remember your purpose, motivators, values etc.)

Mission

  • What are the reasons for this business? Answer “Why do we exist?”

Goals and Objectives (SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Driven)

  • What are you going to do to achieve your vision?  What results will be measured? What does success look like and how will you measure it? (You will likely have multiple objectives such as “Achieve 5% market share by 2014″ or ” $100,000 monthly revenue by Q3 2013″ Earn $100,000 this year, etc. )

Strategies

  • How are you going to achieve your Objectives?  What will you do to make you successful?  What is your plan?

Action Plan

  • What action items will we do to make the strategies come to life?

That’s it.  This super simple business plan, along with your marketing plan and your 90 day strategic plan is enough to get you going quickly — provided you are not seeking money from a bank or the government!

Money loves speed — so if you want to reinvent yourself or your business — get moving.

Think through your plan and answer these questions thoroughly.  If you can’t answer succinctly and deeply keep working on it.  By the time you’ve finished, you should be able to hand your plan to anyone and they will “get it” in terms of what you are intending to create, why it is going to solve a problem and that it will work.

What do you think of this plan?

Share your thoughts below in the comments …

B-Corp Honorees

I love the concept of the B-Corp because they are STARs  –  Sustainable, Transformational, Attractive and Resourceful.  Here are the nominees for B-Corp for this year.

MEDIA ADVISORY

CONTACT: Katie Kerr, B Lab – katie@bcorporation.net

 

92 Businesses Honored as ‘Best for the World’,

Creating Most Overall Positive Social and Environmental Impact

 

The Impact Economy is Global and Diverse:

Companies From 15 Countries and 31 Industries

Recognized As Leaders in Redefining Success in Business

March 19, 2014: Wayne, PA

Today, 92 companies worldwide were recognized for creating the most positive overall social and environmental impact by the nonprofit B Lab with the release of the third annual ‘B Corp Best for the World’ list. The ‘B Corp Best for the World’ list honors businesses that earned an overall score in the top 10% of all Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment, a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of a company’s impact on its workers, community, and the environment. Honorees were recognized among micro, small, and mid-sized businesses.

Highlighted companies include CDI Lan, a Brazilian education and training company generating income and employability in low income communities through internet cafes, d.light design, a manufacturer and distributor of solar lighting and power products providing access to reliable, affordable, renewable energy for nearly 30 million people in 60 countries, and Sunrise Banks, a Minnesota community bank supporting affordable housing, small business development, and not-for-profits.

The ‘Best for the World’ companies come from 31 different industries such as manufacturing, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and real estate.  A majority operate in a service industry, including 17 honorees in financial services and 15 in environmental consulting. 30% of honorees are based outside the US, with 15 companies operating in emerging markets such as Afghanistan, Kenya and Colombia. (Full list of honorees here)

“Employees, consumers, investors, and policy makers increasingly want to support companies that create a positive impact in the world and the Best for the World honorees are the best of the best,” said Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab, the nonprofit organization that certifies B Corporations and governs the independent third party standard used to generate the comparable assessment of corporate impact. “It’s particularly inspiring that 21% of the 2014 honorees are first time winners but long time B Corps. They’re winning the race to the top.”

Each honored company is a Certified B Corporation. They use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems and have met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today there are over 970 certified B Corporations, across 60 industries and 32 countries, unified by one common goal: to redefine success in business.

B Lab will release separate lists recognizing the companies ‘Best for the Environment’ (environmental impact), ‘Best for the Community’ (community impact), and ‘Best for Workers’ (employee impact) throughout 2014.
Full release available here

Do you have B-Corp Aspirations?

Share your thoughts below in the comments …

Make Money While You Play

SkiingIn my experience, most people – employees and business owners alike – have the desire to work less and play more while making more money.   I fall into this category myself and I have an answer.

