The 7 Reasons People Don’t Follow Through and What To DO About It

May 20, 2011

After working with hundreds of business owners and countless business coaches, I’ve found a common thread in all of them that stops people from following through on their word or plans.  Now most so called “experts” will tell you that its because of FEAR or Self Sabotage and that sort of thing.  But its really easier than that.  Fear and that sort of classic excuse is what people use to fall back on when they don’t really know the real reason people don’t follow through. 

To be very clear, I don’t share these things so that you can have a new set of excuses.  I share these things because once you know the ROOT cause for the behavior, you can get the proper prescription to help cure this problem.  But understanding the root cause (or psychology behind the actions) is essential in fixing the problem.  That said, here are the reasons I’ve found that are the most common. 

  1. Lack of understanding – What I often find is that people don’t know how to do some of the simplest tasks in their business.  Like getting their financials in order, putting together an email blast, writing a sales script, meeting with an employee, etc.  This lack of understanding quite often stops or at a minimum delays them from taking action and ultimately they will just get distracted by other things.
  2. Don’t know where to start – This is one of the first questions clients usually ask me…  “where do we start?”.  The reason is because even simple tasks usually have multiple moving parts.  And when you are making decisions in a business or even in a household for that matter, you have to consider other people and the impact of your decision on external forces.  So not knowing where to start will often stop people from ever starting at all.
  3. Overwhelmed with details – So let’s say someone understands what to do and even knows where to start… Some people get that far, but get bogged down in the details of how much there is to do and wanting it to be perfect.  Perfectionist are quite often only perfect at one thing…  Being late to the party.
  4. Lack of Value and Expectations – Here’s a massive one.  If someone doesn’t understand the value of doing something they just won’t do it or they will stop.  The classic example is the karate kid.  Young Danielson didn’t see any value in wax on, wax off.  He expected to learn karate not how to wax a car.  So he was very frustrated with the experience.  Now because it was a movie, he put up with the training (also because he had his coach watching over him all day).  But in real life, people just walk away from the task or never start it.  The other part of this one is expectations.  By taking on a task, you have to have expectations around it.  What do you want the outcome to be?  If you aren’t clear on the outcome it makes it hard to pursue the task.
  5. Priorities – A lot things happen in a business every day and knowing your priorities is very important.  This spills over from item 4, but realize if you don’t know the value and expectations of the task you are about to take on, it makes it hard to prioritize in your day.
  6. Out of control with their time – This is one of the ROOT causes I see a lot.  When I work with people I always look for ways to fine tune their schedule.  Even if they don’t ask for that…  Reason being is that this is often the first excuse… “I didn’t have enough time”.  And for that person — in that moment, that’s a fact.  So it has to be addressed.
  7. Stress – While this is just an excuse, stress is very real and often debilitating.  And it is often compounded by items 1 through 6 on this list not being answered for the individual and that ultimately creates more stress.  Stress is not only a distraction it can result in a depression and other paralyzing behavior that makes a person stop caring.

 9 things you can apply right away to overcome this…

  1. Make sure you set clear goals and objectives for each task you take on.  And if multiple people are involved, make sure they are CLEAR and can repeat it back to you.
  2. If assigning the task to a client, make sure they understand the task.  To do this, don’t just ask them if they understand, I ask them to explain it back to me so that I am SURE they understand.
  3. Have a clear starting point and milestones.  Getting started is the hardest part.  Once you get someone started, its much easier to direct them.  It also gets them involved and its hard to quit once you invest your time into something.
  4. Get them involved in the creative process.  Thanks to Brendon Burchard for this quote, “People support what they create”.  If you want someone enrolled in the process and to take ownership of it, get them to help create it.  You can’t just assign tasks to people, they need to be involved in coming up with the tasks.
  5. Get clear on the value of the task at hand.  Attach it to their goals and dreams and HOW this task plays a pivotal role in accomplishing those goals and dreams no matter how small a part it may be.  The bigger the task, the more time you need to invest in understanding the value.
  6. Set expectations…  Not just for the task, but what you expect will come from this short and long term.
  7. Be clear how important this task is.  If you need to, make a list of other things going on this week and rank where this task lands on that list.  Know how important it is.
  8. Get control of your time by making lists.  Break down tasks on your list by categories.  I have 3 categories.  The first is money making activities (represented by a $ sign), the second is client relationship activities (represented by a smiley face) and the third is just “stuff” (I don’t have a sign for that one).  Money making activities are first, followed by client relationship activities and then finally all other “stuff”. (My thanks to Mike Michalowicz – The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur for that one.)
  9. Talk about and deal with the stress.  It’s real and you have to deal with it.  Just addressing it can make a big difference.
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What are KPI’s and why are they important?

