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See behind the mindset that helped make me a 6-Figure consultant with my manifesto

NO is NOT a Curse Word

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The Winning Stragety for Top Sales People

Have you ever ‘lost’ a client?

Not in the sense that you did a bad job at a project (be honest, it happens to everyone, including me) but you did a great job for a client. But you check out the site a few years, or maybe even a few months, later and see that the site has been totally reworked and they didn’t talk to you?

Are you starting out and doing cold calls to get work? How many times have you heard the word NO today, then? Probably lots and you’ve got some more coming.

Do you have an existing client who asked for more work but when they found out the cost they didn’t move forward with it? That’s a NO as well.

NO happens

You’re a salesperson, not just a developer or designer or photographer. You choose to run a business, so you’d better just deal with the reality that you’re in sales now.

That means that you’re going to hear the word NO.

How you deal with the NO is critical to how successful you’re going to be in the long term.

When that client doesn’t stay with you how do you talk to yourself?

  • Is it all your fault?
  • Is the client just mean by looking for cheaper work?
  • Is it not the ‘right time’ for them to work with you?

Did you know that only one of those explanations is used by top sales people? The people who keep going and keep making sales. Can you guess which one?

It’s the final one.

The response to a cold call rejection would be something like: “It wasn’t the right time for them to purchase.”

If it isn’t the right time for a client to work with you, or you’re currently not the right fit, then what do you do? I put those in my follow-up stream in Contactually.

Explanatory Style

Now we’re actually talking about the psychology behind great sales people, and happy people, actually. One of the key predictors of both types of people is their explanatory style, or how they explain the future to themselves.

The good salesperson/business owner, when dealing with rejection, uses language that describes the behaviour of the rejection as a temporary thing. Rejection of a sale doesn’t mean there’s something permanently wrong with you at all, but rather you’re dealing with a state of affairs that is transitory.

Now I’m in no way suggesting that you make a habit of explaining away rejection. It’s certainly possible that your sales process or your service offering is actually flawed and you aren’t selling because it’s a terrible purchase.

I am saying that you should expect some rejections when you sell.

You should expect clients to say no because they can’t see the value, even though you put together an awesome presentation and clearly defined how you can help them.

You should expect clients to…well, simply be cheap.

You should expect clients to feel that you’re not the right fit for them.

Don’t let these experiences get you down, but realize that these occasions are a temporary state of affairs. We all have slow times — yup, even me — but the real difference between me and many small business owners (besides the fact that I save money) is that I’m confident in the value I offer, and realize sometimes I’m not the right fit for a client.

The whole point of my client process is to weed out clients that aren’t a great fit.

When you get a few rejections in a row, remember you’re awesome and can bring great value to your clients.

If you’re getting rejections for every proposal for months, then by all means ask someone to go over your sales process and proposals with you. That second set of eyes may help you identify what you’re doing wrong.

Typically you’re still awesome and something in your process is just ‘off’ a bit.

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The One Requirement for Charging Well

A few weeks ago my friend Mario wrote an excellent article on pricing issues and quality in the WordPress space. In summary, my friend Mario says most of the WordPress ‘consultants’ are simply hopping on the bandwagon of a popular CMS but don’t really have the skills to help clients achieve a valid ROI on their sites.

Clients see something like 99% of the WordPress ‘experts’ out there charging rates as low as $5 to $10 an hour, and view other WordPress experts who charge $150 to $200 an hour as greedy scam artists. Of course there is often a vast difference between the services and experience provided by 99% of the so-called ‘experts’ and the 1% who actually run a business.

Now I’m not going to disagree with anything Mario wrote or dwell on his comments more than I have already. The article simply got me thinking, “Do you need to be a designer or developer to charge well for your consulting?”

No I don’t think you do.

Wait, what else is there?

Okay let’s assume you can’t really develop, as in you don’t think in PHP and server configurations. Maybe you dabble in code a bit, typically don’t wreck things and can work your way out of issues.

Assume you don’t design. Yeah, you can take an existing site design and add to it but coming up with an awesome design from scratch is something a young child can do better than you.

Well then, what do you do?

You do a single thing — solve client problems. Which is exactly what a ‘developer’ or ‘designer’ should be doing as well.

Maybe you bring them more traffic or know that plugin X actually works where plugin Y totally screws the pooch and crashes sites.

You can install plugin Y and ‘save the day’.

Maybe you have the skills and talent to target your client’s core market and help them generate an awesome content plan, like my friend Angie Meeker.

