Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to post photos more often than once a week and to try to take some pictures every day.  I'm not ready to do Project 365 like Shirley did last year... in fact we worked almost all day on shelves in our new pantry and I didn't touch my camera until tonight... to get yesterday's pictures off.

We went for a very pleasant hike New Year's Eve to Edith Point... where I captured this fun photo of my sweetheart as she posed by an arbutus tree near the Point.

Another one of my New Years Resolutions is to learn something new every day... and make a note of it.
I quite often learn something most days, but promptly forget what it was.  So writing it down may help with the retention. Sometimes I will share these new things I learn on my blog... like am going to do tonight.  Hope you pick up an idea or so.

Today I was reading Lesson 11 in the Elevation Group from Mike Dillard.  The topic was about how to start a home business and get some cash flow from it.  He obviously has it figured out... and below I want to share his list of "Core Values for a Long and Profitable Business."  I couldn't just do it as a link, as this is in the middle of huge document that is for "members only."  I liked it a lot... and wish all businesses operated with a similar set of Core Values... don't you?

1: Forget About The Money, And The Money Will Come.
If you do something for money, you will fail. Making money is the BY-PRODUCT or result, of helping other people solve a problem. When I stopped worrying about making money, and started focusing on helping others, the money came quickly and by the truck-load.
I do not look for ways to make money. I look for problems I can help people solve.
2: Always Deliver What You Promised, And On Time.
If you sell a product to someone, make sure it’s delivered quickly. If you say that it will be there in five days, deliver it in three days.
If you’re not sure if you can meet a deadline, then don’t set one.
3: Be Authentic.
I’ve been told many times over the years that the reason people like to do business with me, is because I’m real. Every event I’ve ever been to, I’m approached by someone who says, “Wow Mike… You’re exactly the same person in real life as you are on the web…”
People don’t want to buy from a fast-talking sales person. They want to buy from a friend they can trust.
Be yourself.
4: Deliver 10 Times More Value Than The Price.
Whenever I produce a product, I make sure it’s worth 10 times more than the price.
This is extremely important if it’s your very first product, and therefore, your very first impression on your new customers.
5: Never Make A Decision Based On Money.
There are extremely profitable products and services that I could promote to EVG Members, which would probably make me an extra $50,000 or more per month.
But I do not promote them.
Because in most cases, I don’t feel like they’re in the best interest of my Members. I do what’s right for my customers, not what’s right for my pocket book.
And it’s for this reason, that I’ll have customers for years, instead of cash for a few months.
6: Always Make Decisions For The Long-Term.
A very good friend of mine recently asked me if I had plans to write a main-stream book based on The Elevation Group in the coming months,, as it would help with branding and promotion.
I said that yes I did, but I’m going to wait at least two or three more years because I want to earn the right to produce a book that can truly change people’s lives.
I am confident the decision to wait and write a truly profound book three years from now, will result in benefits that are far greater than a mediocre book I can write today.
7: When You Screw Up, (Because You Will), Admit It And Apologize.
While I strive to be the best I can, I am not perfect. Your customers will forgive you and respect you that much more if you acknowledge your mistakes and apologize. Trying to hide it will only turn you into a liar.
8: Provide The Best Customer Service Possible.
Treat your customers as you’d like to be treated. Make it easy to reach your customer service department, and train your agents well. They represent you.
9: Say “Thank You” Sincerely, And Often.
If you don’t, they will buy from someone else who does.
10: Stick To Your Guns.
Stand up for who you are and your beliefs. You will never be able to please everyone, and attempting to do so will only make you look like a flip-flopping politician. Sticking to your beliefs will help you create true, loyal fans.
11: Never Burn A Bridge Over Money.
I see partnerships or joint-ventures fall apart all the time over a financial dispute. Always give the other person the benefit of the doubt, and the money that’s in question.
It’s only dirty paper, and burning a bridge or screwing someone over for money is the quickest way to end up at the bottom.
Industries are small, word gets around, and no one wants to do business with a jackass.
12: Never Argue With A Customer.
Just give them a refund and a respectful “thank you”. You don’t know what’s going on in their life, or the problems they may be having.
13: Fire Bad Customers.
On the other hand, if someone’s an asshole or treats anyone on your team with disrespect, fire them. Give them a refund, remove them from your database, and wish them well. They’re never worth the money.
14: Stand Up For Yourself.
If you choose to start a business in the “information marketing” world as I have, you will become a tiny celebrity in your own little way.
While most of the people you have contact with will become fans if you follow the values outlined above, “haters” come with the territory. (Even Jesus had haters).
Should you find yourself the target of a mentally unstable person who wishes to harm you or your business, stand up for yourself and take the high road. Do not engage them publically, as they are only looking for attention.
You can engage them privately to try and find common ground. When I’ve seen a negative post in the past, it’s usually a case of miscommunication. I’ll personally email or call the person to clear the air, and that’s worked wonderfully 99% of the time.
If they continue to abuse you and your reputation without just cause, get a good attorney, and sue the crap out of them.
These people are bullies who feel safe behind a computer. That feeling goes away when they’re served with a lawsuit in person.
Your reputation is your business. Stand up for yourself.
15: Thank Your Mentors.
None of us can build a business, or acquire new skills alone. We all need teachers and mentors, and I believe that teaching is the noblest profession on the world.

So There You Have It…
Staying true to these principles have allowed me to build a long-profitable business in our new “trust-based economy”.
Print them out, write them out, post them on your wall, and never forget them.

1 comment:

  1. Sherwin I absolutely love the photograph you capture of Shirley! It is so completely authentic. I also enjoyed reading your small business article and I agree with every point with some being more relevant and important to me than others. Nicely done!