May 12, 2011

One of the most important factors in running a business is actually one of the most overlooked areas of business. I know this because I talk to hundreds of business owners every year and I only find about 5% of them that have a clue about KPI’s.

So what are KPI’s?    KPI’s are Key Performance Indicators. These are the specific numbers that tell you what’s going on in your business and enable you to make educated strategic decisions to improve your business.

An example of KPI’s could be: sales, number of calls received, close ratio, amount of sales per product or service, amount of hits on your website, average AR days, etc. These are just some of the KPI’s you should be tracking in your business. Some of these should be tracked daily, some weekly, some monthly, and some quarterly.

Each business needs to customize their KPI’s to fit their business and start by selecting the most important 5 or 6 to start tracking immediately. Over time your list will grow as you learn what numbers you need to know.

So why do you want to pay attention and implement KPI’s? Simple… If you want to learn the fastest and most effortless way to grow your business, you need to master KPI’s.

Here’s a simple example of KPI’s for a Hair Salon.  For this example we will use just two KPI’s:  Average clients serviced per day and average sale per client.

Now those are just 2 KPI’s, but let’s see how this could be helpful to that business….

Let’s assume that the average clients serviced per day is 4 with an average sale of $45.  If this person works 5 days a week we can come up with estimated revenues of $900 per week (4 clients per day times 5 days in a week times $45 average sale per client).  Let’s also assume that these numbers are the same for 10 stylist that you have in your business.  So now the revenues are $9,000 per week ($900 times 10 stylists).

Now to put these KPI’s to work for you, let’s assume you can come up with 1 strategy for each KPI that will increase it by just 10%.  That brings your average clients serviced per day to 4.4 and your average sale to $49.50.  Doesn’t look like much until we multiply it out.  Now our weekly revenues per stylist are 4.4 customers times $49.50 in average sales for a new total of $1,089 per stylist or 10,890 for your whole team of 10.  When you look at it over time it’s even more attractive.  That extra 1,089 per week turns into 56,628 over the course of just 52 weeks (1 year) and over $283K over 5 years.  That’s a lot of money if you ask me.

But here’s the fun part.  If you know your average client visits per day and your average sale, it doesn’t have to stop here.  You could continue to work these numbers and improve them dramatically just by adding a single strategy here and there that will increase both areas.

Another KPI for this type of business is called, “Frequency of Purchase”.  To some people it can be referred to as average number of transactions per year, but I like frequency of purchase.  Think about this for a minute.  If your client visits you once every 8 weeks that winds up being about 6.5 visits per year.  Not bad, but if I know this number I can now work to improve it by implementing simple strategies.  So lets say I can reduce this to visiting me every 7 weeks.  I now go from 6.5 visits per year to 7.4 visits a year.  Again it doesn’t sound like much, but what if you have 1,000 clients like most hair salons?  You’ve just added over 900 visits at about $50 each to your bottom line.  That’s another $45K just by getting clients to come back a little more often.

These are some great practical examples that I actually use for a hair salon client of mine. 

Just remember to start small with a couple of KPI’s and build from there.  I like to start with 5 to 6 KPI’s at first and build up from there.  Just think about the numbers you need to know to manage your business and over time others will show up.  Also, be sure to monitor these weekly.  After all, you don’t want to wait until the end of the month or end of a quarter to spot a trend and make adjustments.  You want to make adjustments quickly so you can maximize your efforts and reduce loss of possible revenues.

If you have questions or want help setting up your KPI’s, just send me an email at michael@michaellejeune.com and I’ll setup a free KPI coaching session for you.  Just act fast because I only have 3 to 4 sessions like this open per week and they will fill up.


Why Should I Hire a Coach?

April 25, 2011

Quite often when I’m interviewing a prospective client I get asked in one way or another why they should hire someone to do what I do.  And simply put there are a lot of reasons why you should hire a coach or consultant to help you grow your business.  But before I get into the reasons why you should hire a coach, I think its important to know what kind of questions you may be asking yourself during this process and some answers you should be looking for.

