Obstacles in the road, being successful

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” - Zig Ziglar
I recently read that a collection of Surveys, studies and research concluded that 85% of your success will depend on attitudinal factors, 15% on aptitude. Now I am not sure how they came up with that conclusion and I am really unsure how they put definitive numbers to it. My guess is that they made up the numbers and hoped that no one would question them.
Research has also concluded that 67% of all statistics are made up off the cuff (including this one ;).
Yet in spite of my skepticism over their supposed scientific numbers my own experience has shown me that they are not far off the mark. 85% of your success will depend on attitudinal factors, 15% on aptitude. Yet in your formal education and in most continuing education, the emphasis is on the opposite - 15% on attitude, 85% on aptitude.
Certainly technical knowledge and skills are important. In your profession, you must deliver excellence based on your staying up-to-date on techniques, products, materials and ideas. There is no excuse for falling behind in your aptitude your ability to get things done in fact I am a strong advocate of living a life of continual improvement of your aptitude. 
However, such excellence alone will never build a successful, growing, profitable business.  On the other hand, the excellence created and sustained in your own mind is what will ultimately cultivate your success.  This is the most difficult, least tangible aspect of building your business that we’ll ever talk about, but it is also probably the most important. 
Yeah, but what is it?  Lets call it your self perception?   
The way I see it, your self perception can be broken down into three major components: 
  • Self Esteem 
  • Self Image 
  • Self Discipline 
Quality in these four areas is a necessary foundation to personal and professional success. You need to master the inner game if you want to get anywhere in your life.
So lets deal with these areas starting with Self Esteem. 
Self Esteem is essentially your feelings of worth.  How much success do you deserve?  How much money should you make?  How much is your time worth? 
Here, briefly, are six ideas for strengthening self esteem: 
  1. Establish worthwhile, meaningful goals and values. 
  2. Take massive action to get your own financial house in order if it isn’t now. Reduce debt, bring expenses under income; invest every single month. 
  3. Give yourself recognition for each and every accomplishment. 
  4. Manage your time productively.  Procrastination and disorganization rob many people of their self-esteem. 
  5. Associate with positive-minded, happy people who encourage and motivate you.  Don’t hang out with folks who are negative, unhappy, critical or jealous. 
  6. Continually acquire new know-how in you profession and in the areas of business, sales and communication. 
Self image is how you see yourself; it’s who you think you are.  Your self image is controlled mostly by self-imposed limits.  Very few people ever perform beyond those self-imposed limits.
A salesman whose father never earned more than $25,000 a year in his life may well see himself as a $25,000 a year guy.  And he will subconsciously screw up the opportunities to earn more that come his way. 
In the financial area, this called a money rejection syndrome, and I am convinced that such a thing definitely exists.  One man who made over $100 million from scratch within the first three years of creating his business, had gone broke in business several times before. After the three years of remarkable success, he said, “Making $100 million is about the easiest thing I’ve ever done.  Believing it could happen to me was the hard part that took 20 years.” 
Your self-image was created and is sustained through self talk and the use of affirmations - and that is also the method you can use to alter and modify your self image, literally as you wish. 
I call the process “self image goal setting,” because most people who set goals set only “to get” and “to have” goals; they fail to set “to be” goals.  I encourage you to balance your approach to goal setting by including some self image modification. 
Self Discipline, the fourth component of the inner game, is quite possibly the most important.  It also might be the most difficult to maintain. 
Success lecturer Jim Rohn says that most people do not associate lack of discipline with lack of success.  Instead, most people think of failure as one earth-shattering event, such as a company going out of business or a home foreclosure.  According to Jim Rohn, however, this is not how failure happens. 
Failure is rarely the result of some isolated event; rather, it is a consequence of a long list of accumulated little failures which happen as a result of too little discipline.  I agree.  I find that most people understandably tend to look everywhere but in the mirror for the sources of their failures as well as the victories. 
I’m here to tell you it’s not your location, not the economy, not the weather, not your competitors - it’s your own discipline that makes the difference between excellence and mediocrity, between getting by or getting rich. 
Jim Rohn says that discipline is the bridge between thought and accomplishment. 
I’d encourage you to take the self-discipline challenge very seriously. 
Select those areas that you know are your “weakest links”—timely paperwork; punctuality; daily self-improvement study; being happy and enthusiastic first thing in the morning, whatever your personal stumbling blocks are— Pick just one of them and apply new, tough, demanding disciplines to yourself in those areas. 
You’ll find that success in these particular areas of your day-to-day life will roll over into greater success in all parts of you life. 
For example, let’s look at the ultimate game players - professional football players.  A pro ball player knows that every single moment of his on-the-job performance is recorded on film, to be replayed and reviewed later in stop-action slow motion, for critique by his superiors and co-workers. 
If your day was filmed and reviewed, how would you feel during the replay? 
Yes, the inner workings of your mind are difficult to understand and even more difficult to change.  If being a big success was easy, everybody would be one. You’ve got to decide what you really want to be, do, have, accomplish—and decide whether or not you’re willing to adhere to the disciplines necessary to get it.
What obstacles stand in your way on the road to success? For more information about how to enhance your business, visit my page Who & Why or send me an email at sethgetz@gmail.com.
Is it a good or bad economy? Business ownership

