Achieving Business Success in This Recession

Almost all of my clients are business people. They either head up large organisations, run medium sized businesses or own their own small to medium sized business. Regardless of their individual circumstances, they all find themselves in the same position right now. How do we continue to be successful in the current economic environment? I would re-phrase that question slightly: How can we thrive when everyone around us is feeling fearful, worried and sorry for themselves?

You see, the point is that the current economic environment is at least as much about state of mind as it is about economic “reality”. The “greed” state of mind created the current crisis. The “lack of confidence” and “sentiment” states of mind created the current “lack of confidence” in stock markets – and everything else has followed from there.

I had a long conversation with an acquaintance last week. She could have talked forever about the state of the economy, the worries that people have about their jobs, how the economy is “going down the toilet” and how people simply weren’t spending anymore. When I pointed out to her that she had the closest thing to a recession-proof job (she works in pharmaceuticals), that her husband worked for a state agency (and he simply cannot lose his job) and that, with the massive recent reduction in interest rates, that her mortgage costs her a lot less than it did six months ago so, in fact, she’s currently far better off than she was, she almost took offence at not being able to wallow in the self-pity and panic that many seem, perversely, to be enjoying at present.

What’s wrong with people that they revel in bad news? What’s wrong with people who like to be the first to tell the latest story of gloom and doom? What’s wrong with people who trade hardship stories as if they were playing poker? What’s wrong with people? Full stop! I’ll tell you what’s wrong with people. Decades of psychological work proves conclusively that the vast majority of people are stark raving mad. They use just 1% of their mental energy in the present moment – the vast majority of it is buried, subconsciously, in the dark and distant past. OK! So, your past might have been happy. But the same research proves that, left in an enclosed space with no distraction, the average human being will become disorientated and very, very negative, within a few hours. Why? Because, as adults, we do not know how to use our heads. In fact, we’ve lost our heads.

Only those who keep their heads, whilst everyone else around them is losing theirs, will ride the current storm of self-induced crisis. Only those who are a little more present than the pathetic 1% that I mentioned above will continue to achieve success. Only those who realise (the word actually suggests an awareness of reality that few people really have) that this is a passing phase – and one in which we should not invest our energy in joining the circus of depression recession – will emerge head and shoulders above all the other poor people who are currently wallowing, or drowning, in a sea of bad news.

If you want to continue to achieve exceptional business success in this self-induced difficult business environment you need to focus your mind – not on positive thinking (thinking never changed anything – doing does), not on “strategic goals” (the stuff that management consultants make a fortune out of) – but on doing the right thing, here and now. In other words, pay attention to what’s important now – to just, and only just, what you need to do to be the very best you can be today. Put as simply as possible – pay attention, come to your senses, you’ve five of them, use them! Pay attention to the present moment and invest none – none at all – of your energy in joining in what is, at present, the most popular past-time – talking more crap about the crap that’s happened and, in turn, simply adding to the crap. Stop it. Devote all of your attention – or, at the very least, more than 1% of it – to what you have to do (really do) just now. How will you know what’s the most important thing you’ll have to do at the present moment? If you’re paying attention, you’ll know. I’ve been enabling my clients do this for years. As one of them said to me recently: “My managing partner asked me why I’m so calm and how I’m so focused on the job in hand right now. I told him that I learned how to use more of my mind long before I had to!”

There’s a lesson in there for all of us. Use more of your mind. Use your five senses. Take one step back from the hysterical nonsense that’s being played out all around us at the moment. Meditate – you don’t need to be a guru – just spend a little time clearing your mind.

A clear and focused mind will prevail.

Copyright (c) 2009 Willie Horton

To Market Your Online Business Without Spending Money Follow These Tips

You have a website set up and are all ready to get started with your internet based business and now find that you don’t have the funds to market it. Don’t panic there are ways to do this for free, it will just take an investment in time, but you will still be able to build a successful online business.

There is a lot that can be done for free, it just requires time and dedication to achieve the results and in this article I will give you some tips and ideas of various methods that you can use to get traffic to your website. One point to keep is mind is that just because something is free does not mean that it is no good. If you are going to invest the time and effort required you will still need to see results.

If you follow the advice given here and stay away from the things that just waste time you will begin to see your business growing.