Questions you might ask yourself while deciding to hire a coach or consultant:

  1. Do I really need help?  Do you really want to take your business to the next level?  If the growth of your business has not been what you wanted or you feel like there is so much more you can accomplish but just don’t know how… Guess what?  It’s time to hire a coach or a consultant to help step up your game.
  2. Can’t I do this on my own?  The short answer is: If you could have, you would have!  It’s OK to ask for help.  But unfortunately most people are so proud that they can’t bear the thought of asking for help.  And think of it this way, two heads are better than one. Don’t you usually get more done when you have help?
  3. I’ve already had several of these ideas.  Why do I need this guy?  So you’ve had the ideas before… What have you implemented?  It’s one thing to be an idea guy.  It’s another to be an idea guy that implements things.  Most people have a ton of ideas, but just don’t get things put in place, effectively measured, and optimized for maximum results.  That’s what a coach does for any organization.
  4. It’s a lot of money, wouldn’t it be better to hire someone to implement the ideas?  It’s not a lot of money when you look at the output.  For example, my coaching produces more than a 10 to 1 ratio on every dollar you invest.  So for every dollar you invest with me, you get AT LEAST 10 back.  My goal is even higher than that.  Who else produces that kind of return in your company?  One more thing on this, it costs a lot more to hire someone to do all of this for you than it does to work with a coach who will teach you how to be more effective and how to run your whole company like a machine.
  5. Is a coach really going to help me?  The success rates are through the roof with coaching and consulting clients.  A recent Harvard study says that companies that have a coach are 725% more likely to succeed that companies who don’t.  That same study also showed that 87% of the fortune 500 companies use coaches and consultants at one time or another.
  6. How am I going to make the time for this?  The great news here is that most coaches are highly trained on time management and can actually help you make more free time to implement new strategies and have more free time to do the things you enjoy in life.
  7. How am I going to pay for this?  More great news…  Coaching and consulting services are self funding.  What that means is that you may have to cover the first 90 days of the service in some cases, but after that your results should be paying for the coaching and turning you additional profits.

And now… 

The top 7 reasons Why You Should Hire a Coach…

1. Strategy – Most companies I run into are just doing “stuff” all day long.  They don’t focus on an overall strategy that accomplishes many things at once.  Imagine having a business strategy for every aspect of your business that allows you to achieve multiple business objectives with every move you make.  This saves a ton of time, builds brand and customer loyalty, and makes you more money than you know what to do with.  A coach can also bring up important things you need to consider that you would have never thought of and how these things can play into long-term decisions.

2. Experience – Ask yourself this… Have you ever grown a company to the levels you want to?  If the answer is no or if the answer is not on your own, then you’re in luck.  A coach has done this over and over again and has so much experience implementing strategies and growing companies that you are sure to succeed.  Experience is much cheaper than learning by trial and error…

3. Accountability – Who do you have pushing you each week to get things done?  For most business owners I talk to, the answer is no one.  Life is much different when you have a coach.  A coach is not only going to push you and hold you accountable each week, they are also going to be the most honest person in your business.  So if something needs to change, they are going to tell you… Especially when everyone else is afraid to speak up… Your coach will be right there to speak the truth.

4. Guidance – How many times have you needed to make an important decision about the business and not had anyone you could call for advice?  And I’m talking about real advice here.  Not the kind of advice that you get from your unemployed neighbor who has never run a business but happens to be your buddy.  I’m talking about great advice from a mentor who can see you through this decision?  That’s what a coach does for you.

5. If you could have, you would have – This one is kind of blunt but to the point.  If you could have grown your company to 1, 5 or even 10 million dollars by now, you would have!  So don’t sit around thinking about what you could do, get off your rear and hire a coach that will force the growth in you company and help you to enjoy your business and life like never before.

6. Ambition – If you really want more out of your business and out of life but aren’t sure how to get it… You need a coach.  Even if you know how to get it, but want to accelerate the timeline, hire a coach immediately!

7. Self Funding – This one is already mentioned a few times, but consider this.  If it pays for itself, why not do it?  You’ve eliminate most if not all the risk and the opportunity to double, triple or even quadruple your company is what’s at stake.

 All this said, I suggest whether you are in the market for a coach or not, you should take the time to meet with one.  At the very minimum, you’ll get more ideas and strategies to grow your business than you can imagine and get a sense for how working with a coach can help you.


7 Reasons why Virtual Companies will take over by 2020

April 19, 2011

As a virtual entrepreneur myself, I totally get why people prefer to work at home.  For me it’s simple.  I want to take part in my children’s lives and spend more time with my wife.  This just isn’t possible for me working a traditional 8 to 5 job with a commute.  I’m also a very diligent worker.  I can accomplish more in 4 or 5 hours of focused time than most can accomplish in a full 8 hour day.  I use the rest of that time for exercise, running errands, having lunch with my wife, or whatever else I want to do.  Again, this just isn’t possible when you have a normal career that forces you into an office.