Many years ago, when I was on the management team at Whistler Mountain, I was permitted to ski during my work day as long as the work was done.  I was a supervisor in the data processing department and my boss didn’t think the work was ever done, so I didn’t get to ski.  My boss liked to keep information to herself and she was always busy.  I believe it was because she thought she would be indispensable, which of course, is an illusion.

Things were about to change dramatically the second year when she announced her pregnancy.  She was forced  to share her knowledge and prepare me to take over while she’d be off for 6 months.  Training started slowly but then, as a result of complications with her pregnancy, my training became a crash course – and then she was gone for about a year.

  1. Login
  2. Go to
  3. Open
  4. Click
  5. Enter “xxxxxxxx”
  6. Tab

… and so on.

 

During that time, I took the opportunity to implement something I’d learned as a manager at McDonald’s Restaurants – I created a training manual with each and every task we were responsible for doing.  The manual was a piece of work!  It outlined with absolute detail step by step what to do.  Each line started with a verb and explained one activity to do.  If there was a “caution” to be aware of, it was outlined right there and then.

The manual was so thorough that when I needed to bring in others to help with time sensitive projects (e.g. seasons passes or yearly tax reports), they could pick up the manual and get to work without any need for training from me.

The manual was also the reason why I skied for a few hours almost every day that season.   You see, my team knew exactly what to do, what to watch out for and how to fix problems – without me.  I had delegated away my job – and I loved it!  Needless to say, my boss was not a happy camper when she came back and I left shortly thereafter.  If she hadn’t come back though, I would have had the ammunition to request a raise because I had created efficiencies within the department.  I would also have had more money in addition to the play time I’d created.

When I created my business in 1996, I took the same approach.  In order to maintain consistency for the customer experience, while minimizing errors and unproductive time, each and every task was documented and updated as we evolved.  As part of the onboarding process, new employees were given the manual and taught how to use it.   They were instructed to update it if it was unclear – as long as they followed the same format.  As part of our culture we continuously looked for ways to do things better and to wow our customers, so the manual was always being updated.  Again, it was a piece of work, however, this time it looked a whole lot better too because we were able to capture screen shots with highlights and captions too, which was better for those who learn visually.

The second part of making money while I played – and slept – was a result of the business model I chose.   I firmly believe in the “make it once, sell it multiple times” mindset, so I had commissioned software to be developed to streamline administration of incentive and loyalty programs.  After the software was built, we were able to sell it over and over again.

Because of the systemization and the “make money while I played” model, I was able to go on multiple vacations each year with my family and still make money.  I suspect I actually made more money as I wasn’t there to “interrupt” my team!   The highlight of my approach was when I spent a month in Europe with my husband, daughters and Mother-in-law.  I would check in every couple of days to get an update and answer any questions and I would login to the software to spot-check work and check to see how much we’d made.

Although I no longer use my software, I still use the make-money-while-you-play model combined with systemization.  I write books, create courses, devise formulas (the F.O.R.C.E. Formula™ for reinventing business is one of them), produce events — including my Reinvention Show— and I speak on stage and as a guest on podcasts and other shows.  With systemized processes, I can outsource the parts that don’t require me.  And to be honest, when I have systemized everything there will be no need for me to do anything except for create, lead, mentor, teach and play.

The keys for you to work less, play more and make more money are simple:

  • With your customers in mind, review every process, procedure and task to ensure that it contributes to a positive customer experience while also contributing to your profit.
  • Adjust any policies, processes and procedures that are not producing a positive customer experience while also being profitable
  • Review your business for passive income opportunities
  • Review your business for recurring revenue opportunities
  • Now systemize everything – outlining which elements of a process or procedure must be done each and every time and which elements are open to employee discretion within predefined parameters.
    • For example, non-negotiable elements will include safety, security and handling of confidential and proprietary information.  Other non-negotiable elements will be based on standard operating procedures to ensure consistency in your customers’ experiences with your organization.  Discretion may be based on how to handle complaints or requests.  My team was encouraged to look for ways to “wow” a customer, so if, for example, a reward was backordered from our regular vendors, they were allowed to go to alternate vendors.