1. Optimize your website for the search engines. This will help you to achieve higher rankings. It is not that difficult to learn how to optimize your website, there is a lot of good advice and training available and much of it is free.

2. By getting your website listed in directories you will be building one way backlinks. There are thousands of website directories available today and many of them will list your site for free. Spend the time required to regularly submit your site to a few directories, on a daily basis if possible. It helps to build back links to your site which improves your rankings.

3. Write a newsletter and use it to help build a list of subscribers. Fill it with useful information that is directed toward your particular niche. Don’t turn it into nothing but a sales page. If you wish to retain your readers you will need to give something of value to them.

4. One of the best methods you can use to generate traffic is to write and publish articles. Get a blog up and running and keep it fed with interesting articles that you have written. Write and publish as many articles as you can in article directories. This is something that will cost you no money and will get brilliant results. The more articles you are able to write and publish, the better you will become known as an expert in your niche on the internet. And the better known you become the quicker your internet marketing business will grow.

5. Join a few social media sites such as Twitter. Make friends on Twitter and make quick and interesting posts (not more than 140 letters allowed per post) and this will also help you to brand yourself.

There are many other methods that can be used and are free but just make sure that they are genuine and not just time wasters. Remember that building an internet based business takes time and dedication it will not happen overnight.

Wearing Multiple Hats – Growing Multiple Areas of Your Business

Imagine you are hearing this article as a question and answer session…Just listen in:

Q:  My current company is my original brand. I have invested a lot of time/money/energy promoting this brand and it is doing fairly well. It is 100% of my income and I am spending around 75% of my time supporting and maintaining it (that is a 12-16 hour day/6-7 days a week). And the income is not enough to support this business and my personal expenses 100%. That is why I am still trying to build this business.

A:  I can imagine this…Hours wise, I’m right there with you, too.  Running your own small business is WAY more than a full-time job, at least frm my experience.  Also, you have invested a great deal in your brand and what you offer.  Recognizing that right now, this is where your income is coming from is important, as is knowing that you have to have to generate more income in order to live (and eventually not work this many hours because you’re hiring others to help you).

Q:  Because of people like you who have been successful taking their businesses on-line through teleseminars/webinars, mentoring groups, ebooks, etc. I am on this fast track of repurposing my knowledge. I designed a new business venture that requires a lot of my attention and time. It does not earn any money but sucks money daily.  I want to develop this new business which will generate income and my plan is for this entity to become the 75% and the other (my current business) 25%.

A:  This new venture is something you have been working on for the least few months.  It sounds like you are really ramping up to get this in front of many folks – and to generate significant income for yourself.  Having the goal in mind is the first step, and next is strategizing ways to get it there….

Q:  I am torn between paying the bills, getting new customers, keeping my existing customers happy and devoting my time to this new venture. I am torn between the multiple personalities and their needs. How can I make this transition without jeopardizing my current business? How can I keep everyone happy (personalities and customers) without killing myself?

A:  If only I had simple answers…which I don’t, but I’ll try to give you some thoughts on this.

  1. Start to allocate your day to the different parts of your business. Set a timer and when 4 hours is up (or whatever time you’ve determined) then stop working on that part of the business and switch to the other.
  2. Figure out what parts you can delegate out to others. It’s amazing how inexpensively you can get someone to help you. Make a list of every single thing (personal and professional) that you need to accomplish. Then begin to think realistically if you are the ONLY person who can do that thing. If not, start to consider the alternatives.
  3. Realize that you will never keep everyone happy. If you can let that go, it helps. The main person you need to keep happy is yourself. If you are unhappy, stressed out of your head, and you’ve made yourself sick by working and worrying too much, then no one is helped or happy about that. Can you make yourself a priority?
  4. Figure out which of your customers are profitable and which ones aren’t. There are some low-level customers that you may need to let go/refer out/etc. You only have so much time and some of your clients are carrying their weight as far as paying you for your expertise and experience. Have you run an assessment to see who is ‘worth it’ as far as your time goes and who isn’t?

The most important thing I want to reiterate is to make yourself the priority and then line up the others after that.  Remember, you have an enormous service to offer people and you will attract those who belong to you with your energy and positive sense of yourself and your business.