It’s about ROI

In my opinion, even if you are a developer or a designer you may not be worth $150 to $200 an hour, depending on what you actually do for a client.

Are you actually able to provide ROI for the client? Does your very pretty design translate into your client’s goals accomplished?

Are they seeing more sales or regularly adding people to their email list?

Does the new feature you developed for their site actually get used? Does it save them time and thus costs?

Does the server you set them up with actually reduce downtime and is it fast and secure? Did you set the client up with this server because it solves the client’s problems, or was it only because this is your favourite host to work with?

If you don’t know, then you’re likely not worth that high development/design rate you charge. If you’re not engaging in value-based ROI conversations and following up on them with clients then you’re simply an outsourced set of fingers with a technical skill.

A technical skill that many others in the world have.

The only thing that’s truly valuable to a client is earning them more money or saving them time. Unfortunately, too many developers and designers do nothing to make sure they actually provide any ROI despite their ‘rock star’ status.

Don’t be that person. Provide ROI for your clients.

Have an awesome business.

photo credit: st3f4n cc

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Focus on the Goal Not the Path

A few weeks back I shared that I wanted to grow my business to a $1 million dollar business. That remains my goal and currently my top three strategies to get me there are:

  1. Offer more products for sale here.
  2. Have clients on conversion-based payments so as they make more, I make more.
  3. Get more group (mastermind) and solo coaching clients.

I do have plans for how this can all happen in 2015 but there is some risk involved, which is why I have set up quarterly evaluations for my goals.

Blind

When I was 7 or 8 I went on a bike ride with my dad. Well, I was on my bike in the forest and he walked. I remember being super excited my dad was going to take me out in to the ‘big forest’. Even though years later I realize how truly small it was and how it was surrounded by houses on all sides.

The goal for that day was to ride my bike and hang out with my dad but I got too focused on the path and got way ahead of him. When I came to a fork in the path, I went left and when my dad reached the fork, he went right.

He told me I was only out of sight for 5 to 10 minutes, but I remember it feeling like an eternity. An eternity in which I was crying so hard I could barely ride my bike back down the path towards the place where our paths diverged.

When I finally made my way back to my dad, I of course jumped into his arms, overcome with relief. During the remainder of the ride I stayed focused on the goal, having a good time with my dad, not the path.

My plans and enemies

I’ve got plans for the year — the path I’ve laid out — but the fact is, I’m not holding too firmly to them. If I get to my first quarterly evaluation and the plans are totally off the rails, it’s time to refocus on my goal and possibly map out a new path to get me to my goal.

As you set your own goals, make your yearly/life plans but make sure you come back and revisit them regularly so you stay on the path to your end goal.

The way you get there doesn’t matter, the fact that you get to your goal is the important part.

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More to Work Than WordPress

At PressNomics 3 in January of this year, Hamid Shojaee gave a great talk about using side projects to learn.

In short, Hamid’s team dedicates 30 days a year to build something in a field completely outside of their core technology. Maybe it’s Objective C or Node or something else entirely.

When I look around at most of the WordPress people I know, I see…awesome people who build WordPress stuff. The ones I know are great at generating new ideas for ways to use WordPress and they execute those ideas. They build cool client things on WordPress.

What I don’t see very often is someone who steps outside WordPress, or even PHP, takes a trial idea and builds something entirely unrelated to their day-to-day work.

This includes me.

But where’s the benefit?

But, you may ask, if we’re WordPress experts, where is the benefit in building something in a technology stack entirely unrelated to WordPress or PHP?

The benefit is, we stand to learn lots that we can bring back to our day-to-day work.

That’s it. If you decided to dive in to Ruby on Rails you’d find that it’s all about Object Oriented Programming which is something WordPress as a community is really just starting to grapple with.

Let’s say you’re a designer. When was the last time you designed something other than a website? When was the last time you painted or worked with a physical medium of any sort?

When was the last time you tried to design a logo or typography, entirely hand-lettered?

These things will help you learn so much more about how to do your craft with more awesome.

If you’re a writer who usually writes fiction, how about you try a totally different genre or write a research-based short book?

Don’t run away

The point of trying something else is the learning, which you can bring back to your current field. By applying what you’ve learned you can perform your regular tasks with more clarity.

Maybe the new design pattern you created by hand will be something you can use on your next project.

Sure, stay focused on that one thing you do the best but learn from the other things you try to do.

