I recently had the opportunity to watch “Superman Returns,” the latest cinematic release on the feats of my boyhood idol. I can recall the wonder and joy I had watching the TV show and it was fascinating to relive that in the big-screen format. During the film, I came to realize how much people want a savior and hero like Superman.
Prospects and clients often ask what the difference is between clients who succeed with the business development process and those who don’t. It’s an intriguing question and one that we’ve recently begun to explore by asking other Certified E-Myth Consultants to survey their client results to add to our data. The preliminary information appears to be so overwhelming that I’m quite sure it will be supported by what other consultants and business coaches will have found. Those clients who succeed don’t view their business as the only thing that needs to change, but rather they recognize at a very core level that they need to change. Let me rephrase this to emphasize this point: The clients who have the greatest success in business development understand working on the business means working on themselves. They recognize that in order for the business to change, they first must change and make a personal commitment it. Where does that tell you Superman/woman resides?
To support this theory, here are some of my most significant examples of successful clients.
Example No. 1:
A computer software company that specializes in the power sports industry: This client’s business was stagnant when we started working together. He actually wanted to wait two months because his cash flow wasn’t strong enough to support our efforts. However, within the first six months, he and his staff created a system that eliminated his cash flow problems to the extent that he has not had this problem since. His sales increased dramatically over the following two to three years, his expenses went down and he realized a profit for the first time after several years of losses. His business is doing so well that he expanded its offices and made several investments in capital expenditures (to reduce the tax burden from doing so much better). After years of procrastinating on changing his business software to a Windows-based system, he finally initiated this change and last November, the business saw a 56 percent increase in sales over the best month in its history.
How did he achieve this? Certainly through following the business development work we suggested but also by working vigorously on himself. He went on a diet and lost over 30 pounds. He began to explore more spiritual and educational opportunities that greatly expanded his knowledge and capacity to communicate with others and be open-minded. He now sees life as a journey and constantly is striving to improve himself. He also coaches basketball and runs youth clinics in the summer. Amid all this, he still finds time from late spring to early fall to takes a week off every three weeks to enjoy his vacation home in the Ozark’s with his wife, and frequently family and staff join him. He’s working on building a new home that with his engineering background, he intends to be entirely self sustaining and self-sufficient.
Example No. 2:
An attorney from California started our program with a near immediate need. He had just lost two staff members and, with a three-week vacation to France just ahead, we scrambled to build a recruiting process and help him feel secure that he could still take the trip. The process has had its ups and downs. He would admit that it took some learning to developing an effective recruiting and hiring process. Yet, after several attempts he now has an exceptional staff fully involved and engaged in the system and business development process. They are thoroughly evolving and changing their client fulfillment process to make it more customer friendly. Through September this year, the business already was $33,000 ahead of their best year ever with three months left to grow that margin.
This client also has done an extensive amount of work on himself. Since starting our work together, he has participated in Landmark Forum, has joined Alcoholics Anonymous and has made several other personal development commitments. He joined a boxing gym; he cycles, and is a dedicated member of the board of trustees of a local hospital and commits himself to many social and civic events.
Example No. 3
A realtor who owns rental property and a construction company in addition to his national franchise business started the program when his real estate business was seeing about $30 million in sales, his construction company was floundering and he was spending most of his time selling real estate. During the Primary Aim discovery process, he determined the reason he was spending so much time working with homebuyers and sellers is because they were motivated. Many of his agents were not. In fact, those agents were laying the blame for their lack of productivity at his doorstep, and this was a huge negative in his life so he tended to avoid them. The decision he made was to give these agents an ultimatum: fix things or find another place to ruminate and stagnate. His firm was going to be in a growth pattern, and only agents who wanted to grow would be included.
Sales shot up as he began to recruit new agents. In one year, he nearly doubled his revenues and over the following five years he tripled his agency revenues. In the meantime, he’s started an escrow company that virtually operates on its own.
This gentleman also spends countless hours improving himself. Early mornings are spent exercising and meditating. He is a personal and professional development fiend, constantly thirsting to increase his knowledge and self-awareness.
One of the greatest values that Business Development and working with a business coach provides is the steady, consistent, weekly effort to work on yourself and on your business. Unfortunately, the same is true for what makes this effort also fail. Without the investment in working on your business — which means working ON yourself — you will not get results. Failing to recognize that the process of building your business requires first changing yourself will lead to simply continuing to do things the way you’ve always been doing them and getting the same outcome.
The hero or savior we are all looking for really exists within each of us. We have the power to mold and make our lives into whatever we want if only we have the desire to do it. If you’re looking for Superman\woman, you don’t have to look too far. He\she stares back at you every day in the mirror.
Not sure you’re ready to make the plunge to business development work? Not sure you want to work on yourself? Take the short plunge in our six-week Get Your Year In Gear program. It will tell you a lot about yourself and your desire to make changes. It will set the course for a solid 2007.