My 100-Day Challenge!

My 100-Day Challenge!

By May of this year, one of our major clients hadn’t paid us for 2 months work, and then the news broke that its European arm had filed for insolvency. At that point, we had several projects ongoing and we were told we would be paid, so based on good faith we worked until the end of May, at which point our total outstanding balance was just under £40,000.

I have my goals, dreams, and ambitions, and I wasn’t going to let a client’s insolvency, or a pandemic stop me from achieving them! I hadn’t come this far to only come this far! Therefore, in the middle of May, based on the awful news from our client, I made a decision which was going to have an impact on my personal life but would hopefully help safeguard the immediate future of my business. I had decided to go for my 100-Day Challenge – for 100 days, I would be doing business development every single day, without fail, including weekends, no excuses. Truth be told, I had no other choice. Getting angry and worrying about the £40,000 wasn’t going to help me. As I’ve said in my vlogs and blogs before when faced with a problem, I look for solutions – and this was my solution, working my arse off to protect my business and keep dreams alive! To add to my woes, we were in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic meaning business was slow, and our business development manager had to go on furlough because he has 2 very young children.

I knew that if it was to be, it was up to me! I had to quickly get used to working long days during the week which involved projects, meetings, teamwork, running my business, and business development, and making the choice, not a sacrifice, of working weekends. Although some weekends would be full working days, I did make sure that after a month or so, I would work for only half the day – the house chores and shopping weren’t going to do themselves, and we were in lockdown, so I hardly had a choice of places to go to anyway! But, I had my focus and goals, this was me fighting hard for the survival of my business, and I wasn’t going to give up without a fight; it’s not in my nature to take any shit lying down! So, with my head up, eyes forward, and laser-focused on my short, medium- and long-term goals, I got going.

It’s been tough, most people didn’t reply, and I received many “no’s”, which I expected – I feel it’s better to receive a “no” rather than no reply because at least I’ve been acknowledged! Nevertheless, I persevered and with some luck, and help, my business is in a much healthier position now than it was 100 days ago! Nothing is a given, and although we have picked up some good new clients, and projects with existing clients, I know that had I not put in the effort from over 3 months ago, and actually told people about our situation, I wouldn’t have had any luck or help; I wasn’t going to let the silliness of pride get the better of me. I also believe in the “Law of Attraction”, you can call it prayer, belief, whatever you want, but if you want something from God, or the universe, or wherever, then it’s a simple 3-step process of “Ask, Believe, and Receive”, and I am happy and grateful to have asked, believed, and be receiving.

Talking about luck, I try to be a responsible business owner. I don’t take silly money out of my businesses and I had built enough capital in the bank to pay my staff for up to a year in the event of no work coming in. I think that’s common sense and smart, to run a business with some sort of slush fund to ride through rough times. It’s not easy finding good staff, so if your business or industry goes through a tough time, you want to be able to retain your team because if you put the effort in, better times will return and your staff will be there to spring back into action, as has happened with us.

From just over 3 months ago where I wondered, momentarily, about what was going to happen to my business, to now, where I’m hiring new staff, it is a 180° change! If you are going through a tough time, my simple advice is this: focus on your goals, get your head down, and do WHATEVER IT TAKES to keep your business going because that could be the difference between your success and failure!

I know I couldn’t have got to where I am without a strong mentality and serious tenacity, traits which I have been forging throughout my life. I also know I couldn’t have done it without help from my wonderful friends. No one gets anywhere alone, no one is self-made, everyone is part of a bigger team. As the gestalt theory goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and I am just a lone medical writer without my amazing employees and set of friends who help and inspire me.

So, to Lesley Taylor and Tim Hardman, thank you for being there for me and for helping me; you are true friends and I hope I can return your incredible favours one day!

Mindset!

You are at a point where you know how your business works inside out, are well organised, know your sales process, and know a bit about social media (many blogs coming up about that!). Ready to rock’n’roll right? Not always, sadly! Many people do do do but never never never progress beyond a certain level! Why do you think that is? The reason is mindset! Creating the right mindset is absolutely everything to your aspirations!

So what holds people back? What stops people making the most of their businesses? What stops people from reaching for their dreams? What robs them of their dream lifestyle? What condemns them to a life less than what they wished? Well, complacency is one, “what’s easy to do is also easy not to do”, but more than that, the four-letter word that has destroyed us for millennia – FEAR!

Fear Is Bullshit!