Don’t just limit your learning to WordPress and PHP, or designing blogs. Venture out into the unknown and learn something that can ultimately help you be even better.

photo credit: dunechaser cc

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Dealing with odd responses to your initial client email

Today we’re back on the subject of vetting clients with initial emails. To see the ground we’ve already covered you can check out the rest of my Client Vetting Series.

What if, after sending the initial email questions, the answers you get are…odd? How do you deal with that?

Let’s look at some answers I’ve gotten when using my email templates.

ASAP

My timeline is always ASAP.

So your timeline is always ASAP, is it? Huh. Well that’s awesome, I guess.

My initial humour head says tell that prospect that their price is always whatever is reasonable then multiply it by 3 since it’s always a rush.

Really what this response tells me is that this prospect has no real plan, likely just comes up with the development ideas on a whim, and is likely to request changes mid-project.

If I take on a client like this I need to price and draw up the scope super specifically to make sure the project has the highest chance of success.

Here’s what I’d write back:

Hey [name], Of course all business owners want everything as soon as they can get it, but ASAP isn’t actually a time frame and I’m busy. Given the very little bit I know and how busy I am I can’t start for 3 weeks and the work is likely to take 2 – 3 weeks. Of course, once we actually talk about your project we are likely to adjust the time frame.

If that sounds like something that fits you then let’s talk a bit more about the work.

Budget

I hate that question. I don’t have a pre-determined amount of money I’m willing to spend. It might take more or it might take less. How would I know until it’s complete?

So you don’t know how much you expect to spend, do you? Have you actually thought about the ROI on the project? I mean, if you expect your investment to only earn you $1,000 more over 6 months, then you certainly wouldn’t spend $6,000 to build it right?

Well, you wouldn’t if you’re a smart business owner.

Smart business owners know the ROI on projects, or at least have an idea of what it might be. I don’t want to work with someone that doesn’t know it and isn’t willing to engage in a conversation on budgets. It’s a total waste of time for both of us to talk about a project I feel is worth $5,000 and the prospect feels is worth $500.

So this is my typical response:

Yes, budget can be hard but it’s super important so we need to have a good idea about what you expect to spend on the work. A great way to think about it is, what do you expect the work to earn you, or how much time will it save? What’s 10 – 20% of that number? That’s a budget we can start with to see if it matches with the work you’d like.

If you don’t know how much you’re likely to earn from the work, then we can certainly do a discovery session together to figure that out. Discovery calls are 1 hour and cost $500 and full discovery sessions start at $2,000 which includes a proper written scoping report.

I break projects

I’ve been struggling to find someone who can do it the correct way for me. Have gone through a couple guys. I blame myself.

This is certainly concerning. Do you want to be the latest in a long list of developers who ‘failed’ at a project?

I certainly don’t. Here it’s important to have a solid process and make the client stick to it. It’s entirely possible that the client has never been trained to be a good client. Maybe all the other people they’ve worked with were terrible, with bad project management and/or communication skills despite being awesome programmers.

I also want to talk to the other programmers in this case to get their take on why the project went wrong. It may be they admit the project went bad and it was totally their fault.

I had one of those last year. The client is awesome, understanding, had a budget and I totally screwed up. They’re now looking for a developer to pick up a project I failed at and they keep talking to my friends. So I keep getting questions about it, and I simply admit I screwed up and the client is awesome.

So, when I have a prospect tell me they break projects, my response is:

It takes some good self-awareness to admit you may be breaking projects. Honestly, that makes me pause a bit about working with you, so I have some more questions about how/why projects haven’t worked that I’ll need you to answer.

  1. Why would you say you break projects?
  2. How was the communication on other projects set up? (Email, project management system…)
  3. Can I have email addresses for 2 of the developers that didn’t work out so I can ask them why they think the project didn’t work?

If we work together I’m sure we both want to turn around the failed projects and I have a process to give us the best opportunity for success. I’m going to require that we use my process. That means my project management system and we meet on my schedule.

Once I get those answers we can see about working together.

Caution advised

If you encounter any of the above scenarios, you should proceed with caution. It has been my experience that in 90% of cases when you get responses like the ones I’ve illustrated, it’s not a project you should go ahead with.

Every now and then, though, there is the exception. You may get a prospect who’s never actually worked with a proper professional who runs a legitimate business. They’ve only dealt with people who run a ‘hobby’.

If you have received any odd answers to your initial email I’d love to hear about them. Post them in the comments and I’ll put together another post covering my responses.

photo credit: nolnet cc

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Your Business is a By-product of Your Interactions

What makes up your business?

