Categories
Growth

Have you heard of mutual impoverishment?

pic-385x250

It’s a mindset where a person believes that individuals with more money than they do should feel guilty for not sharing their money. It is an unfounded entitlement mentality where a person thinks people, organizations or groups of people owe him just because he has less. I have heard people say “what is that rich guy doing with all that money?”. I say “how is that your business? How about making your own and start distributing it?”.

It is a consumer versus value creator mentality.

Even though I am a hearty giver because of my biblical beliefs, I don’t believe socialism or whatever quasi name people give it is responsible.

I have never expected the government or another person to make life better for me. The responsible man thinks of how he can make life better for others instead of looking for a great big windfall out of someone else’s pocket.

Video Recommendation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st4ricWiRm4

Book Recommendation

1.

 

Buy hereOriginal Intent: The Courts, the Constitution, & Religion

2. American Entrepreneur: The Fascinating Stories of the People Who Defined Business in the United States

 

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Categories
Growth

Increasing Sales And Repeat Customers At A Barbershop Business

Devonte Brown has his hair cut by David McKnight in Sanford, Florida

This past weekend I visited a new barbershop with my brother in law and his son.
I usually look out for the fastest barber in the room whenever I go to a new place for a haircut.
I do this because I think of time like a currency most times.
30 minutes at the barber’s is 30 minutes that can be used to read, work, minister to someone or engage in some other activity that may be more profitable.
Time should be invested and not spent since it’s the same as spending your life.

Anyway back to the story.
This is about how to grow a barbershop business and other life lessons we take for granted.

When it was my turn I proceeded to ask the barber if he could complete my haircut in 10 minutes.
I saw my bro in law cringe a little because he didn’t want us to offend the guy.

The barber(let’s call him Kenny) said he didn’t want to rush it so I sat down anyway and hoped it would take about 20 minutes.
That was terribly presumptuous of me. Lol

In between barbershop banter, charging a clients phone, eating chips(Kenny did not me) and receiving a pretty good haircut, I observed the other barbers in the room and noticed they were simply giving haircuts and letting the clients leave without taking any details to follow up later with other value added services.

After my haircut, Kenny thanked us, took our money and that was it.
Since I teach people how to start and grow businesses I’ll share what I think Kenny and his other mates could have done to increase their revenue.

1. Customer data
My bro in law has been to that barbershop many times with his son but no one knows their details.
Kenny should have taken down our numbers or email addresses.
With these details I would call, text or email the a link to my professional Twitter page or blog where he shares insights on personal grooming, style or creating a personal brand as a young black man.

I say this because Kenny is not just in the haircut business.
He is in the personal grooming, style and image management business.
The more he acts as an expert in these areas, the more credibility he will have.

2. Value Creation And Marketing

I would call or email or text the client every two weeks with facial and skincare tips as well as a reminder to come by the barbershop since I’m sure they may need a shave or haircut soon.
I would recommend(and sell) products such as shaving gels and other skincare products to the client.

Since in this case my brother in law visits this barbershop with his son, I would create Father/Mother and Son packages that cater to parents who bring their sons to the shop.

I would also collaborate with service providers whose services would appeal to young boys.
I may even go as far as selling Star Wars, Pokemon or whatever merchandise these parents usually buy for their sons.

Conclusion

Having the skills to cut hair, build a bridge, write code or whatever gift you are trained in is not enough.
In a barbershop, what determines success in the long run is not the skill alone but the value the barber provides.
The barber who talks to you and advises you on what to do to have healthy hair or skin is ten times more valuable than the one who just cuts your hair.

The barber whose goal is to have the happiest customers will find out which of them prefer longer or shorter times in his chair and will tailor his services accordingly.

Value is only value when it benefits the receiver.

By the way, Kenny spent about 50 minutes on my hair that day.

P.S Here are some Advanced strategies for growing a business.