Fear is the bullshit story your brain tells you why you can’t do or achieve something! It is our default mode for self-preservation and maintaining the status quo of monotony! Fear is not real; it is the product of the thoughts we create. Danger is very real, but fear is a choice! Yes, really! Tell yourself you aren’t scared and see how your life changes! To me, FEAR only has one meaning: Face Everything And Rise! Most people fear change, failure and success itself! The opposite of fear is courage, which forms the basis of belief. Belief is what many people lack when striving for success! Building belief comes from a multitude of factors, but fundamentally, for me, it comes from owning your circumstances, and backing yourself to change them!

Here’s another revelation for you, however good, bad or ugly your life is, it is all because of you! Yes, whatever successes and failures you have experienced throughout your life are ALL DOWN TO YOU! What? All of it? Yeah, baby, ALL OF IT! Your choices and attitudes dictate your life, and it is those choices and attitudes which are fundamentally affected by mindset. A poor mindset will give you a poor lifestyle but an enriched mindset will give you your chance to live your dream lifestyle! So, is it worth making a change? Hell yeah!

Feed Your Mind!

I read, listen to and watch material on personal education, development, growth and mindset daily, first thing in the morning and last thing at night. My car is full of self-help audiobooks so I only listen to them and no music whenever I am driving (confession, I occasionally play the radio after a CD ends!). Why? Well, the successful people I follow, whose material I read, listen to and watch, tell me to! So, if it works for them, then who am I to argue with multi-millionaires and billionaires?!

There is a wealth of information out there to help you get your mindset right! Here are 10 books I recommend to begin feeding your mind with, and I advise you to buy the audiobooks too because the material is genius!

  • John C. Maxwell:
    • “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth”;
    • “The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork”;
    • “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”.
  • Darren Hardy:
    • “The Compound Effect”.
  • Rhonda Byrne:
    • “The Secret” (watch the film its only 90 minutes but it worked for me and millions of others!).
  • Napoleon Hill:
    • “Think and Grow Rich!”.
  • Wallace D. Wattles:
    • “The Science of Getting Rich”.
  • George S. Clason:
    • “The Richest Man in Babylon”.
  • Earl Nightingale:
    • “The Strangest Secret”.
  • James Allen:
    • “As A Man Thinketh”.

The material, knowledge and advice are sensational, life-changing and enriching! Do you want to get rich? Get Enriched first! I also advise you to set aside a budget each month/year for new material. If you are spending more money on clothes than investing into your own personal education, growth, development and mindset, then you will not become enriched and you will be depriving your future self of the riches you desire for immediate gratification. Patience is the key to success!

It Will Be Worth It!

How badly would you like to change your life and turn it into your dream life? Well, to have something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done, and ALL change begins within! Remember the motto: “Change your thinking, change your actions, change your life”! Your life starts at the end of your comfort zone, so get moving! this stuff has really worked for me and many others! Give it ago, what have you got to lose?! It will be worth it, trust me!

Other people I recommend to read/listen to/watch, but not limited to, including Anthony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracey, Bob Proctor, Napoleon Hill, Les Brown, Stephen Covey and Wayne Dyer.

Improving your mindset will take time. If you are going to get started, begin with the last 4 books in the list above because they’re cheap and quick to read and let me know how you get on 🙂

Let me know how you get on!

Sales!

If you are earning money, be it from your job or your business, you are in sales! Some people hate sales but we all sell! Ourselves, our services and our products! In the end, the type of selling you want to engage in is one that pays you!

Since getting into business for myself, I have put myself in a position of having to sell. I have had some awesome days and some not so awesome ones, meaning that the results were dependent on my form on the day and some luck with the client being in the market for what I had to offer. Basically, the results weren’t duplicable or repeatable because I didn’t have a defined process in place, i.e. a system.

However, that changed recently when I finally got my hands on a copy of a sales book written by my friend Alistaire Jama, called “Sellology”. I was going to buy some sales books a couple of years ago, until Ali, a highly successful salesman, told us that he was writing a book! Now, I have been in some of his workshops so I was confident that the book would be good, so, I waited for it… and boy was it worth that wait! I read it in 4 hours, on the 2-hour train down to and up from London, and called him from both directions with questions because I was hooked! As soon as I got home, I studied the book, made notes and came up with my own sales scripts based on what Ali wrote in his book, and the results were instantaneous! I began getting more meetings than ever, using old school cold calling over the phone, email, and new school social media! Ali keep this book very simple, and clearly, one is meant to flick back and forth between the chapters, so this quickly becomes your “go-to” manual on “how to sell”!

Ali talks about communication in terms:

  • Words – what you say
  • Music – the tone in which you say them
  • Dance – the body language

Ali dedicates a chapter of being aware of different business styles and how they communicate (words, music and dance):

  • Actor – aka The Player
  • Doer – aka The Pragmatist
  • Friend – aka The Companion
  • Thinker – aka The Analyst

Ali then breaks down his sales system into 6 simple steps he calls “PROCES”:

  • Plan
  • Reach
  • Obtain
  • Connect
  • Elaborate
  • Secure

The book is 180 pages and easy to read, but oh so effective! If you read, understand and apply what Ali teaches, then you should see an improvement in your number of conversions for telephone or face to face meetings, and closing business deals!