Sure you’ve got a public profile on social media and that’s your business.

You may have a marketing plan and do some content marketing and that’s your business.

Yet these aren’t the things that say the most about your business.

By-products

Have you ever called your cell phone provider and been put on hold? Do you remember the message that’s repeated over and over while you wait? It’s typically some version of:

We value you and want to serve you — please wait 9 hours for an operator.

Do we believe that? No, of course we don’t because making you wait for 9 hours is all the proof you need that the company doesn’t value you or your business.

Internet

My friend Ryan had a very similar circumstance with his internet provider. He called to get some support and was put on hold.

Then after 2 hours the line was disconnected on the provider’s end, and of course he called back.

The second time he only waited for 20 minutes before he got hung up on.

The third time he went through the crazy phone tree and was finally able to state his reason for calling — that he was going to cancel his service. Guess what? Someone picked up the phone after the first ring.

Ryan was only valuable when he was going to drop their service.

It’s all marketing

Your business is a by-product of your actions. If you’re not getting referrals from past clients, you need to ask yourself if you’ve really marketed yourself well to those clients while you worked on their project.

Did you just check off tasks without actually accomplishing their goals?

During your exit process, did you wrap the client up in a little ball of warm love? Wait — do you have an exit process?

Did you communicate regularly with the client or did they have to follow up with you to get information?

Did you go back and measure the ROI with the client to make sure that your services were actually of benefit?

If you want an awesome business and great referrals then you need to realize that getting a client in the ‘door’ is only the first step in your marketing plan.

After that you need to remain awesome so that the client doesn’t feel hoodwinked, but instead wants to sing your praises to everyone around.

Your business is a by-product of every interaction that a client has with you.

Make sure the interactions are awesome.

photo credit: proudlove cc

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It’s not your problem if they can’t find someone to work with

There are various types of leads you might come across in your business. Some simply have crazy schedule demands you could never meet.

Some have crazy expectations and you don’t want to sacrifice your firstborn to meet them. Your firstborn was good today, right?

Some have decent budgets and it’s work you used to do, but you’re no longer interested in that type of work.

Some walk that line and they sound good initially, but when you dig in you find out they really aren’t a good match for you because they’re chameleons and have all of these problems:

  • Low or no budget
  • Want it yesterday
  • Want 3 calls a day
  • And they need a kitchen remodel

Dealing with it

The most freeing thing I adopted for my business was starting to use some standard email templates. Like my initial email template and then requiring that those questions get answered before I get on the phone.

That gave me a set of standard responses and processes which helped break me of my first habit — to automatically help people.

Back to high school

Back in high school I lived beside a classmate and she regularly had boy problems. I was a nice guy, she was a nice girl, and there was no real boy-girl attraction between us, so she regularly came to me and poured out her problems.

I’d end up sitting outside her house at 11 p.m. with a wet shirt as she cried over her latest poor choice of boyfriend.

My heart was/is soft and I wanted to help. Part of me is still that way. I want to help people have an awesome business, it’s my WHY for doing business.

But I can’t help everyone that wants my time. I already send out 5 – 10 emails a day to people asking advice on running a good business.

Plus all the client leads I get.

Boundaries

After my email templates, a big turning point for me was realizing which things aren’t my problems, after reading the book Boundaries.

It’s not my problem that you don’t have someone to do your work. I may have some recommendations but if those don’t work out, it’s not my problem.

Funny enough, the best practical application of the ideas around what is and is not my problem came from a parenting book called Parenting with Love and Logic. I recommend you read it even if you don’t have kids.

Even read half of it after you read Boundaries for some great practical examples of defining what is your problem and what is not your problem.

You can’t solve it all

Remember that you simply can’t solve every problem. There are a bunch of problems that you’re even going to do a bad job at because it’s not your speciality.

Doing that work is a disservice to your customer.

You’re likely never going to meet this person and they have no bearing on your life in any fashion.

Don’t get all worked up and worry about pleasing some ‘random’ person. Point them in the right direction to get help, then move on to getting your ideal client.

Your ideal client is someone that you can help and do awesome work for. Saying yes to the wrong client means you don’t have the space to take your ideal client later.

Taking the wrong client means you’re likely to do bad work and resent it.

I’m not sure about you, but I don’t have any time for that.

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January 2015 Reading List

1. Kutath

Get Kutath on Amazon.

