The Secret Sauce in Your Next Big Business Breakthrough
July 14, 2017
Category: Business Tips
Over the years, as a business coach, I’ve seen amazing breakthroughs happen. I’ve seen owners grow their businesses significantly during the last recession when all of their competitors were shrinking. I’ve see owners grow their profits by six figures in a single year. I’ve seen owners cut their work week in half while still growing their businesses. I could go on and on!
These breakthroughs made me wonder about what these business owners were doing to create these great results that many other business owners were not. What was their secret sauce? After much noodling, I now have an answer.
The Secret Sauce
I’ve come to the conclusion that the secret sauce applied by the owners who make amazing breakthrough is their commitment to “pull out all of the stops” to solve the most pressing problems that are standing in the way of their success.
By “pulling out all the stops,” I mean that they have shown the perseverance and determination to do whatever it takes to resolve the most important challenges that are holding their businesses back, and as Winston Churchill said during WWII, “Never, never, never quit” until they have found a solution.
If you still don’t have a good idea of what “pulling out all of the stops” looks and feels like, the movies are full of examples of persistence, creativity and resourcefulness against all odds. Check out “Apollo 13”, “Extraordinary Measures”, “The Imitation Game”, “The Martian” or “Norma Rae” for great examples.
For contrast, I’d like to give you an example of what not pulling out all of the stops looks like. I had a call with a business owner who was thinking about hiring a coach, and here is how our conversation went:
- Me: “What are the biggest challenges that you face in your business today?”
- Owner: “That’s simple. My number one challenge, my number two challenge, my number three challenge, they’re all the same: I can’t hire enough good people to grow my business!”
- Me: “Okay. How much time do you spend every week trying to find and hire good people and to create a hiring system that will help you consistently find and hire good people?”
- Owner: “Maybe half an hour a week. Maybe a little less.”
- Me: “Well, you know, this is no mystery. The reason you’re having trouble is because you haven’t really dedicated yourself to finding a solution.”
I’m not saying that solving the hiring problem is easy. I know that it’s not. But this owner was clearly not “pulling out all of the stops” to get his hiring challenges resolved! Agreed?
And I’ve had similar conversations with many owners who were struggling unsuccessfully to resolve their challenges to grow their businesses, increase profit, get their teams to take ownership of their work etc., and in most cases missing ingredient was that they weren’t “pulling out all of the stops” to resolve their issues to get the results they want.
Don’t wish for a breakthrough, create one!
Are you ready to “pull out all of the stops” to create a breakthrough in your business? Great! Then here are some of the things that you need to do:
- Zero in on the most pressing problem that’s holding your business back
Answer this question: “What’s the one challenge in your business that if you could crack the code on it would make the biggest difference in helping reach your business and life goals this year?” Make a list of the possibilities, then zero in on the one (OK, maybe two) challenges that are the most important to resolve. Why one or two? Because you usually don’t have enough bandwidth to focus on more, and it is better to resolve one or two big things than to work on 10 or 20 and get none of them resolved.
- Create a clear vision of what you’re trying to achieve
In one of my favorite books, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, one of the seven habits is “Begin with the end in mind.” Knowing what you want to accomplish, and envisioning what you want the end results to look like, has been proven to be a key to success in most things you try to accomplish. If you don’t have a good picture of what the end result will be, how will you know when you can claim “Mission accomplished”? So keep your eye on the prize.
- Have a game plan
Clearly, you won’t know all the steps that you need to take to solve your biggest challenges. If you did, you probably would have solved them already. Don’t worry. Just map out the steps that you know you need to take to get started. Put dates when you want to complete each step. When you complete these initial steps, additional action steps will become clear. If the next steps aren’t clear…
- Get help
“Pulling out all of the stops” doesn’t mean that you have to go it alone. It’s the opposite really. You have lots of resources at your disposal who might be able to help. Don’t be afraid to seek out help. Your pressing issue is also the pressing issue for thousands of other contractors. If you have a challenge in your business, the chances are good that someone else has figured out how to solve it so, rather than spin your wheels, ask for help! Google it! Check out articles in APC. Talk to the PDCA. Call your peers. Talk to coaches and consultants. The more people you talk to, the quicker you’ll find your solution.
- Be relentless
It will require commitment, focus, persistence and follow through on your part to make resolve your biggest challenges. At times, you may get frustrated and want to quit. But don’t. Part of being relentless is devoting the necessary time and resources with consistency and persistence. Where you spend your time, money and resources speaks volumes about what you feel is really important, so make sure that you’ve dedicated enough of each to ensure success.
- Hold yourself accountable
Despite all of your best intentions, with all that you have on your plate in your business and life, it’s not easy to move ahead with your goals and plans. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution to keep you moving when the going gets tough. All you need to do is to share your goals with someone else, ask him or her to hold you accountable to reach them. Then check in with them regularly to report on your progress. It can make a huge difference in your persistence, follow through and ultimate success.
You’ll move mountains!
I truly believe that you can do amazing things if you “pull out all the stops” and truly dedicate yourself to the task.
So, my request for you is that you follow the steps above to zero in on the most pressing problem that’s holding your business back and commit yourself for the rest of the year to “pull out all of the stops” to resolve it.
And to quote the brilliant business writer, Dr. Seuss:
And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.) KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS! So… be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea, Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way!
Here’s How We’ve Helped Other Businesses.
Since working with Bill we have gone from losing money to a 6-figure profit and our business has grown more than 20%. It’s incredible. Working with Bill has been a great investment.
Bill’s tools and techniques reduced the struggle and helped me get and retain new customers. While working with Bill, my sales increased 40%, even though the price wars were brutal.
Bill’s constant guidance and insight has helped us make decisions that were instrumental in greatly improving our business and making us happier more fulfilled people.
-Rick Holtz, HJ Holtz and Son Painting
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