How do you make money while you play?

Share your thoughts below in the comments …

2

The Quadruplets of Discontent – Mind-game Specialists

change ahead

The Quadruplets of Discontent are 4 little “darlings” which will mess with your reinvention so it’s important that you are aware of them.  I’ve had intimate conversations with each of them, which is why the cartoons are meant to resemble me (albeit with less wrinkles and a fitter body!)  Sometimes we’re best friends, which seems great at the time – commiserating in our illusions of what will never be – and other times, now that I know what they are up to, I’m soooo not buying what they are selling.

You will notice the Quadruplets of Discontent (aka the Quads) popping up just when you least expect it.  You will likely also have a predominant Quad at any given time.  A few years ago, when I had my pity party, my predominant Quad was Victim.  She doesn’t pop up at all now but I know she could, if circumstances change.

Introducing the Quadruplets of Discontent

Victim smVictim is the baby of the family.  She never gets heard or seen.  It’s always about everyone else.  If Victim was in the Brady Bunch, she would be Jan.  “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia”, is what Victim would say.  Victim feels powerless to change her situation.  She just can’t (imagine saying this with a whiny voice).  She doesn’t have enough money; she has children she needs to put first; her partner wouldn’t approve and when it comes to her work there is no way she can change anything there.  Victim constantly complains, she tolerates what doesn’t work for her and she whines about her situation.  She also finds boatloads of evidence to prove she is a victim who is powerless to change.  The most annoying trait of Victim is she is an “Askhole” – she consistently asks for help and advice yet she does exactly the opposite of what you tell her.  Her friends and other “siblings” see her as a little girl, unwilling to do what she needs to do to change her situation.

 


Saboteur01 smSaboteur
is perhaps the most dangerous because she excels at looking good but inside she is a mess. Saboteur is all about destructive behavior – she is the one who will destroy your chances of success. Saboteur wants to keep you exactly where you are at because Saboteur is scared of change.  When you have a deadline, Saboteur will give you an arm-lengths worth of distractions and excuses so you either miss your deadline or are so time-deprived you do a crappy job. Saboteur will also push away your girlfriends and other support people when you need help the most.  Saboteur is like Alexis Carrington, from the TV show, “Dynasty” except instead of trying to destroy someone else, she is attempting to destroy you and your chances of success.

Saboteur is popping up every time I sit to write this blog post – oh, I should check Facebook to see if anyone has liked my last post – and while I’m there, perhaps I’ll engage with my friends – you know, so my popularity increases along with my Klout!  Oh, Saboteur, get out of my head, I have work to do!

Hypocrite02 sm

 

Hypocrite is going to take all the advice and recommendations you receive – the ones the you get through after Victim says she doesn’t know how to answer and Saboteur tells you why you don’t have time to answer – and then tells you to ignore what you’ve uncovered.  Hypocrite will tell you not to do stuff which is congruent with your core values and convince you to do things against your core values.  Hypocrite will have you telling the world you do things one way but you really don’t practice what you preach; and Hypocrite lets your little girl run the show instead of being in your power.  Hypocrite and Victim are best buddies because they play off each other so well.  Hypocrite is like Sandy from the movie “Grease” – she had her values yet she changed everything about herself for Danny.

 

 


Fraudster01 smFraudster
is going to mess with you as you progress through your journey.  After you manage to navigate through Victim’s whining about being powerless to change and Saboteur’s attempts to derail you and Hypocrite’s manipulation in an attempt to take away your power, good old Fraudster will pop in for tea to say you aren’t good enough to do what you want to do.  Fraudster will say your success is a fluke and you haven’t got any real talent.  Fraudster will say you are scamming people because you don’t deserve to be a leader in your chosen field.  Fraudster will even say you aren’t good enough to do what you do.  Fraudster will pop up every time something good comes your way and she will smack you down.  She’s quite a talented little b’yatch, skilled at keeping you uncomfortably comfortable . Fraudster has another name which isn’t nearly as cool – Imposter Syndrome – which many of us can relate to.  I initially struggled to find just the right Fraudster but then it came to me – Fraudster is Alexander “Alex” Owens – the welder / exotic dancer who aspires to be a ballet dancer in the movie Flashdance.

