The power of giving

‘You can get anything you want out of life if you see that enough other people get what they want.’ – Zig Ziglar

Giving has always worked for me. The Law of Reciprocity states that once you give something to someone, they are far more likely to respond favourably to you. Other times, you give and don’t see a quick return, but sooner or later, often in ways you’d never expect, it all balances out.

I’ve made giving a core philosophy. On occasion though, I still have a bad day, worrying about my problems, screaming to get my own needs filled. Focusing on oneself is hard work. It’s far easier to focus on others.

Giving something with the expectation of an immediate return works, but giving a real gift, forgetting your needs and focusing on what other people want, will give you a much better return. The universe will never stay out of balance. You will attract everything you desire and more. All you have to do is give, and the Law of Reciprocity will always pay you back.

‘We can do no great things, only small things with great love.’ – Mother Teresa

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

What would you do with an extra 30 days per year?

“I have only just a minute,
Only sixty seconds in it.
Forced upon me, can’t refuse it.
Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it.
But it’s up to me to use it,
I must suffer if I lose it,
Give account if I abuse it.
Just a tiny little minute,
But eternity is in it.”

– Author Unknown

Time is not renewable. Once it is gone, it’s gone forever. We can try to make up for lost time, but we can never replace it. It is essential that we recognise the value of our time, and that we respect it.

What would you do with an extra 30 days a year? That’s a whole month! I know what I’d do, and it would be very valuable to my clients!

All you need to do is grab one extra hour every day and you’ve achieved that goal.

Here are some things you can do that will easily achieve this:

  • Plan your day the night before, and set your alarm to wake up one hour earlier. You can use this golden hour to effectively plan what will make this a successful day.
  • Make a will-do list and stick to it. It’s sometimes challenging to do everything that you want to do in a day, so make a will-do list, things that will actually save you time in the long run.
  • Watch out for time thieves. These time vampires are lurking everywhere. Be mindful of others who waste your time. Cutting down on wasted emails, phone calls, interruptions and meetings can easily buy you back some valuable time.
  • Delegate effectively. This will give you time to focus on the tasks that only you can perform. Can you get someone to help you with admin or follow-up work? This will free you up to do the tasks only you can complete.
  • Work hardest at the times when you are most alert and have more energy. This could be early morning or late afternoon. All of us are most efficient and effective at certain times, so achieve more when you are feeling at your best.

I guarantee that if you take action on the ideas from this list, that it will drive you to achieve more in less time and you will create positive energy from gaining a valuable extra hour every day. Go for it!   

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

Motivated people can move the world

“Nothing is impossible; the word itself says I’m possible.” – Victor Aguirre

In a recent review of my book by a local newspaper I was described as a “motivational writer”. I sensed that she felt that this description somehow degraded me. It didn’t. Since the launch of my book I’ve learnt that newspaper journalists have a lower regard for writing created to “inspire”. I find it strange as I believe that inspiring writing should be a cornerstone of their craft.

I am happy that my writing sometimes has the effect of motivating and inspiring people. I find it difficult to comprehend what is wrong with that. If she meant to imply that my work doesn’t have substance she should have said so. Still, a lot of journalists have the idea that motivating people is somehow less legitimate than, say, just providing them with facts and information.

I can’t say for sure when motivation became the heart of my writing, but I think it began when I became a business growth consultant and realised that I couldn’t simply force clients to execute my ideas. If I wanted them to follow my recommendations, I would need to motivate them to do so and strengthen it by re-enforcing the ideas with facts.

When I make presentations to a group, my goal is to motivate my audience to take massive action. I want the delegates to take action by using the same persuasive techniques that I teach marketers to use in selling their products and services. Wherever possible, my ideas are presented through stories, because emotive stories have the power to inspire.

What has all this talk about motivation got to do with you and your business?

If you want your business to grow profitably and consistently, you must understand that your job as chief motivator will never stop. You should be willing to interact personally with everyone who reports to you and constantly communicate with them. You must guide them as your role is to inspire and educate. You should praise, and on occasions correct them with honesty and clarity.

Allow me to give you an example of how important employee motivation is to the success of a business. Over the past six months I have been involved with a client whose business had faltered with alarming speed.