Book Recommendation: Get it The Ultimate Sales Machine

Did you find the guide useful? Click here 

Please comment below

Categories
Growth

How The World’s Money Supply Is Controlled.

Diamond sorting in the new DTC Botswana building at Gabarone..
There is no true shortage on planet earth.

However, there is a controlled shortage.

The diamond mine owners in South Africa meticulously control the number of diamonds they make available each year. They know diamonds would not be valuable if all the diamonds in the world appeared in the marketplace at the same time. These owners even buy back large quantities just to keep the price up.

The purpose of the oil cartel is to regulate and control the flow of oil into each country. They want to avoid a “glut” (excess supply) so the price won’t go too low, reducing profits. The world’s oil supply is in a constant state of controlled shortage to assure its high price.

Even our food production is in a controlled shortage. In North America, farmers are told which crops and in what quantity to grow them, as well as what to do with the surplus (the amount the government wants to keep out of circulation to keep prices at a “fair market” price). As a result, millions of bushels of grain are stored instead of sold. Many times, the surplus spoils while some people do not have enough to eat.
You see, to the world, the accumulation of money and the maintenance of good, high prices are the main goals.
In your own personal finances, you are also living in a controlled shortage. Right now, the mints are printing money so fast that the presses have to be oiled continually to keep them from catching on fire. That is how fast they are producing money. However, most people are limited to the little bit of cash in their pockets and checking accounts, the meager amount someone else decides is enough. As long as you keep a controlled-shortage mentality, you will not see beyond what is in your pocket or bank account.
You can unleash God’s power and abundance into your financial affairs, and destroy the controlled shortage in your life.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.


Ephesians 3:20
Now, all of us know how to ask for some pretty nice things. God tells us to ask, and He says He can even supply beyond what we can think. Most of God’s children are experiencing a shortage, but they are causing it by their own limited thinking! When will we open the eyes of our understanding?
God’s storage houses are full to the brim and over flowing with His abundance. He says, “Just ask.”

If we are going to properly finance the outreach of the Kingdom of God, we had better start seeing beyond our own limited supply. We must lift our eyes and look on God’s abundant supply.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
Psalm 84:11

Is money a good thing? Yes, when it is in the control of an informed child of God!

God wants to bless you with the grace of His salvation. God wants to bless you with good health. God wants to bless you with the power, comfort, and gifts of the Holy Ghost. He also wants to bless you with abundant finances!
God is not playing games. Now is the time to bring in the end-time harvest, but we cannot do that without huge amounts of money to pay for the things necessary to reap that harvest: television cameras, satellite receivers, salaries for the workers, church buildings, missionary outreaches. All that money must come from only one place, and that is from the saints of God who have taken hold of the financial blessings God intends for them to have.
Pornographic magazine publishers will not finance the end-time harvest. Big business is not going to pay for it.
It will take huge amounts of money—held in the control of God’s children—to reap the great end-time harvest which I believe is coming very soon.

It is time for us to end the “controlled shortage mentality.” There is no shortage on planet earth. You can have more than enough.

By John Avanzini

Book Recommendation:Get itWar on Debt: Breaking the Power of Debt (Financial Freedom) here

Categories
Growth

The Secret Behind Words And Images

At Babel, a group of people were intent on building a tower but failed. The biblical account on the surface seems to suggest that our Heavenly Father changed their languages. Think about it, if all God did was to give them different languages then they could have used signs or drawn images to illustrate what they were trying to achieve. Even in our time we see huge construction projects being executed by people of several nationalities at the same time. What God did was to confuse their understanding so they could not “see” the same things. He took away their ability to distribute their mental images to each other. That is what communication is. You have a collection of images in your mind which you put in a container known as words and distribute them through speech or some form of oral communication. At Babel, one dude said “bring me a shovel” and his friend thought he meant “wheelbarrow”. Whatever you understand is what you see in your mind. Once you understand it, that image becomes fixed and can control your mind if you let it. Many people allow their thoughts to control them. They say they are speaking their mind but it’s really a collection of images they have understood that they are voicing out. Ever wonder why you can mid-sentence?
It is because as you started speaking your mind realized it had not formed a clear enough image to convert into words.