What lessons do you take from this post?

Share your thoughts below in the comments …

STAR Businesses are Resourceful

Coffee Cup

The “R” in STAR Business stands for “Resourceful” which means that STAR Business owners leverage what they already have.

They leverage their relationships with employees, customers, strategic partners, vendors, investors and their network.

They leverage their expertise by becoming known as the “go to person” for traditional media and new media.

They leverage their resources by licensing their intellectual property, leasing out unused office space, creating new revenue streams and otherwise ensuring that nothing goes to waste.

STAR Business entrepreneurs are creative.  They believe there is no box to think outside because the box is simply an illusion.  They are constantly looking for ways to be innovative.  They lead businesses that would create an edible coffee cup like the one in this post — first you drink your coffee, then you eat your cookie!   They develop a culture where they encourage innovation; they embrace failure as part of the learning process and  they give their employees opportunities to contribute to the success of the business.

Yes, opportunities to contribute to the success — which means their employees know exactly what the vision is for the business and how they fit into the vision.  They know what is expected of them each and every day.  They know what is non-negotiable and what is open to discussion.  They know how much latitude they have to make the day of their customers or their co-workers. The employees also know the door for innovation is also open for them to contribute.

Entrepreneurs who lead STAR businesses hire for the attitude and potential of their employees rather than relying solely on skill or education because skill and experience can be taught.   These STAR entrepreneurs then tap into the potential of their employees, which not only creates better employee engagement but positively impacts the business so it becomes more attractive to customers, investors, vendors and strategic partners.

Resourcefulness extends beyond their employees though.  STAR entrepreneurs engage with their customers in a genuine dialogue.  They are consistently looking for ways to impress and engage their best customers.  They ask for feedback.  They ensure the customers are happy.  They immediately fix anything that is out of alignment between expectations and what is delivered.  STAR entrepreneurs leverage these positive relationships by asking for — and receiving — referrals.

STAR entrepreneurs also create more opportunities to sell more to their customers.  They cross-sell and upsell.  They add new products.  They enter into strategic alliances with complementary companies so that their customers don’t have to go looking for solutions to other problems they have.  Likewise, they offer their services and products to the customers of their strategic partners, which expands their reach.

STAR businesses are STARs because they put people first.  They are Sustainable.  They Transform lives.  They are Attractive and they are Resourceful.   They are also profitable, which — at the end of the day — is our primary purpose.  It’s the only way we can continue to make a difference in this wonderful world.

What is a S.T.A.R. Reinvention?

Star_Logo_Final

People ask me all the time “What is the difference between reinvention and adaptation?” and my answer is that adaptation is like a chameleon whereas reinvention is like a caterpillar.

The chameleon adapts and changes according to its surroundings yet you always recognize it as a chameleon.  On the other hand, the caterpillar is unrecognizable when it becomes a butterfly.

Reinvention is the same — you don’t just adapt, your reinvention process makes you unrecognizable to those who knew you or your business beforehand.

For those who choose to reinvent their health, the physical changes will be like night and day.  When someone leaves a dysfunctional relationship, you will notice a huge change in the person physically, emotionally and mentally.  For business owners who reinvent their business — their business model, product line, service standards, corporate culture, marketing strategies or operations, the change is obvious to everyone.

So why do some reinventions work and others don’t?

Part of the equation is the commitment of the person leading the reinvention, however the main reason is that they lack the four pillars of a successful reinvention.