This was the first book I finished in 2015, and I finished it on January 1st. No, I didn’t read 99% of it in 2014 and wait until January 1 to finish it — I actually read 80% of it on January 1 because I spent the whole day reading the other 20% was done in 20142

Kutath is the last book in the Faded Sun trilogy and ends the story of the Mri, Regul, and Humans. We are on the home planet of the Mri, and Duncan our Human -> Mri convert talks to the ship of humans, kills a Regul, almost kills a Mri kel’anth (chief warrior) and desperately runs back to the tribe of Mri that won’t kill him while being pursued.

In the end we get treachery from the Regul, many Humans die but the Mri homeward is spared and the Mri turn out to really be explorers and strike up a deal with Humans to be the sharp end of their exploration of space.

I have loved the Faded Sun Trilogy for a long time and have read each book more than once. My only regret is that the books are not available on Kindle so I have to keep the paperback copies around.

2. Divergent

Get Divergent on Amazon.

Yup, I read the teen focused book that the movie was based on, and I even enjoyed it mostly.

My biggest hang up is author Veronica Roth’s writing style. It just feels ponderous to me. I think there was more emotion in the movie characters.

So I’d give this 3 stars. It was good, but I won’t be running back to read it over and over as I have with other books, like Kutath above.

For those who haven’t seen the movie — or the move trailer — the basis of the story is that humanity suffered some big calamity and now the remaining population lives in a single city, with people split into factions.

There are 5 factions and each one embodies something special like Dauntless, which is brave, or Candor, which is honest to a fault.

Our hero (Beatrice who goes by Tris) transfers from the selfless faction Abegnation to Dauntless and we get to watch her become strong and brave.

Then she and Four find bad things happening and stop mass killings, but as a result have to escape the city to live factionless.

3. Book Yourself Solid

Get Book Yourself Solid on Amazon.

This is my fourth or fifth time going through Book Yourself Solid, but honestly only my third time doing the work in the book. For all the awesome information it offers it’s a lot of work.

The entire premise of Book Yourself Solid is revealed in the title. The goal of the book is for you to learn how to get booked solid.

The author begins by helping you build a ‘velvet rope policy’ where you identify your ideal clients and then build a process to only let those clients through your velvet rope to work with you.

The latter part of the book is all about marketing. How do you write to bring prospects into your sales funnel? What about using Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn? Ever thought of speaking as a way to bring in customers?

Author Michael Port goes over all of that for you. His advice is to pick a few strategies and actually do the work, unlike many business owners that just hope business comes in.

4. Insurgent

Get Insurgent on Amazon.

This is the second book in the Divergent trilogy from Veronica Roth. Here we meet Tris and Tobias, who have escaped from the city and are now outside the wall with the Amity faction. They learn of more plotting within the Erudite faction to kill people and keep information away from the population.

Of course, by the end, Tris and Tobias partner with the ‘factionless’ and storm the headquarters, releasing information to the public.

Again, in this book Tris just feels…stupid. She continually makes straight-up dumb decisions and acts flaky, harming her relationship with Tobias. Anytime she sees Tobias (Four) she becomes a mushy pile of jelly and can’t think straight.

For all the ‘strength’ the character has, I found her weak; she doesn’t feel like a real person to me. Actually, few of the characters in the book felt real to me.

I’ll finish out the series, but really just to see what happens. I’m not really that impressed.

5. Allegiant (Divergent 3)

Get Allegiant on Amazon.

So this is the end of the Divergent series. In this book, we get outside the city and find out that it’s a city where genetically broken people are ‘fixed’ but some people don’t believe that’s really a thing.

I’ll avoid any more spoilers and just say that the whole story felt ‘hollow’ to me. I do believe the premise is decent and there is lots of possibility, but it felt like it was merely that through the entire book — a possibility of greatness.

Divergent wasn’t a bad series. I mean, I read it over 13 days so at some level I was certainly into it, but I doubt I’ll go back and read it again. Certainly not anytime soon.

6. Write and Sell Your Damn Book

Get Write and Sell Your Damn Book on Amazon.

This is a super short guide on writing a book. I mean so short I started reading it after dinner, stopped to bathe the baby and put up a towel rack, and still finished the book before 8 p.m.

Is it worthwhile? Yes, if you want a very high-level overview of what it means to write a book. If you want detailed advice on how to write a book, then you’re better off reading APE (which I read and talked about already).

7. This Could Help

Get This Could Help on Amazon.

