The Great Setback

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote about some of the challenges we face in business. Today I'm going to write about one of the biggest setbacks we can face as entrepreneurs. What is one of the greatest things that can hold us back? The answer is simply ourselves.

For many of us, that is a very hard concept to face and even more difficult to accept. The reason being is that now we have to take 100% responsibility for our actions and accept that where we are at in our business and lives, it solely dependent on the actions and thoughts we have had up until this point. 

It's easy to say it's his fault, it's my employee's fault, or it's my customer's fault. The list goes on and on. If you were to go to the core of any subject, it would always come back to you, to your leadership or the lack there of.

One key lesson that I have to refresh my memory with constantly, is this. "Getting out of my own way" Ponder those words and see if there is something you could change to bring more success into your life. Getting out of "your own" way means, you are the roadblock.

I get in a rut and stuck just like anybody. When this happens to you, reach out to your fellow inner circle. Reach out to your fellow members.
 
As a great friend said to me a few weeks ago when I was stuck, " do you know what happens when your stuck, your about to have a breakthrough.

To your success ~ James Brush.

A Conversation with James

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Last night I had the pleasure to speak with one of our CS2 members in Texas. His name also is James. It was a good hour of conversation that spoke of the challenges and issues that we face as contractors. Tips and insights were shared.

James is a smart guy. James also asked me to write about something that he believes is key to running a successful business. I too believe it as well. I’ve written about the subject over a year ago. That said it’s always good to be reminded of sound principles, and there are more people reading these daily emails since I last written about a year ago.

The subject at hand is building sovereignty in your business by adopting a simple rule. The simple rule is this: not all customers are the right customers.

Many potential customers are practically holding up signs why you should not be doing business with them. Big red flags are being hoisted up in front of your very eyes. However, many contractors are so desperate for work that they ignore the telltale signs and end up regretting doing business.

We all know the signs, and I could write a book about it. Signs could be something as simple as:

  • I have a lot of work if you give me a good price on this one I’ll give you all my work. 
  • When you need it done? Yesterday!
  • Customers that say they are going to do business with you, and don’t show up.
  • Another contractor showing up to while you’re there.
  • Customers telling you how much you should be charging.
  • Customers trying to beat you down on price.
  • Customers telling you when they’re going to pay.

If you want to survive in this business and more importantly if you want to be successful in this business, you have to be strong. You are the leader of your business. You dictate how your business is going to be run, not your customer.

James has learned from 25 years of experience. Experience is a great teacher. That said learning from those that have already been down this road before you is also a great teacher. Learn how to leverage from the mistakes of others.

As an expert in your trade, you have to believe that you are the best and your customers need to know that it is a privilege to do business with you.

I believe this with all my heart in my businesses and just one more reason why you must apply to become a member. It's also making sure that we are getting the best group of contractors to learn and leverage from. 

What do you need to know about your customers? You can afford to get rid of some.

Have you ever heard the old lie “that customers are always right or that the customer is never wrong?”

Yes you heard me right, I said lie. It may be a hard pill to swallow for a lot of contractors especially if they are experiencing tough times. It may sound counter-intuitive as well.

But the bottom line is, if you fail to apply the Paretto Principle (the 80/20 rule) to your customers, you're not running your business intelligently.

What is the Pareto Principle? 
Originally, the Pareto Principle referred to the observation that 80% of Italy’s wealth belonged to only 20% of the population.
More generally, the Pareto Principle is the observation (not law) that most things in life are not distributed evenly. It can mean all of the following things:

•    20% of the input creates 80% of the result
•    20% of the workers produce 80% of the result
•    20% of the customers create 80% of the revenue
•    And on and on…

So as near as it can be, 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your customers. And, my friend, if you're treating that 20% in exactly the same way as you treat the 80%...you're making a very big mistake.

It's a complete myth that all customers are created equally. They're not, we were taught that they are. We have had this drilled into our heads, and it has become a part of our beliefs. 

Now is the time to get comfortable in saying goodbye to those customers who are sucking the life out of you and your business.

Think about the customers that are hard to work with. The ones that don’t pay their bills on time, complainers, the ones that want you drop everything you are doing to take care of them right now. The ones that want you to whore yourself out for low wages and so on so on.

Sack these customers! Once you sack them, it will be a liberating experience and exceptionally good business practice. Very few business owners run their business this way and the implications of their actions are proven time and time again. 

Do not be like the masses and don’t follow the heard. The majority of business owners do not know about the Pareto Principle and if they do, they lack the courage to implement it into their business. 

When I first became aware of the 80/20 rule, I was not comfortable with it either. I had the deep-rooted belief that all customers were right, and It was my job to serve everybody. Do you know what my business coach said? “As long as you are happy playing it small and getting mediocre results, keep that philosophy!!!”