The mind is a folder. It is a collection of words and images that form our imagination.

How to control your mind and influence people

Have you noticed that you either consciously or unconsciously see a place before you go there? You do not get to the kitchen and say “wow, how did I get here? I thought I was going to the bathroom.” We are not surprised when you arrive at a location because we see the image even before we got there. Our imagination has the power to control our thoughts. This is why you cannot go to a place you have not imagined first.

Images

Images control our minds and then they control the body.

We become what we imagine. The imagination is a collection of images that we have gathered through the education of our senses. What we continuously see and hear forms images. The moment an individual understands what he is hearing or seeing, an image is formed. If that image stays in his mind long enough; his body, life, behavior and thoughts will change to mimic that image. The right images will create the right life.


Words are images

Our minds have the ability to interpret the letters we understand as images. When a friend sends you a harsh message, you read words but the images your mind sees prick your emotions. Think about this for a second:
When I say “black dog!” or when you hear a dog bark you do not see the letters “WOOF”. What you see is an animal. If I said “small black dog”, that image would change immediately in your mind. Knowing this will make you understand why some have rich and yet others possess poor minds. A rich mind is a fruitful one. It is a mind that creates value for the possessor and the world around her. A poor mind is exactly the opposite. The possessor of this mind thinks, believes and does the wrong things on a continuous basis sometimes even when they mean to do right, they end up messing things up. They have believed the wrong things so they end up doing the wrong things. Money, Culture, Environment or background do not play as much of a role as people would like to think when it comes to how much value a person’s mind can conjure. What is most important is what the person sees, hears, understands and speaks on a continuous basis.

Dan Gossett have an excellent book on this topic. Check it out What You Say Is What You Get by Don Gossett (1976) Paperbackhere.

I was speaking to a group of young entrepreneurs a few months ago and mentioned that whenever people expect older people to be wiser than younger people I find it ludicrous. Think about your life for a second. What is one of the major differences between the 17 year old version of yourself and the 25 year old version? Ten years did not automatically mature you. Neither did your physical growth contribute too much to your mental development. Was it your understanding? I believe it was. Did you not know and understand more at 25 than you did at 15 and at age 20? To make this even more practical, do you not know people who are your age or even older who think, make decisions or act like children? Yes, you do.

If my theory is true then you can hack your mental growth by studying, practicing and understanding today what would be expected of someone of your stature in the next 10 years. A 22 year old who is as mentally developed as a 30 year old will be head and shoulders above many of her contemporaries in a short time. The key to speedy advancement in life whether it be spiritual, mental, physical or social is understanding. When you see what others do not see, you can go where they cannot.

Think about Church. Whenever a preacher teaches the Gospel aka Good News i.e Jesus Christ, Love, Faith, Grace and Prosperity, the congregation’s lives are transformed for the better. However if the preacher continuously preaches fire and brimstone, fear, the law and unbelief, his listeners shrivel and become weary. After the service you can tell from their faces that they just took a beating. We sometimes say “I just listened to someone give a speech or teach a sermon”, but that is not really what we witnessed. What the speaker did was to distribute images. We are all in the image distribution game.
This is the same with whatever media, movie, book or TV show you are allowing to preach to you. Whenever I speak with teenagers I am amazed by how most of them seem to have the same images sometimes regardless of their age or background. I will share more insights on how entire nations have influenced by the words they have heard. I am convinced that if you subjected yourself to listen to the right words for 3 months, you could redefine your life without much effort. This is why reading and a value for knowledge acquisition is so important for an entrepreneur.

