So many fantastic, hard-working, decent people get nowhere. Not because they aren’t applying themselves, but simply because they’re misdirected. Here are the top three things that damage entrepreneurs’ chances of success:

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Photo: Nathan Dumlao

1. Stuck on the vanity numbers: the incessant checking, pandering and worship of likes, shares, and comments that content generates. This consumes so many people that they often do little else but move from account to account, checking in for that emotional hit of “another person is validating me”. Give this stuff as rest and concentrate on real engagement and conversions.

2. Going small: this one is simple — it’s that mindset of “I’ll just get to xxx level, before stepping things up” that kills so many with great potential. Thing is, your growth is non-existent this way. Setting the sights low never generated exciting output. …

Or, the tragedy of looking good while you kill yourself…

About 13–14 years ago I was running a telesales team. I remember another sales manager coming to me to ask if I had any observations on one of his reps. His guy had been with the team for about six months and across the sales floor he had the nickname ‘superman’.

Superman. Imagine having that nickname? You’d think he must have been killing it, right? At about 22 years old, he must have been some hotshot that was surging to the top of the leaderboard.

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Make sure you’re being effective with your time rather than just looking busy

Sadly that wasn’t the case here.

He was bombing out. Big time. He hadn’t made a sale in over six weeks in a place where 1–2 sales per week was usual. …

I was recently having lunch at a client’s office and overheard a conversation about football.

The two people didn’t just have a point of view that they were arguing; they had stats, examples, quotes, research. You name it.

They were experts.
Kings of their niche.
Masters of this particular recess of the sporting world.

It was a spectacular display of “otaku”.

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Your ‘otaku’ is your house — that place you reside in when you’re in obsessed over something

I first came across the word “otaku” reading Seth Godin’s “Purple Cow”. The Japanese word is defined as “a young person who is obsessed with…particular aspects of popular culture to the detriment of their social skills.” It literally means “your house”. …

Lessons from building a £1m business in 12 months…

It’s funny how when you start with an idea of what a business is going to look like, you don’t tend to see something held together with sticky tape, with the guys building it slamming espressos to wake themselves up and days spent running from meeting to phone call to meeting, to airport, to email, to meeting to phone call.

But that’s exactly how it looked when we were doing it.

I was fortunate enough to be part of an amazing group of four guys that wanted to dominate a space in a saturated market. Our belief in ourselves was strong — we’d all got a decade of selling and business-building under our belts and we knew we could each deliver what was needed: cashflow.

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Speed, not perfection is the key to growing a business

What we’d imagined (as an end goal) was strolling into the office in immaculate suits, with the phones ringing off the hook and our teams crushing it. But what we knew deep down was ultimately one of the main reasons why we ended up being successful in creating £1m of revenue in the first 12 months of building that new business…

It really is stunning when you go the extra mile for a client and they are blown away by it.

I’m talking about even some very simple things:

> Recording a video message instead of using text to respond to a question
> Offering more than had been paid for (a higher package, more calls with them, a visit)
> Doing some of the work with the client, rather than just offering suggestions

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Doing more for customers directly impacts your best marketing tool…

Over-delivery is one of the easiest competitive advantages to have when most people just do “the essentials”.

Why is over-delivery so rare? Simple — the way existing clients are viewed is usually completely incorrect.

If someone’s paid for a service, they are no longer providing any more income than that projected (either as a subscription or as a one off fee), right? …

I remember when I led a very small group of driven guys to build out a business unit that generated close to £1m in it’s first full year. There were some things we did do and some things we absolutely didn’t do:

What we DID do:
1. Spent close to 70%-80% of our working days on the phone, pitching new business
2. Sent out a huge amount of emails (I believe we targeted ourselves with 40 each) every day, to set up phone calls or coffee meetings with potential clients
3. Never had a day off sick (funny how when you’re all working to build something that starts from a need to survive, that you don’t think about being ill so much)
4. Celebrated the wins, even when they were small, because we knew every fee we wrote was another reason that proved we were onto something
5. Supported each other — the giving culture was huge. For instance, I helped a colleague close a major £30k retainer with a South African mining house. …

Seriously — if any of these are happening, you need to have a hard look at what you’re up to:

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1. If the number of times you post a day feels more important than what you actually post
2. If over 80% of your posts are shared content from other sources
3. If you only share the ideas of others and never any of your own
4. You buy likes to give a post a “boost”, for “perception”
5. You never engage with those who engage
6. You never check previous posts to see who’s started a conversation
7. You check previous posts to see who’s started a conversation… every 3 minutes
8. You don’t have at the very least an occasional call to action / ask / “right hook”
9. Your ‘pure signal’ marketing content is punctuated with Lad’s Bible videos
10. …

4 Reasons Why Your Content-Driven Marketing isn’t Working:

1. Your audience is more mature than you. No, I don’t mean you act like a child! Rather, the audience in your niche tends to have a base level of knowledge in the space — that’s partly what stands them out as enthusiasts. So, you’re going to show yourself up when you’re talking about something that’s basic for them, but seems groundbreaking for you. If you’re a little ‘green’ still, this is a risk you run. Do your research and get your finger on the pulse a little more.

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Sometimes, just writing content isn’t enough…

2. You don’t promote it right. This one’s simple — distribute! For every blogger that generates content viewed by thousands across multiple platforms, there are probably 150 others that have just as good material, but just don’t distribute it properly. As a result, amazing work goes unseen. Make sure as well as producing that fantastic, stimulating blog post you also let the world know you’ve written something! …

Facebook is currently the #1 social platform for engaging with prospects for your startup business. Having engagement from an audience is the step to generating leads, loyal followers and breeding that all important word of mouth. While our egos all love a good ‘Like’ count from posts, it’s the higher level engagements that really move you up a level. Sales, opportunities and being viewed as an ‘influencer’ are the result of being talked about and that all starts with your community when they interact with your content. …

…and why (because I actually read the books I post about!)

1. John Kay — The Long and The Short of It: clear and simple suggestions for managing money (for someone with an ounce of intelligence). I read this book in 2009 when I was very focused on making robust decisions with my money after the 2008 crash.

2. Lawrence Cunningham — The Essays of Warren Buffett: the essential philosophies of the most significant investor on the planet have been collated and represent for me a ‘go-to’ for views, perspectives and tips, rather than pure theory. …


Richard Moore

Startup Mentor | Sales consultant | Investor in exciting new companies🔥 15+ years in LOVE with selling & coaching! Weekly Live Q&A on Facebook (Mon @1pm GMT)

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