S = Sustainable

T = Transformational

A = Attractive

R = Resourceful

Sustainable

I think it goes without saying that a reinvention that isn’t sustainable shouldn’t be attempted.   As I mentioned above, your commitment is the first step.  However, can you keep going over the long term?  How innovative is your reinvention?  Having a focus on sustainability is the key for a S.T.A.R Reinvention.

Transformational

A reinvention transforms lives — your life and the lives of those around you.  A S.T.A.R. reinvention transforms those lives in a positive way.

If you are reinventing your business, your employees lives will be transformed — especially when you adopt a culture which supports employee engagement (changing culture is hard but not impossible).  When you reinvent your business it will transform the lives of your customers when you adopt a customer-centric focus delivered by engaged employees.  Your vendors will be transformed — some will no longer be needed, replaced by others more aligned to your new vision.  Your strategic alliance partners will be transformed too as you give them more to work with.

Attractive

A S.T.A.R. Reinvention is attractive — it attracts the people you want to have around you.  Employees, vendors, customers, strategic partners, friends, lovers — they want to support you and your vision for your reinvention.

Resourceful

When you tap into what is already inside you, what you already have and what is available to you, your reinvention is a whole lot easier.  S.T.A.R. reinventionists are always resourceful in a positive way!

What lessons do you take from this post?

Share your thoughts below in the comments …

F.O.R.C.E. Formula™ – Create More Profit and Time Off in Your Business

FO.R.C.E.-DVD-300x300

The F.O.R.C.E. Formula is all about creating more profit from your current success.

It covers 5 areas of your business

F = Foundation
O = Operations
R = Reach
C = Customer Experience
E = Employee Experience

 

Foundation – Are You and Your Business Aligned?

In my 18 years of hands-on experience as an entrepreneur who specializes in performance improvement and engagement, the success of a business comes from an important place – the “Inner You”. 

You can achieve a level of success without paying attention to the “inner you”.  However, if you are not in alignment with your business at the core of who you are – what your core values are, what your ideal lifestyle looks like and your passions and purpose,  at some point you WILL get stuck.  Some people get stuck getting out of the gate, others get stuck when outside factors test them beyond their “unconscious competence”.     Everyone gets stuck at some point in their journey though and the cause of many of the “sticking-points” are from within.

The Inner You is the place where all of our decisions come from.  When they are working in our favour we don’t tend to think too much about them – we credit our intellect, experience, risk-tolerance, timing, intuition and/or planning.  What we often fail to see is that it’s our beliefs that contribute to our success – our belief in ourselves AND it is also our beliefs that trip us up.

If you want to take your business to a new level – a level you have been unable to achieve so far – you need to take a look inside and see what is going on before making your plans.

Foundation also takes a look at where you are at with your numbers.  Your revenue, gross profit, net profit, number of customers, customer lifetime value, number of prospects, size of your list and other variables that will be used as your benchmark.

Your Operations

Are you operating in a way that is attracting the right people that aligns with your vision?  This is why we start with your foundation – including identifying what you really want and what you are tolerating.  Have you created a business with policies and procedures which annoy your customers and make it difficult for your employees to achieve your vision?  Remember, the decisions you make come from the “inner you” – why did you make the decisions in the first place?  Were you coming from a powerful place when you made those decisions or were there other things in play?

Your Reach

Are you creating an attractive business?  Are you attracting your ideal customers?  Are you growing your tribe of supporters – which includes customers, prospects, referral partners, joint venture partners, employees and prospective employees, vendors, investors and admirers? 

How successful are your current marketing activities?  Have you changed your marketing activities to keep up with the changes in the marketplace or are you still doing the same old things you’ve always done?  Are you trying new ways to reach your ideal customer?  Are you leveraging your expertise and positioning yourself as an expert in the eyes of those you wish to attract?

Your Customer Experience

Your customers’ experiences are the culmination of every decision  you have ever made – from the people you hire, your policies and procedures, your budget allocation decisions, the consistency of service, the quality of your product, through to the various marketing messages you create and all sorts of decisions in between.