Conclusion
Your business will mimic your mind. If you poor money management skills, it will be difficult to set and maintain an efficient budget for your business. The easiest way to gather the right images is through reading or listening to people who have a rich collection of their own. Studying people who have successfully done what you want to do with your business will give you a shortcut to success if you will do the right things. I will share more on how to add value to your mind and communicate effectively in a subsequent post but first check out this video and buy this book by Dan Gossett.
Kenneth E Hagin also has a classic that I highly recommend. Get it Right and Wrong Thinkinghere.

Are there any resources you would like to share on this topic? Please comment below.

Categories
Growth

The Psychology Of Business Storytelling And How To Educate Your Customers

hilfiger-billboard

When Tommy Hilfiger was launching his first ad campaign via a billboard thanks to George Lois and Tommy’s partner at the time, he may not have known that his audacious self promotion of himself versus three of the most popular American menswear designers would turn into such a classic example of bravado and customer education. Tommy Hilfiger’s ad not only made a statement, it taught the public that there was another trusted brand in menswear even they did not know it yet.

We like to buy from vendors that we trust. Trust comes from knowledge. We do not trust people or businesses we do not know. The more a buyer knows, the easier it is to spend. This is one reason why infomercials are so successful. They spend a lot of time telling you who, why, what, how and where you can buy their products.

In marketing, education always wins.

This works for healthcare as well as it does in the entertainment and even the retail industry. It is more than likely that you shop at retailers that you are more familiar with than those that you hardly see or hear about. Those who say advertising will cease to exist do not understand human nature. Think of your favorite musician or group.

After you came to like their music, you decided to find out more about them and can probably mention the names of all of their albums. This goes for sports teams and athletes as well. The more we know about them, the more we deify them.
One of the best books on this topic was written by Ogilvy on AdvertisingDavid Ogilvy

Customer education defines the psychology of business storytelling.

The caveat here is that all knowledge is not created equal. Knowledge that we deem as acceptable, favorable or beneficial to us usually holds sway over our decisions. That detergent brand that tells you that Hydrogen Chloride was used in making their products may not cause you to whip out your wallet as easily as their competitor who tells you that they are using natural chemicals that make your clothes looking and smelling whiter, brighter and fresher.

See what I did there? The former was educating on features, the latter on benefits. The former was stating what is unique about them, the latter is stating how their uniqueness is going to impact the client’s life.


How to educate your customers

Start off by making at least 90% of the information about them. Speak to their needs and tell them exactly how your product or service is beneficial to them. If you do not know what benefit your product provides then your customers will not know either. There are qualitative and quantitative benefits. In my practice I may use quantitative measures by saying “I will help you set up recurring income systems that will increase your revenue by 15% in the next 2 months.”

For qualitative I may say “ I will implement 4 marketing strategies that will give you peace of mind and allow you to be able to take one extra week of vacation time this year.” Some businesses thrive better with qualitative over quantitative education.

Nike could sell you on the quality of the rubber soles and the toughness of their padding but it’s more effective for them to sell buyers on how their shoes will help you to be more athletic just like the high jumping, fast running athletes in their ads. I often joke about how hardly anyone knows how many megapixels their smartphone’s camera has because phones are sold more as lifestyle staples than gadgets for techies. The same goes for cars.

I would like to add that even if you cannot find something overtly beneficial to say, you can share awesome facts. Remember this?

At the time, no one was so boldly saying you could hold 30,000 songs in your pocket Information that wows people is good because it will spread by word of mouth faster and more organically.


Another example is in gaming. When I first heard that the Witcher 3 was made by a team, the quarter of the size of their competitors, I was intrigued. I also heard about how their budget was smaller and yet created an RPG that would take at least 200 hours to complete because of how deep it is. There may be other RPG’s that are better but they have not bothered to educate me.

Conclusion

Tell your customers over and over again the following without being boring or overly technical. The better teacher will win even if she is selling something boring. Who would have thought a junk of metal sitting on four rubber tires could be seen as a collectible?

Why you are in the business of retail, food, real estate, fashion, computers, technology et cetera– What opportunities do you have a unique skill set for? Tell us

What you love about your job, products, industry– Share the emotional highlights and why you love going to work every day. This will also attract the right talent.