This Could Help is a collection of short essays by Patrick Rhone, a well known productivity/simplicity author and the creator of the Dash/Plus Productivity System.

Way too often we equate length with value, an idea that may stem from our own stance on money. Obviously if something costs more it must be worth more. Obviously if someone earns more they must be more successful.

But this isn’t true, and the length of this book should not give you any preconceived notion about its value. Yes it’s short, but there is a lot of value packed in here.

Perhaps, the fact that you were able to raise, push, or stretch is proof that these things were not there in the first place?

Patrick’s essays cover a range of topics. The quote above is an example, where he explores how we choose to limit ourselves — how spreading your focus across many tasks but doing them poorly is no substitute for a laser-like focus on a single task, doing it with a level of craftsmanship unattainable when we multi-task.

In turn, we all write our own eulogies. We write them with the way we live in each moment.

He also delves into the deeper topics of how we live our lives. Are you living your life like your eulogy? You’re writing it right now as you read this.

Will what you’re accomplishing today be a part of the eulogy you want to have?

This Could Help is a pleasurable read that calls us to be better people. People with more focus and more intention. People that lead because we quietly do great work and are creative because of the things we opt not to do.

The truth is, we don’t need the Internet. The Internet needs us. Because, it is mostly made of us and the things we put into it.

We’re called to be people who are productive because we choose to do the most effective things with our time.

It calls me to be the kind of person I want to be.

8. Start with Why

Get Start with Why on Amazon.

If you’ve been reading about running a business or listening to podcasts on running a business you’ve most likely heard of Start with Why by Simon Sinek. It’s up there with books like Good to Great (which I’ve reviewed) or Getting Things Done.

It totally deserves this place.

Start with Why explores WHY you actually run your business, or why you do anything in life. Yes, you run your business to make money, but that’s not what this book is about.

To get a better idea let me tell you my WHY.

I build websites and teach about business to help other people get the success they want and live the life they want to live.

I can trace my why back to teaching rock climbing and being way more excited about the success of a student than my own success.

I taught to help others succeed at their goals.

This book explores many companies that are succeeding and some that aren’t, and relates their success/failure back to sticking with the WHY for that business.

One of the comparisons near the end of the book is Walmart vs. Costco. One of the big things that Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, believed in was treating his employees right. His salary at Walmart was just over $300,000 a year, which is a lot but nowhere near what any comparable CEO was making.

He still drove a basic pickup truck and wore a trucker’s hat. He embodied the WHY of Walmart.

Compare that to later Walmart CEOs, steadily increasing their pay to match CEOs  of other large corporations. Add to that the continued battles at Walmart around employee mistreatment and lawsuits over shortage on overtime.

Walmart is no longer an organization about the WHY it was founded on, and because of that, they’ve damaged much of the credibility they built with the environmental focus in many of their stores. No, we tend to see Walmart as one more giant company hiding poor behaviour behind some nice environmental slogans.

Now look at Costco, which also has a WHY revolving around treating its employees right. Costco employees earn about 30% more than the competitors’ employees. Costco was actually later to the the market with environmental upgrades to stores, yet it gets more credit for them because we understand the WHY.

It takes care of its employees.

That’s just one example and comparison. You’ll see mentions of Apple and Microsoft, Southwest Airlines and a myriad of other businesses.

So the big takeaway is, what is your WHY? WHY do you do business? WHY do you choose the activities in life that you do?

Now how does your WHY show itself in your life every day?

The only caveat I give to this book is that it does repeat itself. A number of the examples could get cut and you’d still get the same value out of the material.

9. The Martian

Get The Martian on Amazon.

This is the most riveting piece of fiction I’ve read in a long time, possibly ever. The basics are that humans are exploring Mars and there is a big storm. All but one of the crew escapes and the rest of the crew — and NASA — think he’s dead.

Well he’s not, and this is a story about him trying to survive and NASA trying to rescue him.

Watching him solve problems as they come up is totally awesome. Watching NASA and the world pull together to save him is also awesome.

The book is just all around awesome. Yes it’s science fiction, but it’s more science than fiction and the science doesn’t get boring — it just makes things more interesting. There are also a bunch of great lessons we can put in to our business.

That’s my list for January 2015. Stay tuned for the next list.

We price based on value not hours

We will not price hourly, that’s just a way for someone to outsource and employee. We will dive in and find out the value we provide and charge based on how much value there is.

For more on pricing check out Art of Value and my Pricing Series.

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Curtis McHale

Helping you answer the hard questions about your business