Let me know how you get on! If you have any questions, do get in touch with Ali Jama! And as promised, here is the link to where you can buy the book on Amazon!

Client Care!

Building a business is all about client care and customer service. For me, a customer buys from you once in a while, a client is a regular customer; transitioning from customer to client is a big step in building your business. Creating long-lasting relationships with our clients, training and nurturing them so that servicing them is as easy for us as it is for them is absolutely vital because this will ensure that your clients are looked after, and you have a steady stream of work and therefore revenue, month in, month out!

Top 10 Tips!

I like to go the extra mile when I am dealing with my clients across all 3 of my businesses, regularly being in touch with them, because, however you look at it, everyone appreciates being appreciated, valued and made to feel special 🙂 Here are my top 10 tips for taking care of your clients!

  1. Depending on the nature of your business and if you feel comfortable with it, you can add your clients to a Facebook or LinkedIn group so that you can look after them and help and support them as a team in one place.
  2. Depending on the nature of your business, you can train your clients to either place an order for products no more than 2 orders a month, one at the start/end of the month and one in the middle of the month.
  3. If you feel comfortable with it, you can give your clients access to your resource plan via Google Docs for example so they know yours and your team’s availability/capacity for work over the next month(s).
  4. Ensure you deliver your clients orders earlier than you promised if possible; there is no better feeling for you and your client than under-promising and over-delivering!
  5. If you are in the business of delivering products, ensure you take cash BEFORE placing orders, and NEVER bulk buy as you will be placing yourself under unnecessary pressure to sell those products!
  6. Always look for opportunities to help your clients and people in their network with referrals for business; the goodwill this will generate will invariably come back to you in the form of repeat and referral business!
  7. Speak to them regularly, depending on your relationship anything from once a week to once a month, either face-to-face, over the phone, via email or through social media, to check in on them, asking them for honest feedback or anything they feel you could do better/improve upon, it shows you value their opinion.
  8. Show your appreciation for your clients, and thank them with hand-written “Thank You” cards, without any marketing messages or paraphernalia – honest and heartfelt gratitude is everything!
  9. If possible, meet your clients socially for a drink or dinner, and insist on buying, keep that relationship alive, because they may:
    • Become a good friend if they aren’t already, or might need a friend;
    • Have a friend you could help;
    • Give you referrals!
  10. Have it in your schedule to know when to contact which client and to keep on top of your clients and their orders. I have my Client Care table (see image) which has really helped me!

Let me know how you get on 🙂

(If you would like my table that I use to help myself and others, find me on Facebook and I will add you to my special group where you can access this and other awesome business materials!).

Networking Do’s and Dont’s!

Networking comes to me very naturally. Being an only child, I have been putting myself in situations where I had to meet new people from a young age, to develop myself and my skills and meet interesting people. This has helped me make friends with some of the most wonderful people I could have ever imagined meeting!

Networking for your business is vital but people get it so badly wrong its painful to watch and be a part of! When you are out and about at networking events, there are some dos and don’ts, which I feel everybody should learn, because if you don’t, no matter how good you are, or how effective your product or service is, no one will care! Simply put, people don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care! So do what I tell you and stop doing the things I tell you not to do!

Top 10 Tips!

Here are my top 10 tips for networking effectively:

  1. If you can, print off the delegates list beforehand and look through it, highlighting who you would want to meet, find interesting or could have a referral for.
  2. Prepare yourself mentally, know what you can do for the other party, make it about them, get to know them, make them do 75% of the talking! People love talking about themselves so give people the confidence to do that, and their barriers will come down, they will relax and you will see the real person behind the business persona!
  3. Know your story, who you are, what the features, advantages and benefits of your business are, and keep your story as short and succinct as possible, because you want other people to do the talking as stipulated in point 2!
  4. Mind your body language! Body language is everything, and people are naturally attracted to and gravitate towards happy people! And that means do NOT fold your arms! Keep an open stance! And smile! Seriously! This makes such a difference when you are talking to people or looking for people to talk to!
  5. Genuinely show interest in other people, their personality and their business! You will never do business with people you don’t like! And vice versa!
  6. Follow Rudyard Kipling’s advice as follows: I keep 6 honest serving-men: (They taught me all I knew), Their names are What and Where and When, And How and Why and Who. I would also add Which, so that makes 7! So prepare some key “W” open questions.
  7. Ask for their business card and then connect with them over LinkedIn and/or other social media platforms on the spot. I rarely carry business cards because I have social media apps on my phone to take care of such things!
  8. Look around for who is speaking to the biggest group. That person has influence. That person is a leader. Go and speak with them!
  9. Do NOT shove your business, business card or simply your agenda down other people’s throats! You will NOT make any friends or win any favours!
  10. Be yourself, be honest, have integrity, live and breathe your values, morals and ethics! If people don’t know you, they won’t like you, if they don’t like you, they won’t trust you, if they don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you or recommend others to buy from you!