Your opinions, vision, mission, ideas, concepts and insights. —If growing up near a rice farm gives you a unique insight into Asian cuisine then please go ahead and share.

What products and services are available?— Tell your prospects about all your products. Variety to some people is a sign of how big your operation is and might build trust.

What the benefits of doing business with you are?…

Where they can buy your products–Educate the public on when, where and how your products are distributed.

What materials went into the making of your furniture? –Talk about the grain, the weight, the source, the durability, how it fits into the customer’s lifestyle.

Who else buys your cars and is happy with them–Get testimonials of your clients even if it’s just one person.

How long it takes you to make that shoe, widget, application product and so on.

What happens behind the scenes? Do you have photos, journals, videos or info graphics to share?

Remember, the better teacher will attract more eyeballs and listeners.
Are there any other ways to educate your customers that you recommend? Please share below.

Book Recommendation
David Ogilvy’s Ogilvy on AdvertisingOgilvy On Advertising

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Categories
Growth

Be Great At Something

Be good at something.

I recently filled out an application and it freshly dawned on me how important to have an area of excellence. Even if you can do other things, it’s good to be very good at something. People will pay for the value in you.

Branding, marketing, business strategy, sales and advertising are kindred disciplines but very different.

Find a skill that will make you indispensable, even if you relocated to another country or city. Salesmen, for example, are essential to most organizations because selling is an important skill.

It could be communication, writing code, math, carpentry, organization, writing, engineering, cooking, crocheting or basic accounting. Whatever it is, just make sure you have something of value that others will pay for!


Find something you can be the best at

As an entrepreneur, it is important to have skills or competencies that make you invaluable to your business. It’s not enough to have a vision alone. I have encountered entrepreneurs whose only value to their business is that they came up with the initial idea.

Many of them are incompetent leaders and this will affect the business in the long run unless they find out what their strengths are and stick to those.

1. Make a list of everyone you know who is an expert or has a high level proficiency in the strength you want to improve upon

2. Make a list of the steps they took to become the best. A lot of this stuff is public information. You may have to spend an hour or two looking for this information online by reading articles they have been featured in or interviews they have participated in.

3. Determine which steps fit your goals and start copying. This could be through reading the books they read or working at specific companies or taking courses they took.

Keep improving your strengths daily

Competence in areas such as communication, sales, goal setting, time management and basic finance can be studied so it is best to improve ourselves in these areas.

Your employees will respect you more if they view you as more than “The Idea Guy”.

How did you find your path in life?

Categories
Growth

How to do Real-Life Product Placement On TV, Social Media, and Music

Very few of people outside the United States have seen even a quarter of the ads in the States.

This makes it even more impressive that you can find so many brand evangelists and fans outside the States.

Do not underestimate the power of marketing through movies, TV shows, YouTube videos and other media that can be shared with the click of a mouse.

Product placement is very effective because it shows potential customers how to fit your products into their daily lives.

Show users how they can share your products with family, match it with their sneakers, and display it in their living rooms and so on.

Proper product placement in the lives of popular people can also make your brand more visible.

Many brands have seen great success by giving the coolest kids on campus free products.

Note that it is not enough to give your product to a celebrity or famous person unless a lot of your target will get to see it.

A lot of brands give out free samples to celebrities who have little or no web or press presence.

Consider using celebrities or brand evangelists as walking billboards.

We have seen brand ambassadors with no social media account and yet the target is a group who do not read newspapers or magazines.

If your target is spending four hours on YouTube everyday then a magazine ad may not be the best.

KELLOGG Marketing Case Study

Another brilliant idea that employs the product placement in real life idea was executed in Sweden by Kellogg.

A store offered a free box of Special K to customers who would take a photo and tag it with #nyaspecialk (Swedish for ‘new Special K’.

All the customer had to do was show the cashier the pic and they would get a free box.