If there is one sure-fire way to know that things are out of alignment it’s to take a look at what your customers are saying (or not saying) and doing (or not doing!)

The key to winning the customer loyalty battle is to consistently offer exactly what your marketing messages promise.   Have you cut back on staff to save on payroll costs – and as a result your customers are abandoning their shopping carts – perhaps permanently?  Do you promise speed and efficiency but some days it’s not very speedy or efficient – it depends on who is working?   The discrepancy between your promise and reality is what causes people to complain bitterly so it’s really quite simply – you either change your message to match your experience or you change your experience to match your message.  A heart-centered high achiever will likely choose the latter.

Your Employee Experience

What’s it like to have you as a boss?  Have  you stopped to find out?   S.T.A.R. Businesses have very specific requirements for those they hire  because they understand that the customer experience is controlled by the employees. If you don’t currently have employees, think about the people you delegate tasks to.

Have you shared your vision with your employees?  Do they know exactly what they HAVE to do and what latitude they have in delivering your vision?  Do they truly understand just how important they are to achieving your vision?

Your role in a S.T.A.R. Business is to hire slowly and well; train using your systems; coach; mentor and back-away so your employees can shine.  The result?  You don’t work as much – in fact you actually have time to have fun while also working on WAYS TO LEVERAGE everything you’ve built so far – while your employees deliver your brand promise with each and every touch point they have with your customers.

For some entrepreneurs, this may seem like a dream come true.  I’m here to tell you, there is no feeling like it!  I’ve done it myself – in my own business – after practicing and successfully implementing the systems aspect I teach while I was part of the management team at Whistler Mountain ski resort.

Imagine taking 4 vacations a year – one of them a month long – with your family, knowing that you simply need to check-in to answer questions, provide direction and appreciate your team while your business continues to generate revenue every day!

What lessons do you take from this lesson?

Share your thoughts below in the comments …

Carol Wain’s Kolbe A Index

Kolbe-A-Results

Carol’s talents.

When he/she is at his/her best, Carol starts problem solving with Quick Start:

  1. Carol begins a project by brainstorming.
  2. Next, Carol checks facts.
  3. Then, he/she looks for several alternative routes.
  4. Finally, he/she will look for pre-made solutions.

Carol’s Natural Strengths

There are four Kolbe Action Modes® indentified across the top of the Kolbe Chart. Each Action Mode represents a natural pattern of behavior that helps you make better decisions — your natural strengths.

Improvising (8 in Quick Start)

Carol deals with risks and uncertainty by Improvising.
For instance, he/she might:

    • Create a sense of urgency
    • Initiate change
    • Improvise solutions
    • Experiment
    • Promote alternatives
    • Initiate innovation
    • Originate options
    • Generate slogans
    • Defy the odds
    • Ad lib stories and presentations

Explaining (5 in Fact Finder)

Carol gathers and shares information by Explaining.
For instance, he/she might:

  • Create documentation and instructions
  • Review the data
  • Edit the details
  • Work within priorities
  • Start with the highest probability
  • Use terms properly
  • Respond appropriately
  • Test analogies
  • Consider all of the evidence
  • Rewrite and fact-check written materia

Adapting (3 in Follow Thru)

Carol arranges and designs by Adapting.
For instance, he/she might:

  • Create shortcuts
  • Revise approaches
  • Thrive on interruptions
  • Diversify
  • Switch tasks frequently
  • Be flexible
  • Cut through bureaucracy
  • Do several things at once
  • Keep everything accessible
  • Find ways around problems

Imagining (2 in Implementor)

Carol handles space and tangibles by Imagining.
For instance, he/she might:

  • Create abstract images
  • Conceptualize solutions
  • Envision circumstances
  • Capture the essence
  • Symbolically portray
  • Find intangible methods
  • Create temporary fixes
  • Mass produce
  • Deal with abstractions
  • Concoct out of thin air

Higher Purpose – Stage 6 of the Entrepreneur’s Journey

6-Stages-Entrepreneur-Journey

Stage 6 of the Entrepreneur’s Journey is one that very few traditional entrepreneurs reach, although Enlightened Capitalists™ have been embracing it all along.