PLEASE! Do NOT mess this up! It is so easy to get RIGHT but people get it so WRONG! Networking is NOT about you! Make it about others, and your time will come to shine! Trust me!

Let me know how you get on 🙂

Working Environment!

Creating the right working environment for yourself is paramount to helping you succeed. Getting rid of all that crap around you will help clear your mind of crap and enable you to focus on your task at hand! Setting yourself up for success is as easy as setting yourself up for failure, it’s up to you which one you choose!

Top 10 Tips!

Here are 10 very useful tips to get the best out of yourself, your surroundings, and most importantly, your time!

  1. Separate your work and personal life by creating a dedicated working space where and only where you will work and associate with work whenever there!
  1. Keep your workspace clean and tidy – always! Clutter on your desk creates clutter in your mind! De-clutter your desk and you will de-clutter your mind!
  1. Invest in decent hardware such as a laptop and printer if you haven’t already! If you can’t yet afford it, work your business to pay for it!
  1. Stay organised on your PC by creating files specific to your business, and stay organised in your workspace by having folders for your business!
  1. Be comfortable and ergonomic. Get the lighting right for you – natural light is best, get a really good computer chair, set the height of your computer desk, computer and screen, and get wrist pads for your mouse and keyboard.
  1. Have some plants around your workspace and home. They are good on the eye, help your mood and provide you with fresh oxygen!
  1. Invest in a whiteboard and/or pinboard and put up your goals and family photos around your workspace where you will see them regularly. WHY Power!
  1. Put up motivational slogans and quotes all around your workspace. You want to feel inspired and motivated whenever you go into that space!
  1. Listen to and watch whatever motivates you. Download iTunes or Spotify – it is amazing what listening to what you enjoy can do for you! I listen to personal development material such as John C. Maxwell, Darren Hardy, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Anthony Robbins and many more!
  1. Be stocked up with food, drink and office supplies. This way you can concentrate on being productive and not makes excuses to go to the shops!

Let me know how you get on 🙂

Goal Setting and WHY Power!

WHY did you start your own business? WHY are you doing this particular business? What is missing in your life? What do you need? What do you want to have? Your business has the potential to help you achieve whatever you want in terms of wealth, health, time, and success, so what are you prepared to do to get the kind of lifestyle you want to have?

This is where your WHY Power kicks in – your reason for doing your business! Emotionally connecting with your WHY is absolutely necessary because that will make you charge hell with a water pistol!

Your WHY should make you CRY!

Business is as simple or complicated as you wish to make it, you have a product or service which you want to bring to market, deliver a certain experience and make money. So what will be your driving factor? What will motivate you daily to strive towards your dreams, especially in the face of adversity such as setbacks, lack of support from friends and family, your rollercoaster of daily emotions? This is where goal-setting is absolutely vital to be the fuel for your fire to propel you to achieve and surpass whatever it is you want!

Over time, your goals will change, and most likely get bigger as you begin to achieve your set goals! Goals will help give you focus and direction. So dream big, set big goals, and then work your arse off to make them happen! Setting goals is crucial because it focuses you on what is important to you, why you are doing this business and what you want to achieve in which realistic time frame. Your goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timed.

Remember the saying “If it is to be, it is up to me”!

One of the best ways to set your goals is to imagine that you have what you want from life so you write down a specific date and next to it you write down what you are happy and grateful for. For example:  “January 1st 2020: I am happy and grateful for my dream house”,  or “January 1st 2020: I am happy and grateful to be married to my perfect partner and 2 children” or “January 1st 2020: I am happy and grateful to be financially secure, debt-free and financially independent”.

I am quite structured so I love to create tables. You can create your own, encompassing short, medium and long-term goals, both in your personal and business life. So, for example, you can do  6, 12, 18 months and 5-year goals. You may miss your goals, but I can absolutely guarantee you that you will be closer to them if you have them to aim for than nothing at all! You need a destination and an arrival date! Aeroplanes don’t just fly! They take off, travel direction, speed and landing are planned from start to finish! Remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish! So start planning your life and let me know how you get on!

(If you would like some of my tables I use to help myself and others, find me on Facebook and I will add you to my special group where you can access these and other awesome business materials!)