I didn’t like hearing it at first but in time I implemented the 80/20 rule and the rewards have been great.

Ask yourself these three powerful questions below because your profits will depend on it.
1. When was the last time you did a thorough analysis of your customers in terms of how profitable they are?
2. Who, in your customer base, warrants the value and resources you offer...and who doesn't?
3. Which customers do you need to sack?

To your success ~ James Brush.

12 Keys of Successful People

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I think I wrote about this a year ago but it’s always worth seeing again. I saw this on the Internet the other day and it was a good reminder. I’m not sure who wrote the original but to whomever did, I’m grateful.

12 things that successful people do differently!

  1. They create and pursue focused goals.
  2. They take decisive and immediate action.
  3. They focus on being productive, not being busy.
  4. They make logical informed decisions.
  5. They avoid the trap of trying to make things perfect.
  6. They work outside of their comfort zone.
  7. They keep things simple.
  8. They focus on making small, continuous improvements.
  9. They measure and track their progress.
  10. They maintain a positive attitude as they learn from mistakes.
  11. They spend time with motivational people.
  12. They maintain balance in their life.

I would imagine if you take a long look at this list you will find areas in your life that need improvement. I know I do. And if you don’t please get a hold of me because I would like to learn from you. “Confucius said find friends that are more virtuous than yourself.”

It’s easy to forget some of the lessons that we learn throughout the years if we’re not truly living into what we are learning. For me it was a good reminder and there are many points in today’s lesson that I need to focus on. My hope for you is that something in this list will spark or ignite the small change that needs to be made in your life to find greater success.


To your success, James Brush.

Backbone

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Good morning entrepreneurs,

Years ago I read an article about people not having a backbone. In truth, it was referencing people in the contracting business. However not having a backbone is something I see common in a lot of people in many walks of life.Find your backbone

This article is not written for the purpose of degrading someone. The purpose of this email is to bring forth more awareness. Or in other words, to make what is unconscious, conscious. 

Now you may not have this problem, but I'm sure you have recognized the trait in some of your employees. Like I said, it's a common problem that many suffer from, and it comes in many forms.

Below are just a few examples of not having backbone that plagues the profits of entrepreneurs:

  • Caving on price.
  • Caving when a prospect says no.
  • Being able to say no.
  • Being able to say yes.
  • Speaking your truth.


I have been in the self-help industry now for over six years and one common aspect that highly successful entrepreneurs share, is they have backbone. They have the courage to speak from their heart. They can speak their truth.

They can speak when the need to speak; they can make decisions quickly at times when it is most difficult. 

On the flip side of the coin, those that are not successful, are like the ostrich that puts their head in the sand. They would rather not deal with what life brings them and they are slow to make decisions if they make them at all.

No matter what side of the coin you are on, it doesn't just affect your professional life; it affects your personal life as well. "You" is the common denominator. So what you bring in one aspect of your life, you bring in all of your life's elements.

If you are suffering from not having a backbone or you recognize it in your employees, dig deep down ,find the strength and courage that I know you have, then speak your truth.

It will be one of the most rewarding things you can do and the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

To your success ~James Brush.

I can’t afford that!

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“I can’t afford that!” That’s too expensive!!! I recently had someone tell me they couldn’t afford $250 a month.
A little bit about this company: The Company is T&M.

  • This company has 5 trucks on the road.
  • Average call is $150. Not new installs. When they sale a new HVAC unit or Electrical service it’s more.

So the company does the math with me and says.

  1. 5 iPads = $2500 – First Year one-time expense –(This could be reduced to half but I want numbers to be high for this example)
  2. Data service yearly = $600  
  3. CS2 Monthly for two trades $250 - $3000 a year

CS2 Investment 
First year’s investment - $6100
Average monthly for 5 technicians is $508 the first year.
Average monthly for 5 technicians is $300 thereafter.

Before Flat Rate
Company A is doing on average $500 $600 per truck per day.
Weekly revenue is $12500 - $15000.
Using a good flat rate system, a little training, the average service call will at a very minimum double. It’s always more but I will be conservative.

So once the system is in place the company numbers will look like this:
After CS2
Company A is doing on average $1000 $1200 per truck per day.
Weekly revenue is $25000 - $30000.
So there’s the rub! Your perspective of the beach ball will be the same until you move in a different direction.
Investing $6100 a year to get a return of $150,000 to $180,000. Hmmmmmmm

Most of the members here know this already because they live it. Today’s lesson applies more to CS2 and that is why I'm writing about it. It applies to all aspects of life and I will speak more of the compound effect in this weeks emails.

By for now.
To your success ~ James Brush