 Now, I’m a little different from your average worker these days because I own my own business and I get to set the rules.  But while I’m different right NOW than the average worker, I’m a glimpse at the future for every worker and every company.

You see, I have a rule in my company, if we can’t do it virtually, we don’t do it.  There’s only one exception to that and that is when I’m asked by an organization to come speak.  Even then, I focus on conference calls when possible instead of live events.  The reason for this goes back to early 2001 when I first started traveling as the VP of a small software company.  I was on the road 328 days out of the year and barely knew my wife and daughter.  To put it bluntly, it sucked.  Always on the road and always living out of a suitcase with little or no time to enjoy life.  Sure the money was great, but my lifestyle was in the toilet.

So in 2004 I made a lifestyle change when I launched my business coaching and consulting company.  I was at home every night, but still out on the road during the day killing myself with meeting after meeting and seeing prospects face to face.  While this was a great step forward, it still consumed all of my day.  I missed bringing my girls to school and lunches with my wife.  But I still did it this way for a couple of years.

In 2009, I started looking at business models that made more sense and the Virtual Model jumped out at me.  Why should I have to go to endless meetings, meet prospects in their office, and hold my coaching sessions on site with clients?  It didn’t make sense.  So I decided to make a switch and go completely virtual by 2010.

The results have been amazing!  Business is booming, I get to bring my girls to school and pick them up each day, I go to lunch with my wife and we work out together at least 3 times a week.

This brings me to the Number 1 reason companies will go virtual by 2020; LIFESTYLE!  My lifestyle and quality of life have gone up 10 fold.  And there has never been a time in history where people have wanted their dream lifestyle more than today. The search for our dream lifestyle is at the core of each and every one of us and can’t be ignored.  It’s the eventual promise of a great lifestyle (usually referred to as retirement) that gets us out of bed every morning and keeps us going to the jobs.  Pretty soon, people won’t be willing to wait until they “retire” to claim the lifestyle that is rightfully theirs.  And its this shift in culture that will propel most of the change necessary to make virtual companies the norm.

The Number 2 reason is Technology.  Technology today is so advanced that you really don’t need to be in an office chained to a desk anymore.  There are simple apps for the iPhone, iPad, PC or Mac, that will allow you to video conference with anyone anywhere in the world at a moments notice, FOR FREE!  Not to mention great apps like Skype that allow you to call your clients, colleagues, and friends all over the world for free.  Just this morning I was on the line with South Africa at 9 am and then Philadelphia by 10 am.  Take that one step further with document sharing and online storage tools like dropbox.com and you see what an amazing world we live in.  And I truly believe that apple hasn’t even touched the surface yet with the iPad that has already changed the way I do business and will for years to come.  Don’t even get me started on-screen sharing technology.  It’s a whole can of worms itself.  The technology will only get stronger.

The Number 3 reason is Acceptance.  We have now come into time and culture that is quick to accept new things.  As cultures have shifted at home and become more accepting of different social trends, these same people in the workforce are more accepting of trends in the workplace and from companies that supply them products and services.  The more this happens the more the acceptance grows and over the last 10 years we’ve seen an increase in at home workers and entrepreneurs.  The key part of this that translates into more companies using this model is that CUSTOMERS and CLIENTS will accept that this is OK.  That acceptance paves the way for MASS distribution of the virtual model in every business known to mankind.

The Number 4 reason is Social Media.  Social media has played a huge role in the acceptance factor.  The reason is that it has basically immersed a large portion of the population into technology tools that get you to communicate remotely with other people.  Thus making those forms of communication more acceptable to nearly everyone.  It’s also helped train people to communicate remotely.  Believe it or not, communication skills were the biggest barrier to going virtual.  Now that people have the tools and are training themselves to communicate virtually, the biggest barriers are GONE!

The Number 5 reason is Cutting Costs.  This factor is usually the turning point for most companies when they realize how much money they can save by going virtual.  For instance, do you know how much office space costs?  Well, the answer is A LOT!  Even in a recession, it’s still expensive.  Going virtual eliminates the need for extra office space.  So if you want to grow, but don’t want the office space you can just go virtual and you have no increase to your overhead.  In some cases, that can save a company 50 to 75% on just their rental lease alone.  Then we get into purchasing desks, phones, lamps, printers, computers, paying for extra utilities and all the stuff that goes with each employee you bring into an office space.  That stuff gets expensive!  With the virtual model, all those costs are gone.