Enlightened Capitalists™ create a business or reinvent their business so that it has a higher purpose which aligns with their personal higher purpose.  Of course, this means that they took the time to determine what that higher purpose is.

If you are on your Entrepreneurial Journey at one of the lower stages then I suggest you contemplate what your higher purpose is and take steps to align it with your work.

If you are at Stage 1 then I highly recommend understanding what this is and building it into the work you do so it becomes part of the business DNA.

When I was back in Stage 1 of my business reinvention, I bounced from one stage 1 to another stage 1 a total of three times.

I realized that while I could have continued on with the next version of Carol the Entrepreneur with the first two attempts at reinventing my business, they weren’t aligned to what I wanted for my life.

This turned out to be extremely wise — although I didn’t know how wise I was being at the time.  I just knew that what I was building wasn’t going to bring me joy and give me the items I’d listed when doing the “What I Want” exercise.

I’d done the Ideal Day in the Ideal Lifestyle exercise and I knew that what I was building wasn’t going to get me there so I created a new path.  It was while I was on this path that I discovered what my higher purpose is while at a conference.

I was terrified of the responsibility though, so I didn’t pursue it for a couple of years.

Ripple-Graphic-8-01It’s no surprise that I floundered during those years because I wasn’t doing what I’m here to do.  However, when I finally accepted the challenge things started to change for me.    It’s how I came up with the Enlightened Capitalist™ division of my business and it’s how I’m going to change lives globally (which is my higher purpose).

The Enlightened Capitalist™ division’s purpose and higher purpose is to reinvent business to transform lives.

My vision includes changing the dialogue about how business is conducted.  As the leader, I am passionate about bringing humanity back to business by tapping into the desires and potential of people so that they willingly support the purpose, vision, core values, strategy and goals of the business.  With engaged people profit increases and it’s that profit (or a percentage of it) which transforms lives.

I’m leading a movement to bring Enlightened Capitalist™ concepts to the mainstream.  Our planet, our economy, our communities and we, personally, need this to happen sooner rather than later.   Join us…

What is your higher purpose?

Believe_in_SomethingWe all have one.  Sometimes it takes a bit of digging and soul searching to find out.  However, when you identify exactly what it is, you may find that you’ve been dancing around it all along.  That’s what happened with me.

I’d been reinventing myself and my business since day 1, which is where the reinvention part came from.

I’ve been advocating for employee engagement and customer experience since I started my business back in 1996.

I’ve been involved with performance improvement since 1996 and now I consult, mentor and teach corporate leaders and entrepreneurs how to improve performance.

I wanted to be a teacher when I was a child — and now I teach people how to reinvent their business to transform lives.

I have been an entrepreneur since I was a child and now I teach entrepreneurs how to avoid the pitfalls many entrepreneurs have

When the offer to write the Guerrilla Tourism Marketing book was presented I knew I had to write it, even though I’d never thought of writing a book, let alone a marketing book.  I just “had to”.  Now I’m in the process of writing a book for entrepreneurs to become Enlightened Capitalists™.

When I just had to go to that conference, even though I didn’t know why I was being pulled to it, and I had that weird experience, I finally understood.

Look back in your own experiences, your own dreams, your own childhood wishes and you’ll discover clues to your higher purpose.  Marry those clues with your ideal day in your ideal lifestyle and what you want for your life and the veil of uncertainty about what it is will be lifted.  We all have a higher purpose and Enlightened Capitalists™ build it into the DNA of their business.

Live life on purpose and your life will transform — that’s what I’m here to do