I began by meeting with his key employees and trying to understand what they were doing, what they were proud of, what their competitors were doing, what was working, what was not working, and what business bottlenecks were frustrating them and slowing them down. Based on my findings, I recommended some radical changes in the structure and strategy of the business. Some people needed to leave the company. In deciding which people to keep, the deciding factor was to retain employees who were flexible, open to change and could implement new ideas. By eliminating the people who were beyond being motivated, the opportunity for sustainable growth was created.

Once a solid core of people that could be motivated remained, then the strategies and ideas for turning the business around could be tested. The business managed an extraordinary turnaround in three months. The improvement was only partially due to the new ideas introduced. Most of it was due to the fact that the entire team was motivated to execute the ideas with purpose and passion.

A motivated person is an unstoppable person!

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

How to beat your ‘Upper Limit Problem’

An Upper Limit Problem (ULP) is a concept defined in Gay Hendrick’s book, The Big Leap.

The key idea is this: Each of us possesses an inner thermostat that determines the amount of success, love, happiness and wealth that we allow ourselves. This is our upper limit setting and when we exceed our setting, we tend to sabotage ourselves so that we can return to the old, familiar comfort zone where we feel safer. Your thermostat was probably set well before you could think for yourself, usually in early childhood.

When we exceed our internal thermostat by achieving something significant, it blows the mercury in our thermostat and creates discomfort. Something negative sabotages the success or positivity created: we get injured, computer meltdowns happen, family and relational issues arise, we overeat, become wasteful and fall ill. We start looking for external reasons for our disappointment, we start playing the blame game and slowdown any possible success with self-sabotage. We create a stampede of negative emotions to stop our progress.

Why do we allow this to happen? Because it brings us back down to our normal range of capacity where we feel most comfortable.

How can you eliminate your upper limit problem? Awareness is the first step to understanding how you conquer the problem. Your belief system is at the root of this challenge. Unless you fully understand the reason for this upper limit problem, you may erroneously believe that you’re not good enough, flawed or simply not deserving to handle a big jump in your success, circumstances or happiness.

A simple example of this upper limit problem is lottery winners. They instantly achieve incredible wealth way beyond their limits which creates a pressure situation that they are unable to manage. The majority of big lottery winners end up broke and unhappy. Another example is the drug dealer who leaves the case filled with money behind because he does not have ability to manage the responsibility and pressure of massive wealth. It happens!

Every single living person has varying degrees of ‘upper limit problems’.

Be aware that any time you’re in the midst of busting through your own upper limits, it’s bound to be a little daunting and uncomfortable. You may want to pull back and contract to the safety of your comfort zone. Don’t! Hang with the discomfort. It’s a good sign that you’re limit is expanding. It means you’ve just increased your capacity to experience a higher level of wealth, happiness, success and love.

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

The Power of Believing

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.” – Henry Ford

A big part of your personal and business success is linked to your mindset. I am extremely fascinated in how the mind works and I spend every spare moment reading up on what affects our thinking, behaviour and actions.

Most people mistake their beliefs for the truth. Even if it’s not in their best interest, some people resign themselves to their fate because they mistakenly accept a belief as true.

The possibilities that exist in your reality are defined by your beliefs. When you say something is impossible it actually becomes impossible for you. If you believe life is difficult, you will experience things not going the way you wanted them to go as daunting obstacles rather than exciting opportunities. If you believe “I’m not capable” or “I’m not competent”, would you likely try to do something you weren’t sure you could do? And if you tried, do you think you would succeed with these self-limiting beliefs?

Beliefs operate at the subconscious level. Most people are unaware of their subconscious beliefs, which are often in conflict with their conscious thoughts. For example, a person may consciously be seeking love, but subconsciously they may feel unworthy. Unless their belief is made conscious and transmuted, it will continuously sabotage their best efforts.

We don’t believe what we see – We see what we believe! A good example is the placebo effect. Your beliefs can even directly affect your health. When pharmaceutical companies test a new drug, they do double blind studies where one group gets the real drug, while the other group gets a water tablet with nothing in it – this is known as the placebo. What’s fascinating is that a proportion of the people who get the placebo (the drug with nothing in it) get better. How do they get better? The only explanation is that because they believe they’re taking the real drug, their beliefs affect their body and their internal healing mechanism is activated. If you stop and think about that for a moment, the implications are staggering. It means your beliefs can directly influence your health. If your beliefs can help you recover from illness, do you not think it’s possible that your beliefs can also influence your business results and personal life?