And if you use a company that specializes in virtual staffing you can cut even more costs.  For example, do you know how much time it takes to screen, recruit, and interview an applicant?  Quite a bit…  What if you could connect with a virtual staffing company and give them your criteria for an employee and be given three applicants to choose from without you doing the due diligence?  Would that save you some time and money?  You bet it would.  And when they work for someone else, you don’t pay HR costs, benefits, unemployment, etc.  It’s a huge win for you.

The Number 6 reason is Customer Service.  Once you cut costs, you can really focus on enhancing your customer service by hiring and training better people and doing so more often.  This takes your customer service level through the roof.  Also imagine being able to increase or decrease your staff based on the demands of your customers?  Pretty cool if you ask me.  And ramp up time is cut drastically because you don’t need to order a PC, get their “cube” setup, get with HR and get their “package” ready, etc.  So the speed from concept to implementation is much faster.  You can literally have an idea on Monday and be implementing it hours or just days later.  This all translates into a better experience for your customers and that my friend is what drives business.  Just ask Zappos, the fastest company to ever go from zero to a billion dollars in revenue.

The 7th reason is Demand.  Believe it or not, by 2014 the government is predicting that there will be a shortage of highly skilled workers in many fields.  And just like with the laws of supply and demand, the best workers will have a say in their work environment or they will go work for the competition.  The number one thing they will demand more than money by 2020 is to work from home.  Many will even take a pay cut to do it.

Bonus 8th reason……  Entrepreneurs.  My bonus reason is that entrepreneurs will truly embrace this concept and infuse it in the DNA of their people.  As this happens it will spread and grow through organizations until it completely saturates the market.  During this time you will start to see more technology and more business models that focus on this virtual concept.  As this happens, the acceptance level will rise and enforce the model even more.  Companies will see the cost savings and benefits and pursue the model even more.  Trust me when I say it’s coming to a job near you.


Why Honor and Integrity is Worth More Than Money

March 31, 2011

A friend of mine asked me this week about a business decision I made last year that cost me several thousands of dollars.  I thought I would briefly share what happened and why I feel I made the right choice.  You can decide for yourself what you would have done.

So here’s the scenario last year.  A very wealthy friend of mine asked me to get involved in a business venture of his.  I took a serious look at the business, but ultimately decided it wasn’t for me.  I knew we could make a lot of money, but quite frankly the concept bored me to tears.  One of the key compensation components was in building a national sales team and  receiving a generous commission on all their sales.  While this intrigued me, I had to make a decision.  Was I doing this for the money or the love of the business?

You see, I’ve found that if you don’t love what you do, you won’t do it very well.  Forget the money for a second because loving what you do each day is priceless!

Let’s fast-forward a few months.  After I decided not to pursue this opportunity, I referred another friend to it.  Now I did this for the sole reason that I knew she would LOVE this and pursue it will all her heart and I knew she would be a rock star at it.  Soon after I referred her, my friend called me up and told me I should jump in the business and put her on my team.  Even if I didn’t do anything else in the business, I would make a small fortune off of her work.  I politely declined.

For me, this is where HONOR and INTEGRITY come in.

You have to understand my point of view on this.  When I commit to something, I really commit to it and stick with it until it works or fails miserably.  It’s the only way I function.  So if I would have gotten into that business, I would have gone all the way.  For me, I wouldn’t recruit a sales person and then leave them without my leadership.  In my opinion, there’s no honor or integrity in that move.  It’s purely money driven and will bite you in the rear.

In this particular case, I knew I couldn’t look myself in the mirror if I left my team out in the cold without my direct guidance and supervision.  Regardless of my abilities, those people would be my responsibility and I would give them 100%.  But that’s where my heart jumped in and said, NO!  I knew I didn’t like the business and would be bored out of my mind very quickly.  That would translate into the business amd my team and I would eventually hate every moment of it.  Which would present another problem for me.  Because of my commitment mindset, I would pour my soul into this business only to hate every minute of it and eventually resent the whole thing, my team and my friend.  My other option was to quit if I hated it and quitting just isn’t an option for me.