Peter Lynch, a well-known investor, once said that for an investor 15 minutes a year spent on macro economic issues was a waste of 10 minutes time. I would go a step further and say that those 10 minutes can have a detrimental effect because of the way it can affect your attitude.
For the business owner, with few exceptions, it is a waste of time or negative use of time to worry about the economy. Yet I still hear business owners asking questions and making comments about the economy. They are usually in the form of “I don’t think I will move forward in X because of the economy” or using the economy as a scapegoat for why their business isn’t doing as well as they would like.
So why do people obsess over the state of the economy? Because the talking heads on TV and the body less voices on the radio constantly talk about it. Yet if you listen to them for a while you will either let your emotions ride the roller coaster of their prognostications or you will realize that they really don’t know what they are talking about. They are paid to talk, not to understand, and so they talk. Since people are much more inclined to accept and willing to listen to negative information they oblige them. It is important to realize that even in the best of times our economy lays off 59,000 people a month which means that there are 59,000 hard luck stories out there every month in even the best of times.
How should a business owner view the economy?
For the business owner any focus on the national economy is a worthless and detrimental use of brain cells. Unless you are Wal-Mart such a general view of the economy tells you nothing about your target market and their buying habits. The only way economic news is of any value is if you can accurately narrow it down to your marketplace, industry or Geographic area. Even then, the information is usually worthless.
How should a business owner deal with the economy and the constant stream of economic information?
  1. Do your best to ignore it. This starts with not listening to the talking heads, fear mongering blogs, scare social media posters and others like them. We live in a time of information overload and just as your Inbox is overwhelming because of the amount of mail that you get in, you can be overwhelmed by the amount of information that you receive on a daily basis. And just like your inbox you need a Spam filter that limits that amount of information that you receive. I have yet to see anything truly helpful on the news section of the TV. So consider going counter cultural and not watching it. The same goes for radio.
  2. Develop a historical perspective. Listening to economic news in the vacuum of today or this year blows it out of perspective. You need to develop a longer time horizon with which to view economic information. A minimum of 3 decades is a good start but longer is better. Consider this, (beware, I am going to be generalizing about the national economy) in the eighties the economy was rolling along at a very good pace, in the nineties it became an obscenely good pace, then in the 2000’s it reverted back to a good pace and people started complaining about how terrible the economy is. My response is that if you can’t make it in this economy then your business is flawed and you have no business being in business.
  3. Develop a global perspective. I was recently talking to a man who had run five businesses in Brazil and was now moving to West Michigan to start a business. Over the course of our conversation he asked me if I thought the economy in the area would be a problem because everyone that he had talked to told him that he shouldn’t start a business because the economy sucked. I told him that there really wasn’t much to worry about. I gave him some economic information for the area, including that the unemployment rate (a very general overview of the state of the economy) was between 5 and 6 percent. He started laughing and told me that in Brazil it was around 25 percent unemployment and he had successfully run 5 different businesses in that economic environment. You need to realize that this business environment is the envy of the world. This means that it is also good for your competitors as well. So you may have difficulty getting business because of the plethora of competitors but I can guarantee you that it is not because of the economy.
  4. Listen to your marketplace. If you want to know what is going on in your marketplace listen to your client base. Now a word of caution is in order here. Be careful listening to what they say because they are also affected by the talking heads.  So don’t just listen to what they say, but listen to what they do. Case in point. I was talking to a potential client in Oklahoma and after I quoted him my price he began to tell me how the economy in Oklahoma wasn’t very good and how they were a relatively poor state and, therefore, he didn’t think he could afford my fees. But only 20 minutes before he had been bragging about how he had just purchased his second plane for his business to fly his employees around the state, and that he had just broken ground on building himself a new home. The problem wasn’t the state of the economy, the problem was either that I hadn’t shown him the value of my services or that he was a Knucklehead.
Remember these things the next time you hear anyone talking about the economy and please remember not to use the economy as a scapegoat.
For more information about how to enhance your business, visit my page Who & Why or send me an email at sethgetz@gmail.com.
Be different for your target market, different colored stones

There is a disease out there called “being like everybody else”. 

This disease greatly affects small business owners who tend to look to their competition for business models, their industry for best practices and this business association for business standards. This incestual relationship causes the same problems that it does in marriage. Pretty soon everyone looks the same and everyone one is a bit dumber.
We are given this disease at a very young age when we were taught in kindergarten to fall in line and do what everyone else was doing. That we should all draw within the lines of our coloring book. We found it was safer to fit into the crowd, obey all the rules and avoid criticism. In school this was a way to avoid failure but this sets up a pattern in us that keeps us from success.

You cannot be successful by avoiding failure; sometimes you have to fail your way to success. 