The marketing director at Kellogg, mentioned that the Instagram app is more popular in Sweden than Twitter so it only made sense to use Instagram.

The brilliance in this campaign is that Kellogg got access to show the customer’s friends what brand of cereal they preferred.
Kellogg could have done this with a million dollar advertising budget as well but they realised it was a cheaper and more remarkable way to generate brand awareness.

I would like to mention that campaigns like these may not yield immediate results but with consistency, the payout can be huge.

Take car companies for example.

They know if they advertise consistently enough, a ten year old who has seen the ads all his life will consider buying car brand X when he or she is 30.

Another thing to remember about advertising is that, it should be measurable now or later.

For TV, it may look attractive for most brands but many do not know how to measure the results they get from TV ads.

Many more do not know if they got any results from their television campaigns.

The lesson here is not to just buy ad space because you can brag to your friends and competitors that you are in this month’s issue of Forbes.

Bragging rights should be birthed from results.

If you have a friend who is a musician, try to get him to put your brand name in one of his songs.

People will pay more for established brands because they presume the company’s brand name has more to lose if it screws up than they do.

Hardly anyone compares the specifications of five different television sets when they can just pick from the top three market leaders.

When you are hungry, you will buy from certain restaurants not because they are the best but because they are the most unlikely to be bad.

Any other product placement tips we have not covered?

Categories
Growth

What metrics are you using to measure your startup? Competition or Monopoly?

When I left my last startup I started thinking about what we achieved and if we had done our best for our clients.

My philosophy is that the best businesses for me are those where I can provide the most value to the largest number of people.

This kind of thinking advocates that competitors are a nuisance who cannot or will not take care of your target market as well as you can. To adopt this mindset, you have to be committed to providing nothing less than the best value to your clients.

If you were the best surgeon in town, would you want your family to be treated by anyone else? The standard metrics used by other startups did not seem to please me.

After reading both Titan and Peter Thiel’s Zero to One, I realized what we had missed.

We were using the wrong metrics.

Competition versus monopoly metrics

Metrics an entrepreneur and his team to know if they are doing productive work and if they are getting closer to their goals or targets.

This is on the assumption that the business has targets that matter.

Depending on the kind od business you want to have in 5 years, you may either be using what I call competitive metrics or monopoly metrics. I am in favor of the latter.

While reading John D. Rockefeller’s autobiography by Ron Chernow I realized what he set out to do. According to the author, Rockefeller had a sense of entitlement that drove him to think the oil business should be nurtured and preserved by him.

He felt it was only right to protect consumers from all other competitors who would not give them the service they deserved.

This mindset of course led him to control most of the oil production in much of the world for many years.

On the other hand, he could have chosen to compete with others for customers. I’ll explain why I agree with this mindset after I explain what the difference is.

Competitive metrics versus Monopoly metrics

Competitive metrics is when you measure your success according to stuff like sales, number of registered users, foot traffic, visitors to your website, revenue per month or whatever targets your sales people have been assigned.

Monopoly metrics are when you measure your business’ success by what percentage of your market you are providing value.

In contrast to purely competitive metrics, you are focusing of how big of the pie you are serving not just how many sales were made this quarter.

For example, a restaurant can boast of $10,000 in monthly sales from 1000 customers but is that business a success if the gross monthly sales of their market is $100000 from 10,000 customers?

This would mean that they only provided value to ten percent of the market. They allowed 90% of their family to be treated by another surgeon.

Not everyone agrees with me when I say this.

For some, this is being overly ambitious and I was told by one entrepreneur that too many customers would give you headaches. lol.

Facebook decided to track active users when everyone else was tracking registered users.

The latter is vanity while the former has made them the dominant force in social media globally. Focusing on registered users is like having a 100 vegetarians at your grilled pork soiree.

The room may be packed but if no one is eating then it doesn’t really matter.

Check out the books here. I particularly recommend Titan since it has a lot of insights from America’s first billionaire. You can also purchase Peter Thiel’s Zero to One here.