So in this case, the honorable thing to do was not to get involved in that business, BUT still refer people who I thought were a great fit for it.  You see, in your heart, you have to figure out who you are and what you are about.  For me, I’m all about helping people achieve their dreams.  I’m not the only person in the world like this, but I’ll tell you what differentiates me from many.  I don’t focus myself on how I will be rewarded for helping others.  That limits my abilities to help people achieve their dreams which is why I was put on this planet.

Honor and Integrity are more important than money for this simple reason…  You can always make more money, but it’s nearly impossible to get back your honor or integrity once you show the world that you are willing to comprise either or both of them for any reason.

Another great reason to focus on honor and integrity over money is the legacy you leave behind.  Most people have no idea the impact they make on their team or their family.  Believe me when I say everyone is watching every move you make.  Especially your children.  So leave the generation after you better off by leading with Honor and Integrity every day in every decision you make.  You will be rewarded properly for doing the right things.  And as you can see from the picture of my little girls below, there are some things that money just can’t buy!

My little girls

Katie and Megan 2010


How to get an extra 3 weeks of work done without killing yourself

March 29, 2011

One of my keys to success in business is getting more done in a day than most do in a week. One of my secret weapons is a 10 minute task list. While this doesn’t sound like a revolutionary idea or have any type of WOW factor to it, you will find out that it is effective.

Here’s what I noticed before I used this method. There are about a dozen or more time wasters that each person has. We are all different, but here’s a list of some of my old ones.

Top Time Wasters List:

Online News, Online Sports, Facebook, Twitter,  Video games, Texting, and a Quick call to family or friends.

Here’s how I tackle this and how you can to. I am always evaluating what I need to get done. From there, I pick out tasks that only take 10 minutes or less to complete. I then keep a list of those tasks handy for times when I only have 10 minutes free. Here’s how it works. Next time I end a meeting early but only have 10 minutes before my next appointment, I break out my list and knock out a 10 minute task. Another big one for me is wrapping up lunch early. If I’m back early and have 20 minutes before my next call, I’ll knock out two tasks from my list.

You see, I understand very clearly that TIME is the only asset I have that I can’t control. No matter what I do, at the end of the day, that 8 hours is gone! There’s no way to get it back. So I have to make the most of it. On any given day I may knock out 3 to 5 of my 10 minute tasks. That’s a half hour to 50 minutes of solid work completed. That’s huge if you are like me and need every minute of the day to get things done.

Just for the sake of math, lets look closer at the numbers here. Assume you just get 3 tasks done a day. That’s 30 minutes of extra work complete per day or 2.5 hours per week. Here’s the real shocker. That amounts to 125 hours per YEAR of extra work that you could get done. That’s over 3 weeks! That’s a lot of time you don’t want to waste.

So next time you notice you are falling behind or don’t have enough hours in the day, take 10 minutes to create your own 10 minute task list and watch your productivity soar!


Do you have a plan B?

March 23, 2011

Below is a response I gave to an old client of mine.  Let me catch you up on what led to this.  I found them getting into a panic cycle and reaching out to me about every 6 months.  They weren’t ready to commit to getting help for the problems they were having so I gave them this advice that I believe will benefit you as well.

What is it that causes you to panic every couple of months?  Maybe instead of just looking at strategies to improve your situation “NOW”, you may want to consider strategies that would put an end to the panic situations popping up.

Here’s what I’ve found that causes this type of panic for most people…

They find themselves in a cycle of up and down in the business. A bit like a wave coming in with business and then going out with the work. As the waves get bigger, something shifts in the business and they have a harder time focusing on bringing in more sales. Business is up and down and up and down and it’s never stable. This creates times of panic as things are down and so we tend to focus on bringing it back up again. The trick is planning for these times.

Some people will confuse planning for these times with focusing on something bad happening in the business. While they are easily confused, understand that there is a very clear difference. If you know your business runs in cycles, plan for the cycle. Having an action plan for day-to-day operations is critical to your success, but having an action plan for bad times is an absolute must!

Think about pilots for a minute. They plan and plan for a spectacular flight each and every time. But what we don’t realize is that they have hours and hours of constant training on what to do when something goes wrong. In their case, they may only have seconds to adjust course, fix a problem, or communicate countermeasures with their entire team. They don’t have time to waste coming up with a plan or panicking. So have a plan A for day-to-day and more importantly, create a plan B for those rough times that may make you panic. It will change everything in your business to always have a plan B handy if you are willing to implement it.

And here’s a little secret… Some of the most successful business leaders in the world have kept a plan B and even plan C and D in their desk for years. The minute plan A was clearly not the correct course, they whipped out plan B and went to that.