The principle behind this thinking is called the Law of Attraction or “like attracts like.” In the world of quantum physics, we know that everything is energy. Everything has its own vibration, including a belief. People attract to themselves those experiences that match their existing belief system. They get to see what they believe, therefore they mostly attract what they believe (be this good or bad) – so be very careful about what you believe!

“The only ceiling in life is the one you give it.”Anonymous

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

It’s about time

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – Carl Sandburg

There is one person that controls your life. This person controls what you eat, when you wake-up, whether you exercise or not, whether you choose to eat healthy or give in to fast food, how often you check Facebook, how much TV you view and what you do with your day. That divine ruler is YOU– no one else.

Do you handle time as money? Can you tell me what your time must be worth per hour to achieve your income goal? The driving question that I always ask myself is: Will this use of my time move me significantly closer to my important goals?

Time is the asset you own outright and have total control over. I don’t really need to follow you around and observe how you use your time to gauge how you’re doing in business. All I need do is have a peek at your diary, its appointments and plans and I will know whether you are serious about your job and life. The diary never lies. I always find that the sales people with a mostly empty diary always fail to meet their targets.

“Time slips. Days pass. Years fade. Life ends. And what we came to do on earth must be done while there is time!” – Milan Jed

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

The single biggest reason for sales decline and failure

Business FACT – If you don’t know and understand your audience, you’re missing out on revenue and profit opportunities.

Do you really know your target audience? Do you know what motivates them to buy your product or service? If you cannot answer these questions with absolute clarity then you are definitely not differentiating your product or service with a compelling and preemptive sales message.

Are you PRODUCT or CUSTOMER-driven? The biggest challenge facing business owners and managers today is poor sales or slow adoption of their products or services. Continuous poor sales performance will eventually destroy most businesses.

Most owners and managers ask – “Why are we doing so poorly?” The real fault is that they simply don’t understand the characteristics of the target audience and therefore cannot suitably satisfy their wants and needs.

Companies tend to fall into two distinct categories: product-driven and consumer-driven. Product-driven firms make a product or create a service and put it out for sale, waiting (and sometimes hoping and praying) for customers to buy.

Consumer-driven and focused businesses figure out exactly what their existing and potential customers want, and develop their product or service to satisfy those needs. This approach grows sales fast.

A good example of this is the RIM Corporation, producer of the Blackberry. They clearly illustrate how it’s not only essential to know your existing customers, but keep a pulse on prospective customer trends because rapid market shifts continually occur. Ten years ago Blackberry was the phone of choice until the advent of Apple’s iPhone. Apple identified and then combined consumer desire for mobile access to communications and a computer, and packaged it as a very desirable high-tech product. The result was an instant new market leader. They totally disrupted Blackberry’s position in the market.

In today’s fast-moving market it is very dangerous being a product-driven business. You are vulnerable if you don’t know enough or make assumptions about your existing and potential customers. The result of this is that most of your marketing will never connect with your customers. This means that a lot of your advertising is probably wasteful.

Critically, remember that your target audience is not a standing army; it’s more like a marching parade, constantly changing. You should frequently be re-evaluating your target audience and updating the profile of who they are, what they need and what inspires them. This will help you to develop well-targeted products, services and marketing efforts that will connect with your existing and prospective customers. The result is guaranteed sales and profit growth.

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

Smarter Networking – Your network is your net worth

We live in a time where relationship marketing and high trust selling are the keys to business growth and success. The most effective way to become a relationship expert is to build your networking skills.

Networking is all about developing business contacts and relationships that enable you to grow your business base. It is also about increasing your knowledge and building your profile in your company, industry and community.

A good definition is “Networking is the art of building win-win and reciprocal relationships that help individuals and their companies as a whole to achieve their goals”.

Networking is a two-way process – it’s about giving as well as receiving. As you build up your network of contacts you may find yourself able to refer or recommend people or use their services yourself. You will be amazed at the business that you can gain through careful networking and word-of-mouth, and no marketing is more powerful than positive word-of-mouth.