You may have to go outside of the lines of your profession or industry but it is worth noting that no significant innovation ever came from within the industry box.
"If you can’t find a good role model to follow, then figure out what everybody else is doing and do something else."
   - Unknown
You need to innovate your business to the point that it will stand out in the mind of your target market. Something that will make them sit up and take notice. And no, producing a good quality product won’t do it, nor will offering great service. These are the basic essentials but won’t cause you to stand out in the mind of your customer.
You will have to do something unusual, or do something unusually well or in an unusual way. This does not mean trying to do everything in your business well. That is a recipe to avoid failure; you need to pick what you are going to be mind-blowingly good at and what you are going to be adequately good at. You can’t be mind-blowingly good at everything in your business.
So how do you start down this path? How do you look for things to innovate? How do you find out what innovations would be good?
First of all, don’t get stuck in an incestuous situation. Don’t look at what others in your industry are doing but look beyond your industry. An obstetrician in the 80’s realized that one of the problems in his industry was that it took 2-3 weeks for someone to get their glasses. Then, one day, he was going through a McDonalds drive-through and right there on the spot he came up with the concept of Lenscrafters “glasses in one hour” and, later, “glasses while you wait”. They cut corners in many areas of their business to focus on this one area. This caused them to stand out in the minds of their target market because of their mind-blowing quickness in an industry known for taking 2-3 weeks.
Second, in looking for areas to innovate in your business look at the edges of your business. Look at the small things. Don’t look at the core of your business or the main thing that you do; look at the edges of what you do. Stegink Construction, a remodeling company, decided that they would keep their remodeling projects unbelievably clean to the point that one client said that he thought that their main tool was the shopvac. But the clients loved it because one of their biggest aggravations was the mess in their home. Now, remember, Stegink was in the construction business, not the cleaning business, but they made cleaning a major point in their remodeling business. This caused them to stand out in the mind of their clients so much that they received raving referrals from those clients.
Third, how do we know which innovations to try? There is no guaranteed answer to this one, so I will tell you this. Make sure it is based on customers’ needs or wants and not on your perception of their needs or wants. Then, just do it. Will some of them fail at making you stand out? Yes, but you have to be willing to fail before you will succeed. You can’t steal second with your foot planted firmly on first base.
Don’t be afraid of coloring outside of the lines; don’t be afraid of what the others in the industry would think of you. Innovate your business to the point that it stands out in the mind of your target market.
Are you looking to stand out in the eye of your target market? For more information about how to enhance your business, visit my page Who & Why or send me an email at sethgetz@gmail.com.
Blank Profile Picture, Business Persona Development

Are you seriously looking for work or opportunities? Because your online presence doesn't look like it.

I keep hearing about all the people who don’t have a job or are looking for a better one. After meeting them I sometimes look them up on linkedin.com and am so often amazed that they don’t even have a profile on there.

Come on people, if you are serious about getting hired then you just might want to take 10 minutes to put together a free profile so I can see you and your resume. Then take another 20 minutes and get some connections on there so that I can see that you have connections. Then hopefully you will have some recommendations for your past work. A picture of you would also be really nice so I don't think you are one of those blue people.

Show me a little initiative and that you are worth hiring.

For more information about how to enhance your business, visit my page Who & Why or send me an email at sethgetz@gmail.com.

Chess pieces, Is Your Business a Game worth playing
What is it about a game that is so enthralling? Why do people spend so much time and effort playing games? Well, there are many answers to that question, but there is one that has a profound lesson for leaders, entrepreneurs, and managers. People enjoy games because there is a clear objective; they know what is expected of them and what is required to win. Imagine a game where there were no rules and no clear way of winning. How much would you enjoy a game like that? Imagine trying to get your friends excited about playing. You would probably get some very strange looks and some questions like:
“Sooo, what are we supposed to be doing?”
“How do we know if we are winning?”
“What’s the point?”
Eventually they will probably walk away from the game shaking their heads and thinking “What a waste of time.”

So, how does this description of a game apply to your business? You’re not playing a game… or are you? I would submit to you that every organization is a game. It can either captivate the players or leave them shaking their heads. You, as the leader, have the responsibility to make it a game that captivates.
Have you had employees lose their original zest for the work? Are they now just “marking time” or working only for the paycheck? If so, you can look at them and complain about their lack of commitment … or you can look at yourself. Did you give them the rules and communicate to them a game worth playing? Are there clear objectives to your game? Do they know what their part is in meeting those objectives? Can they tell if they are progressing or just treading water?
So what are you going to do? Keep “motivating” them? Push them harder? Coerce them? It won’t work. What will work is to provide an environment where people are constantly challenging themselves to do better because they know the objective of the game and have clear standards to hold themselves to. Doing this, it will create an environment where people wake up every morning looking forward to playing "The Game" in your organization.
Managers and leaders often make the mistake of assuming that those people who are working with them do it strictly for the benefits or for the money. If you talked to them you might find a much different story. People are looking for something that they can be a part of, something bigger than themselves, an objective they can believe in and work towards achieving – a game that excites them.
A word of warning:
If you are not committed to your own game and to following the rules yourself, others will detect this and their efforts will be half-hearted.
You must believe it.
Be committed to it.
And then communicate it
_____________________________________________________________________________________________Is your business a game worth playing? For more information about how to enhance your business, visit my page Who & Why or send me an email at sethgetz@gmail.com.