My own personal experience of networking has been very positive and I make an effort to gain at least one worthwhile relationship from every networking opportunity I get. And once you make a sincere effort to connect you seem to attract more and more business. A good networker really does reap what they sow.

Successful business networkers report that 80% of their new business is achieved through effective networking and word-of-mouth referrals. Recruitment experts tell me that over 50% of new positions in businesses are successfully filled using powerful networking strategies.

So how do we improve our networking skills? Networking can only happen once you’ve created an impact, built rapport and trust, and connected with the right contacts. Networking is not about going to conferences, parties, events or dinners, collecting business cards and trying hard to make a sale.

A professional networker has an effective thirty second elevator speech ready describing what they do and is crystal clear about their USP (Unique Selling Proposition). If you get a chance to speak for a few minutes about who you are and what you do, know your USP’s and have a short statement that effectively communicates it. How comfortable are you with your elevator speech? Can you clearly list your USP’s?

A great networker consciously demonstrates:

1.       That they like people – period!
2.       That they spend time with people that they like.
3.       That they are truly interested in the issues of others.
4.       That they are willing to share useful information.
5.       That they believe in friendship, trust and respect.

You don’t just want to network; you want to be a professional networker. A professional networker is someone who wants to develop a long-term relationship for mutual gain and who is prepared to work hard at that relationship. These contacts often become trusted friends and advisors.

Here are few good reasons for networking:

1.      Opening new business and career opportunities
2.      Gaining industry knowledge
3.      A way to influence key people
4.      A way of monitoring competitor activity
5.      A great source of new ideas
6.      A way of creating a stronger personal profile
7.      A means of growing your business
8.      Allowing you to share your experience

And here are a few key things to do:

1.     Be clear on what your networking goals are.
2.     Always have a big supply of business cards (you’ll be surprised how many people don’t). TIP – Are you using both sides of your business card to display valuable information? The reverse side on your business card is a great place to market.
3.     Always greet the organisers, sponsors and host.
4.     Always connect. Build rapport, trust and interest.
5.     Find out about people by asking questions. Resist the temptation to simply talk about yourself and your business. Rather be interested, not interesting.
6.     Never “sell”. Connect first; you will get your sales opportunities later.
7.     Continuously improve your communication skills.
8.     Reconnect with people that you have previously met.
9.     Enjoy yourself and relax.
10.   Follow up the people you meet with a brief email or letter.

 

Measure the success of your networking. How many new contacts made at networking events have ultimately led to more business? Which have proved to be the best events?

There you have it – become a professional networker and grow your profile, business and career opportunities. I hope that these tips, ideas and strategies assist you. Happy networking!

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free inbox magazine.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

Never, never, never give up!

The legendary leader Winston Churchill is famed for delivering the shortest commencement speech ever recorded in university history:

“Never give in. Never, never, never – in nothing great or small, large or petty – never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

What’s the implication? There are many. If you’re a small and struggling business or an individual facing challenges – take a deep breath, draw in your second wind, dust yourself off and jump back into the ring and fight, but not to fight only against your competition.

Rather, the fight must be against yourself – by fighting against being average, against mediocrity and against positioning yourself as a mere commodity. Fight to make yourself and your business be more visible, unique, desirable and valuable – far more valuable than your competition can possibly equal.

Another brilliant lesson from Churchill:

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

The key success question to ask yourself

“God gives us dreams a size too big so that we can grow into them.” Author Unknown

Many business owners and entrepreneurs struggle through their lives, asking themselves the wrong questions. They agonise over whether they are worthy of the goal they’ve pursued: becoming a successful business owner, making a six-figure income, outperforming their competitors, staying successful until they retire, amassing reasonable net worth and so on.

In my opinion, that is the absolute wrong question to be asking. The correct and only question I think that you should ask yourself is: Is the goal worthy of me?

You see, once you realise how much more you are fully capable of accomplishing, making, achieving, optimising, leveraging, producing and so forth – from the same time, effort, energy, opportunity or investment – you’ll start demanding, expecting and achieving many times more.

“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!”  Anne Frank

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za